The Holy War, Made in Germany

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The Holy War, Made in Germany  (1915) 
by Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje



The Holy War,
Made in Germany


By


Dr. C. Snouck Hurgronje


Professor of the Arabic Language in the University of
Leiden, Holland; Councillor to the Dutch
Ministry of the Colonies, etc., etc.


With a Foreword by

Richard J. H. Gottheil

Columbia University, N. Y.




G. P. Putnam's Sons

New York and London

The Knickerbocker Press

1915.



INTRODUCTION[edit]

The proclamation of a "Holy War" by the Sheikh-ul-Islam at Constantinople has excited interest above and beyond its connection with the present war. It has raised the whole question of the validity and effectiveness of this measure as a political instrument in the hands of a modern Mohammedan government. Students of Islam have asked themselves of what use this weapon, taken from the arsenal of a theocratic form of sovereignty, could be in a state which is in process of conforming to the present-day theory of secular and democratic control. The development of the Ottoman Empire since the granting of the Constitution in 1908 has been followed with an interested eye by those of us who have felt the immense possibilities inherent in the Turkish people and latent in Turkish soil. It is with distinct pleasure that we read the following study of a knotty problem; for it is worked out with the hand of a master. There are few so well equipped or so competent to effect such a study — especially in the relations of the question to the larger problems of the day — as is Dr. C. Snouck Hurgronje. One of the rare Europeans who have ever travelled in that part of Arabia considered by Mohammedans to be sacred and exclusive, his stay of eight months in the capital of their faith (1884-1885) enabled him not only to write the most complete and the most reliable history of that city {Mekka, Leiden, 1888), but also to talk with the faithful from all the corners of the Mohammedan world. As Councillor to the Government of Netherlands-India, he spent the years 1889-1906 in Batavia, where he came into closest touch with the development of Islam in the farthest East. He has laid down many of his conclusions in his comprehensive work on the Achehnese {De Atjehers, Leiden, 1903-1904; English translation, London, 1906). His scholarly lectures on the origins of Islam, given before various American university audiences in the spring of 1914, will long be remembered for the cool judgment and the careful poise they evinced. In the periodical publications of learned societies he has contributed numerous essays which easily place him in the very forefront of authorities on the subject which he has made his own.

The study which is here presented to the English-reading public appeared originally in the Dutch periodical De Gids, 1915, No. I, under the title "Heilige Oorlog Made in Germany." It has been ably translated by Professor Joseph E. Gillet of the University of Wisconsin, with the distinct attempt to preserve as much of the style of the author as the English language will permit. I am glad of the opportunity to express publicly my thanks to Professor Gillet for the readiness with which he accepted the task I laid upon him.

Richard Gottheil.

Columbia University in the

City of New York
March, 1915.


The Holy War
"Made in Germany"[edit]

More than ten years ago I had a conversation with a Turk of a highly intellectual type about religious fanaticism and its bearing on political situations. He concluded his considerations on this subject about as follows: "In former times the inhabitants of the civilized world used to destroy each other for being at variance about the mysteries of the other world. Now, however, glory be to Allah, humanity has overcome this barbarous custom and everybody is free to believe what he likes. But what good is this to us, as long as wars continue to be waged on account of economic and political interests, wars of which the fanaticism is not to be outdone by that of the bitterest religious strife, and of which the destructiveness is continuously being increased by our immense technical progress? Under such circumstances a quiet enjoyment of the hard-won freedom of thought is out of the question."

This utterance ever again obtrudes itself on my memory in connexion with the events that are taking place at present. Large groups of men, kept apart by varying political and economic interests, have for years and years consumed an important part of their intellectual and material resources in devising means by which, in the fulness of time, they might destroy each other; and now, at last, the long-expected spark has fallen on the accumulated fuel. Every one of the belligerents is horrified by the idea of responsibility for the crimes against mankind which they are perpetrating in common. The culture they shared with each other has been shelved and finds its only expression in a dull series of contentions where each one charges the other with the guilt of what they have all carefully planned together. The sceptical irony of my Turkish friend was not unjustified. Not that it teaches us anything new. Only in this respect might his utterance be somewhat surprising to those of us who are not familiar with the Mohammedan world, that it shows a Turk recognizing without restriction general religious peace and freedom of thought as an undisputed possession. Considered from this point of view the words quoted here are the more valuable, as they express with tolerable accuracy the opinion of all Turkish intellectuals on the problem of religion.

This tolerance seems irreconcilable with the prescriptions of the Mohammedan law concerning the attitude towards the adherents of other religions. For, according to this law, which as a whole claims divine authority, the whole world of man is to be subjected to the Mohammedan community and is also, as far as possible, to be incorporated by it in a spiritual sense. That this aim may be attained, the community of the faithful is to do jihâd, i.e., carry on a holy war against all that are still living outside the circle of its authority. The leadership in the jihâd, the determination of time, place, and means, is one of the chief duties of the head of the community, the Caliph, the successor of Mohammed as supreme governor, supreme judge, and supreme commander of all the Moslims. As the interests of Islâm in his opinion require it, he is to carry on this war with more or less energy or even temporarily to desist from it. Under no circumstances may he agree to a suspension of the offensive against a nation of unbelievers for more than ten years. Provided they subject themselves to the Mohammedan state authority and are satisfied with the position of subjects without civic rights, adherents of the Jewish and of the Christian religion, and of such religions as obtain equal recognition with those, are granted the exercise of their religion, though with certain restrictions. In the case of real heathens subjection must be accompanied by conversion.

The jihâd-program assumes that the Mohammedans, just as at their first appearance in the world, continuously form a compact unity under one man's leadership. But this situation has in reality endured so short a time, the realm of Islâm has so quickly disintegrated into an increasingly large number of principalities, the supreme power of the so-called Caliph, after flourishing for a short period, has become so much a mere word, that even the jihâd-prescriptions have had to be adapted to this state of crumbling authority. As in most other respects so also concerning the waging of the holy war, the law therefore transfers the authority and the duties of the one Caliph to the various territorial heads, to each one for the extent of his dominion. Now it is evident that this shifting of authority from one to many is a great simplifying influence for the internal government; but it is equally evident that by this disintegration the continuance of the world-conquest, as it was started in the first century of Islâm, is made impossible.

To be sure, there were a number of other causes which stemmed the first wild rush of the Moslim legions. They met frontiers where resistance could not be broken at once, and the enjoyment of what had been conquered weakened their energy. The great deeds of the first generations were idealized in the imagination of the later ones, .the stains removed from them, and the theory of their desirable continuance elaborated in details, the more casuistical as their realization was getting further outside the sphere of possibilities. Only where a Mohammedan territory is attacked by a nation of unbelievers, there the duty of defence is put upon the whole of the population. Offensive action is justified only when it is ordered and regulated by a recognized head of the state. Where unbelievers succeed in subjecting a Moslim population, the latter must not resign itself to this state of submission, but must grasp the first opportunity for either throwing off the yoke or for emigrating to an independent Moslim country; and this as much in order to ward off the danger with which their own religion is threatened, as in order to strengthen the ranks of the faithful for the struggle against the enemy, i.e., the non-subjected unbelievers. Even if the impossibility of effective resistance or emigration should endure for centuries, the relation of dependency upon a non-Mohammedan state-authority created thereby is to be accepted only as temporary and abnormal.

