• Balochistan, the British and the Great Game

    Heathcote, T. A.

    The Great Game for Central Asia led to British involvement in Balochistan, a sparsely-populated area in Pakistan, mostly desert and mountain, and containing the Bolan Pass, the southern counterpart of the more famous Khyber. It occupies a position of great strategic importance between Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and the Arabian Sea.

    Heathcote’s book is a history of the Khanate of Kalat and of British operations against the Baloch hill tribes who raided frontier settlements and the Bolan caravans. Its themes include rivalry between British officials in Sind and the Punjab, high profile disputes between British politicians over frontier policy and organisation, and the British occupation of Quetta, guardian city of the Bolan, in the run-up to the Second Afghan War. Among the many strong characters in this story is Sir Robert Sandeman, hitherto hailed as ‘the peaceful conqueror of Balochistan’, now revealed as a ruthless careerist, whose personal ambitions led to the fragmentation of the country under British domination. The closing chapter summarises subsequent events up to modern times, in which the Baloch have maintained a long-running struggle for greater autonomy within Pakistan.


    A. Heathcote studied history at SOAS, London, from where he joined the National Army Museum. He later transferred to the RMA Sandhurst, where he was for many years the Curator.


    ‘This book comprehensively details the greater Balochistan area, its place in the strategic Great Game, and the interesting role played by British officials there. It enhances our understanding of this still volatile and important region and is a “must read” for those wanting to know about Balochistan’s history in depth.’ — Christopher Snedden, Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, and author of Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris

    ‘Tony Heathcote, the author of several distinguished works on the British military in India, brings a wealth of expertise to this study of the “Great Game”. He tells a fascinating story that needs to be read by anyone who seeks to understand an area that remains, to this day, strategically vital.’ — Gary Sheffield, Professor of War Studies, University of Wolverhampton

    ‘Heathcote’s impressive archival research and encyclopaedic understanding of this complex region yields a fascinating narrative from a long-ignored chapter of Britain’s colonial enterprise in South Asia. For scholars, students and general readers alike, the story of Balochistan’s role in the game of Empire and its colourful central characters proves engaging, enlightening and — above all — entertaining.’ — Willem Marx, journalist and author of Balochistan at a Crossroads

  • Citizen Hariri

    Baumann, Hannes

    Rafiq Hariri was Lebanon’s Silvio Berlusconi: a ‘self-made’ billionaire who became prime minister and shaped postwar reconstruction. His assassination in February 2005 almost tipped the country into civil strife. Yet Hariri was neither a militia leader nor from a traditional political family. How did this outsider rise to wield such immense political and economic power?

    Citizen Hariri shows how the billionaire converted his wealth and close ties to the Saudi monarchy into political power. Hariri is used as a prism to examine how changes in global neoliberalism reshaped Lebanese politics. He initiated urban megaprojects and inflated the banking sector. And having grown rich as a contractor in the Gulf, he turned Lebanon into an outlet for Gulf capital. The concentration of wealth and the restructuring of the postwar Lebanese state were comparable to the effects of neoliberalism elsewhere. But at the same time, Hariri was a deeply Lebanese figure. He had to fend against militia leaders and a hostile Syrian regime. The billionaire outsider eventually came to behave like a traditional Lebanese political patron. Hannes Baumnann assesses not only the personal legacy of the man dubbed ‘Mr Lebanon’ but charts the wider social and economic transformations his rise represented.

    Hannes Baumann is a lecturer at the University of Liverpool. His current research looks at the politics of Gulf investment in non-oil Arab states. He previously taught or researched at King’s College London, Georgetown University, the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).


    ‘Baumann provides a brilliant study of the neoliberal reconstruction in post-war Lebanon by an oligarchy of warlords, bankers and contractors, who subordinated the state to private interests and enriched themselves on rent extraction, increasing unemployment, poverty and social inequalities.’ — Fawwaz Traboulsi, author of A History of Modern Lebanon

    ‘A masterly account of the introduction of neoliberalism in Lebanon. Combining sociological and economic analysis, Citizen Hariri provides a fresh look at clientelism, governance, class formation, and the state in Lebanon. It will be a key work for years to come.’ — Sune Haugbølle, Associate Professor at Roskilde University, and author of War and Memory in Lebanon

    ‘This insightful and clever book justifiably puts political economy at the center of the analysis, but also exposes the ways in which Hariri’s engagement in politics fueled an increasingly “sectarian” emphasis as he sought power in Lebanon’s power-sharing system. The careful exposition of large-scale state interference with property rights and currency markets is an important contribution.’ — Melani Cammett, Professor of Government, Harvard University, and author of Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon

    Citizen Hariri not only provides us with a critical biography of one of the modern Middle East’s most fascinating political figures, it also throws new light on state–business relations and the politics of economic reforms in the wider region.’ — Steffen Hertog, Associate Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science, and co-editor of Business Politics in the Middle East

    ‘An insightful, sharp and timely analysis of Hariri. This is an invaluable contribution that sheds light on contemporary politics in Lebanon, and a must-read for all those interested in the post-civil war era.’ — Mayssoun Sukarieh, Lecturer in Middle Eastern Studies, King’s College London and co-author of Youth Rising? The Politics of Youth in the Global Economy

    ‘Citizen Hariri is the first head-on, comprehensive inquiry into Lebanon’s turn to “neoliberalism”; much rejected and despaired, but rarely analysed as powerfully as here. No other book so compellingly brings to life Mister Lebanon, the country’s turbulent politics, and the predicament of being ruled and governed by “real existing neoliberalism”.’ — Reinoud Leenders, King’s College London, author of Spoils of Truce – Corruption and State-Building in Postwar Lebanon


  • Colonial Lahore

    Tahir Kamran

    A number of studies of colonial Lahore in recent years have explored such themes as the city’s modernity, its cosmopolitanism and the rise of communalism which culminated in the bloodletting of 1947. This first synoptic history moves away from the prism of the Great Divide of 1947 to examine the cultural and social connections which linked colonial Lahore with North India and beyond. In contrast to portrayals of Lahore as inward looking and a world unto itself, the authors argue that imperial globalisation intensified long established exchanges of goods, people and ideas.

