From the "Turkish Menace" to Exoticism and Orientalism: Islam as Antithesis of Europe (1453–1914)?

von by Felix Konrad Original aufOriginal in German, angezeigt aufdisplayed in EnglischEnglish
PublishedErschienen: 2011-03-14
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    During their often difficult encounters with their Muslim neighbours in North Africa and the Middle East over many centuries, Europeans developed various discourses describing Islam and Muslims as "the other". These discourses of alterity helped to affirm European identity and to spread various prejudices and stereotypes that proved very durable, though they were subject to ongoing change. This survey article analyses the image of Islam from the mid-15th to the early 20th century. It focuses on the perception of Islam that prevailed during the Renaissance and Reformation, which was based on religious differences and was influenced by the perceived threat of the Ottoman Empire. It thematizes the transformation of this image around 1700 as an enthusiasm for the Orient, which emphasized its exoticness, developed and as secular considerations began to take precedence over religious criteria. The article also examines Orientalist discourses of the 19th century that were informed by a European sense of superiority and that defined Europe and Islam as two antithetical civilizations.

    InhaltsverzeichnisTable of Contents


    In spite of the considerable commonalities that Christianity and Islam have shared and although there have been several periods of cordial relations and cultural exchange, the history of interaction between Christian societies and their Islamic counterparts has also been one of conflict and aggression, of polemics and demarcation. The Muslims, who in the early Middle Ages conquered the and provinces of the , as well as and , and in the late Middle Ages extended their rule to the and , were not only a political and military problem for the states of Europe, but also constituted a religious and cultural challenge to Latin Christians.1

    This conflict-laden relationship is one of the reasons why Islam has been perceived and constructed as probably the most important "other" of Europeans and Latin Christians since the Middle Ages. That is to say, Europeans – or Latin Christians – continuously determined, redefined and further developed their own identity in contrast to Islam and Muslims. As a result, different discourses of alterity arose defining the religious, cultural and social dichotomy between Europeans and Muslims. By tracing the patterns in which Islam was perceived and interpreted, this article analyses the construction of "self" and "other" as a discursive process. The analysis focuses on three chronological periods. Firstly, it discusses the "image of the Turk" in the period from the Ottoman conquest of in 1453 to the end of the 16th century which was characterized by fear and religious discourses. Then, the article focuses on the transformation of this image in the period around 1700 and the new patterns of perception in the age of Enlightenment. Thirdly, the perception of Islam and Muslims – or "Orientals" and the "" – in the 19th century, the age of European Imperialism, will be dealt with. Throughout, the central object of enquiry is the construction of difference – cultural, religious, political and social – between Europe and Islam and the conceptualization of Islam and Muslim societies as the "antithesis" of Europe. The primary category in which Muslims and Islam were perceived as the "other" changed over time: Muslims were at times simply referred to as "Turks" and Islam was at times subsumed under the broader category of the "Orient".

    The construction of alterities, that is, the construction of "the other", of "the alien" in order to define "the self", "one's own", is not exclusive to Europeans. All larger communities define themselves to some degree in contrast to others. The construction of alterity usually occurs by means of dichotomies, that is, asymmetrical pairs of terms that are organized by means of oppositional structures and binary central terms.2 The construction of an alterity in opposition to "one's own" usually implies a perception of the superiority of the latter. This superiority can be defined in religious, moral, intellectual or technological terms.3 Superiority can also be perceived as existing in a combination of areas.

    Alterity – and by extension its opposite, identity – is constructed by discourses, that is, by linguistically (literary/textual material) and/or pictorially (visual/iconographic material) created contexts of meaning and ascriptions of meaning.4 Although discourses are distinguished by a certain stability, they are nevertheless subject to continuous change as they are adapted to changing needs and circumstances. Some discourses can prevail and achieve a hegemonic dominance, while others remain marginal. Discourses of alterity and identity that are characterized by binary central terms carry numerous topoi, stereotypes and clichés. They invariably exhibit great endurance5 and wane slowly. Such discourses of alterity are manifested in very different genres of text: travel literature, the records of diplomatic missions, scientific treatises, literary texts, sermons, etc.

    The Image of Islam in the Era of the "Turkish Menace"

    The conquest of the Byzantine metropolis Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in May 1453Eroberung Konstantinopels durch die Türken unter Sultan Mohammad II. Fatin, 29. Mai 1453.-Das türkische Heerlager vor Konstantinopel.-Buchmalerei, 1455, aus der Werkstatt des Jean Mielot. Illustration zu: Avis directif pour faire la passage d'Outremers. Mss. français 9087, fol. 307 v; Bildquelle: akg-images, Bildnummer: 9TK-1453-5-29-A1-1. came as a shock to Christian Europe, especially to .6 Although the Byzantine Empire had not been a great power for some time, the prestige and importance of Byzantium as the "Second " was still great. Reports of the fall of Byzantium spread rapidly and strengthened the negative image of Muslims that had prevailed in Europe since the crusades. These reports contained detailed descriptions of the atrocities committed during the conquest (so-called "Turkish atrocities"), which subsequently entered the discourse on the Ottomans in the form of stereotypes and shaped the perception of a "Turkish menace"7 (Türkengefahr) as well as the "dread of the Turks" (Türkenfurcht) fed by it.8 These reports were very quickly used as propaganda in the call for a new crusade, now understood as a war against the Turks. Already in 1454, Cardinal Enea Silvio Piccolomini (1405–1464), who subsequently became Pope Pius II (1458–1464)[Jean-Jacques Boissard (1528–1602), Portrait von Enea Silvio Piccolomini (1405–1464), Kupferstich, 1669; Quelle: Bibliotheca chalcographica, hoc est Virtute et eruditione clarorum Virorum Imagines, Heidelberg 1669, Digitalisat der Universität Mannheim, MATEO, ], delivered a speech as imperial legate at the Reichstag (Imperial Diet) in advocating a war against the Turks.9 As one of the most influential orators of his time, he pointed out the global historical importance of the "Turkish menace", the ecclesiastical, military and strategic significance of Constantinople, all the while appealing to the fundamental moral and political values of the Christian princes. Enea Silvio used this "recyclable speech" in revised form at other imperial diets, and it was widely distributed as a manuscript and as a printed text.10

    In the context of the fall of Constantinople and the resulting papal efforts to launch a new crusade against the Turks, Italian humanists conceptualized Europe as an entity with which one could identify.11 Flavio Biondo (1392–1463) was particularly important in this process. Even before the fall of Constantinople, he had revised the history of the crusades, particularly that of the First Crusade during which was conquered in 1099, as well as the appeal by Pope Urban II (1035–1099) in in 1095 that had led to this crusade. In Biondo's depiction, the First Crusade took on the character of a pan-European project rather than an undertaking of the Franks, as medieval sources described it. He defined Latin Christianity as a European Christianity and drew a connection between the crusades and the war against the Turks, depicting both as an effort to repel a menace that threatened Europe from the outside. The First Crusade was thus re-interpreted as a successful defensive enterprise undertaken by the whole of European Christendom and, in this form, it contributed to the construction of a European identity and the cultural-religious self-reassurance of Europeans.12 In this way, the new interpretation of this enterprise played a specific role "für die Wahrnehmung und Einordnung der osmanischen Expansion, für ihre Apperzeption als eine die gesamte lateinische Christenheit bedrängende Türkengefahr und für die Ausbildung des Deutungsmusters 'Europa und die Türken'."13 The numerous calls for a crusade by pope Pius II against the Ottomans14 also became an important medium that shaped and spread ideas of Turks and Muslims as the enemies of Europe.15 Pius II addressed his calls for a crusade to a united Christendom and ignored, as did Flavio Biondo, the divide between Eastern and Latin Christianity. He argued that Christians had often been attacked by unbelievers in but that they were now beset by the Turks in their very own territory of Europe. Jerusalem, having been the goal and place of expectation of salvation history during the crusades, now declined in significance while the importance of "Europe" grew.16

    From the mid-15th century, it became customary to equate Muslims with Turks. When early modern texts speak of someone having "turned Turk", it means that he has converted to Islam. The ethnic category "Turk" was thus synonymous with the religious category "Muslim". This linguistic usage was largely equivalent to the ethnic description of Muslims as "Saracens" in the Middle Ages,17 a term that fell out of use during the Early Modern period. The opposing pair of (European) Christians vs. Turks now replaced the medieval duality of Christians vs. (pagan or heretical) Saracens.18 In the construction of this opposing pair, the question of the origin of the Turks played an important role. Trying to answer this question, the Italian humanists proposed two contradictory hypotheses. One stated that the Turks were descended from the Trojans, a theory derived from the similarity of the terms "Turci" and "Teucri" (for Trojans). This hypothesis was gradually dismissed because it associated the Turks with the Europeans since the ancient Romans also claimed Trojan descent.19 A second hypothesis more suitable for depicting the Turks as strangers and "others" established itself towards the end of the 15th century. This hypothesis proposed a Scythian origin of the Turks. This was well suited to the purpose of presenting the Ottomans as barbarians who had nothing in common with Rome, Christianity and Europe because the ancient tribe of equestrian nomads known as the Scythians were associated with the whole repertoire of barbarism: they were depicted as uncivilized, cruel, licentious and utterly repulsive.20 Again, Flavio Biondo and Pius II played central roles in developing and distributing this theory.21

    In the writings and speeches of mid-15th-century Italian humanists, "Europe" was conceptualized as an entity that stood in sharp contrast to the Turks. The tracing of the origin of the Turks back to the Scythian barbarians, the re-interpretation of the First Crusade as a European endeavour that served to defend Europe against the barbarians, and the transfer of the political and moral responsibility to "Europe" as a whole (as a "Fatherland", even) in anti-Turkish war rhetoric22 – all this contributed to a conceptualization of "Europe" as an entity with which Europeans could identify. In this way, in opposition to the Turks, "Europe" was assigned a significance that the term had never had before.

    After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the next important event with a decisive impact on the discourse of the Turks was the (unsuccessful) first siege of by the Ottomans in the autumn of 1529Hans Guldenmundt (gest. 1560), Contrafactur, wie der Turck Wien belagert, Lithographie nach einem Holzschnitt, 1869; Bildquelle: SLUB Dresden, Deutsche Fotothek ( und Kartensammlung ( Inv.-Nr. SLUB/KS B1015-B1016 & SLUB/KS B1015 & SLUB/KS B1016, Permalink: The Ottoman attack, which should be viewed in the context of the Ottoman-Habsburg contest for supremacy in and related border conflicts, was not an important event from the Ottoman perspective. It was, however, an episode in the rivalry between two empires claiming universal rule. Both the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500–1558) and Sultan Süleyman I (ca. 1494–1566)[Portrait von Sultan Süleyman I. (ca. 1494–1566), Öl auf Leinwand, um 1530, unbekannter Künstler; Bildquelle: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. ] styled themselves as rulers of the End Times, elevating the Habsburg-Ottoman rivalry to an apocalyptic level.23 Another important context in which the first siege of Vienna should be viewed is that of the split of Latin Christianity during the Reformation.

