Britain Through Muslim Eyes: Literary Representations, by Claire Chambers PDF

By Claire Chambers

What did Britain appear like to the Muslims who visited and lived within the state in expanding numbers from the overdue eighteenth century onwards? This publication is a literary heritage of representations of Muslims in Britain from the past due eighteenth century to the eve of Salman Rushdie's booklet of The Satanic Verses (1988).

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Additional info for Britain Through Muslim Eyes: Literary Representations, 1780–1988

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2: 44), living beyond their means at the expense of others, and prejudice towards other customs while remaining blind to their own imperfections (Vol. 2: 28–50). Worrying that he will have ‘fatigued’ his readers with his granular detailing of British vices, he immediately provides a brief counterbalancing chapter outlining some virtues of his host nation, such as the prevailing ‘sense of honour’ (Vol. 2: 56) and respect for the rule of law. Wounded British readers may still be left feeling, with Sandhu, that Abu Taleb and his contemporaries ‘objectify and palsy just as much […] as their European counterparts did when cartographizing Asia and Africa’ (2003: 111).

1152). Adelard went to Turkey ‘determined to learn from the Muslims rather than kill them under the sign of the cross’ (Lyons, 2009: 2) and brought back Arab scientific knowledge that was to transform British and European society. 1092–1156), travelled to Muslim Spain in 1142. Hoping that Early Muslim Travel Accounts of Britain 23 it would help him understand his potential converts, Peter coordinated a group of scholars who produced the first translation of the Qur’an (Elmarsafy, 2009: 1). The fact that these two adventurers come out of similar temporal and geographical contexts, in a Britain heading for the scientific and cultural flourishing of its Renaissance, suggests the importance of Muslim knowledge in facilitating this intellectual efflorescence.

His Greek Orthodox Christian beliefs come across in a footnote in which he agrees with Najaf’s view that a Brussels church’s icons constitute idolatry, writing that ‘Popery’ is ‘a disgrace to the Christian name’. Kayat laments, ‘Would God that other sights had been presented to these Princes, so that they might have known the difference between true and nominal Christians’ (170). As with all of these travel writers, therefore, Najaf’s words are heavily mediated by his translator. Kayat’s wish that the princes could have been taught the difference between Catholicism and what he believes to be ‘true’ Christianity is matched by Najaf’s eagerness to learn about the countries he travels in and desire to separate foreigners’ virtues from their flaws.

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