Silences and Traces of the Past
This postscript argues that Mehmed IV's reign has been overshadowed by subsequent historical events and silenced by two centuries of historical interpretation. It also contends that one of the most long-lasting consequences of Mehmed IV's era may have been the creation of communities of descendants of 17th-century Christian and Jewish converts to Islam that either maintained religious beliefs and engaged in practices that combined elements of the original and adopted faiths, or created new religions following their ostensible conversion experience. The converters' and converteds' aims of conversion can be radically different; conversion is not a one-way street, as converts shape their religion in light of their own interpretation. Mehmed IV thought that he had converted the messianic claimant Shabbatai Tzevi into Aziz Mehmed Efendi, a proselytizing force for Islam. His actions and those of his followers, however, provide another example of the fleeting effects and ultimate unraveling of Mehmed IV's successes.
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