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 Topic: Random Islamic History Posts

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  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #240 - September 26, 2016, 10:37 AM

    Iza Hussin - The Politics of Islamic Law
    Traveling between archives in Malaysia a few years ago, I met a middle-aged woman who heard me describe my research, nodded, and said in Malay, “Indeed – I got Islamic lawed the other day,” in a property case adjudicated in favor of a male cousin. For the majority of Muslims, the encounter with Islamic law takes place neither through spectacular violence nor through extraordinary force, but in the mundane, repetitive and indispensable negotiations that characterize most encounters with the administrative state: identity cards, marriage and divorce, child custody, inheritance disputes. Most debates about the proper place of shari’a today also take place within the frame provided by colonial and national histories, in which the ascendance of state power was facilitated by its takeover and  impoverishment of local institutions which articulated what Islamic law could be, in whose voice it might speak, and at whose hands it might change. Those who advocate a return to a moment when the state enforced a codified and unified law of Islam invoke a nostalgia for a past that has never existed. Equally, though, a view of Islamic law as the locus of Muslim values, tradition or culture also needs to be reconsidered: it is of course ahistorical, as centuries of Muslim debate over the tradition readily demonstrate. It further allows an assumed equivalence between family or personal status law and Islamic law to remain unexamined. The association of Islamic law with tradition has long been part of a teleology that rationalizes and justifies colonial and neo-colonial intervention in Muslim states and Muslim lives.

    The transformation of Islamic law into a domain of state administration – legislated by rulers, codified and interpreted by state employees, bankrolled by state funds, a department of governance amongst others – has arguably been the most significant change in Muslim life in the last two hundred years. The major transformative event for the way the shari’a now functions was the rise of the interventionist, bureaucratic state – a state that wrested control over shari’a interpretation, adjudication and education from multiple local institutions and asserted its monopoly over Islamic law. The Politics of Islamic Law explores these transformations in British colonial India, Malaya and Egypt, and seeks to understand how Muslims themselves became invested in a radical redefinition of ‘shari’a’ as ‘Islamic law’ – from a broad pathway through life, to a narrow line of codes pertaining to matters of ritual and family, defined and enforced by the state.

    Surprisingly, we still have little detail about how this change was effected: how did changes at the level of legislation and code affect everyday life? How did judges and bureaucrats untrained in the shari’a apply and interpret it? How did the independent scholars, jurists and teachers who had previously been the backbone of the shari’a system respond to its takeover by the state? At the core of each of these phenomena, I argue, was a paradoxical dynamic: the institutional marginalization of Islam at the hands of the colonial state was accompanied by its symbolic centralization. Muslim elites responding to the hazards and opportunities of colonialism often found themselves accepting the jurisdiction of colonial law even in order to contest it, setting in motion new processes that would make the delivery of Islamic law central to the legitimacy of the state, a dynamic that continued into post-colonial politics.

    In British India, where the chronology of the book’s narrative begins, the colonial administration of Islam replaced people – elite interpreters of juristic tradition and local usage – with texts, first with Anglo-Muhammadan law, and then in the late nineteenth century with colonial codes that defined Islamic law within the confines of marriage, divorce, inheritance, and ritual. These codes later became a basis for Muslim efforts to wrest political power from the British; as the institutional expression of the line between Hindu and Muslim, they were also deployed as proof of the incommensurability of Hindu and Muslim law within a single state.

    The picture from Malaya from the 1870s is quite different: here, the initial compact with Malay ruling elites fenced off matters of Muslim religion and Malay custom and made them indispensable for the sovereignty of Malay sultans. Religion and custom were narrowly defined, by violence and by legal force, early on in the relationship between the sultans and the British. As such, the institutional development of Islam in the Malay States proceeded largely without colonial intervention as long as it remained within these newly defined bounds of Islam – marriage, divorce, inheritance, religious endowments and ritual observance. The application of Islamic law was largely left uncodified, at the discretion of Islamic elites formally under the aegis of the state but outside its interpretive control. Having made these matters the Sultans’ raison d’être, it became in the interests of the Sultans to emphasize Islam and Malay custom as raisons d’état.