The whole set of laws which, according to Islâm, should regulate the relations between believers and unbelievers, is the most consequent elaboration imaginable of a mixture of religion and of politics in their mediæval form. That he who possesses material power should also dominate the mind is accepted as a matter of course; the possibility that adherents of different religions could live together as citizens of the same state and with equal rights is excluded. Such was the situation in the Middle Ages not only with the Mohammedans: before and even long after the Reformation our ancestors did not think very differently on the matter. The difference is chiefly this, that Islâm has fixed all these mediæval regulations in the form of eternal laws, so that later generations, even if their views have changed, find it hard to emancipate themselves from them. This emancipation became all the more difficult because both the multitude and the scribes clung the more tightly to this questionable legacy of their ancestors, the more circumstances seemed to flout the realization of this mighty program. It is a fact that in the countries of Islâm all through the centuries little care has been given to the education of the masses, and the idea of a future world-domination was too pleasing to their vanity to be lightly discarded. The jurists, in their narrowness, did not partake of the fulness of real life; they anxiously preserved the forms of the ancient ideals without noticing that their contents had vanished. To them the appreciation of religious freedom by intellectual Turks, such as the friend quoted above, was and still is a frivolous concession to the debased spirit of the times.

Nevertheless the minds went on their forward march, in the past century often with surprising rapidity. Through the very harshness of Mohammedan society and the inefficiency and corruption of the Mohammedan governments the whole territory of Islâm, in contrast to its conscious program of world-dominion, gradually came under European influence. This has gone so far already that more than ninety per cent, of all Mohammedans live in conquered territory or in protectorates under the political rule of European powers, whereas the independence of the remaining part, chiefly Turkey, is maintained in appearance only by a certain cleverness in balancing between the large powers which are vying for its tutelage.

This coming into contact of the territory of Islâm and the world outside which has ended with the total loss of the former's political independence, was originally brought about by the necessity of Europe to expand economically, that is, by the self-interest of the nations which were able to shake off the dust of the Middle Ages and which overtook the Mohammedans in a spiritual as well as in a material sense. Later on only did the narrow idea of exploitation give way to that of annexation and eventually to that of complete absorption of the conquered territories, in the sense that the population was to be educated into partaking, as far as they could and was deemed expedient, of the culture of the conquerors. This was not done at one stroke; the struggle between the egotism of the guardians and their sense of duty to their wards is still in full swing. But the European guardians, even those for whom the consequent application of the newer principles is often too hard a task, would even now be ashamed to profess any other principle of government but that of a pure harmony between the interests of two nations, of which one has been subordinated by history to the other. The Mohammedans under direct or indirect European government have already derived considerable benefit from this; and one may say that on the whole they are better off than their co-religionists in the quasi-independent states, where they suffer the disadvantages both of a corrupt administration and of the struggle for economic gain between the great powers of the West. Still, the oppression under which the population labours in such a country as Turkey has also excited aspirations to intellectual development. The Young-Turk movement of these late years loudly speaks for that.

In the more highly developed circles of all Mohammedan countries the conviction has become general that the mediæval mixture of religion and politics, which the system of Islâm wanted to uphold for ever, is not of our times. The Mohammedans have become inferiors in this world, politically and socially; so much so that the idea of a world-dominion founded on their religion could not keep anything of its attraction for all but the ignorant. The others are almost ashamed of the presumption expressed by the teaching of the jihâd, and try hard to prove that the law itself restricts its application to circumstances which do not occur any more.

The lesson of tolerance was least easily impressed on the nations which had stood in the front rank in the political heyday of Islâm, least of all on the Turks who had played the leading part in the last scene of glory. When in 1258 Bagdad was destroyed by the Mongols and the Abasside Caliphate, dating more than five centuries back, was wiped out, the Mohammedan world was not lifted from its hinges, as would have happened if the Caliphate still had had anything to do with the central government of the Mohammedans. In fact, this princely house had already been living three centuries and a half on the faint afterglow of its ephemeral splendour; and if during that time it was not crowded out by one of the many powerful sultans, its very practical insignificance was the main reason for that. So insignificant had these caliphs in name become that certain European writers sometimes have felt induced to represent them as a kind of religious princes of Islâm, who voluntarily or not had transferred their secular power to the many territorial princes in the wide dominion of Islâm. To them the total lack of secular authority, coupled with the often-manifested reverence of the Moslim for the Caliphate, appeared unintelligible except on the assumption of a spiritual authority, a sort of Mohammedan papacy. Still, such a thing there never was, and Islâm, which knows neither priests nor sacraments, could not have had occasion for it. Here, as elsewhere, the multitude preferred legend to fact: they imagined the successor of the Prophet as still watching over the whole of the Moslim community; as, according to historical tradition, he really did during the first two centuries following the Hijrah, and this long after the institution of the Caliphate had disappeared in the political degeneration of Islâm. However, they did not imagine him as a pope, but as a supreme ruler; above all as the amîr-al-mu'-minîn, commander of the legions of Islâm, which sometime would make the whole world bend to its power.

The Caliph, the lieutenant of Allah's Messenger, and the jihâd, the holy war against the whole world outside Isl^m: with those two names was indissolubly connected the remembrance of those two brilliant centuries in which the course of circumstances seemed to justify the Mohammedan ambition for world-dominion. Whatever disappeared in reality survived in legend; the worship of the shadow-Caliphs of Bagdad made it easier for many Mohammedans to forget the failure of their political ideal.

When Bagdad had fallen and a large part of the Abasside family had been exterminated, this political fetishism still had its after-effects; the sultans of Egypt availed themselves of it by making one of those who had escaped murder continue the tradition of the dummy-Caliphate in their capital and thus creating the impression that their territory had now become the centre of Islâm. But this shadow of a shadow was to fade away entirely when the sun of the Ottomans reached its zenith. Under their direction Islâm ventured its last attempt, not to subdue the world, to be sure, but at least to become a world-power of the first rank. They succeeded in taking Constantinople (1452), a task at which the greatest Moslim princes of yore had vainly tried their strength. When in 1517 they had conquered Egypt and subsequently also the province of the holy cities of Arabia, Mecca and Medina, they felt themselves strong enough to try resuscitating the tradition of the real Caliphate; or, at least, to assume the part of fetish themselves. They were not deterred from this even by the express prescription of the law, which requires that he who shall occupy the Caliphate shall be descended from the noble Arabian house of Qoraish. The sophistry of complaisant jurists helped them to remove this objection, and the multitude did not resist these tricks, seeing that the dreams which they connected with the Caliphate now seemed to turn into realities. The conqueror of Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Western Arabia, Mesopotamia, and the empire of Byzantium, whom a large part of Europe considered as a formidable foe, might confidently substitute his sword as a fetish for the powerless pedigree of the Abassides.