    Ian Talbot and Tahir Kamran’s book is reflective of concerns arising from the global history of Empire and the new urban history of South Asia. These are addressed thematically rather than through a conventional chronological narrative, as the book uncovers previously neglected areas of Lahore’s history, including the links between Lahore’s and Bombay’s early film industries and the impact on the ‘tourist gaze’ of the consumption of both text and visual representation of India in newsreels and photographs.


    Ian Talbot is Professor of modern British history and formerly head of history at the University of Southampton. He has written numerous books on the Partition of India, and the modern history of Pakistan.

    Tahir Kamran teaches history at G. C. University, Lahore and was until recently Allama Iqbal Fellow at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Wolfson College. He has published widely on sectarian militancy and the politics of religious exclusion in Pakistan and is an editor of the Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies.


    ‘This is a must read book by two leading specialists on Punjab history, providing a wonderfully rich introduction into the character and cosmopolitanism of  Lahore under the raj. The volume is clearly written, well researched, and joy to read. It  should be of great interest to the specialist and generalist alike.’ — Gurharpal Singh, Professor in Inter-Religious Relations and Development, SOAS, University of London

    Colonial Lahore breathes new life into this city’s recent history, bringing the local into direct and often intimate conversation with the global, and vice versa.  It transforms our appreciation of Lahore’s unique past, in effect sealing the city’s credentials as one of South Asia’s most important, if often overlooked, zones of interaction in the era of imperial globalisation.’ — Sarah Ansari, Professor of History, Royal Holloway, University of London

    ‘A very rich account of colonial Lahore, essential for understanding the place of the city in South Asia’s past. It shows the great diversity and complexity of the city Lahore, and importantly, how it stood at the very heart of imperial connections and networks across the empire’. — Yasmin Khan, University Lecturer (Associate Professor) in British History, author of The Great Partition: the Making of India and Pakistan

    ‘Talbot and Kamran have made one of the first scholarly attempts to explore the social, cultural, and, to some extent, the economic, life of Lahore — one of the world’s great cities, known to some as the ‘Paris of the East’. Focussing on the colonial period, they make good use of evidence ranging from tourist guidebooks to newspaper advertisements. They also succeed in placing the city at the centre of a web of connections reaching out to the great cities of India – Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay and Karachi, but also to Afghanistan, Arabia, Europe and North America. The love which Talbot and Kamran have for Lahore is evident throughout.’ — Francis Robinson, Professor of the History of South Asia, Royal Holloway, University of London

    Hardback, February 2017 / 9781849046534 / 256pp

  • Darfur and the British

    R. S. O’Fahey

    This volume presents annotated selections from the British records that were copied in situ by the author in al-Fashir and Kutum in 1970 and 1974 and of which the originals were subsequently destroyed by accident. The British were in Darfur for only forty years (1916–56) and, administratively, their impact was minimal. In retrospect, their most important role was in recording and codifying the customary law and administrative practice under the sultans. Their significance has become the greater recently following reports that the Sudan National Records Office is no long accessible to researchers. Darfur was unique in a Sudanese colonial context in that in 1916 the British conquered a functioning multi-ethnic African Muslim state. Their policy in the forty years of their rule was largely to maintain the system they had inherited from the sultans. Although they made some administrative modifications, it was only in the last few years before independence in 1956 that tentative steps were taken towards change, for example the introduction of local government in the towns. The material described here, a combination of administrative practice and ethnographic reporting, is far from simply academic in importance, but is invaluable on such issues as land tenure, agricultural practice, grazing rights and livestock migration routes, tribal administration and compensation for injury and death.


    R.S. O’Fahey is Professor of History at the Department of Middle Eastern and African History, University of Bergen, Norway.


    ‘Sean O’Fahey, the premier historian of Darfur, has produced an invaluable compendium of key documents from the brief but significant period of British administration in the province, with insightful commentary. It is a fascinating window into a world that has passed into history, but whose details are still highly relevant to administration and conflict resolution in Darfur today. It is also a record of how the British consolidated Darfur’s older sultanic system of governance, in a way that retains a powerful grip on Darfurians’ political imagination.’ — Alex de Waal, Research Professor and Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation, Tufts University

    ‘This magnificent and carefully evaluated collection of closely commented documents could easily be titled “Understanding Sudan’s Sahelian crisis”, so helpful is it in explaining why the Nilotic giant is choking on his undigested western colony.’ — Gerard Prunier, author of Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide

    Hardback / January 2017 / 9781850659488 / 352pp

  • Freemasonry in the Ottoman Empire

    Dorothe Sommer

    The network of freemasons and Masonic lodges in the Middle East is an opaque and mysterious one, and is all too often seen-within the area-as a vanguard for Western purposes of regional domination. But here, Dorothe Sommer explains how freemasonry in Greater Syria at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century actually developed a life of its own, promoting local and regional identities. She stresses that during the rule of the Ottoman Empire, freemasonry was actually one of the first institutions in, what is now, Syria and Lebanon which overcame religious and sectarian divisions. Indeed, the lodges attracted more participants-such as the members of the Trad and Yaziji Family, Khaireddeen Abdulwahab, Hassan Bayhum, Alexander Barroudi, and Jurji Yanni-than any other society or fraternity. Freemasonry in the Ottoman Empire analyzes the social and cultural structures of the Masonic network of lodges and their interconnections at a pivotal juncture in the history of the Ottoman Empire, making it invaluable for researchers of the history of the Middle East.


