Outside association with Muslims power in Spain, Franco-Muslim relations flourished during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent who established ties with Francois I. By the end of the 17th century, the once dominant Turkish power looked to France for its technological and cultural superiority: a role reversal of the previous centuries. During the 17th and 18th century, the French prized the Turkish/North African galley slaves for their physical vigor and prowess; for various reasons, the number of these "elite" slaves decreased during this time. As French dominion expanded into Muslim nations, many Muslims came to France in the 19th and 20th centuries.
|1095||Pope Urban II proclaims the First Crusade at the Councils of Placentia and Clermont. In 1099, Jerusalem falls to the crusading forces. With this, Islamic power sees a temporary recession as, in addition to the Crusades, Muslim Spain is falling to the Reconquista and the Muslim Sicily fell to the Normans.|
|1147|| St. Bernard of Clairvaux preaches what will become the Second Crusade in response to the success of Imaduddin Zangi, particularly the fall of Edessa. Conrad III of Germany and Louis VII of France, among many others answer the call.|
|1189|| The Third Crusade begins in response to Saladin's campaigns in the east including the fall of Jerusalem. Richard the Lionheart of England, Frederick Barbarossa of Germany, and Philip II of France lead this Crusade.|
|1198|| The Order of the Trinitarians, based in Cerfroy and St. Maturin's in Paris, opens with the mission to free Christian captives in North Africa.|
|1212||The supposed "Children's Crusade" occurs. Believing that the innocent must take up the crusade in order for it to be successful, numerous European children are said to embark on a journey for the Holy Land only to fall victim to slave traders and distributed to the various slave markets around the world.|
|1244|| The Seventh Crusade led by Louis IX will begin around this time following the fall of Jerusalem into Muslim hands. Louis will be captured by enemy forces during this crusade and ransomed.|
|1270||Louis IX leads the Eighth Crusade to the Levant. He will die of illness on the African coast.|
|1482|| Jem Sultan, pretender to Ottoman throne, comes to Nice with the Knights of St. John and 57 members of his entourage. Firenk Suleyman, a close associate, is arrested for espionage by the knights but through Jem's intervention succeeds in escaping never to be heard from again.|
|1483|| The Knights move Jem from Nice. Turkish tradition states that the prostitutes the knights brought the royal hostage provided two parting gifts, a chimpanzee that could play chess and a white parrot that could speak Turkish and Arabic. Jem will be moved numerous times throughout his European captivity. At Sassenage, Jem falls in love with Philipine Helene, daughter of a knight of St. John who had a chateau in the region, becoming the subject of many legends and songs. Unfortunateley for the lovers, Philipine Helene was promised to a French nobleman. Local tradition states that Philipine gave birth to a son from Jem in 1484. The boy would be raised Christian and married to a kin. |
|1484|| Local tradition states that while at Bois-Lamy, Jem had a romantic affair and son by Jeanne, daughter of Duke Jean IV le Veste, Lord of Boussac. Some sources seemed to confuse this affair with the one between Philipine and Jem. Around 1500, Pope Alexander VI attempted to confirm this rumor but his agent Zorzi Paxi was told by Louis XII that it never occurred.|
|1488|| Guy de Lanchefort with his knights leave for Italy with Jem Sultan and his entourage. |
|1533|| Sultan Suleiman sends an envoy to France's François I.|
|1542|| François I of France concludes an alliance with Suleiman the Magnificent. |
|1543|| A combined force of French and Ottoman fleets, under Khairuddin Barbarossa, sacks Nice.|
|1571|| Ottoman Sultan Selim II (known as "the Sot") sends an envoy to Charles IX|
|1575|| Francois Nalias, a French Huguenot on trial for heresy in Saragossa, confesses under torture that he helped negotiate two years ago between Moriscos of Aragon and Baron de Ros, son of M. de Ros, viceroy of Béarn, for a possible invasion of Spain over the Pyrennes. Spanish intelligence will reveal many other plots, real and pretended, involving France, the Ottomans, and the Barbary States attacking Spain with the aid of the Moriscos.|
