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for then all existing evils will disappear under the energetic and persevering influence of European rule.
Acting upon this principle, our rulers have for more than a century been forcing their way into Islam, gradually depriving the followers of the Prophet of their political independence. At the present time not one Mohammedan State is entirely independent, for even the Ottoman Empire has to submit to the irksome bonds incumbent on capitulations, and its precarious existence is only made bearable by the punctilious observance of diplomatic formalities. As regards the Afghan vassal of the British Crown, Emir Habib ul Ullah fully realises that the title of "Majesty,' lately bestowed upon him, is merely a complimentary distinction without any real meaning. With it he may deceive his surroundings, but he cannot deceive himself.
It is not surprising that the argument propounded above is not in the least convincing to the Mohammedans themselves, and that they show themselves in no wise eager to accept the recipe for the preparation of the elixir of European culture, offered to them at the point of the bayonet; that they will, in fact, have none of the new order of things as long as it savours of foreign rule. The terrors of the despotic government of Abdul Hamid have, in this respect, created no change in the minds of the Young Turks, and even the most enraged democrats among them have declared that they would rather suffer under the oppression of home tyranny than live happily under the liberal régime of foreign rulers.
This view is intelligible enough when we consider that this society has grown up under the influence of a 'religio militans,' which for centuries has reigned over many heterogeneous subjects, and is not likely to give up its commanding position without an effort. One may construe the Gaza precept (religious war) as one likes, and allow that some of the decrees of the Koran have been made to fit in with the requirements of the times; but it is impossible to accuse the Mohammedans of voluntarily forsaking and renouncing the principles which in past ages secured for them so prominent a place in the history of the world, and enabled them to exercise so great an influence over the fate of humanity. No, such a thing is not conceivable, and, looked at in this light, can we wonder that the growing hold of Christianity upon the lands of Islam is creating a very marked unrest among the followers of Mohammed? Is it strange that their proverbial apathy and indifference is giving way to nervous irritability, and that, in their feverish search for a means of escape, they cast their eyes in a direction which not one of them ever thought of before, and which, in their innermost soul, they have always detested.
Looking without prejudice at the relations of Asia as they now present themselves, one cannot fail to be struck by the startling fact that Mohammedans and Buddhists no longer regard one another with that furious hatred and ill-will which formerly marked the intercourse between these two large bodies of the ancient world. This remarkable phenomenon is particularly noticeable among the Moslems, who divide humanity into two great sections, mere idol-worshippers (Medjusi) and Book-possessors (Ehli Kitab). These latter are subdivided into people who do not acknowledge the Arab Prophet, and hence are Kafir—unbelieving, and those who, because they possess one of the four books (Tora, Bible, Psalms, and Koran) can be tolerated, and are not reckoned as savage and irreclaimable. While the Ehli Kitab, after the enforcement of the Djizie, i.e. personal taxation, had to be tolerated, and even protected, the Medjusi had no claim even to humane treatment; their life and their goods were forfeited, and only in cases where the Medjusi were superior in numbers to the Moslem population has the Sheriat (religious law) seen fit to shut its eyes, as was the case in India in the days of the Mogul rule, when the sultans distinguished themselves by their vast tolerance. In other places, as, for instance, in what was called Central Asia, the Multani (Indian money-brokers) were subject to the grossest insults and ill-treatment, and it was only by much and constant bribery that they managed to make a living.
Through this fanatical interpretation of the Koran laws, Persia has lost an industrious and gifted portion of its population—namely, the Parsi, who, being persecuted by their Moslem countrymen, found a home in India, and have there become useful subjects of the British Crown. In a word, the Medjusi was an object of abhorrence to the faithful Mohammedan, much more so, indeed, than the inveterate Ghiaur, who, as the prototype of all that is unclean, was universally avoided and spurned. In all my long and varied intercourse with the people of Moslem Asia, I have never come across anyone who did not entertain this unreasonable hatred against the Medjusi.
Imagine, then, my surprise and amazement when recently, i.e. after the victory of the Japanese over the Russians, I noted the joyful excitement which prevailed throughout the length and breadth of the Islamic world at the military success of the formerly detested Medjusi. The Latin proverb-' Donec eris felix multos numerabis amicos '-could not apply here, for the victory of Japan over China called forth no such response in Islam, was, in fact, not taken any notice of. But what strikes one most is the continuous and ever-growing friendliness between these two Asiatic nations, or rather, between these two religions, which
used to be so hostile to one another. In spite of the great geographical distance between them, they seek to come into touch with one another, and have, as a matter of fact, already found a means to make their intellectual intercourse easier. Strangely enough, the Mohammedans made the first move. At the time of the Russo-Japanese war, when as yet there could be no question of a decisive victory, the columns of the Turkish, Persian, Arab, and Tartar newspapers were full of expressions of sympathy for the cause of the Japanese Medjusi. Their bravery was described in glowing terms, and in the days following the decisive battles of Mukden and Tsu-Shima the names of the Generals Oyama, Nogi, Kuroki, and of Admiral Togo were in everybody's mouth. Then suddenly the news spread that Japan had surrendered to the charms of Islam and that many Japanese had already embraced the faith.
Of course, this was nonsense, a mere fabrication; but it is true that the Japanese made attempts both officially and secretly to approach the Porte, with a view to making common cause against their joint enemy, Russia. Sultan Abdul Hamid, however, was differently minded, and did not fall into the trap of the cunning Japanese. The first attempt at an approach, i.e. a beginning of diplomatic relations between Stamboul and Tokio, came to a sad end when the Turkish corvette Ertogrul was wrecked off the Japanese coast and all on board perished. The second attempt was not much more successful, because the Porte refused to grant the Japanese certain concessions, when Japan demanded to be placed on an equality with the European Powers.
