Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī


Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī
born 1838, Asadābād, Persia
died March 9, 1897, Istanbul

Muslim politician and journalist.

He is thought to have adopted the name Afghānī to conceal the fact that he was of Persian Shīʽite origin. He lived in Afghanistan from 1866, and a year later he became counselor to the khan. Displaced after a change of rulers, he went to Istanbul and then to Cairo in 1871. After becoming known as a rabble-rouser and heretic, he was deported from Egypt in 1879. By 1883 he was in Paris, where he championed Islamic civilization in the face of European domination. In Russia (1887–89) he seems to have worked as an anti-British agitator. His next stop was Iran, from which he was deported as a heretic in 1892; four years later he avenged himself by instigating the shah's murder. He died in Istanbul after failing to interest the sultan in his pan-Islamic ideas.

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Universalium. 2010.

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