|1581|| Ottoman Sultan Murad III dispatches an envoy to the court of Henry III.|
|1601|| Ottoman Sultan Mehmed III dispatches an envoy to Henry IV.|
|1648|| The French appoint a consul to reside in Salé, Morocco.|
|1669|| Louis XIV receives the Ottoman ambassador Suleiman Agha. Agha introduces France to coffee.|
|1700|| Louis XIV establishes one of Europe's earliest schools for training interpreters in Arabic and other Eastern tongues. |
|1706|| France receives the Persian ambassador Muhammad Riza Bey from Shah Husein.|
|1720|| Ottoman ambassador Mehmet Effendi arrives at the court of Louis XV. Effendi, a former Janissary and attendee of the 1718 negotiations at Passarwotiz with the Austro-Hungarian empire, is to observe the French society and any aspects which may be applied to a weakening Ottoman one. His trip will be written in an account known by the abbreviated title of The Relation.|
|1721|| Mehmet Effendi returns to Constantinople three members short: the Jewish attendant Moise and two others who stayed in France. The Ottoman embassy sparks a trend in Turkish fashion known as Turquerie, which is part of a larger Oriental trend, in France. After the envoy's return from Paris, the establishment of a Turkish printing press is encouraged. In 1729, Ibrahim Muteferrika, a Hungarian convert to Islam, produces the first Turkish printed book. |
|1727|| Sultan of Morocco Mouley Ismail dies. Morocco experienced a culturally prosperous period under his rule. Mouley Ismail established commercial and diplomatic relations with many European nations throughout his reign, particularly Louis XIV (the Sultan invited him to Islam); his ships raided the coasts of some of these nations as well. European presence noticeably existed in his court: numerous European servants, ambassadors, and even one of his wives was an English woman. |
|1741|| Mehmet Said Effendi, son of Mehmed Effendi, becomes Ottoman ambassador in Paris. He mastered the French language and appreciated many French customs. |
|1786|| Ottoman Sultan Selim III sends Ishak Bey to Versailles to ask Louis XVI for aid in modernizing the military in order to contain the advancements of Russia. Later in his reign, Selim will dispatch resident ambassadors to St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Berlin.|
|1801|| Jacque Abdullah Menou returns to France with his wife and child. This general under Napoleon during the Egyptian campaign converted to Islam during his stay there, although his motivation for conversion was always treated with suspicion.The Muslims of Egypt thought his embracement of Islam was a political ploy while the French suspected his conversion was due to his wish to marry Zubayda, a bath keeper's daughter. Menou succeeded Kléber as commander-in-chief of the French forces in Egypt after the latter's assassination in 1800. His poor choice of defenses against Turco-British attack saw the eventual French capitulation and evacuation of Egypt in 1801. His politics, like his religiousness, were constantly criticized. Menou had enemies among some of his superior officers and faced heavy criticism for his military tactics and prowess. His dream of a flourishing Franco-Islamic state saw him establish his own version of Islamic laws, require registered births and deaths, improve various quarters of Cairo, and found the first Arabic language newspaper. Most of his plans were put to rest by the British invasion.|
While in Egypt, the French establish a Mamluk regiment to serve with their forces. After the French defeat, many including members from Napoleon's Légion Grecque and Légion Copte chose self-imposed exile to France. The Mamluks themselves will be from diverse ethnic/religious backgrounds that were present in the Middle East (Albanian, Caucasian, Greek, Sudanese, Syrian, Crimean, Ethiopian, Coptic, Orthodox, etc.); later French, other Europeans, and Haitian will be allowed to join their ranks, but will be issued Oriental uniforms.
Even before Mamluks became established in Napoleon's army an "à la mamelouk" style becomes fashionable. Napoleon would bring two Mamluk servants sparking a trend for those in power to have Mamluk servants; included would be future Viceroy of Italy (Napoleon's stepson, Eugene Beauharnais), marshals Marmont, Lannes, Soult, Bessieres, and the future King of Spain (Joseph, Napoleon's brother).
