DET HELLIGE LAND – UTEN KRISTNE? - DUO - Universitetet i Oslo

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DET HELLIGE LAND – UTEN KRISTNE? - DUO - Universitetet i Oslo

iket:Masters mener religion var den primære identitetsskaperen for folk i det osmanskeReligious identities in the Ottoman period did not exclude the “imagining” of communityalong something other than sectarian lines. But religion was at least the primary basis ofidentity, beyond family, clan or gender, for members of the Muslim and non-Muslimcommunities alike for most of the Ottoman period. If for no other reason that was their coreidentity mandated by the state, law and tradition (Masters 2001:39).Masters fortsetter med å si at det europeiske inntoget i regionen, både politisk, økonomisk ogideologisk, førte til en følelse av fremmedgjøring og frykt hos de muslimske innbyggerne.Følelsen av tap av et samfunn de trodde var uforanderlig, sammen med frykten for hvaframtiden ville bringe, utløste en rekke voldelige framstøt mot de kristne i regionen (Masters2001:130). Det største opprøret skjedde under borgerkrigen i Libanon i 1860. Ellers ble detutøvd vold mot de kristne i Aleppo i 1850, i Mosul 1854, i Nablus 1856, i Jiddah 1858 og iEgypt i 1882. Noen ganger ble også raseriet rettet mot jøder, slik som i Mosul, eller i Baghdadi 1889. Masters sier likevel:But across the region, the descent into sectarian violence served to segregate Muslims fromChristians, rather than pit Muslims against all non-Muslims indiscriminately as the Christianshad become associated with the most obvious manifestations of change. Each of theseincidents, the hawadith (“the events”) of Arab folk memory, arose from local conditions andwas played out in a widely divergent scenario. Nevertheless, an alarm shared by manyMuslims throughout the Ottoman Arab world that the old order was under threat of collapseprovided the emotional spark to the violence everywhere. The tragic consequences of that eraof increased sectarian tension have colored the ways in which subsequent generations in theregion have remembered intercommunal relations in the Ottoman centuries. The question ofwhy the outbursts happened, however, was and remains debated (Ibid:130).Fordommer eksisterte imidlertid på begge sider i det osmanske riket på 1800-tallet, ogMasters mener at europeerne bidro til å utvide denne kløften, og at muslimene oftere såverden som en dialektisk kamp mellom islam og kristendom:Events such as Napoleon’s occupation of Egypt, the Greek war of independence and theCrimean war reactivated the countervailing imagery and vocabulary of crusade and jihad.Symptomatic of this, the more generic category of “Christian”, or worse yet kafir, increasinglyreplaced “Frank” in the political vocabulary of ordinary Muslims when referring to theEuropeans in contemporary chronicles and petitions to the Porte. This semiotic shift conflatedthe identity of local Christians with that of their coreligionists outside the empire’s borders.Alarmed that the Dar al-Islam was under attack by European powers, which also happened tobe Christian, the Muslim of the Ottoman Arab provinces experienced an increasing unease asto the loyalties of their Christian neighbors (Ibid:133).29

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