    In Egypt at roughly the same time, the British inherited a system constructed by the Ottomans and conditioned by the reforms of Muhammad Ali. Here, the impact of colonialism was twofold: through the ongoing system of rule in Egypt after the British occupation, and through Ottoman and Egyptian efforts to stave off European intervention. The reform of Islamic law was constructed as a choice by Islamic and Egyptian legal elites to forestall colonial intervention, to reform instead of being reformed. Because the colonial power to be forestalled was British, the reform of law took on the French model, with profound consequences: statutes took the place of independent juristic reasoning, Islamic legal elites were appointed to positions of responsibility within a highly hierarchical state bureaucracy, and law became the central focus of Islamic intellectual activity. In the struggle against colonialism, Egyptians – those who articulated their resistance explicitly in Islamic terms and those who did so in language more recognizable as nationalist – had by the end of the nineteenth century taken as a given the concept of Islamic law as a codified and limited department of the state. These elites brought shari’a and personal law together in a formula still in use throughout the legal systems of the Arabic-speaking world – al-ahkam al-shar’iyyah fi al-ahwal al-shakhsiyya – the shari’a laws of personal status.

    Between 1765 and 1914 a new kind of Islamic law emerged, startling both in its departure from preceding practices and in the sameness with which it dealt with the lives of Muslims in India, Malaya and Egypt.

    What began as a legitimating conceit on the part of the colonial state – the making of a limited but sovereign space for Islam – soon became a central component of local elite power. The post-colonial Muslim state now finds itself in a double bind, governing through the durable legacies of colonial statehood, including the institutional marginalization of Islam, but relying for its authority upon Islam’s symbolic centrality.


    Iza Hussin on

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #241 - September 27, 2016, 03:42 AM

    It seems to me that the experience of the Malays (and the Indonesians) with Islamic law is very different from the experience of the Egyptians. Islamic law was always the Muslims' law in Egypt. There are whole books in Arabic about the early Egyptian qadi's. I am not aware of books in Bahasa about the famous judges of Java (maybe they exist now).
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #242 - October 03, 2016, 10:05 AM

    Merchants and trading communities in early Islam - conference programme
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #243 - October 03, 2016, 12:46 PM

    Fanny Bessard - The urban economy in southern inland Greater Syria from the seventh century to the end of the Umayyads

    This article deals with the evolution of the economy of southern Greater Syria’s inland cities between the beginning of the 7th c. and the end of the Umayyads. Its purpose is to demonstrate that the economy of this region leaned towards a form of ‘localism’ in the 6th to 7th c., and later experienced growth at the beginning of the Islamic period. It will show that this growth occurred within the context of the new geo-political reality. That is, the political unification of the Near East under the reign of the Umayyads from the 7th to early 8th c., and the strategic position of this region: on the pilgrim route towards Mecca and on the route to Iraq passing through the Jordan steppe. It will be argued that in the early Islamic period, the reinforcement and opening up of local and long-distance exchange, aided by the amelioration  of road networks, encouraged the growth of nucleated workshops in the cities of southern inland Greater Syria, as well as an evolution in the material culture, as shown by archaeological discoveries and Arabic sources.

    Edit: Linking to this doesn't work but the article can still be accessed by googling the title.
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #244 - October 03, 2016, 02:00 PM

    Alison Vacca - From K‘usti Kapkoh to al-Ǧarbī: Sasanian Antecedents, the Sectarian Milieu, and the Creation of an Islamic Frontier in Armīniya (PhD dissertation)
    Although Arab incursions into Armenia began in the 640s, it wasn’t until after the Marwānid reforms that Arabs established direct rule over the region and created the province Armīniya. This dissertation considers Armīniya and the caliphal North (comprising Armenia, Caucasian Albania, Eastern Georgia, Azerbaijan, and parts of Northern Mesopotamia) from c. 700 to 862. During this brief period, an Arab governor presided over Dabīl, struck coins in Armīniya, collected taxes, and imposed Islamic law. Importantly, Islamic sources project Armīniya as a province of the Islamic world rather than as a tributary state. This ends with the dissolution of Abbāsid power after the death of al-Mutawakkil and, in Armenia, the rise of the Bagratids at the end of the ninth century.

