- Tussen Noord-Afrika en de Republiek: Nederlandse bekeerlingen tot de islam in de zeventiende eeuw
- Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis
- Volume | Issue number
- 126 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
Early modern literary sources depict converts to Islam, commonly known as renegades, as godless, despicable, treacherous, and wicked. By converting to Islam they had not only renounced their Christian faith, but also forsaken their family and fatherland. This article argues that the relations between Dutch renegades and the Dutch Republic were much more complex than these stereotypes indicate. Even when renegades operated as privateers from North African ports, such as Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli, and Salé, they maintained friendly relations with Christian compatriots and even returned to their fatherland unhindered. Perhaps most surprisingly these converts used their knowledge of the situation on both sides of the religious, political, and ethnolinguistic frontiers to operate as diplomatic intermediaries in the service of the States General, at a time when Dutch official envoys had little or no experience in North African diplomacy.
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