Fear of Day “When Islam Breaks Loose”

Outnumbered by Millions in Many Countries, Whites Tremble for the Future – 250 Million Moslems Might Rise as One Man – Inspiring Leadership Only Thing Needed to Create Horror Unparalleled in History – “Holy War” Against Allies First Failed to Materialize and Then the Reverse – Sultan Now Virtually Prisoner – All Islam Resents Wresting of “Holy Places” From Control Of Its Dignitaries – If Mohammedans Can Unite Upon Caliphate, Then World-Shaking Catastrophe Well May be Expected – Call for General Assembly Heralds Attempt at its Accomplishment. London, January 5. [1921] – Some Americans have in their hearts a constant fear – “When the negro breaks lose!” Consider the danger that would arise from the situation if the negroes outnumbered the whites by millions and were united through the ties of an ancient culture and religion of their own – and you would have an idea of the fear that lies in the hearts of the whites in the Moslem countries – “When Islam breaks loose!” When Islam first broke loose in the seventh century under, Mohammed and his immediate successors, it conquered an empire that stretched from India through Spain. Today, split into a series of political sections dominated by Christian powers, its spiritual empire runs from China to Morocco. But internal dissensions have so weakened it that the rest of the world looks on and says “Islam is dying.” Islam with 250,000,000 adherents; however, is far from dead. And, if animated by the breath of inspiring leadership, the spirit that once sought to conquer the world for Allah would flame out anew. But where is the leader? Since 1517 the official head of Islam has been the Sultan of Turkey and under the sultans the power of Islam has withered. The Sultan is the Caliph, that is, the successor of Mohammed. But the Sultan’s prestige is almost irreparably impaired among the vast majority of Moslems. His leadership never was recognized in some sections. Mohammed, dying , left no plan for the succession, and the dissensions that arose as to who was the rightful Caliph have divided the Moslem world to this day. The Shiites, who prevail in India, Persia and Mesopotamia, insist upon the hereditary right of the descendants of Ali, adopted son of “the prophet,” to the Caliphate. But throughout Moslem history there have been a number of pretenders recognized as in some territories, as the Sultan of Morocco is recognized as Caliph in Morocco today. These dissensions have made the inherent strength of Islam inoperative. The Sultan of Turkey, up to the time of the war, had maintained a strong hold on the imagination of the Moslems, as the ruler of the last really independent Moslem country. But the Moslems at the same time recognized that the spiritual power of the Caliphate for centuries had been subject to the manipulation of western diplomats. Consequently, when German intrigue at Constantinople won its tremendous diplomatic victory in getting the Caliph to call for a Holy War against the Allies, the Moslems scrutinized the decree with care. And there wasn’t any Holy War. When a similar decree was engineered against the Germans in 1918, after the Allies had occupied Constantinople, it was from its inception abortive. SULTAN A PRISONER The Sultan today is a virtual prisoner in his palace, while British, French, Italian and Greek troops occupy his capital. The holy places of Islam – Mecca, Jerusalem and Medina – have been torn from his control. The fact that the Caliph had the holy places taken from his as a result of the war has aroused deep resentment in Islam, particularly among the Mohammedans of India. Mecca and Medina have been restored to the Arabs who controlled them up to five centuries ago, when the Turkish conquest led to the removal of the Caliphate to Constantinople. The Arabs had all this time been seeking a revival of their national independence, and recently there has been a strong Arab movement aimed towards the restoration of the Caliphate to Mecca. Advantage of this proposal was taken during the war to attempt to divide Islam further through having King Husein of the Hedjaz, who has his capital at Mecca, proclaimed Caliph. The Arabs would probably have given solid support to this movement. But Husein replied: “The Caliphate is not for the Arabs; it is for all Islam to decide.” The distrust of western manipulation of the Caliphate was also back of the demand of Mustapha Kemal in his peace proposals, when he insisted the European Powers keep hands off. He repeated the sentiment of King Husein – “The Caliphate is a matter for all Islam to decide.” And, throughout the Moslem countries, the sentiment keeps growing – “The Caliphate is for all Islam to decide.” 1. King Hussein of the Hedjaz, protector of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina. There is a Strong Likelihood That All Islam May Unit in Selecting Him as Caliph, Which Perhaps Would End Centuries of Dissension. 2. A Hitherto Unpublished photograph of the Emir Feysal, Who Was Acclaimed as a New Saladin in Fighting With the Allies Against the Turks, Since the French Ousted Him From Syria He Has Been an Exile in Italy. 