    In particular, this dissertation forwards three main arguments about the Arab period in Armīniya. First, Armīniya was important primarily as a frontier between the Caliphate, Byzantium, and Ḫazaria. The frontier was only partially defined by the military realities of the borderland and was instead primarily conceptual, built by the literary production of difference. Second, the Arab conceptualization of Armīniya was largely dependent upon the legacy of Sasanian control. Arabs considered the Caliphate to be the heir of the Persian Empire, so they were particularly interested in the region’s Sasanian past. This determined not only how Arabs and Persians described Armīniya, but also how they ruled the land and its Christian population. Third, information about the Sasanian era was not transmitted via Arab-Armenian dialog, but rather among the Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Near East. Specifically, the role of Syriac-speaking Christians in the development of Islamic traditions about Armīniya cannot be overstated.

    This dissertation discusses the importance of the province from the perspective of Arabic sources and Islamic historiography; although it employs Armenian, Greek, and Syriac sources, it is primarily concerned with the perspective from the center (Damascus and Baghdad).

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #245 - October 07, 2016, 05:33 PM

    Marshall Hodgson, Shahab Ahmed, the use of the term 'Islamicate' and so on


    What is Islam? Forum - an introduction
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #246 - October 09, 2016, 06:28 PM

    Jehan Al-Azzawi - The Shi'ites of Lebanon: Modernism, Communism and Hizbullah's Islamists by Rula Jurdi Abisaab and Malek Abisaab (Review)
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #247 - October 17, 2016, 05:20 PM

    Forthcoming book

    Ibn Qutaybah's The Excellence of the Arabs, translated by Sarah Bowen Savant and Peter Webb
    Written by one of the most prolific scholars of the early Abbasid era, The Excellence of the Arabs is a spirited defense of Arab identity—its merits, values, and origins—at a time of political unrest and fragmentation. 

    In the cosmopolitan milieu of Baghdad, the social prestige attached to claims of Arab tribal affiliation had begun to decline. Anxious to uphold the elite status of Arabs and their superior heritage in the face of change and uncertainty, Ibn Qutaybah (213-76 H/828-89 AD) expresses contempt for the Shu'ubiyyah movement that belittled Arabness and vaunted the glories of Persian heritage and culture.

    The Excellence of the Arabs has two parts. The first, Arab Preeminence, accuses partisans of the Shu'ubiyyah movement of blasphemous envy, and takes the form of an extended argument for Arab privilege. The second, The Excellence of Arab Learning, describes fields of knowledge in which Ibn Qutaybah believed pre-Islamic Arabians excelled, such as astronomy, divination, horse husbandry, and poetry. And by incorporating extensive excerpts from the poetic heritage—“the archive of the Arabs”—Ibn Qutaybah aims to demonstrate that poetry is itself sufficient corroboration of Arab superiority.

    Eloquent and forceful, The Excellence of the Arabs addresses one of the central questions at a time of great social flux: what did it mean to be Arab at the dawn of classical Muslim civilization?

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #248 - October 21, 2016, 04:39 PM

    Sarah Bowen Savant talking about her book The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran: Tradition, Memory, and Conversion
    Sarah Bowen Savant - "Persians" in early Islam


    The reason so many basic questions remain about the birth and growth of Islam is that the source material is problematic. Scholars of Late Antiquity and early Islam have access to relatively few raw materials such as inscriptions, coins, court records, and scraps of papyri. Instead, they must rely heavily on historical narratives that have been shaped by particular authors with particular agendas. It’s the difference between unearthing an ancient decree from the bowels of a forgotten archive and reading an author’s opinionated summary of that decree written decades later. Almost all the extant writings post-date the rise of Islam by at least a century. And starting in the ninth century, scholars suddenly have to deal not with a dearth of sources but an avalanche of them from the newly matured Islamic intellectual tradition. While these late, literary sources contain a wealth of material pieced together from older reports, they also reveal many inconsistencies and exhibit ideological tampering. Finally, these writings do not give a historical explanation for the spread of Islam, but a theological one highlighting God’s favor for the superior, chosen faith. Any scholar wishing to reconstruct early Islamic history according to modern academic standards must read between the lines. Careful literary analysis has become a major tool for scholars hoping to make sense of this explosion of conflicting and confusing evidence.