|1802|| By official order, a second formation of Mameluk composed of the native exiles of Egypt become part of the Consular Guard. Two years later, they would be administered as part of the corps of Mounted Chasseurs of the Guard. This formation, which proved to be among the most exotic of Napoleon's regiments as they continued to wear uniforms derived from traditional garb, saw action in nearly all of Napoleon's major battles. The Mamluk were significant at the Battle of Austerlitz against the Russian Imperial Guard in 1805 and against the British at Benavente in 1808.|
|1807|| The decorated Mamluks return to Paris following successful campaigns in Austria (1804), Prussia (1806), and Poland (1807). |
|1808|| Napoleon designates his brother-in-law Joachim Murat as King of Naples. The last name Murat (Murad) suggests Arab or Muslim ancestry.|
|1813|| Captain Samuel Ulan, leader of Napoleon's Muslim Lithuanian Tatar regiment, comes to France to attempt to strengthen his unit with Muslim prisoners-of-war who were captured from the Russian Army and other regiments. Ulan is able to collect a number of them but not enough to reach his goals and by the next year, the remaining Tatars are returned to Lithuania. |
|1814|| The Mamluk regiment participates in Napoleon's final imperial defense in France. The Bourbons disband the Mamluk regiments due to suspicions of loyalty to the deposed Napoleon. By this time most of the guard ceased to be of Oriental origin.|
|1815|| During the Hundred Days return to power of Napoleon, the Mamluks were reorganized at Versaille. Following the Battle of Waterloo they will be disbanded at Libourne and Agen. Following the backlash after Napoleon's deposition, royalists massacre some Mamluks in the Egyptian refugee communities of Marseille. Some attempted to return home to Egypt only to suffer the wrath of the local government who saw them as traitors. |
|1826|| Muhammad Ali, Khedive of Egypt, sends Rifa'a At-Tahtawi (1801-1873) to Paris to serve as imam for a group of Egyptian students. The imam remains in Paris for five years acquiring fluency in French. He recounts his experience in his Takhlis al-ibriz fi talkhis Bariz. At-Tahtawi would be a key in influencing Muhammad Ali's founding of the School of Languages in 1835.|
|1830|| France resolves to conquer Algeria; the North African country will remain part of the French Empire for over 130 years.|
|1844|| Muhammad Ali sends a student military mission to France. One of the students, Ali Mubarak (1823-1893), will be promoted to high offices back home and do much to reorganize and improve Egyptian life. |
|1845|| A Moroccan embassy sails for Paris on the French steamer the Météore. The envoy includes the head ambassador Abd al-Qadir Ashash and the scholar Muhammad al-Saffar. The mission deals primarily with the implications of France's newly acquired Algeria. Among the gifts to the French Monarch are six Arabian horses, a lion, two ostriches, three gazelles, and Barbary sheep.|
Ibrahim Pasha, commander of Egyptian forces and son of Muhammad Ali, is given a banquet during his stay in Angoulême. Among his retinue include Suleiman Pasha (Colonel Seve), a French convert to Islam, who served as Ibrahim's chief of staff.
|1846|| The Moroccan embassy returns home from Paris. Muhammad al-Saffar writes an acclaimed account of this voyage.|
|1847|| Although being promised safe conduct to a Muslim country, Algerian revolutionary leader against French invasion Abdul Qadir is sent as a captive to France.|
|1852|| Napoleon III of France releases Abdul Qadir. |
|1855|| The first telegrams between the Ottoman Empire and London and Paris occurs. |
|1856|| An armistice ending the Crimean War is concluded in Paris. This will be the only time in the 19th century where an Ottoman representative will sit on the winning side at a peace conference after a war with Russia.|
|1866|| Yousouf, known as the Mura de l'armée, dies. When young he was captured by pirates and made a Mamluke at the court of the Bey of Tunis. After fleeing Tunis when caught with Princess Kabboura, he came to Algiera where he joined the French military hierarchy, in which he became an interpretor. He participated in the Battles of Smala and Isly during the French conquest of Algeria. Following these he fought in the Crimean War and was favorited by Napoleon III. Upon marrying a French aristocrat, he converted to Christianity.|
|1867|| Paris hosts the Universal Exposition. This world's fair displays many Muslim peoples –especially North Africans, Turks, and Bedouins– in displays of their indigenous environments. Included exhibitions are arts and crafts, food, music, and belly dancing (which was particularly popular). More world's fairs will be held here in 1878, 1889, and 1900. In this year's fair, Governor Ismail Pasha of Egypt and Ottoman Sultan Abdul Aziz attend as guests of Napoleon III and become popular attractions themselves.|
Sudanese troops are entertained in Paris after a return from service in Mexico. Five years earlier, the Egyptian government agreed to loan Emperor Napoleon III a battalion of Sudanese troops to assist in defending French holdings in Mexico. These returning and decorated soldiers will serve in many significant conflicts of Sudan's history including in Equatorial and Mahdist campaigns.
