The Disruption of Islam

By Duncan B. Macdonald

[The Yale Review, October 1916]

In theory all Moslems form a complete, closed unity against all non-Moslems. They are brothers; and brotherhood, and even real friendship, should not, on the authority of the Koran and of tradition from the Prophet, exist between them and those who are not of their faith. This means that they cannot, in theory, be co-citizens with non-Moslems in a common state. For Islam, if a religion, is also a system of law and the constitution of a state; its people are in fact as absolute a church-state as the Hebrews formed under Moses. We speak of Christian brotherhood and dream of that as an ideal religious and ethical unity of all followers of Christ; the Moslems speak of Islam, and look back to an age when it meant a political unity and forward to a millennial age when that unity will miraculously be restored.

Nothing shows this more plainly than the formation and dissolution of their first actual political unity. Mohammed found Arabia a chaos of separate tribes. To them he brought the conception of Islam and taught that this new relationship to Allah meant a new arrangement of relationships among themselves. Their new religious attitude meant new political and social affiliations. For the Moslem, he who was not a, Moslem, even though of his own family, became an enemy, and he who was a Moslem, even with the blood of his kindred on his hands, became a brother and friend. Thus united, the tribes of Arabia turned from raiding each other to raiding the non-Moslem world. And their raid was the greatest that Arabia had ever known, was the greatest raid in history. The desert poured east and west, north and south, and founded the Moslem empire. Thus arose Jihad (literally, "striving," "contending"), the so-called holy war, a perfectly simple and natural combination of the fundamental idea of Islam and the fundamental institution of Arabia. And in theory Jihad is and must always be, potentially or actually, the only relationship between Islam and not-Islam.

But at length the Moslem waves of conquest were checked and turned, and Islam had to adjust itself to new things. Its political unity broke down. Dynastic quarrels, geographical impossibilities, various nationalisms, asserted themselves. A brave front of unity was certainly, at least for a time, maintained against the outer world. But the once unified structure had gone, and in its place came a multitude of little structures, each justifying its existence by some shibboleth—theological, legal, constitutional—or by an historical fact, or simply by race consciousness. Through the resultant welter of confusion, only one institution of the old unity survived, and even that very shakily. This was the Caliphate, the successorship in individual rule to Mohammed. His successors ruled, as he had done, as absolute monarchs. But the basis of his rule had been that he was a divinely guided prophet; the basis of theirs was that they—among the Sunnites, at least—had in theory been chosen by the free democracy of Islam to administer the system of Islam. Thus by inheritance from the usages of the desert, from the personal case of Mohammed, from the immemorial custom of the East, the Moslem people came to be a democracy, theoretically, but administered by a single-headed absolutism. The Caliph was supposed to perform all administrative functions; but naturally with the growing complexity of the state that became impossible. The Caliphate was put into commission; its duties were distributed among officials supposed to act as representing the Caliph; he himself more and more withdrew and became a symbol only of the theoretical unity. This symbolic value persisted even after the single Moslem empire had broken up. In all his powerlessness, the Caliph remained a last surviving reminder and suggestion that Islam had been and should be a political unity.

Since the last Abbasid Caliph, dying in Cairo in 1538, left by will the Caliphate to the conquering Ottoman house, the Sultans of that house have claimed to carry it on. They have been Sultans of the Turkish Empire, but Caliphs over all Islam. Naturally, the importance assigned by them individually to this title and claim has varied enormously, and similarly has varied the respect paid to it from without. It was the dream of the deposed Abd al-Hamid to use the Caliphate to unite Islam and thus meet the constant encroachments of Christendom. This was called from the outside Pan-Islamism; it was really a revival of the original Moslem conception. But could that conception be brought back to real life, and-could the Moslem world be made again to function as one whole? That all Moslems could again be united in one empire, as in the first century and a half of Islam, no one believed, least of all, the astute Abd al-Hamid himself. But could they be brought to feel an internal unity and to act together in a loosely confederated United States of Islam, each ready to rise in defense of the others? That may have seemed a possible if theoretical question.