This re-born Caliphate consequently lacked important traditional characteristics; and in other respects also it could not be considered as the regular continuation of its predecessor. Several of the oldest Mohammedan countries remained entirely outside the Turkish sphere of influence; and those were not only such where, as in Persia, a dynasty opposed to the Turks raised the banner of heresy, but also perfectly orthodox countries in Central Asia, in India, in North-Western Africa, where the Turkish sword found no occasion to assert itself. In Morocco the Turkish Caliphate was even directly ignored, as the local princes, descendants of the Prophet, themselves assumed the highest title. Elsewhere, simultaneously with the rise of the Ottomans or after, there arose new Mohammedan dominions which have never come into contact with any real or supposed political centre of Islâm; such as those in the Far East of Asia and in Central Africa.

Indeed the usurpation of the Caliph title by the Ottoman Sultans had only this significance, that in their political period of splendour they wished to have it established beyond dispute that no other Moslim prince could compare with them in importance. This could in no wise be more aptly done than by adding to all their high-sounding Persian and Turkish titles the name of the most exalted office which had ever existed in Islâm. To their power this nominal title of Caliph has never added anything; they ruled only what their armies had conquered and outside those limits they did not exert the slightest influence.

The Turkish sword soon lost its edge; long before the policy of the great European powers gnawed off piece after piece from the realm of the Ottomans, several provinces had developed into separate feudal dominions under hereditary dynasties. Since Turkey, entirely dependent in its policy upon non-Mohammedan powers, can only claim about five per cent, of the Mohammedans of the world as its subjects, it would sound highly ridiculous to have the Sultan of that realm called "Lieutenant of God's Messenger, Supreme Commander of the Faithful," if also outside Turkey one were not used to much traditional nonsense in princely titles.

It is just in this last century that the Turks, through a concourse of circumstances, have sometimes succeeded in coining some small advantage out of this doubtfully legal, now meaningless title.

Means of communication increased a thousandfold have now brought into contact Mohammedan nations which formerly knew nothing, or hardly anything, about each other's existence. The approximately 230,000,000 of Mohammedans living under non-Moslim rule mostly do not possess sufficient historical remembrance to understand that the change in administration has been an improvement for them. They see the political past of Islâm only through the veil of legend, and when the present gives occasion for grievances and objections — and where are these lacking? — they are rather prone to believe that all their complaints would be cured, if only the Commander of the Faithful could take their interests in hand. Of the maladministration under which the real subjects of the Sultan of Turkey are labouring, they hear little and experience nothing. And the Sultan, who has been the worst in this respect, until in 1909 he was deposed and exiled by his subjects, has worked more zealously and more successfully than any of his predecessors for the dissemination amongst the Mohammedans of the false imaginations concerning the Caliphate. His wily but short-sighted policy, which brought his own empire ever nearer to its fall, made him seek solace for many a failure in Panislamic intrigues, staged by unscrupulous but mostly ignorant and blundering confederates, who showed the credulous the ideal picture of a Caliph, assuring them that it was a good likeness of Abdulhamîd.

There has often been talk of an organization of Panislâm under the direction of Abdulhamîd, but this is without foundation. In 1897, in connexion with some foul, secretly circulated, pamphlets, which the most intimate counsellors of the Sultan in vying for his favour had let loose against each other, I tried to describe the atmosphere around the despot[1] and when, in 1908, I witnessed the first two months of the revolution in Constantinople, I found a complete justification of my description.[2] That gang of shallow intriguers was little qualified to lead a serious international movement. They exploited the connexions established with certain Mohammedans of consequence in non-Turkish territory to increase their own advantage and prestige, without being of any real use in the resuscitation of the dead Caliphate. The establishment of a few Turkish consulates in Mohammedan countries under European rule also failed of its aim. They usually forgot to pay the consuls their salaries; the consuls did not even know the languages of the populations amongst whom they lived, and took no pains to learn them. Their mostly very "advanced" manner of living did not serve to heighten respect for the man who sent them.

It is a fact that Panislâm cannot work with any program except with the worn-out, flagrantly unpracticable, program of world-conquest by Islâm; and this has lost its hold on all sensible adherents of Islâm; whereas, among the stupid multitude, which may still be tempted by the idea of war against all kâfirs it can stir up only confusion and unrest. At most it may cause local disturbances; but it can never in any sense have a constructive influence.

Probably without intention, some European statesmen and writers have given a certain support to the Panislamic idea by their consideration, based on an absolute misunderstanding, of the Caliphate as a kind of Mohammedan papacy. Most of all did this conception find adherents in England at the time when that country was still considered to be the protector of the Turk against danger threatened by Russia. It was thought useful to make the British-Indian Moslim believe that the British Government was on terms of intimate friendship with the head of their church. Turkish statesmen made clever use of this error. Of course they could not admit before their European friends the real theory of the Caliphate with its mission of uniting all the faithful under its banner in order to make war on all kâfirs. They rejoiced all the more to see that these had formed about that institution a conception which, to be sure, was false, but for that very reason plausible to non-Mohammedans. They took good care not to correct it, for they were satisfied with being able, before their co-religionists, to point to the fact that even among the great non-Mohammedan powers the claim of the Ottomans to the Caliphate was recognized.

Although Panislâm was not organized, nevertheless in Mohammedan countries under European rule it often would oppose the normal development of a mutually desirable relation between the governing and the governed. Speculating on dissatisfaction in every form, it secretly worked as a disturbing element, without there being any hope that the division caused or intensified might lead to improvements.

All European powers must have hailed as a welcome consequence of the revolution of 1908 the fact that the Young Turks who forced the re-establishment of the constitution wanted to put an end to the mediæval mixture of religion and politics. The upholding of Islâm as a state-religion was on their part a concession to the old tradition, without prejudice to the complete equality of the adherents of all religions as citizens of the Turkish Empire. Re-born Turkey was to be a modern constitutional state in the full meaning of the word. For Caliphate and jihâd there was no room in such a state. Turks and Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, and Jews, and whoever else lived together under the Crescent, were to co-operate in liberty, equality, and fraternity to make Young Turkey into a State respected in international life. The empire of the Ottomans was not to presume on any interference with co-religionists living under non-Mohammedan rule. At most the government, in case such had reason to complain about the violation of their rights, might permit representations to be made similar to those which the Christian powers had so often addressed to Turkey in connexion with alleged oppression of Christian nations under Turkish rule.

Soon these ideals were shown to be too exalted for the time being. The greed of the European powers did not grant Young Turkey the rest necessary for internal reform. Upon the enthusiastic harmony of the first days of deliverance from the claws of despotism, there speedily followed the renascence of the old internal strife, now no longer held in leash by the common fear of the despot. The Committee of Unity and Progress, which before or behind the scenes had the direction of things, found itself constrained on one side to resort again to the hateful governing methods of despotism, on the other side to grant many concessions to the detriment of its own program, even to Moslim orthodoxy and to the beliefs and superstitions of the multitude. The fetish of the Caliphate had to be exhumed again from the museum of antiquities where it had temporarily been stored. As to the idea of jihâd, which was so closely connected with it, the European powers took care that it was not forgotten. Turkey was continually forced to a jihâd.

