Herbert Adams Gibbons.

The reconstruction of Poland and the Near East ; problems of peace online

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of Constantinople and its relation to the
Eastern question. Italy and the Balkan
balance of power will be dealt with later.
The bearing of the Islamic problem upon
the Eastern question has an importance
all of its own. Here we have the aspira-
tions of Mohammedan races, independent
and under European control, and the
sufferings and hopes of Christian races
still in subjection to ^Mohammedans. The

difficulties that will arise in connection
with acting justly and wisely toward these
races of the near East when their claims
come before the peace conference, and the
adoption of a pan-European policy toward
the problem of the Idialifate, are questions
of vital importance in the reconstruction
of Europe.

We do not know how many ^Moslems
there are in the world. It is impossible
to arrive at even approximate figures.
Missionaries and travelers speak "in
round numbers," sparing or generous with
millions to such an extent that the student,
astounded and bewildered by the dis-
crepancies in estimates, becomes skeptical
of statistics. In many parts of Asia and
Africa the absence of data upon which to
compute population (much less the re-
ligions professed by the people!) puts es-
timates of Mohammedan totals into the


field of speculation. But where the popu-
lation of states or regions has been com-
piled by government officials who have
facts to go upon, and where that popula-
tion is preponderously JMoslem, fairly
reliable estimates are possible. Such is
the case along the Mediterranean littoral
of Africa, in a few African protectorates,
in Russian and portions of Asiatic Russia,
in India, and in the Dutch East Indies.

A conservative estimate of Moslems
under European rule or effective Euro-
pean protection gives:

Great Britain 85,000,000

Holland 30,000,000

Russia 17,000,000

France 15,000,000

There are also Moslems owning al-
legiance to Germany, Italy, Spain, Por-
tugal, and the United States in colonies,
and to Austria-Hungary and the Balkan


States directly as citizens; but their num-
ber is not large enough to call for a definite
Mohammedan colonial policy.

The INIohammedan question, from an
international point of view, is not a com-
plicated one for Holland. Her Moslems
are on islands and their relations with
JNIohammedans of independent states and
the colonies and protectorates of other
European Powers can easily be con-
trolled. Great Britain, Russia, and
France, on the other hand, cannot divorce
the problem of Islam from their general
colonial and foreign policy. Their unique
position in the jNIohammedan world was
one of the compelling forces that gave
birth to the Triple Entente. The neces-
sity, perhaps unconsciously divined, of
standing together to protect their Moham-
medan interests led them to compound
colonial rivah"ies. Thus "the next Euro-


pean war" showed a grouping of Powers
verj" different from that which the observer
of European affairs might reasonably have
prophesied at the beginning of the twen-
tieth century. In 1900, Great Britain
was not yet ready to abandon to Germany
the title of defender of the integrity of
the Ottoman Empire, and British states-
men were in a frame of mind to look upon
France and Russia, rather than upon Ger-
many and Austria, as the disturbers of the
world's peace who had to be fought and
cured of unliealthy ambitions/ The new

1 This statement needs no confirmation to those who
followed the British press between 1898 and 1902. But,
as memories are so short these da\'s, I shall give just one
quotation. An editorial in the London "Daily Mail."
November 9, 1899, said: "The French have succeeded
in wholly convincing John Bull that they are his invet-
erate enemies. England has long hesitated between
France and Germany. But she has always respected
German character, while she has gradually come to feel
scorn for France. Nothing in the nature of an entente
cordlale can exist between England and her nearest
neighbor. France has neither courage nor political
sense." Mr. Harmsworth [the present Lord NorthcliflfeJ



orientation of British foreign policy began
in 1902, and was determined by the French
Agreement of 1904 and the Russian
Agreement of 1907.

Most Russian INIoslems are Russian
subjects. They form compact masses in
southern and southeastern Russia, the
Caucasus, the Transcaspian district, Cen-
tral Asia (with Turkestan), and the pro-
tectorates of Khiva and Bokhara. Al-
though Russian ^Moslems are in contact
with their coreligionnaires in Turkey,
Persia, Afghanistan, and India, they have
no pronounced separatist tendencies, and
have not been a source of anxiety to Russia
except in the Caucasus and on the Persian
frontier. On the other hand, Russia has
used her Moslems to make trouble for
Great Britain and Turkey. During the
first decade of the twentieth century, Tur-

was then, as now, carrying on what he likes to call "a
campaign of education" among his fellow-countrymen !