But what were and are the facts? Of the existence of a deep feeling of internal unity in Islam there can be. no doubt. Every Moslem feels—and the lower you go in the social scale, the truer this is—that he is one in the People of Mohammed, a vast church, the final destiny of which must be to become a world-wide state. But this future destiny is very millennial, and his present position is that of a member of a race, or of one of the states of this world, or of a religious organism of some kind. He is a Turk or an Arab or a Persian, or is under Ottoman or Persian or Afghan or unbelieving rule. He is a Sunnite or a Shiite, and the depth of that difference is only to be measured in terms of "Boyne Water" and "The Wearing of the Green." Even within the Turkish Empire he is a Turk or an Arab, and here the fundamental racial divisions are intensified by memories of conquest and long oppression. He is of the desert or of the sown, and there is the primeval antagonism between the nomad and the tiller of the soil. Or he may be of one of those little communities, surviving in corners of the earth from the first quarrels of Islam, bitter with half-understood memories of old, unhappy, far-off things, and regarded with mingled horror and contempt by the wider Moslem world. Or, finally, he may be a kind of "hyphenated" Moslem, living in a state under non-Moslem control and ruled by laws partly of his own faith, and partly imposed from without. Such a Mohammedan is a contradiction of the fundamental idea; for he is compelled to live on equal terms of citizenship with non-Moslems, and only in his religious moments can he regard himself as belonging to a people destined to rule all others.

Such were, and are, the motley facts in the case, and before the war, no one could with safety predict how these different elements would function when brought to the test. Especially was this true of the last-mentioned class of Moslems. There was some historical evidence as to whether and how far Arabs, Turks, and Persians would pull together. But what of the Moslems of India, of French North Africa, of Egypt? There could be nothing there but conjecture and prophecy based on varying estimates of character, education, and appreciation of facts.

With the outbreak of the war came the test; and with the entrance of Turkey into the war, the complete demonstration. From the first, Great Britain put Moslem troops from India on the fighting line, and France did the same from her North African provinces. This confidence was, in both cases, amply justified by the event. These troops, then and thereafter, threw themselves into the cause of their non-Moslem overlords with the most hearty loyalty. The troubles which France has had have been sporadic and in the recently acquired Morocco, while in India the petty conspiracies and disturbances have been more Hindu and Sikh than Moslem; they were evidently fostered from without and came, as, for example, the Lahore conspiracy, to ignominious ends. Even the marauding tribes beyond the northwest frontier have been fairly quiet, considering the opportunities of the situation; and the Ameer of Afghanistan has been scrupulously loyal to his treaties. In Egypt it was and is different. The overwhelming mass of the population has been plainly anti-British, and it would have been madness to trust the Egyptian troops. What and how much this means will appear hereafter.

But in a world crisis, it is not to Morocco or to India or to Egypt that Islam would naturally turn. It is to Turkey that all Moslems have been accustomed to look for leadership; from the sixteenth century on, the Ottoman Sultan has practically held the hegemony of the Moslem world. And despite all losses, this had been maintained well into the twentieth century, owing largely to the personal influence of Abd al-Hamid and the respect with which he was able to surround his name. In his immediate environment and wherever his hand could fall, he might be feared and hated; but in the lands beyond, where he was known only as the greatest Moslem ruler upholding the Moslem cause against unbelievers, he inspired respect and reverence. When, therefore, the revolution came and his authority was curbed with a constitution, and still more when he was deposed, there was a distinct fall in the respect of the outside Moslem world for the Turkish Caliphate; and the new Caliph whom the Young Turks had set up could not command, as did the old Caliph, the allegiance of the Moslem world.

Under these circumstances, Turkey entered the war. It had already been demonstrated that Moslem troops would fight loyally and bravely for unbelieving leaders and rulers. A split had entered in their Islam; and while they were still Moslems they felt that they had become part of the British Raj and of the French Republic. But there was still the question, if they were summoned by an authoritative voice back from these distinctions to the true old Islam, would they come? And what if that voice were from this partially discredited Turkey? In a word, with the entrance of Turkey into the war, the struggle was clearly to be set between the unity of Islam and the disintegrating principle of nationality.