    Dorothe Sommer holds a PhD in History from The University of Leiden. She formerly worked at The Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism at The University of Sheffield.


    Dorothe Sommer makes two important contributions to the field. She not only provides us with a detailed overview of masonic activity in Ottoman Syria and Palestine, she also convincingly demonstrates that the Syrian lodges were not instruments of imperialist expansion serving a European agenda, but opportunity structures used by Ottoman Syrians to build solidarity networks that transcended ethnic and religious divisions in society. –Professor Erik-Jan Zürcher, Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University

    Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

    ISBN: 9781784536671
    Publication Date: 29 Aug 2016

  • From Cairo to Baghdad

    James Canton

    Until the 1880s, British travellers to Arabia were for the most part wealthy dilettantes who could fund their travels from private means. With the advent of an Imperial presence in the region, as the British seized power in Egypt, the very nature of travel to the Middle East changed. Suddenly, ordinary men and women found themselves visiting the region as British influence increased. Missionaries, soldiers and spies as well as tourists and explorers started to visit the area, creating an ever bigger supply of writers, and market for their books. In a similar fashion, as the Empire receded in the wake of World War II, so did the whole tradition of Middle East travel writing. In this elegantly crafted book, James Canton examines over one hundred primary sources, from forgotten gems to the classics of T E Lawrence, Thesiger and Philby. He analyses the relationship between Empire and author, showing how the one influenced the other, leading to a vast array of texts that might never have been produced had it not been for the ambitions of Imperial Britain. This work makes for essential reading for all of those interested in the literature of Empire, travel writing and the Middle East.


    James Canton teaches at the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex. He studied at Exeter and Essex universities, gaining a PhD in literature. He has taught widely in the UK and Egypt, and has himself travelled extensively across the Middle East.

    Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.

    ISBN: 9781780769875
    Publication Date: 29 Sep 2014
    Number of Pages: 320
    Illustrations: 2 maps, 5 integrated black white

  • Inside the Islamic Republic

    Monshipouri, Mahmood

    The post-Khomeini era has profoundly changed the socio-political landscape of Iran. Since 1989, the internal dynamics of change in Iran, rooted in a panoply of socioeconomic, cultural, institutional, demographic, and behavioral factors, have led to a noticeable transition in both societal and governmental structures of power, as well as the way in which many Iranians have come to deal with the changing conditions of their society. This is all exacerbated by the global trend of communication and information expansion, as Iran has increasingly become the site of the burgeoning demands for women’s rights, individual freedoms, and festering tensions and conflicts over cultural politics. These realities, among other things, have rendered Iran a country of unprecedented—and at time paradoxical—changes. This book explains how and why.


    Mahmood Monshipouri is Professor of International Relations at San Francisco State University. He has published and edited a number of books, most recently Democratic Uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa: Youth, Technology, and Modernization.


    ‘As the Islamic Revolution of Iran approaches its fortieth anniversary, a popular conception of this country persists: that of a static society under the control of hardline anti-Western clerics. This volume provides an alternative reading of Iran by focusing on the dynamics of social change. Focusing on a panoply of socioeconomic, cultural, institutional, demographic and international factors, this group of distinguished Iranian studies scholars, demonstrate the evolution and transformation of changing identities, norms and values that often challenge the authoritarian model of Iran’s revolutionary founders. The future of Iran is very much connected to these developments making this volume essential reading for any serious student of this topic.’ — Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, University of Denver

    ‘Hundreds of books and articles have been published about post-revolutionary Iran in the West, many of which offer only a crude caricature of the Islamic Republic. This erudite volume provides a important corrective to the superficial portrayal of Iran’s society, culture and politics. The contributors have deep knowledge and understanding of a huge breadth of issues concerning the country, informed by years of scholarly research. A must-read’. — Nader Entessar, co-author of Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Accord and Détente since the Geneva Agreement of 2013

    Inside the Islamic Republic is an excellent collection of articles about the profound changes that have taken place inside Iran during the past three decades. Written by some of the leading experts on modern Iran, the book addresses such important issues as the struggle for democracy, women’s rights, and the role cinema, music, and poetry plays in Iranian society. Anyone interested in understanding Iran as it is, and not as it is portrayed in the mass media, must read this seminal book.’ — Mohsen M. Milani, Executive Director, USF World Center for Strategic & Diplomatic Studies (CSDS), University of South Florida

  • Jerusalem in World War I

    Conde de Ballobar

    Edited by Eduardo Manzano Moreno, Roberto Mazza

    When World War I broke out in Europe in the autumn of 1914, a young diplomat was sent to Jerusalem to take charge of the Spanish consulate in the city. Antonio de la Cierva y Lewita, better known as Conde de Ballobar, recorded the events he witnessed and described his experiences and opinions in a unique document that has become an invaluable resource for historians. Ballobar’s diary provides an unparalleled insight into late Ottoman Jerusalem – and the upheavals of wartime life in the city – and includes a detailed account of the battle amongst the local churches over control of the city’s holy places. Also touching upon the spread of Zionism and the establishment of British rule, Ballobar writes as a privileged observer of an exceptionally complex historical period. Available in English for the first time, this book will be essential reading for students and scholars of the late-Ottoman Empire and World War I in the Middle East.