key conducted an agitation against France
from Tripoli and Egypt. But the Italian
and Senussi wars have shut off French
Moslems from Cairo and Constantinople
for the last five years. Only upon Great
Britain is the necessity imposed, as it has
been since the beginning of her imperial
policy, of watching Islam in every place
where Islam is indigenous. Great Britain
cannot afford to be ignorant of any ques-
tion, of any movement, that affects Islam.
East Africa and Zanzibar and Somaliland
come into contact with Arabia, West
Africa with the Sudan and Tripoli, Trip-
oli and the Sudan with Egypt. Egypt is
adjacent to Arabia and Turkey. The
Malay states and Ceylon are in com-
munication with Java and Sumatra and
with India. India comes into contact
with Central Asia and by Afghanistan with
Persia. Aden, the Persian Gulf states,


and Baluchistan are invariably affected by
events in Turkey and Arabia and IMeso-
potamia. Moslem penetration into Cen-
tral Africa has become a subject of study
and reports on the part of Nyassaland and
Rhodesian officials. It is not beyond the
province of British prudence to watch
Islam in Siam, and to wonder how many
Moslems there are in China.

The establishment of the French pro-
tectorate over IMorocco in 1912 left very
little of the Moslem world outside of Eu-
ropean control or "protection." The five
remaining JMohammedan countries, all of
them except Afghanistan struggling at
the present moment to prevent being sub-
jugated by Europe^ have an approximate
Mohammedan population as follows:

Ottoman Empire (includ-
ing Arabia) 14,000,000

Persia 9,000,000

Afghanistan 5,000,000



Tripoli (with Senussi

hinterland) 700,000

Albania 500,000

Albania is occupied militarily by Aus-
tro-Hungarian, Italian, and Bulgarian
armies. The Italians have a foothold at
several places on the coast of Tripoli, and
had secured European acknowledgment
of "annexation" before the Great War
broke out. Russians, British, and Turks
are fighting in Persia, where the two
former have not been able to maintain
the cynically established "spheres of in-
fluence" of 1907. Turkey is a belligerent,
allied to the Central Powers and Bulgaria.

European states have come into conflict
with Islam and with one another through
commercial and political expansion into
Mohammedan countries. The history" of
international diplomacy in the Islamic
world is an unbroken record of bullying
and blundering on the part of all the


Powers. In governmental policies one
searches in vain for more than an occa-
sional ray of chivalry, uprightness, al-
truism, for a consistent line of action in
attempting to solve the problems that
were leading Europe from one war to
another, for constructive statesmanship.
European cabinets used the aspirations of
Christian subject races to promote their
own ends against one another, and to
threaten Turkey. Then, for fear of sacri-
ficing what they thought they had gained,
foreign offices and ambassadors allowed
the wretched Christians to be massacred
for having dared to respond to European
overtures and to put faith in promises of
protection held out. European diplo-
macy inspired Abdul-Hamid to make
Panislamism a political propaganda, thus
denaturing one of the most promising
and beautiful religious revivals of Islam.


"When the diplomats saw their mistake,
they tried to wrest away the weapon they
had put in the sultan's hands, and to use
it against one another. In their eagerness
to thwart one another and to win conces-
sions and colonies for their own countries,
there was alternate bullying and fawning
ad nauseam. The idea of the "universal
khalifate" is wholly foreign to INIoham-
medan genius and traditions. It ema-
nated from the brains of European states-
men whose knowledge of JNIohammedan
laws and history was — to say the least —

The indictment of European diplomacy
in the near East is terrible: one might
even say that it seems incredible. But
there are a dozen thoroughly documented
treatises on the Eastern question, available
in all large libraries, to which the reader
of independent judgment who wishes


corroboration of my assertions may go.
And do not the facts, as set forth in com-
pact text-books of nineteenth-century Eu-
ropean history, speak for themselves?
From Vienna, 1815, to Bukharest, 1913,
has the concert of European Powers, or
any one Power, maintained a consistent,
or shown an altruistic, jjolicy, in deal-
ing with the emancipation and devolution
of Mohammedan territories? Has there
been a traditional grouping of the Powers,
some as champions, others as oppressors
of small nationalities? What Power has
not played the game of encouraging Chris-
tians under the IVIohammedan yoke, and
then abandoned them to their fate, in order
not to offend INIohammedan sentiment?
The evolution of Serbia, of Rumania, of
Bulgaria, of Greece, of Crete; the suffer-
ings of Armenia and Syria; the anarchy
of Ai'abia ; the vacillating policy in Egypt


and northern Africa ; the intrigues at Con-
stantinople; the handling of Persia and
Afghanistan, give us the formula of Eu-
ropean di^^lomacy. It is this: selfish
national interest endeavoring to thwart
other selfish national interests. Fre-
quently events have proved that the dis-
trust which led to wars and to threats of
wars was unfounded. In France and
Great Britain public opinion, when en-
lightened, has sometimes called for a po-
hcy dictated by justice and inspired by
humanity; but such a policy has not been