    The first siege of Vienna released a veritable flood of publications on the Turks (so called Türkendrucke, or "Turkish prints"Valentin Geyßler, „Türkendruck“: Außzug etlicher Zeitungen / von der Türcken Kriegshandlung vor Zigeth / vnd andern orten im Künigreich Hungern / auch auf dem Adriatischen Meer, Druck, 1566; Quelle: Országos Széchényi Könyvtár - National Széchényi Library, in the German-speaking countries and other parts of Europe.24 The spread of the new printing press, which roughly coincided with the Ottoman expansion towards , was an important precondition – along with the "Turkish menace" and the "dread of the Turks" – for bringing about the early modern discourse on Islam. The new printing techniques resulted in a densification of communication that permitted the spreading of a particular image of Turks and Muslims within a relatively short period of time over large distances.25 The printing press carried the "dread of the Turks" from the immediate border areas that had already suffered recurring military campaigns and raids since the late-15th century – especially by Ottoman auxiliary troops – into the and beyond.26 Prints on the "Turkish menace" described alleged and actual war atrocities in bright colours; often apocalyptic motives were woven in.27 The Turks appeared as an imminent and great danger to the social, political and religious order, a danger to which all social groups were exposed. In the Habsburg hereditary lands, but also in other parts of the Empire, the "dread of the Turks" and the "Turkish menace" were used in the 16th century by the secular and ecclesiastical authorities for political and propaganda purposes.28 Propaganda in the form of pamphletsHans Guldenmund, Osmanischer Soldat mit gefangenen österreichischen Bauern, Holzschnitt, 16. Jahrhundert; Bildquelle: © Bildagentur für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte (bpk), Bildnummer 30033070. and other texts which were imparted by the imperial chancellery was primarily directed at the nobility and clergy as representatives of the estates and was intended to help raise funds for the war against the Ottomans. Through the nobility and the clergy, the peasants were influenced indirectly by this propaganda, in which sermons played a particularly important role.29 The discourse on the "dread of the Turks" could be used for various goals. It could be used to legitimate tax levies ("Turk taxes" and war taxes), to promote obedience towards, and trust in, the authorities, and to control the estates. It could also be used to promote piety and behaviour conforming to the rules of the Church. Seen in this way, the propagandistic and political instrumentalization of the "dread of the Turks" played a major role in stabilising the political and social order.30

    The image of the Turks in the 16th century was replete with topoi and stereotypes. Texts that were not religious (or only vaguely religious) in tone disseminated primarily the topos of cruelty. The descriptions of Turkish atrocities (murder, rape, carrying off captured Christians, destruction, arson, plunder, desecration of churches, etc.) were used to engender a willingness to fight the Ottomans.31 These could also be combined with biblical motifs, such as the iconography of the Massacre of the Innocents at .32 The Turks and, therefore, Muslims were thus depicted as the incarnation of evil.33 Such frightening images of the "archenemy of Christianity" not only circulated in the Holy Roman Empire, Italy and other territories bordering the , but in the rest of Europe as well. This is due to the fact that the topic of the "Turkish menace" found its way into publications all over Europe in the 16th century.34 Although was never directly threatened by Ottoman armies, "[wich] die in der französischen Bevölkerung verbreitete Einstellung nicht wesentlich von dem traditionell abendländischen 'Türkenbild' einer totalen Perhorreszierung ab".35 Comparable negative images also circulated in ,36 although there the image of the Turks as enemies of the Christian faith existed beside a more positive view that considered the Ottoman Empire as a potential ally against the Catholic powers and as an example to follow in state policy. The discourse that drew a connection between Protestantism and Islam because of their shared rejection of the worship of images played a role in this regard.37

    The political and military discourse of the "Turkish menace" of the 16th century was supplemented, expanded and decisively influenced by the religious or theological discourse on Islam and the Turks. There was no unanimity among theologians on how to interpret Islam as a practice of faith. The interpretation derived from the medieval scholastic tradition that considered Islam a Christian heresy38 prevailed, but it was opposed by a tendency to interpret Islam as a secta or lex in its own right and, therefore, as a pagan rite that had parted ways with Christianity. As a third option, theologians of the 16th century could speak about Islam without addressing the question of "heresy or pagan rite?"39 The religious-theological discourse of alterity that unanimously regarded Islam in a negative light – though for different reasons – and presented it as something diametrically opposed to Christianity could be developed from all three opinions mentioned above. Thomas Kaufmann has shown how German – mostly Protestant – theologians, starting with the basic assumption that Islam was a "diabolically perverted derivative" of their own faith, presented the Islamic religion as the "Church of the Antichrist"40 that turned Christian belief into its opposite and that tried with cunning and hypocrisy to tempt Christians to give in to the devil. Similarities between Islam and Christianity were described as superficial or as perversions of the latter.41 Islam was thus viewed in the context of the coming of the End Times; it was considered a necessity of salvation history, and Christians could rest assured that Islam would perish on Judgement Day. The conversions that took place in the territories conquered by the Ottomans challenged the Christians' concept of themselves and fitted into the "Gesamtbild des Christentums als einer eminent bedrohten Religion",42 but they also seemed to confirm the apocalyptic events. Only those of weak faith, the uneducated and primitive masses, could be easily seduced by the Antichrist, while the faithful few could rest assured of their salvation.43

    This belief regarding the role assigned to Islam and the Ottoman Empire in salvation history could not only be used to call for resistance against the Ottomans, but was also as a weapon in the internal disputes among Christians during the Reformation. The opposing confession could be "Turkified" by relating it and its teachings to Islam and presenting them as equally dangerous to one's own beliefMatthias Gerung (1500–1570), Holzschnitt zum Apokalypsenkommentar des Berner Predigers Sebastian Meyer (1465–1545), 1544 bis 1558, Bildquelle: Codex germanicus 6592; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München.. Martin Luther (1483–1546)44 equated the pope with "the Turk" by drawing analogies between some elements of Catholic and Islamic dogma. The Reformed Church was also accused by Lutherans of having affinities with Islam. On the other hand, Catholic authors polemicized against Lutherans as the "new Turks" or blamed them for the successes of the Ottomans. Furthermore, individual moral and other shortcomings could be "Turkified".45 The religious-theological discourse of alterity that turned Muslims into the antithesis of European Christianity – or, more accurately, of one's own denominational group – created new images of the self that helped to build and strengthen identity. The image of "the Turk" as the enemy became an integral component of the europäische Abgrenzungsidentität ("European identity of delimitation").46

    Thus, Luther was also able to use the "dread of the Turks" to highlight and better define his own teachings.47 In various writings and sermons, Luther repeatedly emphasized the importance of the "Turkish menace" in salvation history. In his apocalyptic view, the Turks were the last enemies of God. But he also saw them as the scourge by which God punished the Christians for their sins. Though Luther was initially of the opinion that any resistance to this instrument of God was futile and that God's wrath could only be appeased by inner repentance, prayer and penance, and by overcoming the internal divisions among Christians, he later developed a theory of defensive war against the Turks.48 In his treatise Vom Krieg wider die Türken [On War Against the Turks]thumbnail, Digitalisat der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek, Referat Digitale Bibliothek 1529, however, he also rejected the papal crusading ideology since in his opinion only the secular authorities were permitted to wage war and then only for defensive purposes. In addition, Luther underlined the insurmountable theological differences between Islam and Christianity. Asserting that violence was an inherent characteristic of their religion, Luther stated that Turkish rule lacked any legitimacy. His criticism of polygamy, as permitted in Islamic law, aimed at denouncing the social order of Muslims as unlawful on the family level. In Luther's view, "gehen den Türken also die wahre Religion, die wahre Obrigkeit sowie der wahre Hausstand und damit die tragenden Strukturen der Gesellschaft ab."49

    Travel accounts and ethnographic treatises of the 16th century added other aspects to the discourse of alterity on Muslims and Turks and introduced important elements for its further development. Travellers did not so much concentrate on the "Turkish menace" in their publications, rather they wrote about cultural and social phenomena they observed in the Ottoman Empire, focusing naturally on those that differed from the ones at home. "Die Türken erscheinen hier nicht als die heilsgeschichtlichen Erbfeinde, sondern als Objekte des enthnographischen Blicks."50 Although accounts of the manners and customs of Muslims were often employed to confirm and support the circumstances and norms at home,51 the empirical information provided by travelogues expanded European knowledge of Islam and became part of a new ethnographic discourse that dealt with Islam in a more detached and factual manner than religious-theological treatises. Empirical insights and the use of scientific categories of description for Islam laid the foundation for a new understanding of religion, which made it possible to regard Islam as a religion equal to Christianity.52

    On occasion, authors of 16th-century travel accounts reported positive aspects of the state and society of the Ottoman Empire that they had observed. Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq (1522–1592), who was in the service of a Habsburg envoy to from 1554 to 1562, described the Ottoman Empire as a meritocracy and he contrasted it positively with the privileges of the nobility predominating in his home countryThumbnail, Universität Mannheim, MATEO, He also had a positive opinion of the order and regularity of the political and social organization of the empire, which he regarded as being exemplary.53 This shows that the situation in the Ottoman Empire could also be used as a foil for criticising one's own society. However, stereotypes persisted in many travel accounts. Thus, the Sultan's rule was often described as a tyranny under which the Christian subjects, in particular, suffered. Furthermore, new stereotypes were also being created, such as the image of the all-powerful sultan and the invincible state system.

    The image of Islam in the age of the Renaissance and the Reformation was characterized by the discourse of the "Turkish menace". It carried, on one hand, conventional religious topoi (Islam as heresy, as the forces of the Antichrist) and, on the other, ethnic stereotypes (the Turks as barbarians) that were part of a long tradition. The Turks always appeared as the essential "other" and as an existential threat to the "self". The image of the Turk as the enemy became an integral component of the world-view of many Europeans. It was disseminated and strengthened by sermons, pamphlets and other types of literature. While Islam and "the Turks" were considered the antithesis of the "self", they were not entirely outside the world of central and western Europeans. Rather, they were part of their world and could be used in propaganda against opposing confessions or to mirror the faults of one's own society. However, the image of the Muslim "other" mostly served to strengthen one's own identity, be it as a Protestant or a Catholic Christian, or as a "civilized European".

    The Image of Islam in the Discourses of the Enlightenment

    The European image of the Turks and Islam that had crystallized in the 15th and 16th centuries was quite stable. Towards the end of the 17th century, however, a change became evident.54 The preconditions for this change were, on the one hand, a more detached view and new knowledge disseminated by travelogues and, on the other, the changed military and political situation. The defeats of the Ottomans in the second siege of Vienna (1683)Franz Geffels, Die Belagerung Wiens durch die Türken im Jahre 1683, Öl auf Leinwand, um 1685; Bildquelle: © Bildagentur für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte (bpk) /Alfredo Dagli Orti, Bildnummer 00015706, Standort des Originals: Wien Museum Karlsplatz. and in the "Great Turkish War" (1683–1699) against the Holy League55 marked the end of Ottoman expansive power in central Europe. "Triumphalism" and "mockery of the Turks" replaced the "dread of the Turks" and the discourse of the "Turkish menace" in the Habsburg countries, but simultaneously affirmed the negative image of the Turks.56 While the perception of the Turks as enemies endured for a long time among the less-educated lower classes, a change to a more positive image gradually took place among the elite and the educated.

    This transformation initially occurred in western Europe.57 In the court society of Louis XIV (1638–1715) "turqueries" were becoming fashionable, gallant Moors and Muslim heroes appeared in French theatre and literature, while Muslim Spain (Al-Andalus) acquired positive connotationsCharles André van Loo (1705–1765), Sultan's Wife Drinking Coffee, Öl auf Leinwand, 120x127 cm, 1755; Bildquelle: Mit freundlicher Genehmigung des State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.Martin van Meytens (1695–1770), Maria Theresia mit Maske in einem türkischen Gewand, um 1744; Bildquelle: © Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H. .58 Turks, Moors and everything Oriental were considered exotic in elite culture. This enthusiasm for the exotic Orient started in France with an Ottoman embassy to in 1669 and a embassy which arrived in the French capital a little later. In literature, the Oriental fashion probably began with Jean Racine's (1639–1699) tragedy Bajazet (1672). It reached a climax shortly after 1700, when Antoine Galland's (1646–1715) translation of the One Thousand and One Nights (1704–1711)thumbnail,èque nationale de France, a standard for the exotic image of the Orient.59 At the same time, travellers sought to correct conventional stereotypes, among them Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762) who tried to rectify the image of Ottoman women distorted by harem clichés.60