    This is the thorny field into which Sarah Bowen Savant has planted her book, The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran. As her primary purpose is “to shed light on the shaping of memory about and among Iran’s first Muslims,” she focuses on the period when Persians were beginning to convert to Islam en masse, from roughly the ninth through eleventh centuries CE. The fact of this conversion forms the background for her analysis; that is, rather than seeking to explain how or why Persians converted to Islam, she shows how they made sense of that conversion by writing about the Persian past and connecting it to the Islamic present. She demonstrates in tantalizingly rich detail how these Persian Muslims remembered the proud aspects of their past, keeping their distinctive heritage alive within the framework of their new religion. Conversely, she shows how they forgot, downplayed, or distorted the problematic aspects of their past, erasing potential points of resistance to the new Islamic order. Through this twin process of remembering and forgetting, the recent Persian converts forged both a new identity for themselves and a new image of their pre-Islamic past.

    We once again find ourselves facing the problem of early Islamic sources, for narrative accounts are almost all we have to assess early Islamic history. Are sites of memory all we have for the early Islamic tradition? Are studies such as Savant’s the only way to approach early Islamic Iran, as memory rather than history?

    I don’t think so, and I don’t think that is what Savant is trying to say. Scholars such as Parvaneh Pourshariati and Patricia Crone have demonstrated that careful historical work can at least partially reconstruct aspects of Late Antique and early Islamic Iran (and Savant herself cites such historians). Studies like hers remind us that it can be exceedingly difficult to tell the difference between a kernel of historical fact and a constructed site of memory. But there is still value in making scholarly judgments about which traditions are probably more factually accurate than others. Literary sources, while they are certainly not archives or objective windows onto some past reality, do a decent job of transmitting an anomalous account here and an archaic phrase there that seem to reflect actual historical events. Searching for such glimmers of evidence can reveal impersonal factors driving historical change that happen beyond the level of human awareness and memory, and they can recover valuable information about the Sasanian Empire and the origins of Islam. Savant’s book should be read alongside more traditional historical analyses that seek to reconstruct the past, and those works should be read alongside hers. They would simultaneously complement and challenge each other, and therein lies their great power to propel early Islamic scholarship.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #249 - October 21, 2016, 06:59 PM

    Marshall Hodgson - The Venture of Islam vol 1

    Marshall Hodgson - The Venture of Islam vol 2
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #250 - October 25, 2016, 03:35 PM

    I know portillo's gret train journeys probably cannot be academically referenced, but Moroccan Islam also looks very different!  I did not realise that Berber means barbarian.

    How many islams are there really?

    Is this Arabic one a cuckoo chucking everything else out?

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.

    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #251 - October 25, 2016, 04:01 PM

    Quote from: moi
    I know portillo's great train journeys probably cannot be academically referenced, but Moroccan Islam also looks very different! 

    It's on iplayer for the next week or so:
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #252 - October 25, 2016, 05:01 PM

    I know portillo's gret train journeys probably cannot be academically referenced, but Moroccan Islam also looks very different!   I did not realise that Berber means barbarian.  

    who said that "Berber means barbarian"   or where did you get it??  dear moi .,   Those  rascals who made that meaning  are anicent Roman rascals

     Where is CEMB Sahara/berberella  of  Sahara desert.,  ((I mean  Morocco)) ??she will beat those guys who said that ..
    Culture and Arts of Morocco and The Berbers

    ...Berbers call themselves some variant of the word i-Mazigh-en (singular: a-Mazigh), possibly meaning "free people" or "noble men"....  The Amazigh which means "free humans" or "free men" are known to the world as Berbers. In fact, the word Berbers is offensive to these ancient inhabitants of north Africa and the Sahara desert. The name "Berber" is another one of many peccadilloes of the Romans who threw names at people left and right. They, along with the Greeks referred to every people they could not understand with the same unintelligible Berber language whether they were in the East or the West.

    The majority of the Moors in medieval "Arabic" Spain were actually Berbers, who had adopted the Arabic Moslem culture and Arabic as their written language. Even today the Berbers are ethnically -- but far from politically -- the dominant part of the populations of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania. Isolated Berber-speaking groups are found all over North Africa, from the Atlantic in the west to Egypt in the east. A colorful nomadic Berber tribe, the Tuaregs, whose male warriors wear blue dresses and indigo-colored veils, still roam the Sahara desert


     Before Islamization,  these berber folks  were either  Jewish   or mixture of Jewish/free spirited Arabs that were NOT Islamized ..
    How many islams are there really?  