3. George Haddad Pasha Wearing the Uniform of the Arabs Who Fought with the Allies. He is Now in London Seeking an Enforcement of the Agreement to Leave the Hinterland of Syria as an Independent Kingdom. And if “all Islam” actually does decide, burying its centuries of dissension in one recognized leadership, the power of Islam will again loom up as a challenge to the western powers. A movement has recently been started to achieve this unity, with a proposal to call a general assembly of representatives of all the Moslems to elect a Caliph. This assembly would meet at Mecca this spring, at the time of the Pilgrimage. If this action is taken and if it succeeds in reuniting the whole of the Moslem world, it will bring the Christian races face to face with the peril that has been dormant through the “peaceful penetration” of the Moslem countries. The first thought that flashes in the minds of the Christians is the possibility of a Holy War, a war that would carry out on a big scale the uprisings, such as that of the Mad Mullah in Somaliland, aimed at the expulsion of all Christians from Moslem countries. But such a turn of events seems improbable. The Mohammedans have been too closely connected with western powers not to realize the interdependence of the two civilizations. In the more advanced Moslem countries, there has been no very strong indication that the Christian civilian populations would be attacked. The Christians; however, are taking no chances, and throughout Moslem territories there are places of refuge for Christian civilians and their wives and families, ready in case of rebellion. WOULD TRY TO EXPEL EUROPEANS The aim of the more advanced Moslem statesmen would be to make the war purely political aimed at the expulsion of the Christian governments and not of the Christian civilians. That at any rate, is the turn that events in Mesopotamia have taken – and Mesopotamia was generally regarded as one of the backward Arab countries. In the rebellion in Egypt, the Moslems took good care that only the military were attacked, and the result was that, while snipers accounted for men in British army uniforms, civilians would walk around the streets of Cairo with little risk – except the risk that non-combatants always run of being potted by a stray shot. An attempt to expel the European armies, would; however, cause a war that might in its ultimate spirit resurrect the feelings of the Crusades. Two of the most powerful agencies of war propaganda – race and religion – would be used once more to stir Christian nations. Men would be urged to “go to the rescue of their white brothers”; the old battle cry of “The Crescent and the Cross” would resound through the west. Even the United States would not be likely to escape the attempt to unite Christendom “to save Christianity.” American idealism would once more be appealed to to make the world safe for whatever it would be making the world safe for. Politicians would take advantage of religion as a unifying agent and see to it that a rage of righteousness swept the Christian world. Such are the potentialities that lie in the general assembly at Mecca. There all the post-war commotion of the Moslem countries would find expression. But the European powers have the whip hand, and, if the general assembly should result in further division in the Moslem ranks, European control would be disputed only sectionally, as it is today. The Moslems, today; however, have shown that the lessons of the world war have not gone unheeded. The Moslem troops who fought with the British, French and Germans have returned to their own countries with a knowledge of what modern warfare means. Their officers who were trained by experts return to their people as expert instructors. The sectional challenges to Christian supremacy, as in the war of Mesopotamia against the British and of the Syrians against the French, have resulted in conflicts that would take a large part in the thought of the world, did not the shadow of the world war cast any sectional conflict into insignificance. Sporadic outbreaks from India to Morocco are also keeping the Christian troops busy even today. In a general assembly, all of the bitterness inherent in sectional warfare might be taken up and directed under a new Caliph in the ancient spirit of Islam. There is a strong possibility; however, that the general assembly might fall totally in its purpose of achieving unity and Islam would become divided more widely and along more definite lines than before. KING OF HEDJAZ A CANDIDATE The Arabian candidate would undoubtedly be King Husein of the Hedjaz, who is a descendant of Ali, and therefore acceptable to the Shiites. If the Shiites and the Sunni agreed upon King Husein the dispute which has divided the main bodies of Islam would be ended. There are; however, strong elements to oppose Husein, elements which might even refuse to recognize him after his election. By far the most important of these are found in Turkey. Mustapha Kemal’s insistence that the Caliphate is “a matter for all Islam to decide” might indicate a conciliatory spirit, but it does not seem probable that the supporters of the Sultan would yield without a struggle. King Husein has long been an enemy of the Turks. When Arabia was part of the Turkish empire, Husein was a leader in