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Title: European imperial influences, economic rivalries, and religious tension and the 1860 CE riot in Damascus
Author: Abu-Mounes, Rana
ISNI:       0000 0004 5924 4106
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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On 9 July 1860 CE, an outbreak of violence occurred in Damascus that focused the attention of the whole world on that city. Damascus, the multi-religious and multi-ethnic city, witnessed unprecedented bloody riots between its locals. A crowd which consisted of Druzes, Bedouins, the lower class people of the city, and Kurdish auxiliaries attacked Bab Tuma, the inner-city Christian quarter in Damascus. In the course of a few days, thousands of Christians were killed. That riot was a big shock to the Ottoman authority, the foreign powers, and the Damascene society. Each of these groups tried to look for answers to discover what had happened, why it had happened, who had done it and how things had led up to that bloody ending. It is perhaps easy to explain the 1860 riot of Damascus as religious fanaticism since the aggressors were Muslims and the victims Christians. However, a critical study of how the rioters proceeded and of the selective nature of the choice of victims warrants a critical reconsideration of the underlying factors. This research applies the textual analysis methodology to critically re-examine the events of 1860, and follows the inquiry of the anthropology of collective violence. This study deconstructs the multiple layers of this particular conflict that had a radical impact on the multi-ethnic and multi-religious society of Damascus. It provides a step-by-step presentation and reproduction of the facts to assess the true role of all the players and shapers of events. It gives much attention to the role of both Ottoman and local authorities in Damascus throughout the development of the riot. It critically examines the internal and external politico-socio-economic factors involved. This research 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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Al-Maktoum Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Riots ; Damascus