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mustafa-kamil-pasaMUSTAFA KAMAIL PASAH(August 14, 1874, Cairo, Egypt – February 10, 1908, Cairo), Egyptian nationalist. The name of the za’im Mustafa Kamil is borne by several major city streets and squares in Egypt. A lawyer by education, he was a passionate orator who fought unrelentingly for Egyptian independence from the British rule that lasted from 1882 to 1952. Kamil and other nationalists were radicalized by the autocracy of British rule under Lord Cromer, and by events at Dinishwai village in 1906 where a military tribunal passed death, prison, and flogging sentences on peasants who attacked British officers hunting pigeons in their village. In the process a village woman was shot dead, and a British officer who went for help on foot suffered a sunstroke from which he later died.

Kamil’s obsession with independence was equaled by his dismay by his countrymen’s weakness and acquiescence to British rule. Therefore his actions took two directions-calling for social and educational reforms and working for the creation of a national university, while at the same time undertaking political agitation within and outside Egypt. He was the first to organize massive demonstrations mobilizing students. He founded the National Party and its newspaper Al-hwd’, which presented a radical nationalist and Islamic voice in opposition both to Ahmad Lutfi al-Sayyid’s Al jaridah and its liberal constitutional ideas and to Shaykh `Ali Yusuf s

Al-mu’ayyad and conservative Islamism. His publication of the English Standard and the French L’etendard to deliver the Liwd’s message to Egypt’s foreign community indicated the importance he attributed to foreigners in deciding Egypt’s destiny.

On the international stage, together with Khedive `Abbas II, Kamil formed a secret society whose purpose was to intrigue against the British. Financed by the society, he traveled to Paris in 1895 to present Egypt’s case to the European public, particularly in France, where he drew attention to French interests in supporting Egypt’s cause. There he introduced himself to Juliet Adam, editor of La nouvelle revue, who was to have great influence on him and his career. Through her Kamil met important public personalities, political figures, and members of the press. She arranged for him to give public lectures and helped him publish his ideas in French journals. His success in propagandizing Egypt’s cause did not bring about the hoped for results, and Kamil realized the naivete of his idealism when he saw Britain and France agree after Fashoda and sign the Entente Cordiale in 1904. Breaking off with `Abbas II, Kamil allied himself with Ottoman Sultan Abdiilhamid and began to work toward a closer relationship with Germany. This was the context of his turn toward PanIslamist principles, his support of an Islamic caliphate, and ultimately his support of the Sultan’s right to Taba against the British who were defending Egypt’s rights to it. There was much conjecture regarding Kamil’s stand on the Taba issue, but Kamil’s words “if I were not an Egyptian I would have wished to be an Egyptian” continue to symbolize Egyptian patriotism. His funeral, following a sudden unexplained death, was the first of the demonstrations of mass public grief for which Egypt would later become famous.

[See also Egypt.]


Kamil, Musiafa. Lettres egyptiennes francaises addressees d Mme Juliette Adam, 1895-1908-Rasa’il Misriyah Faransiyah. Cairo, 1909. Kamil, Mustafa. Awraq Mustafa Kamil: AI-Murasalat. Cairo, 1982. Raf’i, `Abd al-Rahman al-. Mustafa Kamil. Cairo, 1982.


Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/kamil-mustafa-pasha/

  • writerPosted On: July 18, 2014
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