Everyone thinks they know Napoleon Bonaparte, or more precisely the character of Napoleon Bonaparte through the French revolution, his institutions and his conquests. But if today we have decided to propose this article to you it is because this unpublished thesis will shake up the field of research on the History of France. We are thus going to mishandle some certainties, bring some realities, contributing to a new light on the character of Napoleon Bonaparte, through an approach which had as a common thread the link of filiation with our French researcher Thierry Rayer.
This is based on verified and established facts.
The testimony of the researcher Thierry Rayer, a descendant of the Bonaparte family, through the relationship between Emperor Napoleon III and the Marquise d’Escayrac de Lauture, born Marie Rayer, seems to be troubling in relation to history as proposed today. In addition to this filiation link, our researcher has specialised in the history of religions, anthropology, art and science. He gives us his reading of history based on verified and established facts, of the Emperor Napoleon, who saw himself as a universal guide.
“Napoleon the Great“, was fascinated by Islam as well as by the Orient. His admiration for Islam was mainly centred on the Prophet of Islam Mohamed, the creator of societies. This is how Napoleon intended to establish Islam as a universal religion by fighting his enemies and by having the crosses of the churches knocked down and the priests interned.
Pope Pius VII excommunicated Napoleon. In return, he had the French cannon pointed at the pope’s room, who was eventually kidnapped, imprisoned and interned. By many means, Napoleon sought to put pressure on the pope to renounce power. The pope, placed under house arrest for six years, did not return to Rome until 24 May 1814, after his release by Coalition troops at the time of Napoleon’s defeat. Pope Pius VII intervened to ensure that Napoleon was properly treated on Saint Helena. He justified this wish by saying : “he can no longer be a danger to anyone“.
Napoleon was crowned King of Italy and Napoleon’s self-sacrifice, before the eyes of the Pope, reduced Pope Pius VII to blessing the coronation of the French head of state. The signing of the Concordat by the First consul Napoleon Bonaparte in 1801 no longer recognised catholicism as the State religion of France. In order to show his power, Napoleon did not go to Rome to be crowned, as Charlemagne and the Germanic Emperors had done in the past (until the 15th century), he brought the Pope to Paris. Napoleon welcomed him disrespectfully in the forest of Fontainebleau, on horseback and in hunting clothes. He further offended the Sovereign Pontiff by taking the crown from his hands and crowning himself before the eyes of the mamelukes. In this way, he asserted his primacy over the christian church.
In Egypt, the 49 sultans of the mamluk dynasty ruled over the most powerful islamic State of its time, which extended over Egypt, Syria and the Arabian Peninsula. In Madrid, at the time of the revolt of 2 May 1808, where French soldiers fought against the rebellious Madrilenians, France became another cause of Spanish hatred against Napoleon, as the Spanish refused to be occupied by muslim fighters. Egyptian horsemen regularly marched at the head of French parades and processions.
It is interesting to know that during the second empire, the authoritarian Bonapartists were given the name “mamelukes”.
The rapprochement between Napoleon and the Church was only the result of a political calculation on the part of the Emperor. Beyond the moral value of a religious coronation in the eyes of catholics, the symbolic value of a pontifical coronation reminding us of the coronation of the germanic emperors, Napoleon placed himself above the European kings as the successor of Charlemagne and the Emperors of the Ancient Rome. The Pope’s presence at the coronation giving a moral and legitimate additional dimension to the Empire.
This was no longer simply the fruit of a revolution, but of a divine coronation like none of Europe’s sovereigns could match. Napoleon placed himself at the same level as the ruler of the Holy German Roman Empire before surpassing him and becoming the only Emperor in Europe.
The Pope’s presence was therefore more of a message to the european countries than a catholic tribute from Napoleon. Napoleon, who was not very sensitive to the fate of the Vicar of Christ, did not hesitate to hold him prisoner in Fontainebleau. He wished to assert his power in the spiritual field.
In a letter dated 28 August 1798, he confided to the cheikh El-Messiri: “general Kleber informs me of your conduct and I am satisfied with it. (…) I hope that the moment will soon come when I will be able to bring together all the wise and educated men of the country and establish a uniform regime, based on the principles of the Alcoran, which are the only true ones and the only ones that can bring happiness to men”.
Similarly, these two quotations from his speech :
“Perverse men had led some of you astray, they perished ! God commanded me to be merciful to the people, I have been merciful and merciful to you all”.
Let the people know that “since the world is a world it was written that after destroying the enemies of islamism, making the crosses fall down, I would “come from the depths of the occident to fulfil the task imposed on me”; let the people see “that in the holy book the Alcoran, in more than twenty passages, what is happening has been foreseen and what will happen is also explained”.
