Islam and the Making of Modern Europe, 1798-1831
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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In late October , as the first draft of this work was completed, two teenagers,Zyed Benna and Bouna Traoré, were killed while under pursuit by police in theouter suburbs of Paris. Protests began in local communities and became more vi-olent as they spread to most major cities in France. In the streets, cars burned, andpolice fired tear gas into crowds of teenagers from the largely Arab and African...
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This is a book about a France that never quite existed. It is not a counterfactual orfictitious history. It addresses the making and unmaking of a space that had noname and appears nowhere in the official record. All that remains of that spaceare mute and hardly decipherable traces scattered here and there across disparatearchives and libraries: the unusual consonance of certain names inscribed upon...
1. A Rough Crossing
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In late August , a fleet of British frigates set out from the port of Aboukir inEgypt. They were carry ing the tattered remnants of the French Grande Armée,abandoned two years earlier by their commander, Napoleon Bonaparte, to fight onwithout much hope in Egypt, and at last given passage back to France by the treatyconcluded with En gland and the Ottoman Porte. One night, just a few days into the...
2. Ports of Call
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On their release from quarantine in Marseille, the first act of the Egyptian exiles wasto or ga nize the funeral of their leader, General Ya’qub, which attracted a crowd ofonlookers as they carried his body to its sepulchre. The body had not been buriedat sea: his widow had insisted on its preservation during the journey in a barrel ofrum. The burial of Ya’qub was an important ritual for the heterogeneous popula-...
3. The Making of Arab Paris
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The most ancient monument in today’s Paris is not French but Egyptian. Theobelisk of the place de la Concorde stands at one end of the “golden road” stretch-ing through the Jardin des Tuileries, past the empty site of the Tuileries palace fa-vored by Napoleon, and the triumphal arch celebrating his victories, to meet theEgyptianizing glass pyramid of the Louvre at its farthest point. Thus the axis of an...
4. Policing Orientalism
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At almost the same moment that Georges Aïdé arrived in Paris, trailing behindhim the controversies of the community in Marseille, another of his fellow nota-bles from the Council of Refugees also arrived in the capital, albeit at an addresssome distance further along the rue Saint- Honoré. ‘Abd el- Al, the former aga, orchief, of police under the occupation in Cairo, clearly saw this as a propitious mo-...
5. Massacre and Restoration
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On the night of June , an angry mob surged through the streets of Mar-seille baying for Egyptian blood. The pogrom had begun as a settling of po liti calscores with the Bonapartists, who had dominated this royalist stronghold underthe Empire, and again during the Hundred Days of Napoleon’s return to powerfrom his exile on Elba. But it rapidly took on a racial cast. Intoxicated by violence,...
6. Cosmopolitanism and Confusion
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By the third de cade of the nineteenth century a significant population of Arabswas living in France, chiefly in Marseille and Paris, with a presence in the town ofMelun, and a few scattered souls in other towns and villages. These people had sur-vived the catastrophic collapse of a po liti cal system, the upheavals of transition,and the installation of another, more hostile administration, despite the murder-...
7. Remaking Arab France
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In a remarkable preface to his final work, published after his death, Joseph Agouboffered an eloquent defense of the Arabic language, placing Egypt for the firsttime in his works as just one element in a larger Arab world. In this text, Agoubacknowledged his debt to the work of Arab intellectuals like Mikha’il Sabbaghand Ellious Bocthor who had come to Paris before him. But where in his early po-...
8. The Cathedral and the Mosque
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At noon on December , Joanny Pharaon, the chief interpreter to the mili-tary commander of the French army in Algiers, stood on the steps of the KechaouaMosque in the Shari’ al- Diwan. Before him, the great doors of the mosque wereclosed and barricaded; four thousand Muslims had locked themselves inside. Be-hind him, a company of the Fourth Regiment of the Line had installed itself in the...
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Today, when the inhabitants of Marseille take a bus along the boulevard Sakakini,it is unlikely that they have any sense of the history that lies behind the thorough-fare’s name. The visitor who strikes across the bridge from Notre Dame in Paristoward the church of Saint- Julien- le- Pauvre is unlikely to know that this is a Melkitechurch where ser vices are regularly conducted in Arabic, like those Isa Carus once...
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Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2010