    With the early Enlightenment, a more objective and positive view of Islam as a religion became established in scholarship.61 Richard Simon (1638–1712) rejected the description of Middle Eastern religions as heresies and recognized Islam as a variant of the same monotheistic belief.62 The Bibliothèque orientalethumbnail,èque nationale de France, Barthélemy d'Herbelot (1625–1695), which was completed in 1697 by Antoine Galland, was the first encyclopaedia of the Middle East that did not construct an opposition between Islam and Christianity, Orient and Occident, and that did not make generalized statements.63 In 1730, the first objective biography of the prophet Muḥammad (ca. 570–632) was penned by Henri de Boulainvillier (1658–1722).64 Many intellectuals of the age of Enlightenment perceived Islam as a tolerant religion or underlined its rationality and simplicity, contrasting these positively with Christian dogmas, which were so difficult to grasp on a rational level. The historization of Islam and the varied interest shown by representatives of the Enlightenment65 also had downsides, however. Philosophers of the Enlightenment often used Islam and its prophet as an argument in their critique of ecclesiastical authorities and their teachings. In the process, they often reused old stereotypes66 or developed new ones. Thus, Voltaire (1694–1778) in his general critique of religion portrayed the prophet as an impostor and a fanatic, and as such used him as a mirror of that which he criticized in the Catholic Church. Denis Diderot (1713–1784) and others drew a link between Islam and fanaticism, or used accusations against Islam as indirect attacks against the Catholic Church.67

    "Fanaticism" was a new term that entered the discourse on Islam via the Enlightenment's critique of religion.68 It took the place of older judgmental terms such as falseness, heresy, sham and lawlessness, with which Islam and Muslims had previously been associated, that is, those stereotypes that Boulainvilliers had tried to refute with his biography of Muḥammad.69 He and other philosophers of the Enlightenment, such as Voltaire and Simon Ockley (1678–1720), appreciated the virtues of the Arabs and Muslims of the Middle Ages and praised their contributions to philosophy, medicine and other sciences.70 But, at the same time, they bemoaned the devastation that Muslim fanaticism had supposedly caused in the Middle East. This perspective on the Muslim past was accentuated by the perceived political, military and economic decline of the Ottoman Empire since its defeat at the gates of Vienna. The contrast between a glorious past and a grim present constructed a new alterity. It could now be argued that Muslims were backward because they were not participating in the progress that Europe was achieving via the Enlightenment. Islam was often seen as the reason for the allegedly desolate condition of Middle Eastern countries because it was regarded as being hostile to science and preventing Enlightenment and progress.71 This created the context for a new image, that of the fanatical, ignorant, obscurantist and backward Muslim as the opposite of the enlightened and progressive European.

    Apart from fanaticism and hostility to the sciences, another important prejudice was established by the Enlightenment, namely that of despotism. The use of the terms "despotism" and "Oriental despotism" to characterize political and social systems in Asia, especially in the Middle East, became customary in the mid-18th century.72 However, it was already noticeable towards the end of the 16th century that the peculiarities of the Ottoman Empire's socio-political structure that had formerly been judged in a positive or neutral way were now regarded negatively. Until about 1575, reports by Venetian diplomats presented the Ottoman Empire as a legitimate, even normal system of governance. They spoke with a certain fascination and admiration of the Sultan's realm, though this fascination was always paired with aversion. The centralized Ottoman state and the Sultan were considered to be powerful; the submissiveness and obedience of the people were praised as exemplary, and it was recognized that the (religious) law sufficiently prevented abuse of power.73 Before 1575, only isolated comments on tyranny in the Ottoman Empire can be found in the diplomatic reports. This, however, changed radically after 1575, as Venetian envoys more strongly emphasized the otherness of the political and social organization of the Ottomans and labelled it with derogative adjectives. Thus, the Ottomans were characterized as the opposite of the "self" and their empire as "the largest tyranny in history".74 This transformation of the Venetian perception is primarily linked to the new political image that the Venetian elites had of themselves: they regarded themselves as members of a free republic. The European debates about legitimate forms of government also played an important role in this change of the image of the Ottoman Empire.75

    Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689–1755)[Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu (1689–1755), photographischer Druck eines Portraits von Ernst Hader (1866–1922), 1884, photographiert und verlegt von Sophus Williams, Berlin; Bildquelle: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division Washington,] created in his work De l'esprit des lois (1747) a comprehensive theory and ideal type of despotism. Montesquieu characterized despotism not only as a form of political rule but also as a form of society, since despotic rule could pervade the entire community. In Montesquieu's ideal type, societies characterized by despotism have the following characteristics: the ruler (despot) stands above the law and his will is the law; there are no forces such as a nobility or a hereditary aristocracy that limit his rule; therefore, the despot can rule by means of a completely dependent administrative elite; the latter, as well as the subjects, have a slave mentality; in the relationship between the ruler and the subjects, as well as among the subjects, fear reigns, so that despotism also predominates in the household and family; furthermore, in a community characterized by despotism, there is no private ownership of land (everything belongs to the despot); and, finally, despotic rule results in the unbridled exploitation of nature.76 According to Montesquieu, order in societies characterized by despotism is maintained by fear and blind obedience; he saw no possibility for political change.77 He also presented despotism as the form of government characteristic of Asia, explaining this with the vastness of the land that favoured large empires and the hot climate prevalent in Asia. He held the view (as Aristotle [384–322 BC] did long before him) that hot climates soften people and thereby turn them into slaves, while people in moderate climatic zones (i.e. Europe) tend towards bravery and, consequently, were in a position to maintain and defend their freedom.78 Therefore, in the great expanses and heat of Asia, the despotic form of government prevailed, while in Europe the moderate regimes of monarchy and republic were the rule. According to Montesquieu, therefore, despotism emerges in Asia as if by a law of nature. By situating despotism in Asia, and especially in the Muslim empires of the Ottomans, Safavids and Moguls, to which Montesquieu continuously refers in his analysis,79 he – and others who elaborated on his theories – constructed an unbridgeable difference between East and West, between Muslim and European societies. Thus, the Oriental society with its despotic style of governance, its slave mentality and its all-pervading fear was constructed as the antithesis of the free European society in which law reigns, and virtue (in the republics) or honour (in the monarchies) determine political culture.

    Montesquieu used late-17th-century European travel accounts as sources for his analysis of Asian political systems.80 His assessment of the Ottoman Empire was based mainly on Sir Paul Rycaut's (1626–1700) Present State of the Ottoman Empire (1668).81 Rycaut, who was the English consul in Smyrna () from 1667 to 1678 and whose book achieved "canonical" status in the 18th century, included arbitrary and brutal rule, the absence of a nobility or an aristocracy, severe punishment, and blind obedience of the subjects among the Ottoman maxims of state. He considered tyrannical rule to be the source of the empire's might and greatness.82 Montesquieu took his information on the Mogul Empire in from the writings of François Berniers (1620–1688), who compared the situation there with that in and painted a picture of two different cultures, of which one – Muslim and Oriental – was in decline due to a despotic regime that promoted exploitation and corruption, while the other – French – was prospering due to a hereditary nobility, private property rights, economically independent towns and the protection of all estates by the law.83 Montesquieu's assessment of the situation in was based on the writings of Jean Chardin (1643–1713).84 However, in the process of formulating his theory, Montesquieu ignored the many distinctions Chardin drew regarding the Safavid Empire, especially Chardin's assertions that there was indeed private landownership in Persia, and that the despotism prevalent at court did not affect the masses of the subjects, who were not the king's slaves.85 Montesquieu used his sources very selectively; he used information that supported his theory, but omitted what contradicted it,86 and thereby condensed his theory into an asymmetrical typology of East and West.87 While Montesquieu's primary motivation was not hostility to Islam, he nevertheless disseminated stereotypes of Islam and drew a connection between Islam and despotism: according to Montesquieu, Islam favoured arbitrary and cruel punishment and made people worship their ruler, and Muslims tended towards laziness and fatalism because of their belief in predestination.88 He thus created a deterministic dichotomy and accepted as self-evident the concept of a vast difference between Europe and the Orient. In this way, despotism became "the axis around which the image of the Other would revolve".89

    Montesquieu's political theory must in the first place be understood as a critique of absolutist tendencies in France. His descriptions of despotism, which appear "like a caricature of the worst moments of Iranian or Turkish history"90, formed an image of terror that was intended to show the French what unrestrained royal rule could lead to. Here, the polyvalence of debates conducted in the age of Enlightenment is evident. The discussion about despotism could, on the one hand, be used to criticize developments and conditions in Europe and, on the other hand, it offered an interpretative framework for the situation in Asian societies. This applies in a similar manner to the topoi of fanaticism and hostility to the sciences. They not only served the analysis of alleged conditions in Muslim societies but could also be used at home in the battle against the power of the Church.

    Montesquieu's theory of despotism was by no means undisputed. Voltaire criticized the climatic determinism on which it was constructed and drew attention to the untenability of many of its generalizations.91 Montesquieu's assertions did not withstand the test of empiricism either. Abraham-Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron (1731–1805) and Charles William Boughton Rouse (1747–1821), who disproved Montesquieu's generalizations point by point – the former for the Ottoman Empire, Persia and India, and the latter for – were, however, not able to overcome the prevailing acceptance of the thesis of Oriental despotism.92 The same applies to the British ambassador in Istanbul, Sir James Porter (1710–1786), who attempted to prove that the Ottoman Empire was a limited monarchy in which scholars of law and religion ('ulamā') scrutinized the ruler and restricted his power.93

    Montesquieu's theory could be used to denigrate the non-European world as the seedbed of despotism. As a consequence, many travel writers sought evidence in the Middle East for their preconceived opinions of Oriental despotism and for Montesquieu's thesis – and they found it. François de Tott (1733–1793) encountered despotism everywhere in the Ottoman Empire because he believed it to be a fundamental characteristic of Ottoman society and that despotism and slave mentality, which he thought was rooted in the Muslim belief of predestination, were character traits of the Turks.94 Lesser known authors such as William Eton also sought and found despotism in the Ottoman Empire. For Eton, the Sultan's despotism was closely related to the people's "superstition" and "prejudices", the foundations of which he identified in Islam, which he considered to be "absurd". He presented the despotism of the Ottomans as the antithesis of England's form of governance, which was embedded in laws and rules.95

    Very often, a connection was also drawn between polygamy, which was permitted by Islamic law, and despotism; indeed, Montesquieu had described the harem as despotism en miniature.96 According to Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren (1760–1842), despotism was built on polygamy. Polygamy led to "family despotism" because it made the woman the slave of the man, who – as a result – became a despot. Despotism, therefore, came from below, from the family; and not from above, from the ruler. Thus, it was impossible for domestic virtues to develop in Muslim societies and, in consequence, there could be no civic society either.97 A much older set of arguments re-emerged here. Luther had described the social order of Muslims as illegitimate because of polygamy. Polygamy, the lack of freedom for women and their isolation in the harem, were generally considered "deficiencies of Islam" to which the morally superior monogamy in Europe was juxtaposed.98

    Towards the end of the 18th century, the theory of despotism was used to deny the legitimacy of Middle Eastern regimes. Constantin-François Chassebœuf de Volney (1757–1820) is one example. According to Volney, the Ottoman Empire was an illegitimate state that exploited its subjects.99 He held that the entire population was exposed to the arbitrariness and predatory despotism of the military elites and that despotism and exploitation had resulted in the countries of the Middle East being entirely desolate, a topos that not only circulated in the age of Enlightenment but already in travel accounts of the 16th century. Volney drew a close connection between despotism and Islam, since both "cast humans into the chains of ignorance".100 To him, Islam was an obstacle to progress, the Koran predominantly a "tissue of vague phrases, empty of meaning", a "collection of puerile stories, of ridiculous fables", in which the spirit of fanaticism was evident and which in turn produced the "most absolute of despotism".101 Unlike Montesquieu, Volney did not consider despotism to be an irreversible phenomenon caused by the Asian climate, but a political phenomenon which was, therefore, subject to change. Based on the concept of despotism, Volney constructed a dichotomy between progress and secular rationality in Europe, on the one hand, and backwardness, ignorance and religious and political irrationality in the Middle East, on the other. His argumentation was heavily tinged by a discourse of superiority. By demonising despotism, he denied legitimacy to Ottoman rule. This discourse of superiority provided justification for prospective "well-intentioned" European interventions in the Middle East, since the introduction of European sciences was thought to be necessary in order to fight despotism and remedy the desolate conditions.102

    In this way, the 18th century provided a new discourse of alterity. Islam and societies influenced by Islam were no longer defined as the "other" in terms of religious criteria, but in terms of secular criteria. The old discourse of alterity that had arisen from a feeling of being militarily threatened and inferior gave way to a new discourse of superiority. This discourse was based on a set of stereotypes that consisted of the cultural prejudices of despotism, fanaticism, hostility to the sciences, and backwardness, which were deployed to draw a distinction between the Muslim Orient and Europe. During the 19th century, this discourse became even more prevalent with the thesis that Islam and modernity, Islam and Europe were incompatible.103 In the context of the development of European hegemony in the late-18th century, Europeans began to regard "the Orient" and "the Occident" as two irreconcilable and contrary civilizations.104 They did so despite the fact that, up to the mid-18th century, there was no consensus whatsoever on where the geographical borders of Europe should be drawn, let alone the cultural ones. However, the Ottoman Empire was increasingly being excluded from Europe. The idea of Europe as an exclusive community of values was born; it was based on the assumption that, since the time of the ancient Greeks, an essential cultural continuity and coherence had existed through time and space, an assumption that implied that influences from the "outside" were negated or ignored.105 In this way, Europeans always defined themselves in relation to others, in contrast to the non-European world. Europe became the home of freedom, law, rationality, science, progress, intellectual curiosity, entrepreneurship and invention, all core values of Europeans that were traced back to the ancient Greeks, and that set them apart from the Orient, from Islam.

