The Dismissal of A.J. Wensinck from the Royal Academy of the Arabic Language in Cairo

One of the most critical episodes in the history of Dutch orientalism concerns the dismissal of the Leiden Professor of Semitic Languages Arent JanWensinck (1882-1930) from the Royal Academy of the Arabic Language in Cairo in 1930. Wensinck’s nomination as a member at the Academy coincided with the appearance of the Arabic translation of the first edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam( EI). His articles ‘Ibrāhīm’ and ‘Kaba’ in the EI were not in agreement with Islamic traditions on this subject and were considered as disrespectful in many Muslim religious circles. After an anti-orientalist press campaign, launched mostly by religious activists, Wensinck’s appointment in the Academy was revoked.

Source:  The Dismissal of A.J. Wensinck from the Royal Academy of the Arabic Language in Cairo

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