Memoirs of Mr. Hempher

Memoirs of Mr. Hempher, The British Spy to the Middle East or Confessions of a British Spy is a document purporting to be the account by an 18th-century British agent, Hempher, of his instrumental role in founding the conservative Islamic … Continue reading

Memoirs of Mr. Hempher, The British Spy to the Middle East or Confessions of a British Spy is a document purporting to be the account by an 18th-century British agent, Hempher, of his instrumental role in founding the conservative Islamic reform movement of Wahhabism, as part of a conspiracy to corrupt Islam. It first appeared in 1888, in Turkish, in the five-volume Mir’at al-Haramayn of Ayyub Sabri Pasha (who is thought to be the actual author by at least one scholar).[1] It has been described as “apocryphal“,[2] a “forgery”, “utter nonsense”,[3] and “an Anglophobic variation on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”.[2] It has been widely translated and disseminated, is available on the internet,[3][4][5][6] and still enjoys some currency among some individuals in theMiddle East and beyond. In 2002, an Iraqi military officer recapitulated the book in a “top secret document”.[1][7]