The Mir of India in Ireland: Nationalism and Identity of an Early 'Muslim' Migrant
The article examines the case of Mir Aulad Ali, the nineteenth-century Professor of Arabic, Hindustani and Persian at Trinity College Dublin. Using a combination of archival material and secondary literature, it is argued that the contextualization of early migrants to Europe is necessary in order to avoid objectification by historians through the label of 'Muslim'. Examining the specific ways in which both Ireland and India viewed one another, it is argued that the nineteenth century brought about a shift in perception. Both countries increasingly sought to establish movements which questioned the colonial hold of the British Empire. The case study of Mir Aulad Ali highlights the complexity of multiple identities. While he defended Islam from slander, there is little evidence to suggest that he was strict in observance. The case of Mir Aulad also highlights how ideas of independence and nationalism permeated and found room in educated circles in both Ireland and India, while at the same time he paradoxically continued to train British Civil Servants for India.
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