Dalrymple’s first encounter with the Mohammedan world

It was, he writes,

as a callow youth half a century ago. I recognised at once that it was very different from the world I had known, but it never crossed my mind for an instant that it ought to be made similar to or identical with my world.

Nor did it occur to Dalrymple that at least some of the people that he met

thought that my world ought to be made similar to or identical with theirs simply because they believed themselves in possession of a universal religious truth.

As far as the young Dalrymple was concerned,

east was still east and west was still west, and never the twain would clash.

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