Islam and the Victorians: Nineteenth Century Perceptions of by Shahin Kuli Khan Khattak

By Shahin Kuli Khan Khattak

This booklet brings to existence Victorian Britain's conceptions and misconceptions of the Muslim global utilizing a radical research of assorted cultural assets of the interval. She discovers the present illustration of Muslims and Islam within the significant spheres of British impact - India and the Ottoman Empire - was once strengthened through reoccurring subject matters: via literature and leisure the general public observed "the Mahomedan" because the "noble savage", a notion strengthened via commute writing and fiction of the "exotic east" and the "Arabian Nights".

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Additional info for Islam and the Victorians: Nineteenth Century Perceptions of Muslim Practices and Beliefs (Library of Middle East History)

Sample text

Dr. Johnson (1709-1784) said that it was fortunate that Aurangzeb’s nation consisted of people who were unaware of the English stage as he would otherwise be offended.

Blunt concluded that the Muslims were as much disaffected towards the British as any other religious group in India. 36 He also pointed out that native Indians were insulted in public for wearing their dress, even at a railway station. 38 Thus the dethroned rulers, who had been long ignored and disaffected, the Muslims of India, were brought into focus. This policy was further endorsed when the views of the local serving British officers were taken into consideration. 39 This was a view that was expressed by Lyall as: “I wouldn’t be lectured by Kafirs, or bullied by fat Hindoos;”40 Blunt explained that his research for The Future of Islam, was conducted in Jeddah, since this was the entry point to Mecca for pilgrims from all over the world, and that his 28 Islam and the Victorians impression regarding Islam there was quite different from the one he had formed in India, which was comparatively narrower because of fewer observable nationalities.

The French were equally interested and D’Herbelot’s Bibliotheque Orientale was the forerunner for the Encyclopaedia of Islam. This was a result of the attempt initiated by Francois I of France (during the Renaissance) to familiarise his people with the east. He sent his agents to procure essential works for this purpose. A more natural absorption of an eastern strain was found in Spanish poetry and ballads, which were the result of direct contact with the Arabs over many centuries. This fusion was evident in ancient fourteenth century Spanish ballads with anonymous 50 Islam and the Victorians authors which were known as Romance Moriscos and particularly in the poem Fatima and Radowan, the narrative of an unfaithful lover.

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