    The Image of Islam in Imperialism and Orientalism

    In the summer of 1798, French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) invaded . Although the occupation barely lasted three years, it was a watershed in the European perception of the Middle East and Islam. For the first time since the Crusades, Europeans seized power in one of the Muslim heartlands. The Enlightenment discourse resonated in the rhetoric used by Revolutionary France to justify its colonial enterprise. The French claimed to be liberating Egypt from the yoke of Mamluk and Ottoman "despots" and to be carrying the light of Enlightenment and Freedom to the Orient.106 Volney's interpretation of the conditions in Egypt and the gained direct political relevance because the leaders of the Armée d'Egypte understood his Voyage en Syrie et en Egyptethumbnail,èque nationale de France, 1787 as a kind of "guidebook" for the expedition.107

    At the same time, the paradigm of the superiority of European civilization became dominant. Academics constructed the master narrative of the rise of Europe, and Europe was soon considered the universally valid model. The Islamic Middle East and the Ottoman Empire were excluded from this narrative. In the 1780s, Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803) described the Ottomans as strangers who did not belong to Europe because they were not only unwilling, but also incapable, of adapting to European culture.108 Around three and a half decades later, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) in his Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Weltgeschichte [Lectures on the Philosophy of World History] (1822–1823) described world history as a history of reason that realizes itself in time, with the course of history moving from East to West. Associating the Orient with stagnation and immobility, he considered the history of Islam relevant only in so far as Muslims had inspired the European peoples with ideas and principles when Muslim civilization had been at its height a long time ago. But only through their acquisition by Europeans could these ideas and principles be developed and gain potency. Thus, the remainder of Islamic history appears as decline and Islam is portrayed as irrelevant to modern history.109 This marginalization and removal of Islamic history from world history, which was increasingly seen as a European history, was also reflected in the growing specialization of the humanities. The global field of reference that had prevailed in Enlightenment scholarship was divided up, and regionally defined sub-disciplines for the studies of the history, culture and religion of societies in Asia were established.110

    On the political and economic level, the first decades of the 19th century were characterized by the consolidation of European hegemony over non-European societies and the strengthening of the colonial empires, especially the British Empire. At the margin of Europe, the "Oriental question" became increasingly important, that is, the question of how much of the Ottoman Empire – which now became known as the "Sick man of Europe" – was to be preserved and which European powers were to have influence (and how much influence) in the lands of the Sultans without jeopardizing the European balance of power. During the Greek War of Independence (1821–1830), which triggered a wave of anti-Ottoman propaganda and enthusiasm for the cause of the Greeks (Philhellenism) in Europe, the image of the Turks deteriorated. As had already occurred in the 15th and 16th centuries and reflecting also the exclusion of the Ottomans from European history in academic discourse, the Ottomans were depicted as un-European barbarians.111 The situation of Christian minorities which – under the influence of nationalist ideas – strove for self-determination offered the European powers many opportunities for intervention. Uprisings and ethnic conflicts in the last quarter of the century (, , , ) and the acts of violence committed there – by all parties – played their part in further darkening the image of the Ottomans. The European public merely perceived the violence of the Muslim/Ottoman side. Sultan Abdülhamid II (1842–1918) became the "Red Sultan" whose hands were dripping with the blood of his victimsAuguste Roubille (1872–1955), "Abdul Hamid II, le sultan rouge", Lithographie, um 1900; Bildquelle: Princeton University Library, Graphic Arts Collection No. GC103. Department of Rare Books and Special Collection, ; the Ottomans became the "Ugly Turks".112 Furthermore, during the last two decades of the 19th century and the first two of the 20th, almost every Muslim country was subjected to European colonial rule.113 Those states that were able to maintain their political independence (the Ottoman Empire, Persia, ) were frequently in a state of semi-colonial subordination to one or several European powers.

    In the 19th century, numerous stereotypes circulated that to a degree continue to shape the image of Islam and Muslims to this day. It was alleged that Islam does not know a separation of state and religion, that Muslims cannot conceive of a secular social and state order, that knowledge stagnates in Muslim societies and can only be developed through the adoption of European ideas and standards (Europeanization/Westernization is required), that Islam oppresses women and that Islam is anti-modern. Particularly widespread was the stereotype that Islam is the obstacle to modernization, enlightenment and progress in the Muslim Orient, and that Islam is the reason why it was inferior in political, military, economic and, ultimately, cultural terms.

    These negative perceptions of the Orient, however, stood in contrast to positive ones. There was, for example, the idea of a poetic Orient as the unspoiled source of mysticism and spirituality for which many Europeans longed.114 In the image of the Orient, therefore, positive stereotypes, clichés and topoi competed with negative ones; it was an image that fluctuated between idealization and demonization. The Orient became the surface on which desires and fears were simultaneously projected. It is probably this Janus-headed quality that best describes the image of the Orient throughout the entire 19th century.115 When Europeans travelled to the Middle East in search of the poetic Orient (one can speak of tourism from the second quarter of the 19th century),116 the encounter with the real Orient resulted time and again in disappointments. No fairytale palaces could be found. There weren't even any "true" Oriental cafés in , as Gérard de Nerval (1808–1855) bemoaned. Oriental cafés that lived up to his ideas of the exotic and opulent could only be found in Paris!117 Another example is the French journalist and writer Louise Colet (1810–1876), who stayed at the court of the Khedive of Egypt in 1869 during the festivities for the opening of the . She was disappointed beyond measure that she was offered theatre and opera performances alla franca there. The Orient she would have expected looked quite different. She longed for sabre-wearing Orientals in flowing robes, caftans, fur and slippers who sat on Persian rugs and richly embroidered pillows and smoked pipes while being entertained by Nubian singers and dancers under "Babylonian illuminations".118

    This disillusionment promoted the use of the Orient as a surface on which to project everything negative, and it was easy to hold Islam responsible for the negative features of the Orient.119 Conventional images of "the enemy" were revived. As early as the 1820s, the image of the Orient in German popular literature was dominated by negative stereotypes containing partially religious connotations and which postulated the moral superiority of Christianity and Europe. These stereotypes included cruelty and despotism,Henri Regnault (1843–1871), Hinrichtung ohne Urteilspruch unter den maurischen Königen von Granada, Öl auf Leinwand, 1870; © Bildagentur für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte (bpk) | RMN | Hervé Lewandowski, Bildnummer 00057445, Standort der Originals: Musée d'Orsay, Paris. religious militancy and fanaticism, idleness and disorder, lustfulness and sensuality (embodied by the harem and polygamy)Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867), L'Odalisque à l'esclave (Odaliske mit Sklavin), Öl auf Leinwand, 1842; Bildquelle: Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. .120 Stereotypical images of this type served to stabilize European identity and culture – by showing how different and superior European culture was.121

    The European ideas of Islam and of Muslims were characterized in the 19th century by a distinctive essentialism. An eternal and immutable nature was ascribed to Islam and the Orient, an essence that distinguished them fundamentally from Europe. To an even greater degree than in Volney's writings, academic knowledge was used in the age of European Imperialism to legitimize European rule over Muslim societies. In the late-19th and early-20th centuries, fantastical racist theories were added to the stereotypes of Islam that harked back to the age of Enlightenment (fanaticism, hostility to science, despotism, stagnation and backwardness), theories which were also used to prove the superiority of Europe. This discourse of alterity regarding Islam was repeated and defended by academic, literary and political authorities.122 Since the publication of Edward W. Said's (1935–2003) book Orientalism in 1978,123 this line of thought has commonly been called "Orientalism". In this widely received and much discussed polemic, Said described British and French Oriental studies of the 19th century as having established a hegemonic discourse on the Orient and thereby supported western rule in the Middle East.124 These 19th-century Orientalist structures of thought will be illustrated by the following two examples.

    Ernest Renan (1823–1892) was a renowned professor, philologist and scholar of religion, who can be considered one of the outstanding French intellectuals of his time. Renan's views of Islam can be found in his L'islamisme et la science, a paper he read at the Sorbonne in 1883 and which reflects ideas that were commonly held in Europe.125 For Renan, Islam was essentially hostile to the sciences. He considered "the Muslim" incapable of learning and of thinking for himself. Rather, the Muslim is seen as fanatical, not accepting new ideas and despising other religions as well as the sciences and the teachings that constitute the "European spirit".126 In his lecture, Renan posed the question as to what contributions the Arabic-Islamic civilization had made to the sciences and philosophy. He arrived at the conclusion that it at best contributed something to the knowledge of humanity only between the late-8th and the 12th centuries, and that this contribution did not come about because of Islam, but in spite of Islam and in opposition to Islam. Furthermore, the contributed knowledge was neither Arabic nor Muslim. Firstly, he regarded all knowledge that the Muslims had at that time to be an adaptation of Greek and Persian knowledge, rather than created by themselves. Secondly, the scientists and philosophers of that time (with one exception) were not Arabs, but Persians, Central Asians or Spaniards. Thirdly, these scholars were not Muslims, but Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and others, or, if they were Muslims, they had "internally rebelled against their religion".127 Indeed, Renan continued, Islam and Muslims had always fought rational thought and had finally "suffocated" science and philosophy in the 13th century.128 It was at that point in history, according to Renan, as scientific curiosity was in decline in the Islamic world, which had come under the rule of a "Turkish race" or "Tartaric and Berber race" which was averse to all science, that the Greek knowledge transmitted in Arabic was adopted by the Europeans.129 What followed in the Middle East and North Africa was stagnation, religious intolerance and suppression – decline.