For Turkey itself there were other elements in the problem and still other handicaps. With their accomplished revolution the Young Turks had had to settle their new state on a new basis, The revolution had been carried out with the assistance of Christians and Jews; Christian and Jewish leaders had stood high in the councils of the Committee of Union and Progress. The ideal, too, of the new state was that it should be constitutional of a Western type. Plainly, therefore, it could not be a specifically Moslem state with a citizenship exclusively Moslem. Was the new state to be based, then, upon nationality? Years ago it was pointed out by "Odysseus," now known to be Sir Charles Eliot, in his "Turkey in Europe," that the Young Turks were not different from the Old Turks in their attitude towards the subject Christian races. They were Turks, the dominant race, and that was the only natural situation. The truth of this judgment was amply proved by the decision taken by the Committee of Union and Progress. It made a magnificently logical application of the Turkish idea. Evidently, too, it was affected by the years, the now returned exiles had spent in centralized France. This, its theory ran, is the Ottoman Empire; its people, therefore, are all Ottomans; it shall be administered from Constantinople, the Ottoman centre, and its language shall be the Ottoman language, Turkish. The religious problem, it is true, was shelved in a way by all this. But what Armenian or Greek would call himself a Turk and sink himself and his history in the Ottoman people? Worst of all was the effect south of the Taurus. The attempt was actually made by opening schools everywhere to drive the Syrians and Arabs to learn Turkish, an insult which touched the speakers of "the tongue of the angels" at their most sensitive point. The old, easy-going local administration gave way to a strict bureaucracy. This had its worst effect in Albania, where it drove the Albanians, the only European people that has ever embraced Islam and for centuries the prop of the Ottoman sultanate, to furious and, in great part, successful revolt. It is here that we must cease to speak of Young Turks and narrow the governing body at Constantinople to the Committee of Union and Progress. For many Young Turks had from the first the sense to see to what this centralization and Ottomanizing would lead. These urged that the constitution should provide for a loose confederation with separate provinces enjoying a large measure of autonomy. But they failed, and the Committee turned away from the only possible solution of a perhaps impossible problem.

Yet there was still another difficulty. The Committee were caught between the devil and the deep sea, between their constitutional theories and the dead weight and yet very living prejudices of the Moslem masses. The great bulk of the people at the bottom of their minds thought, and still think, in terms of the old Islam, So, whenever there was trouble, the cry of the Moslem mob was for the restoration to supremacy of the shari a, the canon law of Islam. And there was great trouble and much occasion for mob demonstrations. Bosnia-Herzegovina was lost; Albania was lost; Tripoli was lost. Syria was seething with discontent and south Arabia was in open revolt. After a revolution nothing succeeds with the masses but success, and the Committee succeeded in little but in remaining in the saddle. Then came the war and with it a last chance-—alliance with Germany; but it was a gambler's throw.

It is now abundantly clear with what object Germany had been cultivating the friendship of Turkey. This hypothetical world force, united Islam, was unattached to European politics. Parts of the world of Islam had been attached, it is true, to one European power or another; parts had saved themselves by playing off one power against another. Islam, as a great unit, had not taken sides. It was vague, ungroupable, unstatable; but no one doubted its reality. Abd al-Hamid had believed in it and cultivated it. All European statesmen spoke of it with respect, more or less. It was an unknown quantity; but it was admittedly a quantity. And when the European war, which everyone, except the wilfully blinded, knew to be inevitable, should come, it might be of decisive moment. Further, if it could be reached at all, that could be done only through Turkey. France was in contact with the Moslems of Africa; Russia with those of central Asia; England with those of southern Asia—all, it is true, outlying elements in Islam. But even these outlying elements had some feeling of relation to the Ottoman Sultan as being also the symbolic Caliph, however dubious the constitutional basis of his claim to that dignity might be. Furthermore, whatever European power was in league with Turkey would necessarily be in economic control of Turkey, could develop it and exploit it; and no one doubted the wealth latent in the Turkish territories, if once properly opened up and used. Dreams, too, Germany might well have had of southern Asia and India; but her definite and detailed purpose as to Turkey is now beyond doubt.

On the other hand, when the Committee of Union and Progress, for the reasons mentioned, got into deep waters, it was to Germany that the military members, whose affiliations were all German, looked for help. They, too, controlled the army and therefore the situation. Then came the war; the long foreseen crisis was upon them; it was time to act. The military party in the Committee found it necessary to make a clean sweep of discordant elements. It became frankly Turkish and Moslem. Prominent Armenian members were put out of the way. The old Islam was come again.

