Salonic City Of Ghosts Summary

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1) In the book “Salonica: City of Ghosts”, Mark Mazower challenges the idea that Islam as “alien” to Europe. The author demonstrates that Islam was always in Europe. Islam is no alien. An alien is said to be a foreigner or something out of the norm. Mazower illustrates that Islam assumed its place in Europe via the Balkans ever since the sack of Constantinople and then the establishment of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was an Islamic state, and the Ottoman sultan was also a “Warrior of the Faith, Custodian of Sacred Relics, Protector of the Pilgrimage and Servitor of the Two Holy Cities” (Mazower, 150). The author examines the city of Salonica to demonstrate that Islam was present for centuries. Salonica was a city that served as a…show more content…
Centuries of European attitudes toward the Ottomans had left their mark and may often let us think of Islam an “alien” to Europe. The Ottoman Empire’s geographic displacement by the Sea of Marmara nullified them from European history. According to some Turkish scholars and writers, it suited everyone to neglect the truth of the previous existence of an Islamic city in this corner of Europe (Mazower, 10). Geography plays a crucial role in how we see Islam as an “alien.” For individuals that lived in proximity to the Ottoman Empire in Europe, Islam is nothing new because they are well about the presence of the religion and have some knowledge about it. Islam’s initial contact with Europe can be traced to the year 711 CE when the Muslims conquered the Iberian Peninsula. Later, with the Reconquista lead by Queen Isabela I and King Ferdinand V, we see the expulsion of the Muslims and later Jews in 1492 from the Iberian Peninsula. They were perceived as a threat to the purity of Spain and above all Christianity. According to Mazower, at the apex of Ottoman power, no Christian state could contest it (Mazower,

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