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By Ian Coller

Many consider Muslims in Europe as a 20th century phenomenon, yet this ebook brings to existence a misplaced group of Arabs who lived via struggle, revolution, and empire in early 19th century France. Ian Coller uncovers the fantastic tale of the different hundred males, girls, and children—Egyptians, Syrians, Greeks, and others—who the French military again domestic after Napoleon’s profession of Egypt. in accordance with study in ignored documents, at the rediscovery of forgotten Franco-Arab authors, and on a various choice of visible fabrics, the publication builds a wealthy photo of the 1st Arab France—its beginning, upward thrust, and unexpected decline within the age of colonial growth. As he excavates a group that was once approximately erased from the ancient checklist, Coller bargains a brand new account of France itself during this pivotal interval, one who transcends the binary framework wherein we too frequently view background by means of revealing the deep roots of trade among Europe and the Muslim international, and exhibiting how Arab France used to be in truth necessary to the sunrise of modernity.

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Arab France: Islam and the Making of Modern Europe, 1798-1831

Many give some thought to Muslims in Europe as a 20th century phenomenon, yet this ebook brings to lifestyles a misplaced group of Arabs who lived via conflict, revolution, and empire in early 19th century France. Ian Coller uncovers the miraculous tale of the different hundred males, ladies, and children—Egyptians, Syrians, Greeks, and others—who the French military again domestic after Napoleon’s profession of Egypt.

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Additional resources for Arab France: Islam and the Making of Modern Europe, 1798-1831

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But in certain circumstances this cultural proximity only accentuated the limits of social mobility. An ambitious young Copt could enter into the elite as a scribe or a financial administrator, but his dress, his manner of transport, and his deportment were delimited by the prescriptions of law and custom. He could not enter the ranks of the military or the powerful intellectual elite, which was exclusively Muslim in character, unless he chose to convert to Islam and thus effectively leave his own community.

Ottoman power fascinated and frightened Europeans: in , and again in , the Ottoman army reached the gates of Vienna and was only narrowly defeated on each occasion. 13 Its population had doubled in the course of two centuries, and the Sublime Porte in Istanbul—both the seat of the Islamic caliphate and the center of Ottoman political power—faced significant challenges in governing by the traditional means that had held the empire together for more than half a millennium. The fundamental role of Islam in cementing the legitimacy of Ottoman rule had provided a constant pressure to expand into the non-Muslim world, but it also served to constrain change within a powerfully theocentric vision of the world.

52 Thus any assumption that there was an automatic confluence of interests between French and local Christians should be seriously challenged: cultural and ideological sympathies must be balanced against the unfolding dynamics of power. Moreover, the Christians did not form a single sectarian community: their status varied within Ottoman society, along with their geographic origins and the nature of their social and economic participation. It is worth enumerating some of these differences, because they played an important role, both in the origin of the emigration and in its destinies in France.

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