    Renan's image of Islam stands in the tradition of the Enlightenment, but also deviates from it. As with the representatives of the Enlightenment, Renan's critique of Islam is part of a general critique of religion that also accuses the Catholic Church of animosity to rational knowledge.130 The philosophers of the Enlightenment, however, while assessing the Islam of their times as fanatical, backward and hostile to science, were simultaneously able to appreciate the works of medieval Arabic and Islamic scholars. By contrast, Renan is almost incapable of this appreciation.131

    In addition, racist ideas entered Renan's argument. When the Muslim scholar Ǧamāladdīn al-Afġānī (1838/39–1897) reacted to Renan's criticism and answered him that Muslims had to struggle with the same problems as Christians on their road to a free, rational interpretation of the world, that is, with rigid dogmas and religious hierarchies that must be overcome, Renan answered in racist categories:

    Sheikh Ǧamāladdīn is an Afghan who has rid himself completely of the prejudices of Islam. He belongs to those energetic races of Upper Iran in the proximity of India, in which under the superficial garb of official Islam the Arian spirit is still strongly alive. He is the best proof of the great axiom, which we have so often proclaimed, that religions only count as much as the races that profess them.132

    As a philologist, Renan was of the opinion that the "spirit" of a people can be deduced from its language and texts and he defended the concept of a hierarchy of peoples, languages and civilizations. The "Semitic spirit" had produced monotheism, but everything else was a creation of the "Arian spirit".133 Since Arabic was a Semitic language, the Arabic-Islamic civilization was below that of the "Arian" Greeks, Persians and Europeans. Although Renan was convinced that he himself and Europeans in general were superior to Muslims, his image of Islam also appears to have been shaped by fear. But he believed that scientific and technological progress could banish the danger: "If Omar [the second Caliph], if Genghis Khan had come up against a good artillery, they would not have been able to cross the boundaries of their deserts".134 Renan's concepts did not go undisputed,135 but comparable views of European superiority over Muslims were popular in the 19th century.136

    Evelyn Baring, the First Earl of Cromer (1841–1917)[Portrait von Evelyn Baring, 1st Earl of Cromer (1841–1917), Schwarz-Weiß-Photographie, 1906, Photograph: P. Dittrich (1880–1918); Bildquelle: Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA),] is an example of a political figure who supported and contributed to the European discourse on Islam. Cromer held office from 1883 to 1907 as the British Consul-General in Cairo and "advised" in this capacity the Khedive of Egypt, whose country was occupied by in 1882. In fact, Cromer governed the country or, rather, governed the government of Egypt.137 Despite his decades of activity in Egypt, Cromer did not deign to learn Arabic.138 Nevertheless, he believed he knew precisely what made the essence of an Egyptian or an Oriental. "The Oriental"/"the Egyptian" was to him in every way the complete opposite of "the European"/"the Englishman": "… the Oriental generally acts, speaks, and thinks in a manner exactly opposite to the European."139 In contrast to the European, he considered the Oriental to be entirely irrational, a perception that was widely accepted at the time:140

    The European is a close reasoner; … he is a natural logician, albeit he might not have studied logic; he loves symmetry in all things; he is by nature sceptical and requires proof before he can accept the truth of any proposition … The mind of the Oriental, on the other hand, like his picturesque streets, is eminently wanting in symmetry. His reasoning is of the most slipshod description. … The Egyptian is also eminently unsceptical. … [T]he Egyptian will, without inquiry, accept as true the most absurd rumors.141

    For Cromer, the differences in thought, customs, religion and political ideas created insurmountable barriers between Egyptians and Englishmen, so that mutual understanding was as good as impossible.142 According to Cromer, these differences were due to race:

    Consider the mental and moral attributes, the customs, art, architecture, language, dress, and tastes of the dark-skinned Eastern as compared to the fair-skinned Western. It will be found that on every point they are the poles asunder.143

    Apart from race, Cromer identified Islam as the reason why Egyptians were fundamentally different and backward. Cromer writes that "as a social system, it [Islam] is a complete failure".144 The reasons were the following: the subordinate position of women, polygamy and the separation of the spheres of men and women, which had devastating consequences not only for women, but – morally – also for men; the rigidity and irrationality of the religious and legal traditions that permitted no separation of state and religion, obstructed the development of capitalism and brutalized people by issuing severe sentences; slavery, which is immoral but permitted in Islamic law; and, finally, intolerance, which is inherent to the Islamic religion. For Cromer, Islam was not compatible with modern civilization in the European-Christian sense, nor could it be reformed because a reformed Islam would no longer be Islam. In general, Orientals were lethargic and conservative to such a degree that they resisted any innovation.145 Nevertheless, the English – an "imperial race" with "sterling national qualities", driven by selfless Christian morality – had a mission in Egypt: to bring order to chaos, to educate the immature Egyptians, who were not capable of governing themselves, and to elevate them morally and materially to a higher level, and to fight corruption.146 In other words, the English were the doctors of a sick society; their rule over the Egyptians, who were inferior due to race and religion, was not only legitimate, but even necessary.

    Cromer's view of Egyptians, Muslims and Orientals exemplifies the close intertwining of Orientalist knowledge and colonial power. The separation of Orient and Occident suggested by Cromer, Renan and other authors of the 19th century established a rigid dichotomy between Islam and Europe that was structured by binary pairs of opposites that always implied European superiority: order vs. chaos, rationality vs. irrationality, progress vs. stagnation, enlightenment vs. ignorance, democracy vs. despotism, human vs. inhuman. In this way, a specific essence was ascribed to Islam, to the Orient that differentiated them from Europe. Geographical, social and historical differences within the Islamic world were ignored. The Orient became an eternal entity; Islam and Muslims were conceived as being immutable in their essence and as being the same everywhere.

    Future Perspective

    Stereotypes and clichés of Islam have proved to be durable, but have also been subject to change over time and space. However, the process of assuring the "self" by marking Islam off as a danger to the "self" has been a constant that has influenced the construction and shaping of European identity. The discourse of alterity on Islam has always been organized in dichotomies and has implied varying concepts of the greater worth and superiority of one's own culture and society. The idea of a distinctive European identity was based on Christian foundations which were secularized in the age of Enlightenment. The pairs of opposites Christians/pagans and Christians/heretics receded into the background. Another pair of opposites, which was informed by ideas from ancient times, that of Europeans/barbarians, also temporarily lost significance. At the same time, other dichotomies that were connected to the idea of a distinctive European civilization established themselves: rationality/irrationality, rule of law/despotism, progress/stagnation, order/chaos. Finally, in the 19th century, racist ideas were added to justify European superiority. Stereotypes depicting a violent, irrational, fanatical and intolerant Islam, as well as a widespread "Islamophobia"147 are still being politically exploited today. Examples can be named almost at will, be it the "War on Terror" or the referendum on banning the construction of new minaretsPlakat zur Volksabstimmung über das Minarettverbot in der Schweiz, Grafik, unbekannter Künstler; Bildquelle: Initiativ-Komitee "Gegen den Bau von Minaretten".. The perception of the Muslim as the "other" of the European, of Islam as the antithesis of Europe and the "West", which is supported by pseudoscientific writings such as Samuel P. Huntington's (1927–2008) Clash of Civilizations, also stands in the way of the integration of people of Muslim faith into the societies of Europe.148

    Felix Konrad, Kiel



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    Simon, Richard: Histoire critique de la créance et des coutumes des nations du Levant, Frankfurt 1683.

    Volney, Constantin-François de: Voyage en Syrie et en Egypte, pendant les années 1783, 1784 & 1785, vol. 1–2, Paris 1787.


    Ágoston, Gábor: Ideologie, Propaganda und politischer Pragmatismus: Die Auseinandersetzungen der osmanischen und habsburgischen Großmächte und die mitteleuropäische Konfrontation, in: Martina Fuchs et al. (eds.): Kaiser Ferdinand I.: Ein mitteleuropäischer Herrscher, Münster 2005, pp. 207–233.

    Asad, Talal: Muslims and European Identity: Can Europe Represent Islam?, in: Anthony Pagden (ed.): The Idea of Europe: From Antiquity to the European Union, Washington 2002, pp. 209–227.

    Attia, Iman: Die "westliche Kultur" und ihr Anderes: Zur Dekonstruktion von Orientalismus und antimuslimischem Rassismus, Bielefeld 2009.

    Badir, Magdy Gabriel: Voltaire et l'Islam, Banbury 1974 (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 125).

    Benz, Wolfgang (ed.): Islambilder vom Mittelalter bis zum Ersten Weltkrieg: Traditionen der Abwehr, Romantisierung, Exotisierung, in: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 58 (2010), pp. 586–680.

    Bobzin, Hartmut: Martin Luthers Beitrag zur Kenntnis und Kritik des Islam, in: Neue Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie 27 (1985), pp. 262–289.

    Bousquet, G. H.: Voltaire et l'Islâm, in: Studia Islamica 28 (1968), pp. 109–126.

    Braude, Benjamin: The Sons of Noah and the Construction of Ethnic and Geographical Identities in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods, in: William and Mary Quarterly 54 (1997), pp. 105–142.

    Brecht, Martin: Luther und die Türken, in: Bodo Gutmüller et al. (eds.): Europa und die Türken in der Renaissance, Tübingen 2000 (Frühe Neuzeit 54), pp. 11–27.

    Buchmann, Bertrand Michael: Türkenlieder zu den Türkenkriegen und besonders zur zweiten Wiener Türkenbelagerung, Vienna et al. 1983.

    Cardini, Franco: Europa und der Islam: Geschichte eines Mißverständnisses, transl. by Rita Seuß, Munich 2000 [Original Italian edition: Europa e Islam: Storia di un Malintenso, Rome et al. 1999].

    Çırakman, Aslı: From the "Terror of the World" to the "Sick Man of Europe": European Images of Ottoman Empire and Society from the Sixteenth Century to the Nineteenth, New York et al. 2002 (Studies in Modern European History 43).

    idem: From Tyranny to Despotism: The Enlightenment's Unenlightened Image of the Turks, in: International Journal of Middle East Studies 33 (2001), pp. 49–68.

    Colpe, Carsten: Historische und theologische Gründe für die abendländische Angst vor dem Islam, in: idem (ed.): Problem Islam, Frankfurt am Main 1989, pp. 11–38.

    Curtis, Michael: The Oriental Despotic Universe of Montesquieu, in: Princeton Papers in Near Eastern Studies 3 (1994), pp. 1–38.

    Daniel, Norman: The Arabs and Medieval Europe, London et al. 1975.

    idem: Islam and the West: The Making of an Image, Edinburgh 1960.

    Duprat, Anne: Muslim Heroes in Early Modern French Literature: Inventing History, in: Gabriele Haug-Moritz et al. (eds.): Repräsentationen der islamischen Welt im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit, Münster 2010, pp. 221–235.

    Ehmann, Johannes: Luther, Türken und Islam: Eine Untersuchung zum Türken- und Islambild Martin Luthers (1515–1546), Gütersloh et al. 2008 (Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformationsgeschichte 80).

    Eibach, Joachim: Annäherung – Abgrenzung – Exotisierung: Typen der Wahrnehmung 'des Anderen' in Europa am Beispiel der Türken, Chinas und der Schweiz (16. bis frühes 19. Jahrhundert), in: idem et al. (eds.): Europäische Wahrnehmung 1650–1850: Interkulturelle Kommunikation und Medienereignisse, Hannover 2008 (The Formation of Europe – Historische Formationen Europas 3), pp. 13–73.

    Eke, Norbert Otto: Orient und Okzident: Mohammed, der Islam und das Christentum: Zur Darstellung kultureller Alterität um 1800 (mit einem Seitenblick auf die Bestände der Fürstlichen Bibliothek Corvey), in: Charis Goer et al. (eds.): Der Deutschen Morgenland: Bilder des Orients in der deutschen Literatur und Kultur von 1770 bis 1850, Munich 2008, pp. 85–102.

    Fleet, Kate: Italian Perceptions of the Turks in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, in: Journal of Mediterranean Studies 5 (1995), pp. 159–172.

    Göllner, Carl: Turcica: Die europäischen Türkendrucke des XVI. Jahrhunderts, Bucharest et al. 1961–1978, vol. 1–3.

    Grandits, Hannes: "Europäisierung" im spätosmanischen Südosteuropa im 19. Jahrhundert: Von einer romantischen Idee zu rücksichtsloser Realpolitik, online: [20/11/2012].

    Grothaus, Maximilian: Zum Türkenbild in der Kultur der Habsburgermonarchie zwischen dem 15. und 18. Jahrhundert, in: Andreas Tietze (ed.): Habsburgisch-osmanische Beziehungen, Vienna 1985 (Beiheft zur Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 13), pp. 67–89.

    Gunny, Ahmad: Diderot, the Encyclopédie and Islam, in: R.J. Howells et al. (eds.): Voltaire and his World: Studies Presented to William H. Barber, Oxford 1985, pp. 261–271.

    Haag, Norbert: "Erbfeind der Christenheit": Türkenpredigten im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert, in: Gabriele Haug-Moritz et al. (eds.): Repräsentationen der islamischen Welt im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit, Münster 2010, pp. 127–149.

    Harbsmeier, Michael: Images of Despotism: Ottoman and Muscovite in German 16th and Early 17th Century Travel Accounts, in: Peter Ulf Møller (ed.): Reciprocal Images: Russian Culture in the Mirror of Traveller's Accounts: Based on the Kollekolle Conference, Copenhagen, 2.–5. December 1994, Copenhagen 1997 (Culture & History 14), pp. 37–47.