Officially, therefore, not much advance has been made, but inofficially and in secret a good deal of intercourse between the two great Asiatic religions has been carried on through private individuals, for the greater part adventurously disposed mollas, who, being sent out from Yildiz with a liberal supply of money, visited the Mohammedans in the Far East. To these they told marvellous stories about the power, the wealth, and the greatness of the Caliph, and tried to induce the native Mohammedans to use their influence with their Buddhist compatriots.
One such envoy was Molla Suleiman Shukri Effendi, a native of Anatolia, who in 1907 concluded his great Asiatic journey through the various countries of the Old World which were inhabited by Mohammedans. He gave his experiences in a book published in St. Petersburg, and entitled Siahati Kubra -i.e. Great Journey. Suleiman Shukri is an extreme fanatic who scorns everything European and represents particularly the English as the most dangerous enemies of Islam. He expresses great admiration for the heathen Chinese, and praises their tolerant government as against the cruel intolerance (?) of the
English. Of course, he is also of opinion that Chinese and Mohammedans should join forces to break the power of the overbearing, haughty Europeans.
The relations between China and Islam are certainly of a peculiar nature. The ancient fame of the Celestial Flowery Land of the Middle caused the people of Western and Central Asia from time immemorial to look upon this empire as the ne plus ultra of political and artistic power and greatness. Chini (Chinese) is an epithet for artistic and beautiful things, especially in painting and colouring, and Fagfur, the title of the Chinese Emperor, is an emblem of highest dignity. It is therefore no wonder that the Moslem missionaries and Arab traders at a very early date began to visit China, and spread its good report in spite of its heathen character.
In proportion as European supremacy made itself felt in the Far East, in that same proportion the sympathy between Moslems and Chinese grew stronger, for they were both in the same trying position, and stood powerless against the aggressive interférence of Europe. After the victory of the Japanese over Russia, this relationship, previously always somewhat timidly kept in the background, has been freely and frankly declared, though Islam in its religious zeal has found it expedient to shut its eyes to this coquetry, and China also let it pass. Since the insurrections in Yunnan and East Turkestan the Chinese have treated the Moslem population quite differently from what they used to do, and their patriotism and military prowess has since been duly appreciated. In the Boxer insurrection Chinese Mohammedans played a conspicuous part; they have clearly shown that Moslems and Buddhists recognise a common foe in the person of the European, and are prepared, if need be, to take the field together against him.
The Chinese Government has not been able to remain quite indifferent to this entente, and it would even seem that the authorities, so far from opposing it, are rather inclined to support it. On the strength of this a Turkish newspaper, published at Ili and subsidised by the Government, invites the Mohammedans to make common cause with the Chinese, so that, united, they may break the power of Europe, the usurper. 'Europe,' it says in one of its leading articles, has grown too presumptuous. It will deprive us of our liberty; it will destroy us altogether if we do not bestir ourselves promptly and prepare for a powerful resistance. We must make ourselves familiar with the latest discoveries in the useful arts and in agriculture, so that we be not reduced to poverty by the importation of foreign industries,' and so on. But even without this encouragement, Islam in China places itself more and more at the service of Chinese national liberal politics. No wonder, then,
that in the present revolution the Mohammedans have taken a prominent part in the overthrow of the retrograde Manchus. In acknowledgment of their support, Sun-Yat-Sen, the leader of the revolutionary movement, said lately, in an interview at Marseilles, where he took ship on his homeward journey: 'The Chinese will never forget the assistance which their Moslem compatriots have rendered them, in the interest of order and liberty.' Islam, he said, has many advantages, and it is a pity that it should be so misjudged in Europe, where, besides the spectre of the Yellow Peril,' the spectre of Pan-Islamism is now feared.
How far all this intriguing is a matter for serious alarm we need not here inquire. Of interest to us is the fact that even in the Buddhist world they try to frighten us with the Wau-wau of Pan-Islamism, without themselves being properly acquainted with the real character of this boasted danger. I have studied Pan-Islamism for years on the spot, and, in consequence of my long intercourse with Yildiz, I have become familiar with the motives and expectations of this party; but to my mind the movement is, for the present at any rate, merely platonic, and the possibility of it becoming dangerous impresses me very little. The shibboleths of Panisms only have meaning where the component parts of the united elements are so closely knitted together that they cannot be broken into or cut asunder by any foreign national bodies. An alliance as in the case of Germans and Italians one can easily realise, nor is the federation of the Slavs under the auspices of Russia an idle fancy; but in Islam, divided and interefered with by foreign national and religious elements, a crystallisation is simply impossible.
The Mohammedan Indians, seventy millions strong, might put some weight in the scales, if it were not for the overpowering counterweight of 200 million Hindus, and if the historical glamour of the Mogul rule could be easily forgotten. Moreover, the just and wise and humane politics of the English in India have so completely satisfied the followers of the Arab Prophet in those parts, that they look upon the Pax Britannica as a divine blessing, and will readily make the greatest sacrifices in order to keep this great gift. As regards the other Moslems living under Christian supremacy, they can, naturally enough, never become dangerous, with the exception perhaps of the ten million Egyptians, who, in the distant future, and federated with the ever-increasing number of African Mohammedans, might become a force not to be despised. Islam in Africa presents in general problems of incalculable magnitude.
As the relations stand now, Pan-Islamism is not a dangerous foe, because the still politically independent factors of this