    As many "Muhammads"  as we count in the history of Islam

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #253 - October 27, 2016, 05:56 PM

    Mark Curtis - The covert war in Yemen, 1962-70
    Harold Macmillan noted in February 1963 that ‘in the longer term a republican victory was inevitable’. He told President Kennedy that:

    ‘I quite realise that the Loyalists [sic] will probably not win in Yemen in the end but it would not suit us too badly if the new Yemeni regime were occupied with their own internal affairs during the next few years’.

    What Britain wanted, therefore, was ‘a weak government in Yemen not able to make trouble’. A note to the Prime Minister similarly states that:

    ‘All departments appear to be agreed that the present stalemate in the Yemen, with the Republicans and Royalists fighting each other and therefore having no time or energy left over to make trouble for us in Aden, suits our own interests very well’.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #254 - October 28, 2016, 03:23 PM

    Devin Stewart - Dissimulation in Sunni Islam and Morisco Taqiyya
    This study provides an outline of the religious doctrine of taqiyya or dissimulation in Sunni Islam, drawing on Qur'anic commentaries, hadith compilations, legal manuals, and ethical treatises. Moriscos and the North African jurists who advised them had access to discussions of taqiyya and the closely connected legal dispensation of coercion (ikrah) through these sources, many of which were well-known in al-Andalus before the Reconquista, and some of which continued to be popular afterwards. Attention to this material helps one to interpret the 1504 fatwa of Ibn Abi Jum'a al-Wahrani to the Moriscos and in particular his discussion of blasphemy under coercion.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #255 - October 28, 2016, 05:58 PM

    Khodadad Rezakhani - The Road That Never Was: the Silk Road and Trans-Eurasian Exchange
    The Silk Road is commonly used as a convenient blanket term to describe the many trade routes and points of contact that criss-crossed Central Asia. The term is generally overused, to the point that everything in the history of the region is conceptualized within the confines of the Silk Road(s). By reading Greco-Roman and particularly Chinese sources on the contacts between the eastern and western termini of the Eurasian continent, this article demonstrates that the Silk Road is not only a nineteenth-century name but, indeed, a modern historiographical invention, serving to lump together individual histories and creating long-distance connections where they never existed. It is proposed that for a more productive study of Central Asian history, we must do away with the notion of the Silk Road and notice the realities, to consider individual socioeconomic systems and their peculiarities.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #256 - October 30, 2016, 11:08 AM

    Héctor Francisco - Review of Muriel Debié​, L'écriture de l'histoire en Syriaque: transmissions interculturelles et constructions identitaires entre hellénisme et Islam
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #257 - October 30, 2016, 05:16 PM

    Mostafa Minawi - The Ottoman Scramble for Africa: Empire and Diplomacy in the Sahara and the Hijaz
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #258 - October 30, 2016, 06:19 PM

    Excellent article on the 3rd century tribal and political structure of Arabia.

    Nothing that corresponds to pre-Islamic Mecca or the Quraysh (though in fairness the Quraysh were supposedly created as a tribal entity, per Islamic tradition, around 400 CE).
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #259 - November 06, 2016, 03:49 PM

    Forthcoming book

    Kevin van Bladel - From Sasanian Mandaeans to Ṣābians of the Marshes
    This historical study argues that the Mandaean religion originated under Sasanid rule in the fifth century, not earlier as has been widely accepted. It analyzes primary sources in Syriac, Mandaic, and Arabic to clarify the early history of Mandaeism. This religion, along with several other, shorter-lived new faiths, such as Kentaeism, began in a period of state-sponsored persecution of Babylonian paganism. The Mandaeans would survive to become one of many groups known as Ṣābians by their Muslim neighbors. Rather than seeking to elucidate the history of Mandaeism in terms of other religions to which it can be related, this study approaches the religion through the history of its social contexts.

    Kevin T. van Bladel (Ph.D. 2004, Yale University), is Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at The Ohio State University. He is the author of many studies on the classical Near East including The Arabic Hermes (Oxford 2009).


    Students of Sasanian Iran and the period following the Muslim conquest as well as those interested in so-called Gnosticism will take special interest in this monograph.