But there were strange complications. Islam, as represented by the military party in the Committee, had thrown in its lot with a Christian power. On this a good face had to be put with the Moslem masses, for though Christian mercenary troops hare often been used by Moslem states, yet such an alliance as this threatened the eternal and necessary antagonism of Islam and Christendom. Even in the Crimean War, the English and French aid to Turkey had been regarded as that of tributaries summoned to the help of their suzerain. So now Germany had to be represented as Moslem. Especially the picturesque figure of the German Kaiser assumed an even more picturesque guise as Hajji Wilhelm and as Muhibb al-Islam, the peculiar "Lover of Islam." More difficult to adjust was the relationship of friendship which the crisis compelled with Bulgaria and Greece. Bulgaria had to be accepted as an ally; with Greece all irritation had to be avoided. For Bulgaria, on its side, the situation was not so difficult. The centuries of Balkan conflict have demonstrated that each of the Balkan peoples would rather be under the control of a foreign power, even Moslem, than yield in any way to one of its supposed Christian sisters. With Greece, Turkey did not ally herself; but the consideration which had to be shown for her came out clearly in the differing treatment of Greeks and of Armenians. To settle with the Armenians, Turkey has had a freer hand than even in the palmiest days of "Abdul the Damned." The Central European powers which might have intervened did nothing, and are even under a suspicion, approaching certainty, of connivance before and after the deed. But the same fate, when it threatened the Greeks, was quickly checked. The new Islam, however old-fashioned, had to learn to distinguish.

But with the adherence of Turkey only the first step in the German programme of using Islam in the war had been taken. Turkey was an ally; but that was of very little account unless there came with it the alliance of all Islam. It had been Germany's hope that bringing in Turkey on her side would mean that the whole Moslem world would become pro-German: that central Asia would rise against Russia; Moslem India and Egypt, against Great Britain; Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, against France; that Afghanistan would descend upon India,, and the swarms of the Sudan and the Sahara upon north Africa; that the magic in the summons of the Caliph of Constantinople would be such that every Moslem would feel his soul imperilled if he did not heed it. What was the result? As a matter of fact, this summons has had about as little actual effect as the pro-German campaign in the United States. Only in Egypt does it seem to have met with response—and Egypt has not risen. The effect seems rather to have been to injure the standing of Turkey in Islam. The suzerain has summoned his vassals, and they have paid no attention.

There is, however, risk of confusion if such feudal terms as suzerain and vassal are used; they are metaphors here and do not express the precise realities. What, then, is the actual situation? We have heard much, in this connection, of a holy war, or about a holy war being "proclaimed," as though all wars between Islam and not-Islam were not by nature and without any special proclamation holy wars. There was—and is—a war; there was a proclamation of a kind; there was an endeavor to reach and rouse all Moslems.

To appreciate the situation fully, certain facts must be kept in mind. It must be remembered that, as has been said, a Moslem nation is always theoretically in a state of belligerency—if not of actual war-—with its non-Moslem neighbors. Furthermore, in Islam two kinds of duties are recognized: duties incumbent upon each separate individual and duties which are sufficiently performed when a sufficient number of individuals perform them. The war against unbelievers is of the second kind. It is not a duty upon each believer thus to fight, although it may add greatly to his merit and to his resultant reward in Paradise. Especially if he dies in such warfare, he is a martyr and goes direct to Paradise. But what is sufficient performance of this duty? That will vary with circumstances and might theoretically lead to the bringing in of every believer. If a Moslem state becomes hard pressed in a conflict and has exhausted its resources, it may call upon its Moslem neighbors and thus the conflict may spread until fighting "in the Path of Allah" becomes an individual duty.

That was exactly what took place with the entrance of Turkey into the present war. The Sultan of the Ottoman Turks went to war in alliance with Germany and Austria against the Allies. But as the Caliph of the Prophet, he wished to exercise his authority over all Moslems. The problem was how to bring this authority—such as it was—to bear, and to mobilize the whole Moslem world; for it was evident to the Turks and their allies that this was a situation calling for the most extreme measures. It should be noticed that this asserted headship of the Caliph over all Moslems, whatever their political allegiance, is no simple spiritual matter, as is too often said. The Caliph is not a Pope, except of the kind against whose encroachments English sovereigns had to launch writs of prœmunire. He cannot bind the conscience in spiritual things of any Moslem. On the other hand, the Caliph, if he is anything, is a temporal sovereign, chosen by the Moslem people to administer the Moslem system. He is an executive, with absolute power unless he oversteps the essentials of Islam; in which case the people that elected him can recall him.

