If appropriating the past is a sign of not having much to show for the present, then the Indian Right-wing is not alone.
Everyone has heard of how the first plastic surgery was carried out in India or how Jesus Christ had been a disciple of Buddha before becoming the Christ the world knows him as now. The latest attempt to appropriate historical characters, though, comes from Turkey, where according to a report in The Turkish Sun, “a self claimed Turkish Historian” declared on national channel, Beyaz TV, that Shakespeare was an “elderly Islamic scholar”.
Those who can understand Turkish, can watch the video here:
“Shakespeare was not English and his original name is ‘Sheikh Pir’. Even more, he was a secret Muslim,” Kadir Mısırlıoğlu says. He further explains that ‘Sheikh’ meant Islamic Scholar and ‘Pir’ was a word for elderly.
This is not the first time someone has tried to claim Shakespeare as their own, though. Mummer Gaddafi, the ex-ruler of Libya, in 2012, claimed that the playwright’s real name was Sheikh Zubair.