    Table of contents

    1. Early Contacts between Arab Muslims and Aramaean Mandaeans and the Date of Zazay
    2. Theodore bar Konay’s Account of Mandaean Origins (circa 792)
    3. Three Sixth-Century References to Mandaeans by Name
    4. On the Kentaeans and Their Relationship with the Mandaeans
    5. The Account of al-Ḥasan ibn Bahlūl (Bar Bahlul), second half of tenth century
    6. Identifying Abū ʿAlī
    7. The Marshes of the Ṣābians
    8. Other Reports on the Mandaeans after Abū ʿAlī
    9. Back to the Question of Origins
    10. Pre-Mandaean Nāṣoraeans
    11. The Religious Environment of Sasanian Iraq
    12. Mandaeism as a Changing Tradition
    Appendix 1. Bar Konay on the Kentaeans, Dostaeans, and Nerigaeans, in English
    Appendix 2. Ibn Waḥšīya on Aramaic Dialects

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #260 - November 06, 2016, 07:40 PM

    Van Bladel's thesis will be controversial, but anyone who's going to argue with that man had best bring his "A game". I still haven't found any rebuttal against his thesis that sura 18 derives from Alexander Nes'hana...
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #261 - November 07, 2016, 09:56 AM

    Excellent article on the 3rd century tribal and political structure of Arabia.

    Nothing that corresponds to pre-Islamic Mecca or the Quraysh (though in fairness the Quraysh were supposedly created as a tribal entity, per Islamic tradition, around 400 CE).

    The author quoted ibn kalabi, and surprisingly his genealogy was rather accurate Smiley
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #262 - November 08, 2016, 01:33 PM

    Mohamed Haj Yousef - Ibn Arabi: Time and Cosmology
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #263 - November 08, 2016, 06:53 PM

    Van Bladel's thesis will be controversial, but anyone who's going to argue with that man had best bring his "A game". I still haven't found any rebuttal against his thesis that sura 18 derives from Alexander Nes'hana...

    Van Bladel is an amazing historian, with incredible range.  I look forward to that monograph, hopefully it won't cost $200.  Maybe it'll be put up on the web.
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #264 - November 08, 2016, 07:00 PM

    $46 apparently, which is bad enough.
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #265 - November 13, 2016, 10:11 AM

    Samuel Barry - Convivencia Contested: Al-Andalus between Historical Memory and Modern Politics
    For example, a consistent theme of the book is that Iberian liberals have tended to adopt a more open attitude toward the Muslim past, facing opposition in doing so from conservatives seeking to maintain a more integral Catholic identity. However, the period of the Spanish Civil War represents an inversion of this pattern: at that time, General Francisco Franco and his africanistas (as both Spanish scholars concerned with Morocco and soldiers stationed there were known) often adopted a quite positive view of Islam and Muslims, against which the left-wing Spanish Republicans arrayed disparaging anti-Muslim and anti-African stereotypes. A similarly open attitude toward the Muslim past was also displayed in the propaganda of the contemporaneous Portuguese Estado Novo, the state established by António Salazar in 1933. It is normal to associate both of these fascist regimes with the traditionalist Catholic right wing in their respective countries. However, these regimes’ greater openness to the Muslim past of the peninsula highlights the importance of distinguishing clearly between Iberian fascism and traditionalist Roman Catholicism there.

    Although the efficiency of Hertel’s methods lead her to investigate thoroughly this counterintuitive development in Spanish attitudes toward Islam, her treatment of it points to the most important flaws found in the work. Rather than allowing Francoist Islamophilia to stand as a matter of historical record, Hertel repeatedly takes pains to depict this attitude as a cynical ploy aimed at gaining military and political advantage. For example, on page 51, Hertel writes, “Within the institutions founded after the Spanish Civil War to emphasize the historical link between Spain and the Arab world—an attempt to provide a scholarly foundation for Franco’s claim to Morocco—Arabists mostly dealt with topics concerning al-Andalus” [emphasis mine]. Although I do not intend to dispute the fact itself here, the urge to insinuate motivations for the Francoists’ engagement with the Muslim past is subdued, if not absent, from her treatment of earlier liberal movements in similar directions. While Hertel notes the usefulness of liberalism for the Spanish colonization of Morocco, she does not raise the question of liberals’ ulterior motivations for adopting more positive views of Islam with a similar degree of insistence and clarity.