    Heine, Peter: Konflikt der Kulturen oder Feindbild Islam: Alte Vorurteile, neue Klischees, reale Gefahren, Freiburg im Breisgau et al. 2002.

    Helmrath, Johannes: Pius II. und die Türken, in: Bodo Gutmüller et al. (eds.): Europa und die Türken in der Renaissance, Tübingen 2000 (Frühe Neuzeit 54), pp. 79–138.

    Hentsch, Thierry: Imagining the Middle East, transl. by Fred A. Reed, Montreal et al. 1992 [Original French edition: L'Orient imaginaire: Vision politique de l'Est méditerranéen, Paris 1988].

    Höfert, Almut: Alteritätsdiskurse: Analyseparameter historischer Antagonismusnarrative und ihre historiographischen Folgen, in: Gabriele Haug-Moritz et al. (eds.): Repräsentationen der islamischen Welt im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit, Münster 2010, pp. 21–40.

    idem: Den Feind beschreiben: "Türkengefahr" und europäisches Wissen über das Osmanische Reich 1450–1600, Frankfurt am Main 2003 (Campus Historische Studien 35).

    idem: Die "Türkengefahr" in der Frühen Neuzeit: Apokalyptischer Feind und Objekt des ethnographischen Blicks, in: Thorsten Gerald Schneiders (ed.): Islamfeindlichkeit: Wenn die Grenzen der Kritik verschwimmen, 2nd edition, Wiesbaden 2010 [1st edition 2009], pp. 61–70.

    Hourani, Albert: Islam in European Thought, Cambridge et al. 1991 [German edition: Der Islam im europäischen Denken: Essays, ed. and transl. by Gennaro Ghirardelli, Frankfurt am Main 1994].

    Irwin, Robert: For the Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and their Enemies, London 2006.

    Joubin, Rebecca: Islam and Arabs through the Eyes of the Encyclopédie: The "Other" as a Case of French Cultural Self-Criticism, in: International Journal of Middle East Studies 32 (2000), pp. 197–217.

    Kaufmann, Thomas: Aspekte der Wahrnehmung der "türkischen Religion" bei christlichen Autoren des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts, in: Dietrich Klein et al. (eds.): Wahrnehmung des Islam zwischen Reformation und Aufklärung, Paderborn 2008, pp. 9–26.

    idem: "Türckenbüchlein": Zur christlichen Wahrnehmung "türkischer Religion" in Spätmittelalter und Reformation, Göttingen 2008.

    Kuran-Burçoğlu, Nedret: Die Wandlung des Türkenbildes in Europa: Vom 11. Jahrhundert bis zur heutigen Zeit: Eine kritische Perspektive, Zurich 2005.

    Lévi-Provençal, Évariste / Donzel, Emeri van: Art. "Moors", in: The Encyclopaedia of Islam2 7 (1993), p. 235.

    Lockman, Zachary: Contending Visions of the Middle East: The History and Politics of Orientalism, Cambridge et al. 2004 (The Contemporary Middle East 3).

    MacLean, Gerald: Looking East: English Writing and the Ottoman Empire before 1800, Basingstoke et al. 2007.

    Malettke, Klaus: Die Vorstöße der Osmanen im 16. Jahrhundert aus französischer Sicht, in: Bodo Gutmüller et al. (eds.): Europa und die Türken in der Renaissance, Tübingen 2000 (Frühe Neuzeit 54), pp. 373–394.

    Matar, Nabil: Islam in Britain 1558–1685, Cambridge et al. 1998.

    idem: Turks, Moors, and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery, New York 1999.

    Mertens, Dieter: Claromontani passagii exemplum: Papst Urban II. und der erste Kreuzzug in der Türkenkriegspropaganda des Renaissance-Humanismus, in: Bodo Gutmüller et al. (eds.): Europa und die Türken in der Renaissance, Tübingen 2000 (Frühe Neuzeit 54), pp. 65–78.

    idem: "Europa, id est patria, domus propria, sedes nostra ...": Zu Funktionen und Überlieferung lateinischer Türkenreden im 15. Jahrhundert, in: Franz-Reiner Erkens (ed.): Europa und die osmanische Expansion im ausgehenden Mittelalter, Berlin 1997 (Zeitschrift für historische Forschung Beiheft 20), pp. 39–57.

    Meserve, Margaret: Medieval Sources of Renaissance Theories on the Origins of the Ottoman Turks, in: Bodo Gutmüller et al. (eds.): Europa und die Türken in der Renaissance, Tübingen 2000 (Frühe Neuzeit 54), pp. 409–436.

    Naumann, Thomas: Feindbild Islam: Historische und theologische Gründe einer europäischen Angst, in: Thorsten Gerald Schneiders (ed.): Islamfeindlichkeit: Wenn die Grenzen der Kritik verschwimmen, 2nd edition, Wiesbaden 2010 [1st edition 2009], pp. 20–36.

    Neuber, Wolfgang: Grade der Fremdheit: Alteritätskonstruktion und experientia-Argumentation in deutschen Turcica der Renaissance, in: Bodo Gutmüller et al. (eds.): Europa und die Türken in der Renaissance, Tübingen 2000 (Frühe Neuzeit 54), pp. 249–265.

    Neuwirth, Angelika et al. (eds.): Europa im Nahen Osten – Der Nahe Osten in Europa, Berlin 2010.

    Osterhammel, Jürgen: Die Entzauberung Asiens: Europa und die asiatischen Reiche im 18. Jahrhundert, Munich 1998.

    idem: Wissen als Macht: Deutungen interkulturellen Nichtverstehens bei Tzvetan Todorov und Edward Said, in: idem: Geschichtswissenschaft jenseits des Nationalstaats: Studien zur Beziehungsgeschichte und Zivilisationsvergleich, Göttingen 2001 (Kritische Studien zur Geschichtswissenschaft 147), pp. 240–265.

    Paret, Rudi: Art. "Ismā'īl", in: The Encyclopaedia of Islam2 6 (1978), p. 184.

    Pocock, John G.A.: What Do We Mean by Europe?, in: The Wilson Quarterly 21 (1997), pp. 12–29.

    idem: Some Europes in Their Histories, in: Anthony Pagden (ed.): The Idea of Europe: From Antiquity to the European Union, Washington 2002, pp. 55–71.

    Rippin, A. / Heinrichs, W.P.: Art. "Sām", in: The Encyclopaedia of Islam2 8 (1995), p. 1007.

    Rodinson, Maxime: La fascination de l'Islam: Les étapes du regard occidental sur le monde musulman: Les études arabes et islamiques en Europe, Paris 1981 [German edition: Die Faszination des Islam, transl. by Irene Riesen, Munich 1985].

    Rubiés, Joan-Pau: Oriental Despotism and European Orientalism: Botero to Montesquieu, in: Journal of Early Modern History 9 (2005), pp. 109–180.

    Said, Edward W.: Orientalism, 2nd edition, New York 1994 [1st edition London 1978; German edition: Orientalismus, transl. by Hans Günter Holl, Frankfurt am Main et al. 2009).

    Schmeisser, Martin: "Mohammed, der Erzbetrüger": Negative Darstellungen des Propheten in den religionskritischen Produktionen des Libertinismus und der Radikalaufklärung, in: Dietrich Klein (ed.): Wahrnehmung des Islam zwischen Reformation und Aufklärung, Paderborn 2008, pp. 77–108.

    Schulze, Reinhard: Alte und neue Feindbilder: Das Bild der arabischen Welt und des Islams im Westen, in: Georg Stein (ed.): Nachgedanken zum Golfkrieg, Heidelberg 1991, pp. 244–259.

    idem: Die Schlacht bei den Pyramiden oder der Mythos von der Brücke zum Jetzt, in: Gerd Krumeich et al. (eds.): Schlachtenmythen: Ereignis – Erzählung – Erinnerung, Cologne 2003, pp. 91–113.

    Schulze, Winfried: Reich und Türkengefahr im späten 16. Jahrhundert: Studien zu den politischen und gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen einer äußeren Bedrohung, Munich 1978.

    Shahîd, Irfan / Bosworth, Clifford E.: Art. "Saracens", in: The Encyclopaedia of Islam2 9 (1997), p. 27.

    Southern, Richard W.: Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages, Cambridge 1962 [German edition: Das Islambild des Mittelalters, Stuttgart et al. 1981].

    Stockinger, Hermann E.: Die Apostasie des Pascha-Grafen Alexander von Bonneval (1675–1747) und europäische Stimmen zum "Fall" Bonneval, in: Dietrich Klein et al. (eds.): Wahrnehmung des Islam zwischen Reformation und Aufklärung, Paderborn 2008, pp. 109–137.

    Teply, Karl: Türkentaufen in Wien während des Großen Türkenkrieges 1683–1699: Wesen und Bedeutung der Türkentaufen, in: Jahrbuch des Vereins für die Geschichte des Stadt Wien 27 (1971), pp. 57–87.

    Tolan, John V.: Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination, New York 2002.

    Valensi, Lucette: The Making of a Political Paradigm: The Ottoman State and Oriental Despotism, in: Anthony Grafton et al. (eds.): The Transmission of Culture in Early Modern Europe, Philadelphia 1990, pp. 173–203.

    idem: Venise et la Sublime Porte: La naissance du despote, 2nd edition, Paris 2005 [1st edition 1987].

    Varisco, Martin Daniel: Reading Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid, Seattle et al. 2007.

    Vocelka, Karl: Erblande gegen Erbfeinde: Die österreichischen Länder und das Osmanische Reich in der Frühen Neuzeit, in: Gabriele Haug-Moritz et al. (eds.): Repräsentationen der islamischen Welt im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit, Münster 2010, pp. 41–54.

    Wheatcroft, Andrew: The Ottomans: Dissolving Images, London et al. 1993.

    Young, David: Montesquieu's View of Despotism and his Use of Travel Literature, in: Review of Politics 40 (1978), pp. 392–405.