When we translate the word jihâd by "holy war" this is justified, inasmuch as such a war has for the Mohammedans a holy, a religious character. But it is a mistake to imagine that besides this there exists a non-holy or secular war. Apart from using the army to repress revolt against lawful authority, which must be considered as a police measure, Islâm knows no war other than the jihâd, and no other aim to the jihâd than the defence of the interests of Islâm against attacks by non-Mohammedans or the extension of the territory of Islâm to the detriment of the Dâr al-Harb, the country of the unbelievers. The wars which Turkey had to carry on under Abdulhamîd against Russia and against Greece have never been called by Turks and Arabs by any other name but jihâd, even if they were prudent enough not to use that term of mediæval fanaticism in their intercourse with Europeans. This holds true also of the war with Italy for the possession of Tripoli and of that with the Balkan States. For the Mohammedans, who continue in the old fashion mixing politics and religion, there is no other war but religious war. That a special edict of the Sultan-Caliph should be needed to stamp one of Turkey's wars as a holy war, is one more of those ridiculous misconceptions of things Mohammedan, of which so many have become current in Europe. The Turks do not usually protest against such nonsense; but in their dealings with Europeans they mostly endorse it when their interest requires it. For no Moslim in the world, however, when Turkey is involved in war, does the question whether the Sultan has decreed the holy war possess a reasonable meaning. All this ought to be well considered if one is to understand correctly the political events of these days in so far as they involve Turkey.


About these events pamphlets have been published in Germany, which in certain respects perhaps deserve some attention even outside that country. Deutschland, die Turkei und der Islam is the title of a pamphlet by Hugo Grothe, who is considered as qualified in the field of economics, and whose former writings contain the results of his scientific journeys in European and Asiatic Turkey, in Persia and in Tripolitania. This pamphlet is part of a series, Zwischen Krieg und Frieden, edited by Irmer, Lamprecht, and von Liszt, containing political articles for the public at large. Amongst its contributors appears Prince von Bülow.

When Grothe departs from economic politics he at once shows himself to be in unfamiliar surroundings. The political problem of Islâm, e.g., is not clear in his mind. The Caliphate he calls the secular representation of the religious community of the Mohammedans, a rather vague expression of the idea that all Mohammedans in a political sense are legally subjects of the Caliph; who to be sure is kept from exercising his administrative rights over what now amounts to ninety-five per cent, of these subjects by unbelieving princes whose authority is necessarily illegal. But now Grothe on another page quotes the following from a proclamation issued by the Imperial Governor of Kamerun to the native population: "We are further given help by the Sultan in Stambul, who in matters of religion is the Supreme Lord of all Mohammedans," and far from adding the necessary correction, he calls this official nonsense "interesting." Grothe's assertion that at the outset of the present war the "jihâd of Germany" had been the subject of debates and prayers in the mosques of Turkey is perhaps a poetical phrase, for, even if we translate jihâd about correctly as "holy war," still our "holy war," as now every belligerent calls his own struggle, is by no means rendered by the Arabic-Mohammedan jihâd. When old-fashioned pious Mohammedans refer to this war in their prayer, the prayer will sound about as follows: "We thank Thee, Allah, for having divided the legions of the Devil against themselves and because Thy almightiness forces some of them to support the defenders of Islâm with their arms and their men. Arrange all this, Lord, for a speedy victory of the faithful and for the ruin of all who disobey Thee and Thy Messenger." Thus and thus only is the conception of those Moslims who have not yet been sufficiently sobered by history to share the view of the Turk whose words I quoted at the beginning of this article.

It is also poetical phrasing of Grothe's when he makes an earthquake perceived at Konia, Bundur, and Sparta contribute towards giving the Turks real insight into the meaning of the catastrophe which has befallen us; poetical phrasing, when in his travels he continually hears Turks, Arabs, Kurds, and Anatolians professing their sympathy for Germany and expressing views on contemporary politics which do not, either, differ one jot from Grothe's own. He hears them expressing those in languages of which he understands nothing, for the two Turkish expressions which Grothe uses are unidiomatic.[3]

We remain nearer to reality when we follow Grothe' s survey of the politico-economic relations between Turkey and Germany, as they developed in the last twenty years of the nineteenth century. Germany, he says, through a concourse of unfavourable circumstances, has been badly outdistanced in the race of the European powers for the economic and commercial advantages which are to be had in Turkish territory. In fact, a change for the better started only with the concession of the Anatolian railway to a German syndicate (1888) which was followed later on by that of the Bagdad railway. One gets an idea of the rapidity of the movement by looking at the figures of imports and exports combined, between Germany and Turkey: 14 million for 1888, but for 1913, 200-250 million marks. The competition with England, France, and Russia again made it desirable for all parties that their spheres of interest should be determined. Before the war the understanding had come so far that they were expected in the present year to reach an agreement, by which England would receive Southern Mesopotamia as its economic territory, France Syria, Germany the part of Mesopotamia and Asia Minor which is bounded on the one hand by the 34th and 41st degrees of east longitude, and on the other by the 36th and 39th degrees of northern latitude, whereas the northern part of Asia Minor was to be given to a French-Russian combine for railway construction.

For this economic sphere of influence Germany would have felt slightly grateful, but by no means satisfied. Since August she has started pegging out quite different frontiers, on the assumption, of course, that her expectations of a propitious result of the war will not be disappointed. For this, according to Grothe, she has every right. For it must be considered certain that in case Germany were to fail, Russia would not hesitate to destroy the Turkish Empire. As Russia cannot find in the Far East the ice-free waterway which she needs for her development without getting into conflict with Japan, and not in the Persian Gulf without getting into conflict with England, the Empire of the Czars is more than ever determined to possess Constantinople. England, who formerly has always opposed this, would now support it; in return, she would be allowed to look upon Mesopotamia and Arabia as her own.

Germany alone can save Turkey, and she has a huge interest in doing so since only the preservation of the complete integrity of the Ottoman Empire will make it possible for Germany to protect and to develop the economic position which she has gained in it. Besides, Germany is the only one among the large powers with which Turkey has to count who would not wish to annex a single foot of the country, and could not even if she wanted to. Germany's geographical position would prevent her from effectively protecting such possessions and deriving profit from them. That is why during the twenty-five years of her more intimate relations with Turkey, Germany has always been the only trustworthy friend of the Empire of the Sultan-Caliph. There is between the two countries, apart from all questions of sentiment, a natural community of interests, whereas the interests of all the other large powers can only be furthered at the cost of Turkey's welfare, and finally of her existence.