    Perhaps the strongest charge Hertel levels against Spanish liberals is that during the colonial wars in Morocco, the descriptions of Muslims and Africans in their newspapers were “interchangeable” with those of the conservatives.5 However, the ease with which liberal views of Islam were put to use for the ends of the mission civilisatrice at least suggest worldly motivations lurking behind these ideas comparable to those that Hertel claims motivated the Francoists. If, in this regard, Spanish writers were following precedents established elsewhere, the geographical limitations of the work could excuse Hertel’s hesitation to include what might be regarded as an important desideratum, namely a critique of the development of liberal views of al-Andalus and their deployment in domestic, colonial, and post-colonial contexts.

    Although not perhaps a major flaw in what is otherwise undoubtedly a valuable contribution to the modern history of the Iberian peninsula, this discrepancy has the effect of obscuring a potentially important historical link between liberal and anti-clerical disdain for traditional religious views and the subsequent strengthening of nationalism on the right wing of Spanish politics. That is to say, it seems possible to imagine that liberalism effectively displaced religious identity as the core element of Spanish political life, and thus rendered off-limits its partitive, integrating force. Fascism then replaced religion with an externally-focused and assimilative imperial identity, which liberalism had helped to form in very significant ways. In such a case, the fascist positivity toward Islam that Hertel adduces would appear to be a token of the ideology’s derivation not from traditionalist Roman Catholicism, but rather from liberalism.

    I'm very sceptical about the argument at the end of this. Spanish (and Portuguese) fascism was nothing if not Catholic. This tends to get played down in later accounts by English speaking writers, but I suspect this is comparable to accounts of political Islam that fail to take religious motivations seriously. The nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War represented, more or less, the political wing of the Catholic church. When villages were captured by the nationalists lists of who was to be rounded up, for imprisonment or execution, were routinely drawn up by committees that included the local priest, who after all was often the person best placed to know who was a subversive and an enemy of religion. Fascism may have had a more awkward relationship with the church in Germany, and to a lesser extent in Italy, but this certainly wasn't the case in Spain. It is true that Catholic fascism was a fairly novel twentieth century development, that also took some inspiration from organisational forms borrowed from trade unionism and the left. Again I think this is comparable with the political Islam that was developing elsewhere in the same period.

    Incidentally, and to put things in context, the Spanish Civil War followed the Rif War of ten years earlier against the breakaway Rif Republic in northern Morocco. This also has echoes in the current protests in Al Hoceima. Franco's uprising began in the Spanish controlled area of Morocco and it would seem logical for the republican side to have supported anti-colonial forces. In fact, despite negotiations, they were divided on the issue and nothing came of it.

    Edit: This thesis seems relevant: Matthew Bentrott - Rojos, Moros y Negros: Race and the Spanish Civil War

    Also: Elisabeth Bolorinos Allard - Representations of the Moorish Other during the Spanish Civil War
    Contradictions and inconsistencies are also found in Republican discourse. While Republican propaganda represented the Moor as a cruel savage and mocked the Nationalist alliance with the infidel, they also adopted a parallel discourse of brotherhood, representing the Moroccans as fellow victims of fascist oppression and brothers in the international working-class struggle. ‘El campesino marroquí, como el campesino español, no desea más que cultivar su pequeño pedazo de tierra’, declared El Sol in December 1937,

    Ha venido a España engañado por un falso espejismo. [ … ] Los mismos que [ … ] lo persiguieron durante siglos, los mismos que lo explotaron y esclavizaron, son los que lo han traído a luchar ahora contra quienes podrían darle, y le dan, al fin, la libertad.

    Republican sources claimed that the Moors had been lured to Spain with false promises of land and women, that they were not paid or were given worthless German marks from the Weimar era, and that Catholic rites were imposed on them. There was certainly some truth to these claims. As Balfour and Madariaga have noted, providing evidence from soldiers’ testimonies and reports by the colonial administration, Moroccans in the Nationalist army were often subject to abuses and injustices.
    The Republican press also reported on the aforementioned resistance movements in Morocco. In August 1936, the same month that the press was filled with stories of Moorish atrocities in Andalusia and Extremadura, CNT and El Sol reported that there was social unrest in Morocco, where many Moroccans were profoundly opposed to fighting against the Republic. In October they reported that in many villages women were gathering to protest against recruitment, and that Spanish authorities responded by threatening and beating both men and women. ‘En Marruecos’, El Sol declared in February 1937, ‘el Moro trabajador y digno sufre las mismas violencias que nuestros proletarios’.