    Antonio de la Cierva y Lewita – Conde de Ballobar and Duque de Terranova

    Antonio de la Cierva y Lewita – Conde de Ballobar and Duque de Terranova – was born in Vienna in 1885 where his father was serving as Spanish military attache. In 1911 Ballobar entered the Spanish consular service and in May 1913 Ballobar was appointed consul in Jerusalem. In 1920 he married Rafaela Osorio de Moscoso and the year after Ballobar resigned his commission as consul and moved back to Spain where he served the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with different assignments. Between 1949 and 1952 he served again as consul in Jerusalem and until 1955 as director of the Obra Pia. Ballobar died in Madrid in 1971 aged 86. Eduardo Manzano Moreno is Research Professor at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) and Director of its Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales (CCHS). His research has concentrated on the history of Muslim Spain and the political implications of historical memory. While studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, he came across references which led him to identify, locate and publish in Spanish the Diaries of Conde de Ballobar. His recent publications include, ‘The Iberian Peninsula and North Africa’, in The New Cambridge History of Islam; Epocas Medievales and La gestion de la Memoria.Roberto Mazza is Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL. He is also Research Associate in the Department of History at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

    Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

    Publication Date: 29 Jun 2015
    Number of Pages: 320
    Height: 216
    Width: 138
    Illustrations: 8pp bw plates

  • Lost Islamic History

    Firas Alkhateeb


    Over the last 1,400 years, a succession of Muslim polities and empires expanded to control territories and peoples stretching from southern France to East Africa and South East Asia. Yet many of the contributions of Muslim thinkers, scientists and theologians, not to mention statesmen and soldiers, have been overlooked. The bestselling Lost Islamic History, now in a new updated edition, rescues from oblivion a forgotten past, charting its narrative from Muhammad to modern-day nation-states.

    Yet many of the contributions of Muslim thinkers, scientists, and theologians, not to mention rulers, statesmen and soldiers, have been occluded. This book rescues from oblivion and neglect some of these personalities and institutions while offering the reader a new narrative of this lost Islamic history. The Umayyads, Abbasids, and Ottomans feature in the story, as do Muslim Spain, the savannah kingdoms of West Africa and the Mughal Empire, along with the later European colonisation of Muslim lands and the development of modern nation-states in the Muslim world. Throughout, the impact of Islamic belief on scientific advancement, social structures, and cultural development is given due prominence, and the text is complemented by portraits of key personalities, inventions and little known historical nuggets. The history of Islam and of the world’s Muslims brings together diverse peoples, geographies, and states, all interwoven into one narrative that begins with Muhammad and continues to this day.

    Table of Contents

      7. UPHEAVAL
      8. AL-ANDALUS
      9. THE EDGE
      10. REBIRTH
      11. DECLINE

    Firaz Alkhateeb


    Firas Alkhateeb holds a Masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies with a specialisation in Islamic intellectual history from the University of Chicago. He previously taught Islamic history at Universal School in Bridgeview, Illinois and currently teaches and studies at Darul Qasim in Chicago. He founded and writes the website lostislamichistory.com. You can follow him on Twitter as well under @khateeb88

    September 2017 / 9781849046893 • 232pp


  • Loyal Enemies

    Jamie Gilham

    Loyal Enemies uncovers the history of the earliest British converts to Islam who lived their lives freely as Muslims on British soil, from the 1850s to the 1950s. Drawing on original archival research, it reveals that people from across the range of social classes defied convention by choosing Islam in this period. Through a series of case studies of influential converts and pioneering Muslim communities, Loyal Enemies considers how the culture of Empire and imperialism influenced and affected their conversions and subsequent lives, before examining how they adapted and sustained their faith. Jamie Gilham shows that, although the overall number of converts was small, conversion to Islam aroused hostile reactions locally and nationally. He therefore also probes the roots of antipathy towards Islam and Muslims, identifies their manifestations and explores what conversion entailed socially and culturally. He also considers whether there was any substance to persistent allegations that converts had ‘divided’ loyalties between the British Crown and a Muslim ruler, country or community. Loyal Enemies is a book about the past, but its core themes—about faith and belief, identity, Empire, loyalties and discrimination—are still salient today.


    Jamie Gilham is Honorary Research Associate in the Department of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Loyal Enemies: British Converts to Islam, 1850-1950.