the movement for Arabian independence. Mustapha Kemal has now recognized that independence, but the Turkish dynasty would probably have his support for the Caliphate. If the Sultan continues locked up in Constantinople; however, some politicians see the possibility of Mustapha Kemal setting up an independent Caliphate at Angora. The work of the general assembly then might result in the election of Husein as Caliph “of all the Moslems.” But the Sultan might insist upon continuing as “Caliph of all the Moslems” at Constantinople, with another Caliph “of all the Moslems” at Angora, and the Moors recognize the Sultan of Morocco at Fez as Caliph “of all the Moslems.” But Islam, loosely organized, is a sensitive instrument, and in times of danger it draws together. Further divisions at the general assembly would constitute in the eyes of most of the faithful a real danger. Present indications are that the King Husein stands in the most favorable situation to win the confidence of all parties. The Arabian movement for independence made his candidacy almost inevitable, and now, as independent protector of Mecca and Medina, his prestige has been increased. He also strengthened his position by his refusal to accept the Caliphate when he had the opportunity until the choice of all Islam was indicated. Husein is also frequently credited with being the man who saved the Allies from a Holy War when the Sultan issued his order for the Moslem uprising. I was talking about this situation to General Haddad Pasha, who, in London, represents the Emir Feysal, King Husein’s son. He told me that when the crisis arose, diplomatic representatives of Great Britain went to Husein and said: “If you, as a descendant of the Prophet, would join the Allies, you would save the situation.” “In subsequent negotiations,” Haddad Pasha added, “the restoration of an Arab Kingdom was promised; with territory running from the Indian Ocean to the Tauras mountains and the Mediterranean sea to the Persian frontier. Certain French claims to towns on the Syrian coast were subsequently mentioned, and Husein agreed to leave the settlement of those ports to the peace conference. The publication of the Sykes-Picot treaty by the Soviet government later showed that Britain had agreed with France to leave the Syrian coast to France. PERIL OF SECRET TREATIES “Rumors of secret treaties reached King Husein and resentment had grown to such an extent that the Arabs were preparing to withdraw from the war, when the United States came in. Then, with President Wilson’s announcements backing up Lloyd George’s speeches about protecting the rights of small nations, confidence was restored. “The Arabs feel today that the confidence thus created has not been justified.” During the Peace Conference, President Wilson sent a commission to report on the sentiments of the Arabs; their report has not been published. The peace conference recognized King Husein as King of the Hedjaz. The rest of the Arab country was divided up, Mesopotamia going to Great Britain by mandate, with the original intention of having the Emir Abdullah, Husein’s son, as ruler, and the hinterland of Syria, including Damascus, being made independent under the Emir Feysal, another of Husein’s sons, France taking the Syrian coast. “Feysal had been acclaimed in the Allied press during the war as another Saladin; in the eyes of Syrians, he was regarded with adoration. Today he is an exile in Italy. The French army, under General Gouraud, occupies Damascus, fighting the natives.” With occupation of Mesopotamia by the British, the country arose almost unanimously in rebellion. This rebellion was cited by Liberal and Labor members of the House of Commons as a betrayal on the part of the present British government of rights that the British people had fought to safeguard. The government was criticized for attempting to set up an Arab government, when “every real Arab was a rebel.” To this Winston Churchill, the secretary for war, replied: “The policy of the government is to set up an Arab state, an Arab government, not formed out of rebels, but formed out of those strong and responsible elements in the Arab community, who, we believe, can control and guide their fellow countrymen.” In this connection, Haddad Pasha said: “A mandate is a peculiar thing. The Peace Treaty says that it was instituted to ‘assist’ the people. It seems strange that, in way of being ‘assisted,’ they should be killed by the thousands. And thousands of those being killed in Mesopotamia by the British are people who fought for the British cause.” Another sore spot in Islam is the settlement of the Palestine question. On this point Haddad Pasha said: “As long as Jerusalem remains neutral, giving fair play to Islam, Islam will be satisfied. But if the Jews force control, there will be trouble.” It is one of the many latent troubles which might reunite the Moslem world when it meets at Mecca in general assembly and calls upon a new Caliph to guide its destinies. And the Christians in the Muslim world will have their eyes turned to Mecca when the general assembly is held and in their hearts will be the haunting fear – “When Islam breaks loose!”

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