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Muslims and CitizensIslam, Politics, and the French Revolution$
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Ian Coller

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300243369

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300243369.001.0001

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The Constitutional Mosque

The Constitutional Mosque

(p.104) 5. The Constitutional Mosque
Muslims and Citizens

Ian Coller

Yale University Press

This chapter traces the appearance of Muslims in debates over religious plurality and the clerical oath. As the new constitution at last came into force, revolutionary France was assailed by problems from within and without. The euphoria of success turned into fears of invasion and counterrevolution, and universality was increasingly expressed by the influential group of deputies known as the Girondins as a need to defend France by attacking the enemies of the Revolution. In this context, Muslims did not disappear from revolutionary concerns but were instead invoked repeatedly by counterrevolutionary writers, at first as threatening or ridiculous examples of the consequences of religious liberty, and then—as the religious tide began to turn against them—as precedents for their claims to freedom of religious conscience. In response, revolutionaries affirmed the new pluralism, suggesting that Muslims did indeed possess these rights, insofar as they did not disturb the civic order in the manner of “refractory” priests.

Keywords:   religious plurality, clerical oath, counterrevolution, universality, religious liberty, religious conscience, refractory priests

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