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  • Clarion 10

    Butrus Al-Bustani

    Chapter from the book: Al-Bustani, B. 2019. The Clarion of Syria: A Patriot’s Call against the Civil War of 1860.


    The pamphlets, or wataniyyat, examine the different facets of the war the befell parts of Syria in 1860. The author expresses gratitude for European intervention but warns of its potential long-term harm. Key passages evince a subtle understanding of the rights of “man” on the one hand and susceptible deference to the rule of law and political authority on the other. The pamphlets also advocate the twin prerogatives of opposing separation between people of the same homeland based on religion or kinship while proposing the separation of religious and political authority; they espouse an Ottoman reformism that affirms loyalty to the imperial center but calls for the rulers to attend to the welfare of their subjects. Other passages grapple with the difficult but necessary task of refuting Orientalist stereotypes about Arabs while at the same time publicly exercising cultural self-criticism. Still others extol the value of Western civilization and the need to emulate it but warn against superficial appropriation and cultural alienation.

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    Al-Bustani, B. 2019. Clarion 10. In: Al-Bustani, B, The Clarion of Syria. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.67.p

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    Published on April 30, 2019