Turkey has not always looked at it quite in this light; a certain distrust had to be overcome, fostered by the unfair competition of those who envied Germany and also partly strengthened by Germany's often too feeble policy. But now the scales have fallen from the eyes of the Young Turks, who hold the helm of state. It seems that in Constantinople they are only waiting for German victories in Northern France and in Galicia — Grothe wrote before the Turkish declaration of war — before uniting with Germany and Austria against the Allied Powers. The Turkish army, which in its organization owes so much already to German teaching and direction, will have great need of German help and support in order to accomplish its task, but then it will also constitute a far from contemptible ally. This will be especially true if the Caliph decrees the great holy war, the jihâd.


Here now Grothe finds himself quite at sea, as he does not know that for Mohammedans of the old stamp, who have not taken part in the intellectual movement of the Mohammedan East in the last few years, every war waged by Turkey is a jihâd. For such as these the question is not: "jihâd or secular war?" but "against whom has Turkey declared jihâd?" And then, supposing the answer is as Grothe imagines, i.e., jihâd "against all powers that have devoured Mohammedan countries and thus have robbed Islâm of its splendour," the question remains whether, as Grothe hopes and expects, the Mohammedan nations under European rule will really be so charmed by the call to arms issued in the name of Sultan Mehmed Reshâd, that they will attack their masters "here with secrecy and ruse, there with fanatical courage," Grothe already sees in his imagination how "the thus developed religious war" — so he openly calls it — is to mean especially for England "the decline of her greatness."

We know that Turkey is at present engaged in an experiment with just such a holy war, as suggested by Grothe and his intellectual kin. The highest juridical authority in Constantinople, the Sheich-ul-Islâm, who since the revolution of 1908 has ever been a creature and an instrument of the Young Turk Committee, has answered affirmatively a series of questions submitted to him by the insignificant successor of Abdulhamîd, with whom the leaders of the Young Turk Committee can do as they please. In reality those questions and answers together form a proclamation of Enver and Taläat, the leading ministers on the Committee, and both he who asks the questions (the Sultan) and he who answers them (the Sheich-ul-Islâm) fill the office of puppets. This proclamation of the men on the Committee of Unity and Progress (by which — let it be noted! — was originally meant the union of the several nations under the Crescent and their progress as a modern state) is to the effect, that, when the Lord of all Mohammedans declares holy war against the enemies of Islâm, who plunder the countries of Islâm and slaughter their inhabitants or reduce them into slavery, it is the duty of all Mohammedans in this world to take part in this war with life and goods; that therefore especially the Mohammedan subjects of France, Russia, and England are also obliged to participate in it; that those who neglect this duty and avoid the struggle incur the anger of God; that, however, Mohammedans who live under the rule of the said powers or their allies and help them wage war against Germany and Austria, the supporters of Turkey, commit a great sin that will certainly bring on the wrath of God. This proclamation of the prescriptions of the Divine Law as applied to the political situation of the moment, and according to the pronouncement of its authoritative interpreter, served as the basis of a manifesto of the Sultan to the army and navy, issued on November 12, 1914.

This manifesto assumes that Russia, together with England and France, has started the hostilities; that Turkey therefore was forced to take up arms; that Russia anyway had not during three centuries let one opportunity escape to harm Turkey; that millions of Mohammedans are suffering under the tyrannical rule of the said powers; that therefore the holy war has been declared, upon the issue of which not only the welfare of the Turkish Empire but also the life and future of three hundred million[4] of Mohammedans depend. The mercy of Allah and the support of the Prophet will turn the struggle against the enemies of Islâm, undertaken together with Germany and Austria, into victory.

Constantinople would not be Constantinople if these extravagant utterances of the Committee[5] had not been followed by a demonstration, a numâyashi. When in 1908 I was witnessing the first two months of the revolution brought about by the military under the direction of the Committee, no day passed without a number of those numâyashi; masses of people who jostled behind a couple of flags with the legend "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity," halted in front of some public buildings or residences of persons in authority and there applauded speeches of which nobody could understand anything. If one asked the shouters what it was all about, one was told: "revolution, liberty, hasn't the police been abolished?" and the like. In a similar manner the Committeemen on November 14th treated the inhabitants to a numâyashi lasting fully eight hours.

In the mosque of Mehmed the Conqueror, which commemorates the greatest victory of the Turks over Christianity, the conquest of Constantinople in 1452, the questions and answers outlined above were read aloud, the fetwa, that is, of the holy war. Prayers were said, long speeches were held, there was no end to the jubilation. The procession passed through the main parts of the city, waited upon the Grand Vizier, and — demonstrated in front of the German and the Austrian embassies. Nazim-bey and Mukhtar-bey, faithful Committeemen, respectively complimented the German and the Austrian ambassadors and their speeches were answered by the ambassadors. The addresses exchanged at the German embassy would not have been worded differently by Dr. Grothe himself. For the German ambassador did not only speak of Germany and Turkey, but of their common struggle for the real welfare of the Mohammedan world; of Germany's friendship for the Empire of the Ottomans, but especially for the adherents of Islâm, before all of whom, as soon as the German and Turkish arms have achieved victory, there lies a glorious future. The Austrian ambassador was a little more cautious and less Mohammedan in his reply, and only mentioned the holy war which the Empire of the Ottomans is waging together with Austria, and the sympathy which unites Austria and Turkey. But the whole show must have made on the Mohammedans, who would not, as we do, think first of all of a musical comedy of Offenbach, this impression, if any: that Germany and Austria have put themselves in the service of Turkey for waging a jihâd; for naturally, of the three, Turkey is the only one that can be involved in a jihâd. To call a war between kâfirs (unbelievers) a jihâd is for a good Mohammedan either blasphemous or ridiculous.

Grothe has thus voiced the sentiments of the ruling classes in his country, not only where he discussed the economic relations of Germany in most recent times and in the future, but also where he treated of the stirring up of the slumbering Mohammedan fanaticism in the interest of Germany. This makes it somewhat less inexplicable to me that my esteemed colleague, Professor C. H. Becker at Bonn, who until recently honourably represented the science of Islâm in the Colonial Institute at Hamburg, should also have been swept away by the incredible jihâd-craze, which at present seems to possess German statesmen. His pamphlet Germany and Islam[6] breathes the same spirit as Grothe's, although it is favourably distinguished from the latter by its more moderate tone and, it goes without saying, by its knowledge of Islâm.

Becker materially supplements Grothe's picture of the future relations between Germany and Turkey, by including in his program of protection of Turkey the military and political renascence of the Empire of the Crescent, in order that it may be re-created into a modern constitutional state with a respectable army. Not only German products and German capital, but also German spirit must set to work in Turkey. It must do so according to a better method than that used by France and England in their colonies: "a sound common-school education according to modern methods, but on the basis of the traditional oriental culture and supported by the best powers of Islamic religion." We shall revert to this. First a few remarks in connexion with the picture, which may be seen in the writings of both Grothe and Becker, of the growth of political harmony between Germany and Turkey, temporarily leaving aside that which may be achieved through the Caliphate and through Moslim fanaticism.