      1. ^ Literature regarding the problematic history of relations between Europe and the Islamic world is abundant. The following works provide a detailed overview: Rodinson, La fascination 1981; Hentsch, L'Orient imaginaire 1988; Cardini, Europa e Islam 1999; Heine, Konflikt der Kulturen 2002; Lockman, Contending Visions 2004. The following are suitable as brief orientations and introductions: Colpe, Historische und theologische Gründe 1989; Naumann, Feindbild Islam 2010. Regarding the treatment of Islam in European scholarship, see especially Hourani, Islam in European Thought 1991. Regarding the relationship between European Christianity and Islam in the Middle Ages, which is only discussed very briefly in my article, see: Daniel, Islam and the West 1960; idem, The Arabs and Medieval Europe 1975; Southern, Western Views of Islam 1962; Tolan, Saracens 2002. The following publications appeared too late to be used in this paper: Benz, Islambilder 2010, and Neuwirth et al., Europa im Nahen Osten 2010.
      2. ^ See Neuber, Grade der Fremdheit 2000, p. 250, and Höfert, Alteritätsdiskurse 2010, pp. 24f., based on Reinhardt Koselleck: Zur historisch-politischen Semantik asymmetrischer Gegenbegriffe, in: idem, Vergangene Zukunft: Zur Semantik geschichtlicher Zeiten, Frankfurt am Main 1979 (reprint 1989), pp. 211–259. Cf. Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 28f., who notes that thought in binary opposites cannot really grasp subtle distinctions in the perception of differences, since gradual differences of a perceived otherness fade into the background as a result. For a typology of perceptions of otherness, cf. also Eibach, Annäherung – Abgrenzung – Exotisierung 2008, pp. 14–25.
      3. ^ Cf. Neuber, Grade der Fremdheit 2000, pp. 250f.
      4. ^ ibid., p. 250.
      5. ^ Tolan, Saracens 2002, p. xix; Kaufmann, Aspekte der Wahrnehmung 2008, p. 9.
      6. ^ For an overview of the image of Turks in Italy during the 14th and 15th centuries, see Fleet, Italian Perceptions of the Turks 1995.
      7. ^ As a survey of the perception and interpretation of the "Turkish menace", the following is suitable: Höfert, "Türkengefahr" in der Frühen Neuzeit 2009. Kuran-Burçoğlu, Wandlung des Türkenbildes 2005, provides an overview of the European image of the Turks from the 11th to 20th century.
      8. ^ Helmrath, Pius II. 2000, p. 105.
      9. ^ For excerpts from the speech, cf. [08.03.2011].
      10. ^ Mertens, Europa, id est patria 1997, p. 51.
      11. ^ Mertens, Europa, id est patria 1997; idem, Claromontani passagii exemplum 2000; Helmrath, Pius II. 2000; cf. Höfert, Den Feind beschreiben 2003, pp. 62–68.
      12. ^ Mertens, Claromontani passagii exemplum 2000, p. 78.
      13. ^ ibid. ("in the perception and classification of the Ottoman expansion, in its apperception as a 'Turkish menace' besetting all of Latin Christianity and in the formation of the interpretive pattern 'Europe and the Turks'", transl. by M.O.)
      14. ^ A digitized version of the Bulla cruciata contra Turcos of Pius II is available at the Wolfenbüttel Digital Library: [08.03.2011].
      15. ^ Helmrath, Pius II. 2000, pp. 82f.
      16. ^ Mertens, Europa, id est patria 1997; idem, Claromontani passagii exemplum 2000.
      17. ^ Tolan, Saracens 2002, p. 5; cf. also Shahîd / Bosworth, Art. "Saracens" 1997. Another term for Muslims, especially in the Iberian Peninsula and in North Africa, was "Moors". See Lévi-Provençal / Donzel, Art. "Moors" 1993.
      18. ^ Höfert, Alteritätsdiskurse 2010, p. 28.
      19. ^ Helmrath, Pius II. 2000, pp. 106f., 110f. Furthermore, medieval sources also have the Franks originating from the Trojans: Meserve, Medieval Sources 2000, p. 410.
      20. ^ The thesis that the Turks were of Scythian origin was based on a highly selective use of medieval sources and ancient legends; newer sources that proved that the origins of the Turks lay actually in Central Asia were omitted. Furthermore, medieval sources also placed the Scythians in an apocalyptic context by associating them with Gog and Magog.
      21. ^ Meserve, Medieval Sources 2000; Helmrath, Pius II. 2000, pp. 107–109.
      22. ^ Mertens, Europa, id est patria 1997, pp. 54f.
      23. ^ Ágoston, Ideologie 2005.
      24. ^ Kaufmann, Aspekte der Wahrnehmung 2008, p. 9; regarding European Turkish pamphlets in the 16th century, see Göllner, Turcica 1961–1978.
      25. ^ Thus, the first multi-page print was a Türkenkalender (Calendar of the Turks) and not the Bible (Geldner, Türkenkalender 1975; Mertens, Europa, id est patria 1997, p. 42). Regarding the connection between printing technology and the "Turkish menace", cf. Höfert, Alteritätsdiskurse 2010, p. 28; idem, Den Feind beschreiben 2003, p. 62; idem, "Türkengefahr" in der Frühen Neuzeit 2009, p. 61; Kaufmann, Aspekte der Wahrnehmung 2008, p. 9.
      26. ^ Vocelka, Erblande gegen Erbfeinde 2010, pp. 41f.
      27. ^ Höfert, Alteritätsdiskurse 2010, pp. 30f.
      28. ^ Schulze, Reich und Türkengefahr 1978.
      29. ^ Vocelka, Erblande gegen Erbfeinde 2010, pp. 49f.; on German sermons against the Turks, see Haag, "Erbfeind der Christenheit" 2010.
      30. ^ Schulze, Reich und Türkengefahr 1978.
      31. ^ Höfert, Den Feind beschreiben 2003, p. 76.
      32. ^ Vocelka, Erblande gegen Erbfeinde 2010, p. 50.
      33. ^ It should be noted here that all parties committed horrible atrocities and wreaked devastation during the wars of the Early Modern period. The image of the Swedes and French formed in Germany during the Thirty Years' War barely differed from that of the Turks. (Cf. Grothaus, Türkenbild 1985, p. 68.)
      34. ^ Between 1501 and 1550, about 1,000 Turkish prints were published in Europe, between 1551 and 1600 about 250 (Malettke, Vorstöße der Osmanen 2000, p. 388).
      35. ^ ("the attitude present in the French population did not significantly deviate from the traditional occidental 'image of the Turks' as complete demons", transl. by M.O.) Unlike in the Holy Roman Empire, the negative image was not promoted and spread by the authorities in France, but largely arose independently, since the French kings were at times in an anti-Habsburg alliance with the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century (see Malettke, Vorstöße der Osmanen 2000, pp. 387, 393f.).
      36. ^ See Matar, Turks, Moors, and Englishmen 1999, pp. 12–18; MacLean, Looking East 2007, pp. 2–12, 57.
      37. ^ Matar, Islam in Britain 1998, pp. 105f., 121–128; MacLean, Looking East 2007, pp. 44–47, 52–61.
      38. ^ The interpretation of Islam as a Christian heresy was formed in the 8th century by John of Damascus, a Melkite monk and theologian (Yuḥannā b. Manṣūr b. Sarǧūn, ca. 676–ca. 749). It was supplemented by his student, the Melkite bishop Theodore Abū Qurra (ca. 750–ca. 820), who not only spoke out against Muḥammad, whom he called a false prophet, but also against Islam, which, according to Abū Qurra, tolerated violence and promised sensual pleasures in the afterlife. (Tolan, Saracens 2002, pp. 50–55, 58f.; Höfert, Alteritätsdiskurse 2010, p. 26; Kaufmann, Aspekte der Wahrnehmung 2008, p. 9; on the polemics conducted by John of Damascus against Muḥammad, see also Schmeisser, "Mohammed, der Erzbetrüger" 2008, pp. 78f.)
      39. ^ Kaufmann, Aspekte der Wahrnehmung 2008, pp. 10f.
      40. ^ Like the heresy topos, the motif of Muslims as forces of the Antichrist originated in the Middle Ages. It linked Muslims to the apocalyptic tradition and placed them (as the satanic opponents of God) in the context of salvation history. As the Saracens had been in the Middle Ages, so the Turks were viewed in the Early Modern Period as the enemies of God in an apocalyptic conflict from which the true Christians would emerge victorious (Höfert, Alteritätsdiskurse 2010, p. 25). Apart from the topoi of Muslims as the forces of the Antichrist and as heretics, a third topos handed down from the Middle Ages circulated in the Early Modern Period – the idea that there was a genealogical link between Muslims and Biblical figures with negative connotations. In one of these genealogical constructs, Muslims, or rather the Arabs, were seen as the descendents of Ishmael, the son of Abraham and his servant Hagar. (Gen. 16:15. Hagar was a slave of Abraham's wife Sarah; she was expelled from Abraham's household together with Ishmael after Sarah gave birth to her son Isaac. On the Muslim tradition regarding Ishmael, see Paret, Art. "Ismā'īl" 1978.) Ishmael was credited with having introduced idolatry, which made it plausible to see Muslims as pagan idol worshippers. The terms "Ishmaelites" and "Hagarenes" for Muslims, which were often used alongside the term "Saracens", are derived from this genealogy. (Höfert, Alteritätsdiskurse 2010, p. 24; Tolan, Saracens 2002, p. xix.). Also, the origin of the "Saracens" was often associated with the Biblical tale of Noah's sons. They were either traced back to Shem or Ham, with Shem being made responsible for the introduction of idolatry. (Höfert, Alteritätsdiskurse 2010, pp. 24f.) According to the Biblical tradition, Ham mocked his father whereupon the latter cursed Ham's descendants: they were to serve the descendents of Ham's brothers Shem and Japheth as slaves. For another misdemeanour, Ham was also punished with a dark skin. In the Early Modern period, in a very simplified interpretation of the Biblical tradition, the descendants of Shem came more and more to be seen as living in Asia (Semites), those of Ham in Africa (Hamites) and those of Japheth in Europe. The trend of associating Ham's descendants with infidels and slaves and Shem's with the Jews, Saracens and Muslims laid the basis for later racist discourses and the justification of the enslavement of Sub-Saharan Africans. (See Braude, Sons of Noah 1997. Cf. also Rippin / Heinrichs, Art. "Sām" 1995.)
      41. ^ Kaufmann, Aspekte der Wahrnehmung 2008, pp. 11–14, quotes from p. 12; for further discussions, see idem, "Türckenbüchlein" 2008.
      42. ^ ("overall picture of Christianity as a religion under imminent threat", transl. by M.O.) idem, Aspekte der Wahrnehmung 2008, p. 18.
      43. ^ ibid., p. 17–19.
      44. ^ On the topic of Luther and Islam, see Brecht, Luther und die Türken 2000; Bobzin, Luthers Beitrag 1985; and Ehmann, Luther, Türken und Islam 2008.
      45. ^ Kaufmann, Aspekte der Wahrnehmung 2008, pp. 19–23.
      46. ^ ibid., pp. 24f., quote p. 25.
      47. ^ Brecht, Luther und die Türken 2000; Bobzin, Luthers Beitrag 1985.
      48. ^ Brecht, Luther und die Türken 2000, pp. 10–18.
      49. ^ ibid., p. 15, "the Turks, therefore, lacked true religion, true government and true family and, consequently, the basic structures of society." (transl. by M.O.). Cf. Bobzin, Luthers Beitrag 1985, p. 282.
      50. ^ Höfert, Alteritätsdiskurse 2010, p. 32, "Here, the Turks did not appear as the archenemies of salvation history, but as objects of the ethnographic gaze." (transl. by M.O.)
      51. ^ Harbsmeier, Images of Despotism 1997.
      52. ^ Höfert, Alteritätsdiskurse 2010, pp. 32–34.
      53. ^ Lockman, Contending Visions 2004, p. 43; Çırakman, From Tyranny to Despotism 2001, p. 52.
      54. ^ Joachim Eibach identified the period around 1700 as a so-called "Sattelzeit" (transition period) in which patterns of European perception of otherness profoundly changed (see Eibach, Annäherung – Abgrenzung – Exotisierung 2008, pp. 70–73).
      55. ^ The Holy League was an alliance between Habsburg Austria, Poland-Lithuania, the Papal State, Venice and Russia.
      56. ^ Songs mocking the Ottomans arose in association with their defeat outside Vienna; for examples, see Buchmann, Türkenlieder 1983. Expressions of the triumph over the Turks are found in Baroque representational architecture of the period, but also in the baptism of Muslims ("Turkish baptisms"); see Teply, Türkentaufen in Wien 1971. See also Grothaus, Türkenbild 1985, pp. 80–82.
      57. ^ ibid., pp. 82–88.
      58. ^ This tendency, which had already begun to emerge in the 17th century, must be seen against the background of French experiences in the Wars of Religion: Al-Andalus could serve as a positive example for a multi-confessional society (Duprat, Muslim Heroes 2010).
      59. ^ ibid., p. 229; Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, p. 32. Cf. Cardini, Europa und der Islam 2000, pp. 249f.
      60. ^ Cf. Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, p. 355.
      61. ^ This section is based on Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, p. 101; Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 56f., 355. On d'Herbelot cf. Said, Orientalism 1994, pp. 63–67.
      62. ^ Simon, Histoire critique 1683.
      63. ^ D'Herbelot, Bibliothèque orientale 1697. However, also d'Herbelot portrayed Muḥammad as an impostor; see Said, Orientalism 1994, pp. 65f.
      64. ^ Boulainvilliers, La vie de Mahomed 1730 (and further editions; several translations into German and English).
      65. ^ Cf. the catalogue of topics regarding Islam and the Orient that were of interest to the Enlightenment thinkers in Stockinger, Apostasie des Pascha-Grafen Bonneval 2008, pp. 128–130.
