Networks of support
English activism and slavery redefined
in The harem, slavery and British imperial culture
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This chapter examines the creation of the ideological system, a social event in itself, as well as how these ideas functioned politically and were expressed through grassroots activism within the wider British imperial culture. Central to ideological framework was a belief that slavery was essentially immoral and that English people were responsible for its eradication. British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS) members drew on beliefs current in English society and culture, expanding on them in significant ways. The eventual abolition of slavery in Britain and its colonies in 1833 was both a great victory for the cause and a high point for the BFASS in terms of recognition and popular support. Through efforts to penetrate the boundaries of the harem, antislavery activists redefined themselves and their conception of justice in contrast to Islamic practices. For anti-slavery advocates, the secretiveness of the harem violated the ideal of the transparent civil society.

The harem, slavery and British imperial culture

Anglo-Muslim relations in the late nineteenth century


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