It is easy to understand that Germany, in view of the rapidly increased interests which she has gained in Turkey, would like to reduce to the smallest proportions the dangers and difficulties that may be caused by competitors. It is just as easy to see that Turkey would after all prefer to deal with Germany, as through this contact loss of territory was not so much to be feared. "After all," so I said intentionally; for there must have been moments when the Sultan or the Committee must have thought: Where is that friendship? Under Abdulhamîd the German affection was expressed only to him who had all power vested in him, but who is now generally considered to have been the greatest enemy his people ever knew. From 1888 to 1908 Germany ignored the Turkish people, because it could not be of use to Germany. Any one knowing something of the nature of European political friendship will not wonder at this any more than at Emperor William's small interest in the fate of the once-beloved Abdulhamîd, when the latter was forced by the Committee first to parade as a friend of liberty and later to disappear.

Whoever sought favour or advantage in Turkey after 1908, had to force it or beg it from the Committee. The latter could not at once trust Germany, as also our German writers remark, because the liberal Turks, who had fled their country before the revolution, were given the cold shoulder in Germany on account of the friendship with the despot. When Austria availed herself of the general confusion after the revolution, first to help in the complete detachment of Bulgaria from Turkey, afterwards to annex a piece of Turkish territory herself, Germany did not raise one finger to keep its ally from an amputation so painful to Turkey. Later on Italy took Tripoli and Turkey found it difficult to fully appreciate the fact that Germany was the only one in the Triple Alliance who did not take anything, because Turkey knew, as well as anybody else, what natural obstacles there were to such an undertaking. Where no such natural obstacles existed, Germany took her part as greedily as the others; and in Africa she even has subjected two million Mohammedans to her authority, an authority which will not be found by those concerned to be less tyrannical than the British-Indian and North-African Mohammedans, according to Sultan Mehmed Reshâd and according to Becker, find the British or French administration.

Now Becker may argue: those Mohammedans were already under our rule before our great infatuation with Turkey and Islâm began, and, besides, the coal-black Moslems do not count for much even in the eyes of Turks and Arabs. But this is not a serious answer to the objection, the more so since Islâm not only repudiates the contempt for negroes theoretically, but because practically all ways have ever been much more widely open to gifted negroes in Moslim than in Christian countries. To be sure, Becker has estimated the number of oppressed Mohammedans who must now be helped by Germany at only one hundred and fifty million; so that only Russia, England, and France are counted as oppressors. But the Sultan in his manifesto has mentioned the full three hundred million, at which the Kaiser estimated the adherents of Islâm, as victims to be set free, and has thus by mistake included amongst them the two million German subjects and the Moslims under Austrian and Italian rule, not to mention any others.

During the Balkan War, the independence of Turkey was certainly no less seriously menaced than was now the case before the jihâd-declaration; but even then it received little support from its German friend. Grothe remarks that for the sake of Turkey alone it would have been difficult to stir up in Germany sufficient enthusiasm for a war, whereas now, against the rivals, England and Russia, it has been found so easy. Still, it will have to be admitted that the effect of Emperor William's visits to the Sultan, with which according to Becker and Grothe, the conscious Islâm-policy of Germany was inaugurated, has not developed normally but that it has long remained exceedingly latent.

All this may emphasize the somewhat one-sided character of Germany's policy still more than the writings of Becker and Grothe, but it does not do away with the fact that under the present political constellation, Turkey herself may derive great advantage from the alliance with Germany. But, if now we imagine the future as the German writers desire it, the situation stripped of all accessories appears like this: Turkey freed by Germany from all troublesome meddling of England, France, and Russia, will fall under German guardianship, and, though with careful avoidance of the name, it will become a German protectorate. Its army, its administration, its finances, everything will have to be thoroughly reorganized by Germany. The relation will be different in form only from the protectorate of France in Morocco and that of England in many a Mohammedan principality. In calmer times eulogies on the method by which the English in India, the French in Northern Africa, ruled their Mohammedans, have never been lacking in Germany; although criticism and indignation were never lacking either, when German interests were at stake. They talked of the pax Britannica and of the pax Gallica, which had replaced the former insecurity, confusion, and corruption. Even England's work in Egypt was appreciated, and favourable opinions were heard about the Islâm-policy of Russia in Central Asia. We have no reason to expect less favourable results of a German protectorate in Turkey; nay it would even be possible that they might avoid many mistakes of their predecessors and that the end might prove a blessing to Turkish countries. But the Germans would certainly find that the gratitude of the Turks would end when the absolutely unavoidable interference would start in earnest, even if the Turks did not fail to recognize the advantage to themselves of some of the reforms determined upon.

Besides, the opinions of German experts about Turkey and about Islâm, especially about their possibilities for reorganization, are not, at any rate were not before this war, at all the same as those which are now so warmly defended by Grothe and Becker. Professor Joh. Marquart, at present Professor in the University of Berlin, derides in the preface of his work, The Benin-collection of the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden (1913), "the alleged function of Islâm as a bearer of culture," and he speaks with biting irony of the "blessings of the jihâd, predatory murder on the path of Allah turned into a religious duty," i.e., that duty which Germany now has again impressed on Turkey. It was not only in German missionary circles that Islâm was considered as the enemy who was most of all to be fought, but in a German colonial congress this resolution was adopted: "As the expansion of Islâm is a serious danger to the development of our colonies, the colonial congress suggests for earnest consideration," etc.

Professor Martin Hartmann, who teaches the science of Islâm at the Seminary for Oriental Languages in Berlin, and whose pen has given us a number of notable writings on Islâm and on Turkey, never tires of pointing out that the Moslims are kept from participating in culture mainly by the institutions of Islâm, which scorns woman and despises non-believers.[7]

He calls the Caliphate of the Ottoman Sultans a usurpation which could only have been committed through contempt for the holy tradition, a "means of agitation," an "easy way to he considered by the world of Islâm as a kind of fetish"; he says that "this double quality [of the Sultan-Caliph] has never been recognized by the civilized powers" and that the honest abandonment of this title would rather strengthen Turkey than weaken her. Of course he also has a few things to say about the holy war. About this he intentionally put his opinion on record when the word jihâd was brought up by the Turks in their war with Italy over Tripoli, and he made use of this expression which has again become topical: " … the threat of holy war, i.e., of war against all unbelievers, except against those who are expressly designated to the community by the leaders of Islâm as friends of Islâm. This idea is madness." As the seat of the agitation was at that time in Berlin, he adds to this: "Let this be a warning against the creation of unrest by the excitation of religious fanaticism . All civilized nations will unanimously stand together against any such attempt." I could quote reams of print with similar contents; I content myself with one more: "Islâm is a religion of hate and of war. It must not be suffered to be the ruling principle in a nation of the civilized world."

I could quote at least as many utterances of the same author which give the impression that the Turks are the nation least fitted in all the Turkish Empire to do any good for the development of their country. Everywhere, where the Turkish element had obtruded itself on other Mohammedans at the point of the sword, it has "destroyed cultural possessions and has created nothing, absolutely nothing, in the way of cultural values." Their religious conceit is even more intolerable than their national conceit. The Turks of Constantinople are "an awful pack" ("ein schauderhaftes Gesindel") and the "honest Anatolian" (who also appears in Grothe) is a product of legend. And such an inferior nation "wants to he the ruling element in the great empire from Scutari and Prevesa to Van and Bassora!"