    Loyal Enemies is a carefully researched and fascinatingly detailed investigation of the British individuals who converted to Islam during the century-long territorial apogee of the British Empire. … It is time to celebrate the pantheon of Anglo-Muslims to allow Muslims in contemporary Britain to feel part of an older indigenous tradition.’ — Barnaby Rogerson, Times Literary Supplement

    ‘In this meticulously researched and pioneering study, Jamie Gilham brings to life the struggles of the courageous (and often eccentric) British individuals who converted to Islam during the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. Theirs was a difficult choice and the lives of these converts raise broad questions about integration and religious and national loyalties. Some converts had international reputations, though others were much more obscure, but, taken together, all their lives shed an unexpected and fascinating light on the grander events which provided the context for their embrace of Islam, including the Indian Mutiny, the Eastern Question, the Great War, the abolition of the Caliphate, the growing popularity of Sufism in the West and, finally, the mass immigration of Muslims from the former British Empire after the Second World War.’ — Robert Irwin, Senior Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and author of Memoirs of a Dervish: Sufis, Mystics and the Sixties

    ‘This is an excellent text on the history of Muslim converts in the Victorian and Edwardian period up until the arrival of post-Second World War migrations, and appears at a time when young British Muslims are rediscovering or uncovering their shared history in the UK. Jamie Gilham’s research is exemplary, shedding light on the motivations for conversion and the processes of situating Islam in a new European environment. Loyal Enemies should be required reading for anyone interested in the creation of a Muslim presence in the UK.’ — Ron Geaves, Professor of Studies of Religions, Liverpool Hope University, and author of Abdullah Quilliam: The Life and Times of a Victorian Muslim

    ‘This is a well-researched and extraordinary account of British converts to Islam, ranging from my great-grandfather’s elder brother Henry Stanley, first Muslim peer of the realm, to ‘Harry’ St John Philby, uncritical fan of Ibn Saud and Wahabism. They all swam resolutely against the tide of public opinion of their day.’ — Lord Avebury, Liberal Democrat Peer

    ‘Gilham explores how from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century a small stream of Britons, in the face of public criticism, converted to Islam. They ranged from the aristocratic Lord Stanley of Alderley to the middle-class Abdullah Quilliam to the working-class wives of lascars in the port cities. It is a fascinating story which demonstrates how, before the large Muslim migrations of the 1950s, Islam already had firm roots in British society.’ — Francis Robinson, Professor of the History of South Asia, Royal Holloway, University of London

    ‘Based on rigorous research and analysis, this study excavates the “hidden” history of a unique group of British Muslim converts, who found themselves lampooned as infidels and traitors, and whose allegiances and identities were frequently questioned. It is indispensable reading for anyone seeking insights on the genealogy of Islam in Britain today.’ — Humayun Ansari, Professor of the History of Islam and Culture, Royal Holloway, University of London, and author of ‘The Infidel Within’: Muslims in Britain Since 1800

    ‘This is a well-written and masterly analysis of one of the most interesting aspects of the foundations of British Islam. Set in the cultural, social and political context of the height of empire, the author provides lively and well-researched accounts of prominent personalities and their path to Islam.’ — Jørgen S. Nielsen, Hon. Professor of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen

    ‘[T]his is a timely study of considerable significance for scholarship of Islam in Britain. … Gilham has pored over innumerable sources, ranging from learned journals and archival materials to more popular publications and full-length academic studies, … to produce this meticulously researched and invaluable volume. … [A] pioneering study that for the first time pieces together this story, portions of which are better known but much of which sees light for the first time as part of a cohesive, historical account.’ — Journal of British Studies

    ‘Not only is Gilham’s study fascinating and very readable, but he provides a great deal of documentation to primary and secondary sources, so that his book will be a starting-point for any future work in this field.’ — Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies Bulletin

    Loyal Enemies is a well researched book and brings out the fact that there is nothing new or alien about Islam in Britain.’ — Asian Affairs

    Hardback / May 2014 / 9781849042758 / 256pp

  • Mapping the Holy Land

    Bruno Schelhaas  Jutta Faehndrich Haim Goren

    Through a detailed study of the work of three of the leading figures of the era – Augustus Petermann, Physical Geographer Royal to Queen Victoria; cartographer Charles Meredith van de Velde, who produced the finest map of the region at the time; and Edward Robinson, founder of modern Palestinology – the authors explore the complex cultural, cartographic and technical processes that shaped and determined the resulting maps of the region. Making full use of newly discovered archival material, and richly illustrated in both colour and black and white, Mapping the Holy Land is essential reading for cartographers, historical geographers, historians of mapmaking, and for all those with an interest in the Holy Land and the history of Palestine.


    Haim Goren is Professor of Historical Geography, Tel Hai College, Israel. He has a longstanding interest in the Holy Land, European activity in Ottoman Palestine and the Near East, and the history of the modern scientific study of these regions. He is the author of Dead Sea Level: Science, Exploration and Imperial Interests in the Near East (2011) and (with E.Dolev and Y. Sheffy) Palestine and the First World War: New Perspectives (2014), both published by I.B.Tauris.Bruno Schelhaas is Head of the Archive for Geography, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography,Leibniz, Germany. His interests include the history of geography and cartography, historical geography and archival science.Jutta Faehndrich is a researcher with the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, where her research focus is on the history of cartography, European cultural history, and cultures of memory.


    ‘This book by three authors who are experts in their fields of archival science, the history of cartography, historical geography, and cultural history, sets an exemplary standard for detailed research into archives which have been hitherto unexploited for their content as far as the mapping of the Holy Land in the nineteenth century is concerned. Much is revealed, not only of the map compilation methods and commercial map publishing practices of those times, but we also learn of the more elusive human stories behind what were the ground-breaking cartographic products of their time for this area. There is a cornucopia of new material here, which will be relevant to a readership that goes beyond the geographical limits of the Holy Land. This presentation of substantial original research into the major nineteenth-century German map publishers and mapmakers, and their associates, provides an inestimable service to all students of map history whatever their geographical focus. This book must rank as a major contribution to the subject of the history of cartography in general, as well as an essential reference for the mapping of the Holy Land in the nineteenth century in particular.’ – Dr Yolande Hodson, Formerly Honorary Secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund

    Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
    Series: Historical Geography

    ISBN: 9781784534547
    Publication Date: 29 May 2017
    Number of Pages: 256
    Height: 256
    Width: 189
    Illustrations: 24 black and white maps, 10 colour maps

  • Recognizing Sufism

    Arthur F. Buehler

    Sufism is all too often associated just with ‘mysticism’ in the West. The author of this new textbook, a former pupil of Annemarie Schimmel, suggests that conflating Sufism and mysticism is only partially valid. He shows that the vast majority of Sufi practice, both historically and in the contemporary world, has little or nothing to do with a esoteric transcendence but is rather focused on contemplative activity. Such practice might involve art, music, devotional shrine visitation – even politics and psychology. Placing Sufism in a wider Islamic contemplative context enables Arthur F Buehler to examine Sufi history, as well as current application, against a backdrop that is richer and more inclusive than that portrayed in many competing introductory surveys. Discussing the origins of Sufism; the development of Sufi lineages (via three founder figures); Sufi lodges and the role of Sufism in colonial resistance; Sufi poetry; Sufi shrines, and Sufism in the West, the author rescues his topic from the idea that it means only union with the divine. In this original new treatment, Sufism emerges as complex and multi-layered.


    Arthur F Buehler is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington and Senior Editor of the Journal of the History of Sufism. He is the author of several books which include Sufi Heirs of the Prophet: The Indian Naqshbandiyya and the Rise of the Mediating Sufi Shaykh and Revealed Grace: The Juristic Sufism of Ahmad Sirhindi, 1564-1624.


    Imprint: I.B.Tauris
    Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

    ISBN: 9781848857902
    Publication Date: 29 Jul 2016
    Number of Pages: 256
    Height: 216
    Width: 134
    Illustrations: 30 integrated bw illustrations

  • Syria

    Gertrude Bell

    You may rely upon one thing – I’ll never engage in creating kings again; it’s too great a strain.”Gertrude Bell – traveller, scholar, archaeologist, spy – was one of the most powerful figures in the Middle East in the 20th century. With T.E. Lawrence, she was a significant force behind the Arab Revolt and was responsible for creating the boundaries of the modern state of Iraq, as well as installing the Hashemite dynasty, with Faisal I as king, in Iraq and Transjordan. Her knowledge of the Arab world was forged through decades of travel and the relationships she built across Arabia with tribal leaders and kings, who referred to her as Umm al Mu’mineen, or Mother of the Faithful. In the winter of 1906, she undertook an often dangerous journey through Greater Syria – Damascus, Jerusalem, Beirut, Antioch and Alexandretta – and her portrait of the landscapes, people and customs of a part of the world that very few had explored at the time is now a classic of travel writing. Bell’s Syria illuminates a region that continues to preoccupy us today as well as portraying the unique life of a remarkable, still-controversial and ultimately tragic woman.

  • The Circassian

    Fortna, Benjamin

    Eşref Kuşçubaşı remains controversial in Turkey over fifty years after his death. Elsewhere the man sometimes called the ‘Turkish Lawrence of Arabia’ is far less known but his life offers fascinating insights into the traumatic, increasingly violent struggles that ended the Ottoman Empire and ushered in the modern Middle East. Drawing on Eşref’s private papers for the first time, these pages tell the story of the making of a headstrong ‘self-sacrificing’ officer committed to defending the empire’s shrinking borders. Eşref took on a string of special assignments for Enver Pasha, the rapidly rising star of the Ottoman military, first in Libya against the Italians, then in the Balkan Wars and World War I, before being captured by the forces of the Arab Revolt and turned over to the British and imprisoned on Malta. Released in 1920, he joined the national resistance movement in Anatolia but fell out with Mustafa Kemal’s leadership and switched sides, earning him banishment from the Turkish Republic at its founding and exile until the 1950s. Never far from the action or controversy, Eşref’s dynamic story provides an important counterpoint to the standard narrative of the transition from empire to nation state.


    Benjamin C. Fortna is Professor and Director, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona. His research focus is the late Ottoman Empire and early Turkish Republic.


    ‘A highly original and important study. Fortna has found a treasure trove of original documents and handwritten memoirs of one of the leading militants of the Young Turk era. He has been able to combine this  archive with important primary sources from the Ottoman and Turkish military archives as well as from the National Archives in the UK. The result is a unique insider’s view of the traumatic and violent final decade of the Ottoman Empire.’ — Erik-Jan Zürcher, Professor of Turkish Studies, University of Leiden

    ‘Ben Fortna provides us with an honest history, of Eşref’s personal trajectory as much as his entanglements with the many world-historical events of his day. In doing so he helps pave the way toward a more nuanced understanding of the woefully understudied transition from the Ottoman Empire to the modern state of Turkey.’ — Christine Philliou, Associate Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Biography of an Empire: Governing Ottomans in an Age of Revolution

    ‘Benjamin Fortna balances deftly the grand sweep of imperial collapse with the immediacy of biography. He explores the motivations and methods of Eşref, a “hard man” of the Young Turk era and notorious activist in the sensational events of the 1908-23 period, offering a rare alternative to the normal “clash-of-nations” depiction of the era. The result is a remarkably absorbing, insightful book.’ — Frederick Anscombe, Head of the Department of History, Birkbeck, University of London; author of State, Faith and Nation in Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Lands