With his entrance into the war, the Ottoman Sultan Caliph had, then, to indicate to the Moslem world outside of Turkey the situation in which he and his country stood. He did that by asking the Shaikh al-Islam, the official head of the canonist theologians of the Empire, to answer in his official capacity certain questions. Such answers are called fetwas and are exactly like "legal opinions" given by eminent counsel with us. Any canon lawyer may be applied to for one, and, of course, the value of the ''opinion" depends up on the reputation of the lawyer. When officially given by the Shaikh al-Islam, it is supposed to represent the consensus of opinion of the canon lawyers, of the Empire and hence to be a true statement as to what is according to the Moslem faith on the matter submitted. The Sultan's questions with the answers of the Shaikh al-Islam, as they appeared in the newspapers at the time, ran as follows:

First question: "If lands of Islam are subjected to attack by enemies, if danger threatens Islam, must, in that case, young and old, infantry and mounted men, in all parts of the earth inhabited by Mohammedans, take part in the holy war, with their fortune and their blood, in case the Padisha declares the war to all Mohammedans?" Answer: "Yes."

Second question: "Since Russia, England, France, and other states supporting these three powers against the Islamitic Caliphate have opened hostilities against the Ottoman Empire by means of their warships and their land troops, is it necessary that all Mohammedans also who live in the countries named shall rise against their government and take part in the holy war?" Answer: "Yes."

Third question: "Will, under all circumstances—since the attainment of the goal depends upon the participation of all Mohammedans in the holy war—those who refuse to join in the general uprising be punished for conduct so abhorrent?" Answer: "Yes."

Fourth question: "Mohammedans who live in lands of the enemy may, under threats against their own lives and the lives of their families, be forced to fight against the soldiers of the states of Islam. Can such conduct be punished as forbidden under the Sheriat, and those guilty thereof be regarded as murderers and punished with the fires of hell?" Answer: "Yes."

Fifth question: "Inasmuch as it will be detrimental to the Mohammedan Caliphate if the Mohammedans who live in Russia, France, England, Servia, and Montenegro, fight against Germany and Austria-Hungary, which are the saviors of the great Mohammedan empire, will, therefore, those who do so be punished with heavy penalties?" Answer: "Yes."

Certain interesting deductions may be made from these questions and answers. It is obviously taken for granted that the Ottoman Sultan is Caliph over the whole Moslem world. Further, the first "opinion" lays down the general position as to a holy war, declaring that the Caliph has the right, on occasion, to call out all Islam. The second states that the Moslem inhabitants of countries hostile to Islam must rise against their non-Moslem rulers, and the third that this duty is absolute and that neglect of it will be punished. This is made clear because Moslem law takes account of degrees of duty ranging from the indifferent action, through the merely recommended, to the absolutely required, the omission of which is sin. The fourth "opinion" is directed especially against the Moslem troops of the hostile powers and states specifically that these render themselves liable to punishment here and hereafter. And the fifth asserts that fighting against Germany and Austria is the same as fighting against Islam; that is, that the Moslem fighting in France against Germany is disobeying his Caliph and will assuredly go to the Fire. These "opinions" were followed by a general proclamation in Turkish, further emphasizing these claims in more flowery and less technical language, and addressed to the Ottoman Empire and the Moslem world, urbi et orbi.

And what was the result? Both fetwas and proclamation seem to have been practically without effect. Moslem troops have continued to fight for France and England in France and elsewhere. "When taken prisoner and brought under Turkish influence, they have proved as loyal to the military oath as Sir Dugald Dalgetty or—to choose a more modern and exact parallel—the Irish soldiers in Germany, whom Sir Roger Casement tried to seduce from their allegiance. The situation in India has already been briefly stated. That in Persia has been simply a continuation and exasperation of the state of anarchy which preceded the war. The Persian government—such as it is—has remained technically neutral. There have been little risings throughout the country, fostered and directed by German agents, and supported mostly by the foreign gendarmerie. These are now vanishing under Russian control. Arabia, as might be expected, is in a chaotic state. Turkey, of course, controls the northern and western fringes, and Great Britain the sea coast. In the interior, the two great antagonistic dynasties of the Beni Rashid in Hail and the Wahhabites in Riad have naturally taken opposite sides.

