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‘The eternal enemy of Isla¯m’: Abdullah Cevdet and the Baha'i religion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2005

Abstract

This paper discusses Abdullah Cevdet, one of the founding members of the Young Turk ‘Committee of Union and Progress’, who in 1922 caused considerable public commotion by publishing an article favourable to the Baha'i religion in his journal İctihâd. He was prosecuted for attacking Islam and the prophet Mohammad by expressing his thoughts in favour of the Baha'i religion, recommending it as a world religion to replace Islam, which he deemed to be backward. It is argued here, in the context of Cevdet's Weltanschauung, that he did not use ‘Baha'ism’ merely as a tool to educate the Muslims in line with his Positivist ideas but that he identified himself with this new religious creed.

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© School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 2005

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Footnotes

This is a modified version of a paper presented at the The Middle East Studies Association of North America, 36th Annual Meeting 23–26 November, 2002, Washington, D.C. The Society for Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Studies panel/discussion. I would like to especially thank Dr Sholeh A. Quinn (Ohio University) and Professor Şükrü Hanioğlu (Princeton University) for their very useful comments.

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