    ‘Benjamin Fortna’s book is a major contribution to the history of the under-researched Special Organization (Teşkilât-ı Mahsusa). A biography of a leading CUP self-sacrificing volunteer, Eşref Kuşçubaşı, who occupied significant positions in the organization, The Circassian not only reproduces extremely important and hitherto unused documents and private papers but also draws a much larger picture of Ottoman intelligence and undercover operations during the final years of the empire.’ — M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, Garrett Professor in Foreign Affairs, Princeton University

    ‘Eşref Bey has become a legendary figure, blurring the boundaries between historical reality and popular imagination. It is partly because of this legend and partly because Eşref fought directly opposite another legendary figure that he has been referred to as the Turkish Lawrence of Arabia”. This tag is problematic — Eşref was an Ottoman of Circassian background and, somewhat ironically in the circumstances, he considered T. E. Lawrence as having developed into a legendary figure who far surpassed his historical role—but it is one that has stuck.’ — from Professor Fortna’s Introduction


  • The Commander

    Laila Parsons

    Charming, intelligent, wily and strong-willed, al-Qawuqji’s military career spanned more than four decades and made even Che Guevara appear a little slack. He started as a young officer in the Ottoman army fighting the British in the First World War, where he won an Iron Cross. He went on to help lead a massive uprising against the French in Syria, and assist the Palestinian revolution of 1936 against the British (The Arab Revolt) before he was forced out of Palestine.

    Al-Qawuqji’s military career made even Che Guevara appear a little slack

    His departure was engineered by the Mufti’s people, according to al-Qawuqji himself. Parsons records a note scribbled by him: “There is no doubt that the Mufti wanted us to leave, pressured as he was by the British.” From Palestine, al-Qawuqji crossed the Jordan River with Palestinian rebel leaders to Transjordan. He stayed there until Emir Abdullah, later the first king of Jordan, returned and forced him out of the country.

    The British at this point apparently “wanted him out of Jordan so badly that they were almost willing to escort him to Iraq.” Al-Qawuqji managed to get Abdullah to agree that a unit of the Transjordanian army travel with him to the Iraqi border so British forces would not attack him.

    By the time al-Qawuqji reached Iraq, the British were probably wishing they had attacked him. Certainly, he wasted no time gathering support to launch an insurrection against British rule in Iraq. A 1941 British memorandum notes that al-Qawuqji was proving himself to be “a greater force than had been anticipated,” as he threatened the infrastructure of the Iraq Petroleum Company.

    Just days after the memo was written, al-Qawuqji’s convoy was bombed by the British air force. Al-Qawuqji was seriously wounded and was flown to a hospital in Aleppo and then to Berlin, where 19 bullets and fragments of metal from the car he was traveling in were removed from his body. The surgeon left one bullet in his head, fearful that removing it would cause brain damage.

    With a subject so inspiring and provocative, The Commander never fails to interest. This is a fascinating biography and Parsons chose well not only in selecting a subject who authored a memoir and wrote many letters and diaries, but one who wrote so well. Many of the passages of al-Qawuqji’s writing, for example those describing Berlin at the end of the war, are written with clarity and sensitivity. Parsons’ own writing style is similarly light and pacy, as persuasive as it is measured.

    A timely addition

    The Commander is a book as much for the lay reader as for the historian of Palestine. It can be read cover to cover as a well-told story of an adventurous life, with battles fought and visions formed and lost. But it is also an invaluable reference tool.

    The portrait of al-Qawuqji is a timely addition to a growing body of positive narratives of 20th century Arab heroism as well as a clear-eyed assessment as to how those narratives were deliberately distorted by Western commentators – from historians to photographers (the fifth chapter’s comparison of photos of Arab and Jewish soldiers in 1948 is stunning in this respect).

    A comparison between al-Qawuqji and the Mufti is inevitable, particularly given their connections to Nazi Germany. “One could argue that the Mufti’s active and enthusiastic support of Nazi ideology has done more to discredit the Palestinian cause than any other actions by a Palestinian nationalist,” Parsons writes. In contrast, she adds, al-Qawuqji, “by ridiculing the Mufti … attempt[ed] to distance himself from the stigma of those years in Berlin.”

    Not a comfortable read for those who believe in the leadership of Mufti Amin Al Husayni

    The book is not a comfortable read for those who believe in the Mufti’s leadership of the Palestinian cause during the most critical juncture in Palestinian history, and al-Qawuqji’s loathing of Haj Amin al-Husseini is clear in the notes left by him, describing him at one point as “a danger to everyone and universally disliked.”

    Most important, from a Palestinian perspective, are the sections on the 1936 revolution and the 1948 war. Both cast a critical light on the actions of the Mufti, as do the revelations regarding the freezing out of al-Qawuqji that occurred in Berlin.

    Prior to and during the 1948 war, al-Qawuqji is shown to have been given preferential treatment by other Arab leaders over the Mufti, most notably at the October 1947 Conference in Aley, Lebanon, which he, and not the Mufti, was invited to attend (the Mufti was compelled to show up uninvited, frustrated at the lack of Palestinian participation). Parsons is clear when it came to 1948: the Arabs generally were up against significant forces, referring to the work of Palestinian historian Aref al-Aref’s finding that “the Jewish Agency in Palestine was ready to field at least 20,000 well-trained and well-armed troops, with many more in reserve. In addition, the Zionists had well-developed lines of communications and were recruiting volunteers and receiving other forms of financial and logistical support from Europe and America.”

    A British diplomat gleefully records that “Qawuqji is completely at odds with the Mufti [which] therefore suggests the possibility of two independent and mutually antipathetic Arab guerrilla gangs in Palestine when the situation deteriorates.”