The situation among the Sherifs of the blood of Mohammed in the two sacred cities, Mecca and Medina, has of course radically changed within the last few months, especially since the Grand Sherif and his followers took Mecca from the Turks. Arabia as a whole has at last risen against the Sultan, and Syria is only held down by the Turkish army. Although fundamental racial discord and centuries of oppression lie behind this revolt, it has apparently been brought to a head by the recognition that the present Turkish government has betrayed Islam into the hands of Germany. In consequence, a Meccan Caliphate with a Caliph of the blood of the Prophet is now not improbable. Against it is only the fatal lack of cohesion which the Arabs have always shown. But, however that may be, the secession of Mecca is undoubtedly the hardest blow that Turkey has yet received. It is sure to resound throughout the Moslem world, and may well be regarded as the verdict of Islam on the great Turkish venture.

In the deserts of the Sahara, west of Egypt and south of Tripoli, the guerrilla warfare which followed the Italian conquest of Tripoli has again flared up into a more regular campaign in which the Bedawi tribes of the Sahara, supported by some Turkish troops, seem to be generally engaged. These, in the newspaper despatches, are commonly called Senussis; but if the Senussi fraternity of dervishes has actually, as a fraternity, cast its lot in with the Turks, it has made a complete change in its general attitude towards the non-Moslem world and in its special attitude towards Turkey. The Senussi method in dealing with the encroaching West has always been, not to meet it in order either to learn from it or to oppose it by force, but to withdraw from it ever deeper and deeper into inaccessible deserts. Following that policy, the head of the fraternity is now settled on the northern shores of Lake Chad. And it was not only to get rid of unbelievers that this course was pursued; it was quite as much to escape the surveillance and control of the Turkish government. That government was an abomination to the Senussis because of its ungodly trafficking with unbelievers.

On the French side, it is only, apparently, in the deserts south of the Atlas mountains that there has been any trouble, and that can hardly be connected with the summons of the Ottoman Caliph. Politically, all Moroccans are opposed to him. Theologically they are Sunnites just as he is; but they hold that the Caliphate belongs by right of blood to their own princely house, which is descended from the Prophet. The great Moroccan nobles, therefore, have held by France, although the French control of their country is but a very few years old; and only some Bedawi tribes in the farthest south are raiding after the Bedawi fashion.

But apart from the uprising in Arabia, the attitude of Egypt in the war is undoubtedly the most interesting element in the whole Moslem situation. Ninety per cent of the population, it is said, are pro-Turkish; but how far this characterizes all classes is uncertain. Equally uncertain is the precise reason for this. Several might be suggested. The people may not have had time enough to be affected by the new educative influences of the English control, as these have undoubtedly worked, in India. Or the difference may be due to the fact that Cairo was for centuries the most celebrated university city in the Moslem world, and that Egypt thus received a less easily effaced stamp of Moslem rigidity. It is certainly true that the Egyptian so-called nationalists have always been much less Egyptian than Moslem, while the Young Turks have always been much more Ottoman than Moslem. Or the explanation of the popular feeling may lie in the survival of two Egyptian characteristics which Herodotus mentions—great devotion to religious forms, and aversion to adopting foreign ways. Whatever the reason, the fact comes out very strikingly in the different attitudes of the Syrian and the Egyptian to the possibility of life under a non-Moslem government. Even before the war the average Egyptian used to sigh for the Turk to come and deliver him from the rule of the unbelievers, while the Syrian used to pray for the coming of the unbelievers to drive the Turk out of his country. No government, however just, would content the one if it was not Moslem; the other wanted a good government, even though unbelieving. These attitudes the war has evidently sharpened. Loyalty to Islam has made the Egyptian more and more pro-Turkish, and the oppression of the Turks and the Germans has made the Syrian more and more indifferent on the point of Islam. How far the influence of Mecca will affect Egypt is still to be seen.

Of the rest of the Moslem world, there seems little or nothing to say. It has not been moved. It has remained deaf to the summons of the Sultan Caliph. According to the latest reports, Turk is even fighting against Turk. Troops from Turkestan, we read, are facing the Ottomans on the battle fields of Asia Minor. Thus the war reveals the fact that the old unity of Islam is steadily yielding to the multiplicity of nationality and that in the future the Caliph will need—if he can—to transform himself into a Pope and to abandon politics—a change hardly to be looked for, as the transformation would have to be of the completest; and even Popes are always politicians.

© J. Fred MacDonald, 2013

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A Novel of World War One
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The Headlong Fury