Abdullah Quilliam and the Rise of International Esoteric-Masonic Islamophilia

Patrick D. Bowen

in Victorian Muslim

Published in print June 2017 | ISBN: 9780190688349
Published online August 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190848477 | DOI:
Abdullah Quilliam and the Rise of International Esoteric-Masonic Islamophilia

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This chapter argues that Abdullah Quilliam’s Masonic and esoteric background shaped both his understanding of Islam and his leadership of the Liverpool Muslim community. From the time of his conversion through the last trace of his activities in England using the Quilliam name, the connection between Islam, Freemasonry, and esotericism played a significant role in Quilliam’s religious career. In addition to exploring the roles of Freemasonry and esotericism within Quilliam’s own life and activities, this chapter also looks at the larger context of the mixing of Islam, Freemasonry, and esotericism in the Euro-American world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This chapter argues, in fact, that Quilliam played a role in the development of a broader, Euro-American cultural current in which esotericists and esoteric-leaning Masons came to place a high value on Islam. In the twentieth century, this current not only influenced Islamophilia within numerous non-Islamic esoteric organizations, it also produced a variety of Islam-based movements with strong elements of both esotericism and Freemasonry.

Keywords: Abdullah Quilliam; Freemasonry; Masonic; Esotericism; Islamophilia; Liverpool; Euro-American world

Chapter.  5648 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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