The modernization attempts of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and the 20th centuries were widely perceived as limited in the areas of military and the bureaucracy. However, transformation within the process of modernization in the structures of the Empire affected the general society as well. During this time, freemasonry came to be seen as a salvation formula for the survival of the state by local actors and the masonic ideas were adapted to compose a sense of unity in Ottoman society to resist against the deterioration derived from the weakening of the state authority.
This book is about the freemasons of the Ottoman Empire, especially in the areas of Tripoli, Beirut and Mount Lebanon around the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The book analyses the masonic lodges and their social networks to provide an insight from their influence on politics and social life in the Empire. The thesis of the book is that freemasonry developed in Tripoli and its surrounding area with the intent of strengthening the unity of the society by dissolving the denominational and religious divisions under masonic ideology.