Muslim-Christian Relations in Damascus amid the 1860 Riot


On 9 July 1860 CE, an outbreak of violence in the inner-city Christian quarter of Damascus created shock waves locally and internationally. This book provides a step-by-step presentation of events and issues to assess the true role of all the players and shapers of events. It critically examines the internal and external politico-socio-economic factors involved and argues that economic interests rather than religious fanaticism were the main causes for the riot of 1860. Furthermore, it argues that the riot was not a sudden eruption but rather a planned and organised affair.

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Rana Abu-Mounes, PhD 2016, University of Aberdeen, is a Research Fellow at The Centre For Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford. She conducts research into Christian and Muslim responses to environmental issues in Jordan.
...[...] “It’s not often that a doctoral thesis can be so eminently readable and draw readers into the investigation as well as any whodunnit! Who was responsible and what were their motives? And why be interested in this subject today? …..We should be grateful to Dr Rana for such a convincing analysis of events in the 1860s which are still part of the collective memory of many Christians in Lebanon and Syria today.” [...]

Rev Colin Chapman, The Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford
List of Figures


1 Early Nineteenth-Century Damascus
 1 Introduction
 2 Geography
 3 Religions, Ethnicities and Cultures
 4 Politics
 5 Military Forces
 6 The City Quarters
 7 Agriculture, Industry and Trade
 8 Administration
 9 Conclusion

2 The Impact of the Reform Schemes on Damascus
 1 Introduction
 2 The Pre-Tanzimat Period, 1832–1839
 3 The Tanzimat Period, 1839–1876
 4 Local Attitudes
 5 Conclusion

3 The Impact of the Foreign Powers’ Intervention on Damascus during the Reform Period
 1 Introduction
 2 The Level of Intervention
 3 The Impact on Local Society
 4 Conclusion

4 The 1860 Riot in Damascus
 1 Introduction
 2 Prelude to the Riot
 3 The Riot
 4 The Circulation of Rumours
 5 Local Perceptions of the Riot
 6 Conclusion

5 The Ottoman Governor-General of Damascus, Ahmad Pasha, and the 1860 Riot
 1 Introduction
 2 The Role of Ahmad Pasha and the Regular Troops
 3 Conclusion

6 The Notables of Damascus and the 1860 Riot
 1 Introduction
 2 The Role of the al-Aghawat and the Irregular Troops
 3 The Role of the Notables
 4 The Role of ʿAbd al-Qadir al-Jaza‌ʾiri
 5 Conclusion

7 The Aftermath of the 1860 Riot in Damascus
 1 Introduction
 2 Foreign Responses
 3 The Arrival of Fuʾad Pasha
 4 Conclusion

8 The British–Ottoman Relations after the 1860 Riot in Damascus
 1 Introduction
 2 The British–Ottoman Relations after the Riot
 3 The British Diplomats’ Perceptions of the Riot
 4 Conclusion

Appendix 1: The Hatti Şerif of Gülhane

Appendix 2: Sultan ʿAbdülmecid’s Hatti Hümayun Reaffirming the Privileges and Immunities of the Non-Muslim Communities

Appendix 3: The Treaty of Peace (Paris) Terminating the Crimean War, with Pertinent Annexed Conventions

Appendix 4: Convention on Measures for Pacifying Syria (and Lebanon): Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire

Appendix 5: Letters
Journalists, politicians, researchers, students, and anyone interested in the history of the Levant, conflicts in the Middle East and/or religious tension in general.
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