    Parsons is careful, however, to explain that the rivalry between the Mufti and al-Qawuqji is not the main explanation for the Arab failure to defeat the Zionists. The tendency to lay blame on that division stems from the Arab side being so traumatized by the outcome of the war.

    In the final chapter of the book, Parsons attempts to “convey the complexity and detail of what happened between them, while at the same time not downplaying the negative political and military effects of their relationship. By this is meant the negative effects for the Palestinians, who suffered most because of the Arab defeat.”

    In Qawuqji’s life story we find the origins of today’s turmoil in the Arab Middle East

    In this well-crafted, definitive biography, Laila Parsons tells Qawuqji’s dramatic story and sets it in the full context of his turbulent times. Following Israel’s decisive victory, Qawuqji was widely faulted as a poor commander with possibly dubious motives. Parsons shows us that the truth was more complex: Although he doubtless made some strategic mistakes, he never gave up fighting for Arab independence a

    Laila Parsons

    nd unity, even as those ideals were undermined by powers inside and outside the Arab world. In Qawuqji’s life story we find the origins of today’s turmoil in the Arab Middle East.


    Laila Parsons is an associate professor of history and Islamic studies at McGill University. She is the author of The Druze Between Palestine and Israel, 1947-49


    Well-researched, presenting and analyzing many sources on this essential period of Arab history which were not previously available in English, The Commander is a lively read that is not short of depth nor contemporary importance. – Selma Dabbagh, British-Palestinian writer (Out of It).


    July 2016 / hardback /  316pp /  9780863561655

  • The Ottomans in Syria

    Dick Douwes

    This work examines the Syrian interior under Ottoman rule during the period from 1785 to 1841 and shows how the empire established independent local power bases and how their rule over the peasantry was based on oppression. It covers subjects such as local administration and fiscal policies.


    Dick Douwes teaches at the University of Leiden and at the International Institute for the Study of Islam.

    Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

    ISBN: 9781784537340
    Publication Date: 30 Nov 2016

  • The Pakistan Paradox

    Jaffrelot, Christophe

    Pakistan was born as the creation of elite Urdu-speaking Muslims who sought to govern a state that would maintain their dominance. After rallying non-Urdu speaking leaders around him, Jinnah imposed a unitary definition of the new nation state that obliterated linguistic diversity. This centralisation — ‘justified’ by the Indian threat — fostered centrifugal forces that resulted in Bengali secessionism in 1971 and Baloch, as well as Mohajir, separatisms today.

    Concentration of power in the hands of the establishment remained the norm, and while authoritarianism peaked under military rule, democracy failed to usher in reform, and the rule of law remained fragile at best under Zulfikar Bhutto and later Nawaz Sharif. While Jinnah and Ayub Khan regarded religion as a cultural marker, since their time the Islamists have gradually prevailed. They benefited from the support of General Zia, while others, including sectarian groups, cashed in on their struggle against the establishment to woo the disenfranchised.

    Today, Pakistan faces existential challenges ranging from ethnic strife to Islamism, two sources of instability which hark back to elite domination. But the resilience of the country and its people, the resolve of the judiciary and hints of reform in the army may open a new and more stable chapter in its history.
    Pakistan was born as the creation of elite Urdu-speaking Muslims who sought to govern a state that would maintain their dominance. After rallying non-Urdu speaking leaders around him, Jinnah imposed a unitary definition of the new nation state that obliterated linguistic diversity. This centralisation — ‘justified’ by the Indian threat — fostered centrifugal forces that resulted in Bengali secessionism in 1971 and Baloch, as well as Mohajir, separatisms today.

    Concentration of power in the hands of the establishment remained the norm, and while authoritarianism peaked under military rule, democracy failed to usher in reform, and the rule of law remained fragile at best under Zulfikar Bhutto and later Nawaz Sharif. While Jinnah and Ayub Khan regarded religion as a cultural marker, since their time the Islamists have gradually prevailed. They benefited from the support of General Zia, while others, including sectarian groups, cashed in on their struggle against the establishment to woo the disenfranchised.

    Today, Pakistan faces existential challenges ranging from ethnic strife to Islamism, two sources of instability which hark back to elite domination. But the resilience of the country and its people, the resolve of the judiciary and hints of reform in the army may open a new and more stable chapter in its history.

  • The Pearl of Khorasan

    Gammell, CPW

    The city of Herat in western Afghanistan long sat at the edge of empires and served as a hub for trade and a conduit for armies. Yet it has been much more than simply a staging post or play¬thing of political ambition. It has been an impe¬rial capital, a city of extraordinary wealth, and has played host to a cultural renaissance to rival that of Florence. The Pearl of Khorasan tells the his¬tory of this storied oasis city, from the invasions of Chingiz Khan in 1221 to the present day. An epilogue assesses the challenges Herat faces in the wake of Afghanistan’s recent turmoil.

    Throughout Herat’s cycles of conquest and habitation, several patterns emerge: the primacy of geography; the city’s strong identification with the fertility of the banks of the Hari River; and its reputation as a place of theological excel¬lence, tolerance and cultural refinement. From the luminescent genius of the Timurid century to the destruction and cultural vandalism associ¬ated with the Taliban’s rule of Afghanistan and the post-9/11 conflict, Herat has hosted empires and experienced the cupidity and lust for power of foreign agents. Using Persian, Pashto and Brit¬ish sources, the author paints a vivid picture of a city in which he has lived, presenting a personal vision of its tumultuous history.