Professor Hartmann has an exceedingly lively temperament, and I would not dream of endorsing all his opinions or denying that his expressions are exaggerated. But in knowledge of his subject he stands far higher than Grothe; and as regards Turkey, also higher than Becker, together with whom he is the chief representative of the science of Islâm in Germany. Besides, Becker himself has formerly expressed himself about the Islâm question in much the same way, although in a more moderate form and in a different tone. Naturally, Becker himself has been the first to feel the contrast between his joining in the flourish with the words Caliph and jihâd in his latest writings, and the opinions expressed by him in former times of quiet scientific work. He himself repeats the concluding sentence of a lecture delivered by him in Paris in 1910: "If the solidarity of Islâm is a phantom, the solidarity of the white race is a reality," but now he does so in order to weaken the impression of these words and to limit them to the Islâm of the negroes in Africa, who were the main subject of his speech. Probably none of the audience understood this limitation, as the words quoted were immediately preceded by these: "the fear that one power might unite with Islâm to thwart another, does not seem to me very well founded." Besides Becker had formerly, e.g., in 1904, in an article on Panislamism represented the panislamistic idea as contrary to the real interests of Turkey[8]: "The Young Turks had hoped [after the Russo-Turkish War of 1878] to put an end by their reforms just to that religious element, which made of the Sultan above everything else the Caliph, the protagonist of Islâm, and thus made impossible the normal development of the Ottoman Empire, which after all is mainly made up of Christians." And in the German translation[9] of the above-mentioned lecture, which was delivered in Paris in 1910, the following additional passage occurs: "The Caliphate of the Sultan of Constantinople was, up to the time of the Young-Turkish revolution, the basis of Turkey's Islâm-policy. To be sure Young Turkey has not abandoned the claim to the Caliphate; but if she wishes at all to grow into a constitutional state, she will have to make as little use of it as possible. … A strong Turkey, it goes without saying, will never claim political sovereignty over the Islamic subjects of other powers. …"

In his latest pamphlet, Deutschland und der Islam, Becker confesses his recent conversion and argues that his long-cherished notions were wrong. He, as well as Grothe, dwells at length on the two visits paid by Emperor William to Sultan Abdulhamîd (1889 and 1898), the second one combined with what Grothe calls "a political pilgrimage to the Holy Land." The world has considered these visits, the first of which took place one year after the concession of the Anatolian railway, that is to say in 1889, as overgorgeous demonstrations of Germany's industrial and commercial interest in Turkey. The way it was done made many, even in Germany, shrug their shoulders. First of all Abdulhamîd, the "blood-drinking" tyrant, in whose crimes the great powers after all shared the guilt, on account of what Berard, and together with him Hartmann, called "the conspiracy of silence," seemed a strange object for such a hearty expression of friendship, which left behind it in Constantinople a lumbering commemorative fountain, which according to experts is an insult to good taste. Furthermore, the impression produced on the Moslim world was not at all such as was intended. To be sure, it was thought remarkable that the monarch of a powerful European empire should go twice to pay homage to the Sultan, the more as it was known that no return-visits of the Sultan followed; the caller therefore showed himself to the inhabitants as the inferior; and simple Mohammedan souls, who draw their knowledge of the world's map and the world's history more from legends than from reality, saw in this a confirmation of their belief that the whole earth is subjected to the mightiest Moslim sovereign, and that all princes are his vassals, even if they are in parts very unruly. Those homages in no way contributed to the glory of Germany in the East, whatever flatterers may palm off about it on German travellers. The strangest impression of all, however, was produced on all those who know Islâm by the Emperor's speech on his second journey (1898), at Damascus, at the grave of Saladin, on which he also deposited a wreath.

Saladin (Salâh-ad-din) has become popular in Europe through the history of the Crusades and especially through Lessing; in the Mohammedan East his name has been long forgotten, except by the few students of history and literature. These know him as an unscrupulous politician, who by faithlessness and treason had risen to great power, and who is forgiven much because he was a strictly orthodox kâfir-hater; and not as the example of eighteenth-century tolerance which Lessing in his Nathan der Weise has made of him. On the grave of this hater of Christianity, the Emperor of a world-empire, which, as Becker reminds us, has Christianity as its state-religion, spoke these words: "The three hundred million Mohammedans that are scattered through the world may rest assured that the German Emperor will eternally[10] be their friend."

This part of the display has made as little permanent impression in the Moslim world as Saladin himself; and German scientists at that time shook their heads when they heard of it. But now these words suddenly are at a premium: Grothe and Becker give their interpretations of them, and the Turks have been so energetically reminded of them that Nazimbey quoted them in his address to the German ambassador and that the Sultan by mistake borrowed from them the oftentimes corrected, at any rate very antiquated, census-figures of his manifesto.

Till recently Becker, "through ignorance," as he now avers, has "considered this emphasizing of the Caliph-title by Germany as a mistake"; but now, after Prince von Bülow's explanations in Deutschland unter Kaiser Wilhelm II., he joyfully discovers in it the first powerful expression of "a conscious German Islâm-policy" and the proof "that German policy has from the first taken Islâm into account as an inter ^rational factor," Becker's scientific conscience, in this conversion and in his defence of the adoption of the Caliphate among the factors of international politics, is not so untroubled as that of Grothe, who does not seem to feel at all the grotesqueness of this Islâm-policy. At any rate, Becker says that he does not wish to be considered as having expressed an opinion on the relation between Turkey and Germany; that he restricts himself to stating the fact that such a relation exists; that, as a matter of fact, millions of dissatisfied Mohammedan subjects of European nations expect their salvation from Turkey, and that the hour has struck for Germany to make use of this mood.


Salvation from Turkey! The country of which Martin Hartmann quite recently said that "the exclusion of the Islamic-Turkish rule from Europe is drawing near"; and that "she [Turkey] should have been already long ago threatened with being placed under guardianship"; or again: "thus will only come more quickly that which will have to come sometime, anyway: the lapsing of political power from the hands of dying Turkdom"; from Turkey, which, according to Becker, must be re-created and under the energetic direction of Germany be transformed into a modern civilized state, a thing which a few years ago he declared to be feasible only if the Caliphate-idea were either entirely abandoned or emphasized as little as possible!

How is it that Turkey suddenly is considered able to do that which until recently had been put aside as nonsense; how is it that now they recommend as useful to Turkey what, such a short time ago, was considered a source of certain ruin? When, in his Ultimatum des Panislamismus Hartmann scourged the agitators who wished to give to the Turkish-Italian conflict the character of a religious war, he at the same time gave the sharpest criticism imaginable of Germany's present attempt to revive the dying mediæval fanaticism of the Mohammedan world. "Turkey can only exclaim: Heaven protect me against my friends!" — so he then justly said. What may not Turkey exclaim now that her best friend is exciting her to religious war, and presently turns over to her the Mohammedan prisoners who fought against Germany, in order to submit them to a politico-religious conversion cure?

