RELIGST 3C03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Industrial Revolution, Eurocentrism, Ijtihad

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January 8 th
, 2014
Why Christianity felt Islam as a threat?
-saw Islam as succeeding Christianity.
-Islam was seen as a universal religion. (in other words, Christianity and Islam like to convert
people. In contrast, Jews never thought Islam as a threat per se, because they never had a state.
They always lived under somebody else. And historically, Jews were treated better under Islamic
rule than under Christian rule.
-Muslims entered Spain in 711
-1492, Muslims kicked out of Spain. Last push out of Grenada. Spain was now to be Christian.
Before, it was a mixture of the people of the book, but now, only Christians.
-in 1451, conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul). Muslims were able for the final time, to defeat
Christians and establish the Ottoman Empire.
-Ottoman’s basically controlled the Muslim empire. And they also pushed into Europe, especially
Eastern Europe. Ex. Bosnia, Hungary, Russia, Poland and more.
-Ottoman’s established their own dynasty which expanded to Europe.
-But Europe was going through medieval ages, going through period of enlightenment.
-Martin Luther in 16th century started a movement which challenged the authority of the pope.
-this set off a movement across Europe. For the first time, peeps were challenging pope, and
church, etc.
-and then came period of enlightenment. Basically, industrial revolution, machines taking over.
Peeps relying less on nature. Basically, the role of God in history was reduced. More focused on
us as human beings to chart out our own future. This is only Europe though, religion was seen as
-Galileo says earth goes around sun. this is vs church who said sun goes around the earth at the
time. With the industrial revolution, Europe progressed.
-in the 18th-19th century, the Muslim world was being attacked. Form three corners: Russians,
British, and French.
-we find in the 18th and 19th century, the Islamic world was being challenged by the above
-1798 was beginning of modern period. Napoleon invaded Egypt. He landed in Alexandria.
Alexandria and slowly, all of Egypt was colonized.
-large parts of the Ottoman Empire were being taken over. Muslims were on the retreat.
-Colonization- not only taking over land, but also the culture.
-Eurocentrism, basically Europe seen as the centre of the world. Europe decided what was civil
and barbaric, what was right and wrong.
-consequently, Muslims started wondering what went wrong.
-Ironically, with the colonization, Muslims were granted more access to Europe.
-Tahtawi-living in the 19th century. Egyptian. Went to Paris, for him Europeans had progressed so
much because of the power of reasoning. Muslims had stagnated because of lack of reasoning,
what he called Taqlid. It basically means imitation. Slavish imitation.
-Muslims were worshipping their past, they needed a reality check.
-Tahtawi comes back to Egypt with some ideas. Ex. Liberation of women. He believed that was
one reason for the progress of Europeans. Muslim women could barely read or write at the time,
compared to European women who were literate.
-Men also needed to use reasoning.
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