This book addresses the myth of Barbary Piracy. True, there were Barbary Corsairs, but they could hardly compare to their fellow European Corsairs. They had much less might at sea; they were far fewer in numbers; they committed far fewer misdeeds, and their violence and cruelty were much less feared than those of their foes (except in propagandist literature). Likewise, Christians in the captivity of ‘Barbary Pirates’ fared much better than their Muslim counterparts in Christian galleys or bagnos.
However, both propagandist literature of the past centuries and modern Western narrative of history completely reshape reality and turn the lamer of the two sides into the scourge and the more ferocious one into the just punisher.
This book analyses and gives many instances of how this reshaping of reality is done. It gives particular focus to the historical facts that contradict the narrative of both propagandists and historians. It also, more importantly, explains why the myth of Barbary Pirates was created and why historical narrative/discourse maintains it to this day.
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About the Author
Dr Salah Eddine Al-Djazairi lectured and researched at the University of Constantine in Algeria for more than ten years. He also tutored at the Department of Geography of the University of Manchester, and worked as a research assistant at UMIST (Manchester) in the field of History of Science. He has published many academic works. Publications in scientific journals include papers on environmental degradation and desertification as well as papers on politics and change in North Africa, and problems of economic and social development. He has also contributed historical entries to various encyclopaedias such as the Columbia Gazetteer, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Francophone Studies, and the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, Science and Technology in Islam. The largest written contribution by the author has been on the subject of Muslim science and civilisation.