Violent Resistance: Interactions with Modernity and European Interference

Part of the Middle East Today book series (MIET)


Increased European interference and intervention in the Ottoman Empire led to growing sentiments of alienation and dissatisfaction among the populations in the Syrian provinces. This was particularly due to the enforcement of the principle of equality, the process of racialization, sectarian alliance formation, and the application of modernization reforms. Discussed in this chapter is how this discontent led to violent forms of resistance; particularly among the Muslim communities in the nineteenth century, and later with regard to the French mandate. While violence as a form of resistance was used in various contexts to counter European encroachments and the transforming political and economic realities between religious communities, it failed to procure the desired ends of those engaged in violence. Covered in this chapter are the dynamics and the results of the Aleppo Uprising of 1850, the Damascus Massacre of 1860, Faisal’s Revolt, and the Druze Revolt of 1925. The failures of violent engagement to dislodge European interference led to further European, and in particular, French interventions, resulting in increased dissatisfaction. Further interventions in the Syrian provinces were justified because of the violent resistance, which was considered to be the evidence of a Muslim inability to engage in civilization.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lecturer in Middle Eastern Studies, School of Languages, Cultures, and SocietiesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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