Also, this proclamation addressed by Bonaparte to the inhabitants of Alexandria on his arrival in Egypt : “People of Egypt, you will be told that I have come to destroy your religion, do not believe it; answer that I have come to restore your rights, to punish usurpers, and that I respect God, his prophet and the Alcoran more than the Mamelukes“. He adds : “Qadhîs, cheykhs, Imâms, tell the people that we are also true Muslims. Weren’t we the ones who destroyed the Pope, who said that we should wage war on Muslims ? Was it not us who destroyed the Knights of Malta, because those fools believed that God wanted them to wage war on Muslims ? Are we not the ones who have always been the friends of the great lord (may God fulfil his purposes), and the enemy of his enemie ? On the contrary, aren’t the Mamelukes always revolted against the authority of the great lord, which they still ignore ? They do nothing but their whims”.
The researcher Thierry Rayer adds that Islam seems to have disappeared from his discourse during his reign, but it reappeared during his exile on the island of Saint Helena (1815-1821). There, Bonaparte had the time he needed to look back on his life and philosophize on a multitude of subjects. In a correspondence in the Diary of Saint Helena, he evoked the three monotheisms. First of all, he considered that the Jews had been wrong in wanting to keep the message of Moses to confine it to their “race of God’s chosen ones”.
He also admired Jesus, but deplored the fact that christianity had been taken over by “a group of politicians from Rome” to control the people, and that it had distorted the oneness of God: “They then gave God partners. They were now three in one”. At the end of his reasoning, the fallen Emperor came to Islam, which he described as such: “Then finally, at a certain point in history, a man named Mohamed appeared. And this man said the same thing as Moses, Jesus, and all the other prophets : there is only one God. This was the message of Islam. Islam is the true religion. The more people read and become intelligent, the more they will become familiar with logic and reasoning. They will abandon idols, or rituals that support polytheism, and they will recognise that there is only One God. And therefore, I hope that the moment will come soon when Islam will predominate in the world”.
Earlier, in the same Journal of Saint Helena, dictated to General Gouraud, one could even read “I prefer the religion of Mohamed. It is less ridiculous than ours “.
In addition to the clues presented, on 17 July 1799, during the Egyptian campaign, a few days before the battle of Aboukir, Napoleon Bonaparte made his declaration of faith in Islam : “I attest that there is no divinity apart from God and I attest that Mohamed is the Messenger of God”.
In Islam, the act of conversion consisting in pronouncing the attestation of faith, or Chahâda, meaning “testimony” or “attestation”, represents the main profession of faith in Islam. In fact, according to sunnism, it constitutes the first of the five pillars articulating the muslimbelief.
The Chahâda, the main profession of faith of Islam, is divided into two semi-distinct parts. The first : “I testify that there is no divinity apart from God” implicitly refers to the concept of tawhîd, a Muslim dogma – the first pillar of the Muslim faith – affirming the oneness of God: God is one, in opposition to polytheism and christian trinitarianism. The second : “I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God”, refers to the prophetic mission of Muhammad.
When an individual embraces the Muslim faith, the Chahâda must be recited. In the case of a newborn baby, Muslim custom demands that the father, shortly after birth, recites the profession of faith in his ear. This is how the child is considered to have adopted the Muslim faith and becoming a Muslim.
In adulthood, when an individual decides to embrace the Muslim faith, in the case of an atheist becoming a believer, just as much as in the case of a believer of another religion deciding to change his or her religion, this is referred to as a religious conversion. This convert must pronounce the Chahâda himself.
If the Emperor pronounced the Chahâda ostensibly, while knowing its meaning, in other words, without restraint, because the Holy Book of Muslims insists on a principle: “there would be no restraint to be exercised in matters of religion or faith “, the latter is considered to have adopted the Muslim faith and thus become a Muslim.
This authorises us, today, to support “imperiously” that the Emperor Napoleon died as a Muslim. This impressive proclamation “Then finally, at a certain point in history, a man named Mohamed appeared. And this man said the same thing as Moses, Jesus, and all the other prophets: there is only One God. This was the message of Islam. Islam is the true religion“, should not go unnoticed by the ears and without arousing the desire to understand it.
This is how we offer you today a rereading of Bonaparte’s History since we have, through Thierry Rayer, the texts and documents that are there as proof and are there as the last witnesses.
We all agree that a tangible reality reached by tangible evidence would not be in doubt : What will we say today about this version proposed by our researcher Rayer? I think with such a concretisation we can reverse the order and say “that the chateaubriand versions and those of the historians are unofficial versions, based on historical novels and that my version, is the official version of the second French Empire before the arrival of the second republic”.
So what’s the point of neglecting the history of a symbol like Napoleon Bonaparte, which both disturbs and fascinates as a historical and ambiguous figure.
For the moment, this presumably unofficial research will certainly be official soon !