|1873|| First International Congress of Orientalists is held in Paris. Periodically, it will then convene in various capitals. |
|1878|| Shah Nasiruddin attends the world's fair in Paris.|
|1883|| Jamal al-Din al-Afghani settles in Paris. Here he continues to write numerous articles about Islam, its politically current state, and the need for unity among its followers. |
|1884|| Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and the exiled Muhammad Abduh, another Muslim revolutionary thinker and eventual Grand Mufti of Egypt, publish the journal Al-‘Urwa al-Wuthqa (The Firmest Bond) in France. Printed between March and October of this year, the eighteen issues discussed politics, religion, and social issues in the Muslim world. It vehemently condemned Western intervention into the East.|
|1888|| The Orient Express now allows a traveler to go from Paris to Istanbul in three days. |
|1889|| Shah Nasir ud-Din visits the Universal Exposition in Paris.|
Muhammad Sharif Salim, an Egyptian visitor to the world's fair in Paris criticizes the representation of his native country with a cafe, stables, and female dancers.
Mustafa Kamil (1874-1908) enrolls in the Cairo School of Law. He will eventually earn his law degree from the University of Toulouse. Kamil proved an effective journalist and patriot publishing the popular al-Liwa (The Standard) newspaper in Egypt in 1900 criticizing the current repression of his nation by the British and Ottomans.
Taha Husayn (d. 1973) is born in Egypt. He will figure prominently in Egyptian nationalism in the 20th century. He will receive an advanced degree in Sorbonne University.
|1900|| Shah Muzaffar ud-Din, son of Nasir ud-Din, visits Paris to attend the world's fair. Ahmad Zaki, director of the Translation Bureau of the Council of Ministers in Cairo, also visits the exposition. The Eiffel Tower impresses him immensely but the Egyptian display with its dancing girls and lack of intellectual representation disappoint him.|
|1902|| A member of the Ottoman royal family, Prince Sabaheddin, hosts a conference of Ottoman liberals in Paris. The congress promotes the ideas of bringing constitutional reform to the Ottoman government. Throughout this period, exile communities of Ottoman political thinkers remain active in Geneva and Paris.|
|1907|| A Second Young Turk congress is held in Paris.|
|1908|| The company of Goums, native Moroccan irregulars, is established by the French forces in North Africa to assist in quelling local and regional rioting. Four years later, Morocco will become a protectorate of France. Other utilized North African regiments that would participate in World Wars with the Goums included the Tirailleurs, Spahis, Zouaves, and Chasseurs d'Afrique. |
|1913|| The Arab Paris Congress, organized by the Party of Ottoman Administrative Decentralization (an Arab organization that came about during the Young Turk era) and an Arab students organization in Paris, convenes. Although this congress was viewed as a beginning point for Arab nationalism, its goals were to work with the Ottoman government, not separate from it. During the Young Turk era, certain Arab families lost status within the Ottoman government and sought refuge in Paris.|
|1914|| World War I breaks out. West African Muslims make up many of the 46,000 French colonial troops that fight on the Western Front or garrison areas throughout the empire. These Muslims serve in the Tirailleurs Sénégalais, a colonial unit established in 1857. France will use 175,000 (around 25,000 will die) North Africans to serve in the French Army and another 132,000 to work on French farms and factories. |
|1919|| Prince Faysal, who fought with Lawrence of Arabia against the Turks, goes to Paris in order to attempt to reach an agreement about the status of Syria. He also attends the Paris Peace Conference.|
|1921|| Abd el-Krim begins his revolt against colonial rule in the Rif region in North Africa. The fight for independence and massive operations employed to quell this resistance will attract much international attention. A German adventurer and deserter from the French Foreign Legion, Joseph Klems (a broadway musical Desert Song was said to have been inspired by him), will join the cause of Abd el-Krim as will many other outsiders. By the end of the revolt in 1926, international opinion of French colonial policy declines. |
|1926|| The Paris mosque opens under direction of Algerian, Senegalese, Tunisian, and Moroccan representatives. The Sultan of Morocco inaugurates it.|
|1944|| The last Ottoman Caliph, Abdul Majid II dies in Paris. He dies on August 23rd, the same day Allies make headway into Paris. He will be buried in Medina.|
Following the end of World War II, many Muslims will immigrate to France looking for work.
|1968|| About 1 million North Africans live and work in France.|