      66. ^ Joubin, Islam and Arabs 2000, p. 200.
      67. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, pp. 101, 104–106; Bousquet, Voltaire et l'Islâm 1968; Gunny, Diderot, the Encyclopédie and Islam 1985; Joubin, Islam and Arabs 2000. For negative portrayals of Muḥammad in critical discourses on religion of the Radical Enlightenment, see Schmeisser, "Mohammed, der Erzbetrüger" 2008.
      68. ^ Voltaire's tragedy Le fanatisme, ou Mahomet le prophète (1741) must be interpreted in this context. Here, Voltaire resorted to widespread stereotypes and portrayed Muḥammad as a despicable, violent and treacherous man. (Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, pp. 104f.; for an analysis of this tragedy, see Badir, Voltaire et l'Islam 1974, pp. 71–146.)
      69. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, pp. 102–107.
      70. ^ Cf. also Joubin, Islam and Arabs 2000, pp. 207–210.
      71. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, pp. 103f., 106.
      72. ^ Valensi, Making of a Political Paradigm 1990, p. 174. The noun "despotisme" was coined about 1690 by Pierre Bayle (1647–1706) (Rubiés, Oriental Despotism 2005, p. 100). The term "Oriental despotism" is first found in Claude Adrien Helvétius's (1715–1771), De l'esprit (Paris 1758) and came into general use after the publication of Nicolas Antoine Boulanger's (1722–1759) Recherches sur l'origine du despotisme oriental ([Geneva] 1761) (Harbsmeier, Images of Despotism 1997, p. 38).
      73. ^ Valensi, Making of a Political Paradigm 1990, pp. 178–181; for more detailed discussions, see idem, Venise et la Sublime Porte 1987.
      74. ^ idem, Making of a Political Paradigm 1990, pp. 187–192, quote on p. 191.
      75. ^ ibid., pp. 192–199. Jean Bodin (1529/30–1596) and Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527) had both described the Ottoman sultan as a ruler of the greatest power, yet had not characterized him as a despot or a tyrant. Only Giovanni Botero (ca. 1544–1617) defined the sultan as a despot. Other authors, who had also identified tyrannical traits in Ottoman rule, had not concluded from this that Ottoman rule was illegitimate. This changed during the 18th century (ibid.; cf. Rubiés, Oriental Despotism 2005. Regarding the shift from the category "tyranny" to the category "despotism" for a description of the Ottoman polity, see Çırakman, From Tyranny to Despotism 2001; idem, Terror of the World 2002).
      76. ^ Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, p. 277; cf. Young, Montesquieu's View of Despotism 1978, pp. 396–400; and Curtis, Oriental Despotic Universe 1994, pp. 19–31.
      77. ^ Çırakman, From Tyranny to Despotism 2001, p. 57; Curtis, Oriental Despotic Universe 1994, pp. 27, 32f.
      78. ^ Çırakman, From Tyranny to Despotism 2001, p. 57; Curtis, Oriental Despotic Universe 1994, pp. 12–16.
      79. ^ ibid., pp. 31f.; Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, p. 108.
      80. ^ On Montesquieu's sources, see Çırakman, From Tyranny to Despotism 2001; Young, Montesquieu's View of Despotism 1978; Rubiés, Oriental Despotism 2005, pp. 165–167; Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 275–284, 293.
      81. ^ Ricaut, History of the Present State of the Ottoman Empire 1682; numerous other editions and translations. Montesquieu also used the accounts of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1600–1689) and Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656–1708) on the Ottoman Empire (Young, Montesquieu's View of Despotism 1978, pp. 395f.).
      82. ^ Çırakman, From Tyranny to Despotism 2001, pp. 51–53; Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, p. 293.
      83. ^ Bernier, Travels in the Moghul Empire 1914 (Rubiés, Oriental Despotism 2005, pp. 136–154). Cf. Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 280f.
      84. ^ Chardin, Voyages 1711 and other editions; idem, Journal de Voyage 1686. (Young, Montesquieu's View of Despotism 1978, pp. 395f.; Rubiés, Oriental Despotism 2005, pp. 154–158; Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 275–284).
      85. ^ ibid.
      86. ^ Rubiés, Oriental Despotism 2005, p. 165; Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 282, 293; Young, Montesquieu's View of Despotism 1978, p. 403.
      87. ^ Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, p. 283; Çırakman, From Tyranny to Despotism 2001, p. 58.
      88. ^ Curtis, Oriental Despotic Universe 1994, pp. 16f., 32.
      89. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, p. 108; cf. Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, p. 283.
      90. ^ Young, Montesquieu's View of Despotism 1978, p. 401.
      91. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, p. 111; Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 292f.; Rubiés, Oriental Despotism 2005, p. 162; Çırakman, From Tyranny to Despotism 2001, p. 58.
      92. ^ Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 293–297, 308; Rubiés, Oriental Despotism 2005, p. 162; Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, pp. 111–113.
      93. ^ Çırakman, From Tyranny to Despotism 2001, pp. 61f.
      94. ^ According to De Tott, all victims of despotism would like to be despots themselves and became such whenever the opportunity presented itself. The desire to be at least a petty despot was allegedly central to the political system of the Ottoman Empire. See Çırakman, From Tyranny to Despotism 2001, pp. 60, 62.
      95. ^ ibid., pp. 60f.
      96. ^ This connection is especially obvious in the Lettres persanes (1721); see Curtis, Oriental Despotic Universe 1994, pp. 13f.
      97. ^ Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 364f.
      98. ^ ibid., p. 359.
      99. ^ The following is based on ibid., pp. 289f., 305f., and Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, pp. 121–130.
      100. ^ Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, p. 289 (transl. by M.O.).
      101. ^ Volney, Voyage en Syrie et en Egypte 1787, vol. 2, pp. 362f. (transl. according to Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, p. 125).
      102. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, p. 129; Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, p. 289.
      103. ^ ibid., p. 55.
      104. ^ Cf. Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, p. 104; Lockman, Contending Visions 2004, pp. 56f.
      105. ^ Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 41–51; Pocock, What Do We Mean by Europe? 1997; idem, Some Europes 2002.
      106. ^ In historiography, a comparable view prevailed for a long time too, as the Egyptian Expedition was styled as the start of the Modern Period in the Middle East. Regarding these historical myths, cf. Schulze, Schlacht bei den Pyramiden 2003.
      107. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, p. 121; cf. Said, Orientalism, 1994, pp. 81f.
      108. ^ Herder, Johann Gottfried: Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit, Frankfurt am Main 1989 (first 1784–1791), p. 702, quoted according to Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, p. 48. Cf. Hourani, Islam in European Thought 1991, pp. 25f.
      109. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, pp. 139–145. Cf. Hourani, Islam in European Thought 1991, pp. 26f.
      110. ^ Cf. Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 20f., 36, and Lockman, Contending Visions 2004, pp. 67f.
      111. ^ Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 50f.
      112. ^ For more details on the deterioration of the image of the Ottomans, see Wheatcroft, The Ottomans 1993, pp. 208–247.
      113. ^ Some key dates of the European expansion into the countries of the Middle East and North Africa are: 1830: beginning of the French conquest of Algeria; 1881: French occupation of Tunisia; 1882: British occupation of Egypt; 1898/1899: British conquest of the Sudan; 1907: demarcation of British and Russian interest spheres in Persia; 1911: start of the Italian conquest of Libya; 1912: establishment of the French and Spanish protectorates in Morocco; 1918: military collapse of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War and partition of the Arab provinces as League of Nations mandates (1920) among the victors Britain (Iraq, Palestine, Transjordan) and France (Syria, Lebanon).
      114. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, pp. 147–152.
      115. ^ Eke, Orient und Okzident 2008, pp. 85, 87.
      116. ^ Cf. Osterhammel, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, p. 37.
      117. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, p. 150; on Nerval's disappointment with the Orient in general and Egypt in particular, cf. Said, Orientalism 1994, pp. 100f.
      118. ^ Colet, Pays lumineux 1879, pp. 127–156.
      119. ^ Schulze, Alte und neue Feindbilder 1991, pp. 254–256.
      120. ^ Eke, Orient und Okzident 2008, pp. 96–102.
      121. ^ Cf. ibid., p. 101; Schulze, Alte und neue Feindbilder 1991, p. 256.
      122. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, p. 132.
      123. ^ Said, Orientalism 1994.
      124. ^ For critical evaluations of Said, see for example, Irwin, For the Lust of Knowing 2006; Varisco, Reading Orientalism 2007; Osterhammel, Wissen als Macht 2001; idem, Entzauberung Asiens 1998, pp. 21–24.
      125. ^ Lockman, Contending Visions 2004, pp. 78f. Regarding the following explanations on Renan, cf. ibid., pp. 78–83; Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, pp. 131f.; Hourani, Islam in European Thought 1991, pp. 28–30; Said, Orientalism 1994, pp. 139–148, 231–234 and passim; for a critique of Said's interpretation of Renan's thought, see Varisco, Reading Orientalism 2007, pp. 111–115. For an English translation of Renan's paper cf. Renan, Ernest: Islamism and Science, in: Bryan S. Turner (ed.): Orientalism: Early Sources, London 2000, vol. 1: Readings in Orientalism, pp. 199–217.
      126. ^ Renan, L'islamisme et la science 1947, p. 946: the devout Muslim allegedly was "... incapable de rien apprendre ni de s'ouvrir à aucune idée nouvelle. A partir de son initiation religieuse, vers l'âge de dix ou douze ans, l'enfant musulman, jusque-là quelquefois assez éveillé, devint tout à coup fanatique, ... son culte lui inspire un mépris peu justifié pour les autres religions. ... [L]e musulman a le plus profond mépris pour l'instruction, pour la science, pour tout ce qui constitue l'esprit européen." Cf. Lockman, Contending Visions 2004, p. 79.
      127. ^ Renan, L'islamisme et la science 1947, pp. 947–955, quote p. 955.
      128. ^ ibid., p. 955. "L'islamisme, en réalité, a toujours persécute la science et la philosophie. Il a fini par les étouffer."
      129. ^ ibid., pp. 952–955, quote pp. 953, 954.
      130. ^ ibid., pp. 956, 962f.
      131. ^ Elsewhere, he allows a certain originality to Arabic philosophy in the 11th and 12th centuries (Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, p. 131).
      132. ^ Renan, L'islamisme et la science 1947, p. 961: "Le cheik Gemmal-Eddine est un Afghan entièrement dégagé des préjugés de l'islam; il appartient à ces races énergiques du haut Iran, voisin de l'Inde, où l'esprit aryen vit encore si énergique sous la couche superficielle de l'islamisme officiel. Il est la meilleure preuve de ce grand axiome que nous avons souvent proclamé, savoir que les religions valent ce que valent les races qui les professent." (transl. by M.O.). Cf. Lockman, Contending Visions 2004, p. 82.
      133. ^ Hourani, Islam in European Thought 1991, pp. 28–30.
      134. ^ Renan, L'islamisme et la science 1947, p. 960: "Si Omar, si Gengis Khan avaient rencontré devant eux une bonne artillerie, ils n'eussent pas dépassé les limites de leur désert." (transl. by M.O.).
      135. ^ For contemporary criticism of Renan's image of Islam by Ignaz Goldziher (1850–1921), Wilfried Scawen Blunt (1840–1922) and others, see Hourani, Islam in European Thought 1991, pp. 30–32, and Lockman, Contending Visions 2004, pp. 81f.
      136. ^ Hentsch, Imagining the Middle East 1992, pp. 132f.
      137. ^ Regarding the following, cf. Lockman, Contending Visions 2004, pp. 93–95, and Said, Orientalism 1994, pp. 36–40, 44f.
      138. ^ Apparently, he did speak some Turkish; Lockman, Contending Visions 2004, p. 93.
      139. ^ Cromer, Modern Egypt 1908, vol. 2, p. 164.
      140. ^ Lockman, Contending Visions 2004, p. 94.
      141. ^ Cromer, Modern Egypt 1908, vol. 2, pp. 146–148.
      142. ^ ibid., p. 154.
      143. ^ ibid., p. 144.
      144. ^ ibid., p. 134 (here Cromer quotes the British Orientalist and archaeologist Stanley Lane-Poole [1854–1931]).
      145. ^ ibid., pp. 134–140, 155–163.
      146. ^ ibid., p. 126, 130, 420–425, 525.
      147. ^ Attia, Die "westliche Kultur" und ihr Anderes 2009.
      148. ^ Asad, Muslims and European Identity 2002.

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    81. Indices


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