    The Republican representation of the Moorish brother was, at least in part, designed to encourage desertion by discrediting and demonizing the Nationalists. There were explicit efforts to incite Regulares to join the Republican army, including the distribution of pamphlets and speeches in Arabic delivered over loudspeakers. These strategies were not particularly effective, as most Moroccan recruits were illiterate or spoke only the Berber language tafiriq. The press also promised that the Republic would do everything in its power to strive for the freedom of Morocco. In reality, the Republican government made no effort to establish an alliance with the Moroccan nationalists. Overwhelmed by the war and afraid of alienating potential support from France, Republicans failed to seize the opportunity to undermine the Nationalist rebels by offering autonomy or independence to the Spanish protectorate. On the other hand, the Nationalists made promises of independence that they never intended to keep. Ultimately, Spanish Republicans did not identify with the Moroccan ‘workers’ any more than Nationalists identified with their Muslim ‘brothers’.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #266 - November 14, 2016, 03:13 PM

    Sebastian Balfour - Deadly Embrace: Morocco and the Road to the Spanish Civil War
    Combining military, political, cultural, social, and oral history, Sebastian Balfour narrates for the first time the development of a brutalised, interventionist army that played a crucial role in the victory of the Francoists in the Spanish Civil War. Spain's new colonial venture in Morocco in the early twentieth-century turned into a bloody war against the tribes resisting the Spanish invasion of their lands. After suffering a succession of heavy military disasters against some of the most accomplished guerrillas in the world, the Spanish army turned to chemical warfare and dropped massive quantities of mustard gas on civilians. Dr Balfour exposes this previously closely guarded secret using evidence from Spanish military archives and from survivors in Morocco. He also narrates the daily life of soldiers in the war as well as the self-images and tensions among the colonial officers. After looking at the motives that drove Moroccans to resist or cooperate with Spain, the author describes the contradictory pictures among Spaniards of Moroccan collaborators and foes. Finally, he examines the Spanish colonial army's response to the Second Republic of 1931-1936 and its brutal march through Spain in the Civil War.

    Review by Francisco Romero Salvadó

    El Laberinto Marroquí

    Documentary in Spanish with Spanish/French subtitles on the Rif War and the Moroccans who fought for Franco.
    Edited version, dubbed into Spanish:
    A short clip from the documentary with English subtitles:
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #267 - November 14, 2016, 07:26 PM

    there is a close relationship between these Jewish folks  faith  and Islam and NO ACADEMIC EXPLORES THAT RELATION   but they take silly hadith/sunnah  early Islamic stories and wrote / still write all sorts of some nonsense history on Islam..

    STUPID ACADEMICS and they are paid  by the tax payers money to write nonsense as religious history   of faith heads

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #268 - November 14, 2016, 08:06 PM

    Sean Anthony - Was Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī a Shiʿite Historian? The State of the Question
    The works of the third/ninth-century historian and geographer Ibn al-Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī have long served as an indispensable source in the modern study of Islamic historiography, but nagging questions about al- Yaʿqūbī’s purportedly Shiʿite identity have continued to bedevil modern attempts to interpret his works. This essay re-visits the question of al-Yaʿqūbī’s Shiʿite identity in of light of new data and a re-evaluation of the old, and it questions what evidence there exists for considering him a Shiʿite as well as what heuristic value, if any, labeling him as a Shiʿite holds for modern scholars who read his works.

  • Random Islamic History Posts
     Reply #269 - November 28, 2016, 12:23 AM

    Call for papers

    The Origins of the Islamic State: Sovereignty and Power in the Middle Ages - February 16th-17th 2017, UCL
    A two-day colloquium hosted by the UCL Institute of Archaeology and generously funded by the British Academy under its Rising Star Engagement Award scheme seeks to bring together historians, archaeologists and art historians to discuss and debate the emergence and development of the earliest Islamic states and the nature of Muslim sovereignty between 600-1000CE, and to open up discussions about how to challenge static and simplistic notions of Islamic statehood outside the academy. The focus is global and comparative and papers are invited from across the early Islamic world – the Middle East, Islamic West, Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and beyond – that consider these issues. The aim is to explore the problem of the early Islamic state from these different disciplinary and regional perspectives and open up a range of ways looking at power and politics in the Islamic context.

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