Thursday, 14 June 2012

1933 - Letter P (work in progress)

BFTF has been fascinated by the contents of a multi-volume 1933 Odhams Press publication entitled "The British Encyclopedia". The volumes provide a glimpse into the the way the world looked at that time and BFTF thought you, gentle reader, might be interested to read a few extracts from some of the somtimes surprising, sometimes shocking, sometimes sad entries. See here for extracts from other sections of the encyclopaedia

Please note that these are only tiny extracts and are not meant to be a summary of the entire encyclopedia entry.

A maritime country of the Mediterranean administered by Great Britain under mandate from the League of Nations, as a Jewish national home...

The predominant race is Musselman-Arabs, but the Jews are rapidly increasing, mainnly by immigration from Russia and Rumania...

The principal farm crops are wheat, barley, millet, tobacco, olives, melons and lentils. Sheep, goats and camels are raised...

Oranges (from the Jaffa district) are exceptionally thick skinned and are more suitable for transport than any other competitive oranges on the market. The best are sent to Liverpool, which receives 2/3 of the crop. Egypt and Turkey take the remainder. Each orange crop is worth £2,000,000.

The ostensible aim of the British Government, in accordance with the Balfour Declaration, is to make Palestine the Jewish national home without prejudicing the non-Jewish communities within the mandate area.

Population (census 1922), 757,182(590,890 of Mohammedan belief, 83,793 Jews, 73,024 Christians, 7028 Druses, and 163 Samaritans)

The Future of Palestine.-Much has been said about the development of Palestine, its future prospects and the probable effects of concentrating a small number of Jews in a territory that is overwhelmingly Muslim..

The Jew accepts Moses but rejects Christ and Mahomet; the Christian accepts both Moses and Christ but not Mohamet; and the Mahommedan accepts all three, Mahomet, Christ and Moses, as prophets, and in virtue of such a recognition he would appear to have a paramount right to th custody of the holy place of civilisation.

An Ottoman political ideal having as its basis the reunion of of the scattered religious sects and political divisions of Islam under one head, for the resistance of further encroachment by European powers, and for the ousting of European rulers from Asia and Africa. This ideal finds expression in Arabic by a phrase Ittihad al-Islam, meaning "Islamic Union" or Pan-Islamism, and was first mentioned in English in the Times of 19th Jan. 1882.

The Ottoman interpretation of the movement was simply a confederation of Muslim peoples on German lines and under Turkish hegemony. 1911 the Young Turk Committee...were canvassing all Muslim states under European control on behalf of the Pan-Islamic doctrine, urging all good Mohammedans to achnowledge the Sultan of Turkey as their legitimate, and emphasising the oriental fact "religion first, nationality second".

The Persian was urged to "remember he was a Muslim and to forget he was a Shiite"

Under a similar scheme the smaller sects of Islam (Ismailis, Zaidis, etc) which rendered any system of unification impracticable, were to be wiped out and their adherents incorporated with the break bulk of Muslims.

With the advent of the European War, events moved rapidly. Turkey subordinated her foeign policy to [Germany] and went to war claiming a jihad that nobody would either countenence or join. The keeper of the Holy Places, the Sherif of Mecca, entered on the British side in 1916 and in doing so he damned forever the Turkish cause in the eyes of the already disgusted and Turk-ridden Arabs. . .

At the end of the war...the general shrinking of Turkish power, extent and prestige gave Pan-Islamism a blow from which in all probability it will never recover.

NB : This post is not finished yet!

1 comment:

  1. Typo in 15th word of article. Great article..