We can only attribute all this to the lamentable upsetting of the balance, even in the intellectual atmosphere, of what we used to call the civilized world. For in normal times we know that the Germans are far too sensible and logical to digest the enormous nonsense that a thing which in general would be considered as a shame for mankind and a catastrophe for Turkey can become good and commendable as soon as Germany places herself behind or beside the Crescent. We do not know what will be the issue of many of the present terrible happenings; but this, I think, I may already now foretell with certainty, that within a not very long time a number of German writings will testify that also in Germany indignation has been aroused by the despicable game that is being played with the Caliphate and the holy war.

It would be risky, now that the facts will so speedily speak their incontrovertible language, to try to foretell in how far the attempt to light the blaze of a Mohammedan religious war on a large scale, and thereby to cause endless confusion in international relations, has a chance to succeed. Hartmann formerly denied the possibility with full conviction: " … as soon," said he, "as the representatives of the various Islamic groups confer together about common measures, the enormous differences in ethnical, economic, and intellectual tendencies among the two hundred million Mohammedans show themselves!" Becker, who formerly called "the solidarity of Islâm a phantom," says now: "The great war which reveals and decides so much, will also bring the proof as to whether the often-discussed international solidarity of Islâm is a real factor or a delusion."

It is certain that if Germany persists in her present "Islâm-policy" there will be no lack of all sorts of measures destined to put before the Mohammedan public the history of the origins of that policy and the new relation of vassal in which the re-created Sultan-Caliph finds himself with regard to Germany. But against a Commander of the Faithful, himself under an unbelieving Commander, even Mohammedans of the old stamp, who otherwise might have been duped by the comedy, will have serious objections. The main basis of the claim of the Ottoman sultans was their sword; not a sword that would be drawn and sheathed at the order of an unbelieving "ally."

Fortunately, we need not worry with regard to our Dutch-Indian Mohammedan population. They adopted Islâm when the Turkish Empire had already come into existence, but without Turkey's noticing it; and they have never had any contact with the Crescent. The Sultan of Rûm, as they call the Great Lord of Constantinople, has remained a legendary creature for them. To be sure, the panislamistic idea has penetrated into the East-Indian Archipelago, but it has found little favourable ground. The large mass of the lower classes remains untouched, and the majority of the higher classes is entirely immune against this politico-religious mixture of deceit and nonsense. And we have good reason to believe that this immunity will constantly spread. For if Germany has quite recently inaugurated her "conscious Islâm-policy" with the above-described displays, we have already had for a few years longer our conscious educational policy towards the native population which history has entrusted to our care; and against that, Caliphate and holy war and other mediæval iniquities are fortunately powerless. If we only unshakably adhere to our centuries-old guarantee of complete religious liberty for our Mohammedans, and at the same time continue to pursue our educational policy at a constantly increased pace, we shall never have to fear the peculiar sort of "intellectual weapons" which now for the first time are put into circulation with the trade-mark "made in Germany" Still, we keep hoping in the interest of humanity that Germany will before long withdraw the new product from the market.


The holy war of Islâm is, as we have remarked several times, a thoroughly mediæval institution, which even the Mohammedan world was outgrowing. One of the peculiarities of this institution we may sincerely admire: holy war against co-members of the Mohammedan community is absolutely excluded by the law of Islâm. The restriction of the community to Mohammedans, to those who profess the same dogma about what is beyond this life, is mediæval; but the consideration of strife within the sphere of the community as impious, provides an excellent foundation for the highest social civilization and is rather humiliating for the modern world. Let us hear what Martin Hartmann in his excited tone writes about it: "In contrast to Islâm, where war is on principle limited to war against those of different belief as being 'unbelievers,' nobody in the Christian world takes exception to war against adherents of the same faith, and here the servants of the church of Love are not infrequently the most zealous in the urging, that is, in denying the Gospel; they provide to order the patriotic gesture, which in this case represents a violation of the fifth commandment, not to mention that other commandment: Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself."

Indeed, in Islâm it is only necessary to remove the mediæval restriction of the right to complete political existence, which was limited to members of the same community, and to expand the idea of the community to one embracing the whole world, in order to assure absolute world-peace, an absolute command of the divine law. To modern states which have Mohammedans as subjects, protégés, or allies, the beautiful task is reserved of educating these and themselves at the same time to this high conception of human society; rather than leading them back, for their own selfish interests, into the ways of mediæval religious hatred which they were just about to leave.


Notes[edit]

  1. "Eenige Arabische strydschriften besproken," Tydschrift van het Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen, vol. xxxix., pp. 379-427.
  2. My experiences at that time I reported in the February issue of De Gids, 1909.
  3. On his journeys Grothe, being a German, was continually referred to by Turks as "our friend," which he translates by bizim dost instead of dostomuz, and his Turkish translation for "a German" is always Alemanly instead of Alman or Almanjaly.
  4. This computation is taken from the speech delivered by the German Emperor in 1898 by the grave of Saladin; the population then appears not to have increased in the last sixteen years.
  5. In order to fully appreciate the unctuously-fanatical fetwa and proclamation, one has to bear in mind that the real authors of both documents, Enver, Taläat, et al. are practically free-thinkers.
  6. It is one of a long series of "Political Pamphlets" — Politische Flugschriften — edited by Ernst Jäckh, and which numbers among its contributors Prince von Bülow (again) and other celebrities. Further, Becker published in the collection of Bonner Vaterländische Reden und Vorträge während des Krieges a lecture on "Deutsch-Türkische Interessengemeinschaft" (Community of Interests between Germany and Turkey); in the Süddeutsche Monatshefte an article "England und Egypten," and in Das Grossere Deutschland an article "England und der Islam."
  7. The following is a short anthology of titles from M. Hartmann's writings of most recent years: "Der Islam, 1908," in Mitteilungen des Seminars für Orient. Spr. in Berlin, Jahrg. xii., Abt. ii., 1909; Die Arabische Frage, Leipzig, 1909; Der Islam, Leipzig, 1909; "Die neuere Literatur zum Türkischen Problem" (Recent Publications on the Turkish Question), in Zeitschrift für Politik, 1909; Unpolitische Briefe aus der Türkei, Leipzig, 1910 (Non-political Letters from Turkey); Islam, Mission und Politik, Leipzig, 1912; Fünf Vorträge über der Islam, Leipzig, 1912 (Five Lectures on Islâm); "Das Ultimatum des Panislamismus" (on the holy war against Italy), in Das Freie Wort, Jahrg. xi., No. 16; "Mission und Kolonialpolitik," in Koloniale Rundschau, Heft 3, März, 1911.
  8. "Panislamismus," Archiv für Religionswissenschaft, Bd. vii., 1904.
  9. "Der Islâm und die Kolonisierung Afrika's," in Internal. Wochenschrift für Wissenschaft, Kunst und Technik, 19 Febr., 1910.
  10. An attribute well suited indeed to political friendship!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1936, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.