One might remonstrate that it is un-
gracious and profitless to recall the regret-
table past, now that we are in the midst
of a war of glorious idealism, when the
sins of the ancestors are being dearly paid
for in human blood, and when the world
is moving irresistibly toward a peace that


will rectify the injustices of nineteenth-
century diplomacy. But this is precisely
why we need to set forth clearly the issues
that are at stake, and to study the means
of avoiding the old pitfalls and of securing
the triumph of the principles for which
millions are giving their lives. Since we
hope that this war will bring about a
general liquidation of the political ills from
which mankind is suffering, the fate of
Mohammedan races and of Christian
races calling for emancipation from Mo-
hammedan rule must perforce interest
us as much as the fate of Belgium and
Serbia. Both gi'oups of belligerents, in
response to President Wilson's note, while
declaring that there is no necessity for
American mediation, make an official
"bid" for American sympathy and sup-
port in establishing a iiost-helliim world
status upon the principles of justice and


liberty for all nations, especially for small
and weak nations. If we want to get a
world vision, then, of a world peace, it is
incumbent upon us to acquaint ourselves
with extra-European, as well as with Eu-
ropean, problems.

The relations of Europe with Islam, the
future of the khalifate, the devolution of
INIohammedan territories, the status of
emancipated Christians — we want to know
what the belligerents have in mind as a
solution of these questions, which affect
vitally the bases of a durable peace. I am
able to treat them here only in outline,
trusting that the reader will be moved to
seek the catalogue of his library or, better
still, to consult his librarian. In America
the library catalogue is a treasure-house
tliat needs no key, and the librarian is
the able and indispensable ally of the
schoolmaster and the publicist. Since this


is so, I do not hesitate to attempt to trace
in a few paragraphs several factors in the
reconstruction of Europe that are un-
fortunately too little in the public mind.

Europe's attitudes toward islam

A recent manifesto of American educa-
tionalists and clergymen, which was
quoted widely in the French and British
press, condemned the action of Kaiser
Wilhelm in trying to arouse Islam against
his enemies. The condemnation is just,
for Kaiser Wilhelm, as a Christian mon-
arch, is faithless in this action as in many
others to the true interests of Christianity
and European civihzation. But, unfortu-
nately, he has only followed the traditional
policy of Christian monarchs, from
Francis the First of France to his own
gi-andmother. Queen Victoria. Ever
since the Turks set foot in Europe, the


Ottoman sultans have been solicited to
give their aid to Christians against Chris-
tians, and have been brothers-in-arms of
French against Spanish and Germans,
French against English and English
against French, French and English
against Russians, French against Aus-
trians and Austrians against French,
Italians against one another, and of each
Balkan race in internecine strife. In
Asiatic and African expansion, during the
last half -century, Germany has been the
latest comer in the dangerous and treach-
erous game of European Powers trying to
use JNIohammedan fanaticism to menace
one another. The most striking examples
are Russian intrigue against Great Britain
in Afghanistan, and French intrigue
against Great Britain in Eg\^pt. "\^^lo
does not remember, only a decade ago,
the agitation of the British press over


Russia's policy in regard to India and the
Persian Gulf, and the powerful support
the Young Egyptian agitation received in
France ?

The movement for a jMohammedan re-
naissance took form during the period be-
tween the Crimean and Russo-Turkish
wars. Its leaders, Al Afghani, Al
Ivawakebi, Sheik INIohammed Abdu, and
Ahmed Khan, were inspired by religious,
and not political, ideals. They saw that
the decadence of Islam could be checked
only by a spiritual awakening, which fol-
lowed and was nourished by an intellectual
awakening. They wanted to revive the
old glory of IMohammedan learning, and
to create a spirit of solidarity among
Moslems such as they believed existed
among Christians. Ahmed Khan, in
India, laid emphasis upon education,
spread not only by schools, but by books


and reviews; Sheik INIohammed Abdu, in
Egypt, worked for the casting aside of
uncanonical doctrines and traditions and
customs with which Islam had become
encrusted, and which he declared would
prevent the regeneration of Islam; Al
Afghani traveled far and wide, preaching
Mohammedan unity and solidarity, and
founding societies and newspapers to pro-
mulgate his ideas ; and Al Kawakebi gave
his life to denouncing the evils from which
Islam was suffering and pointing out the

It would be idle to speculate upon the
influence Panislamism would have had,
and the development it would have taken,
had it come fifty years earlier. But aris-
ing when it did, the movement was a cause
of uneasiness and alarm to the European
Powers who had been and were still grab-
bing IMohanmiedan countries, and also to


Sultan Abdul-Hamid, the beginning of
whose reign was marked by the hiiniihat-
ing defeat at the hands of Russia and the
imposition of the treaty of Berlin. Eu-
ropean diplomacy looked upon Pan-
islamism as a menace to the success of
the plans of extension of sovereignty over
JNIoslem countries. Hamidian diplomacy
feared that Panislamism, taken up by
the Arabs and centered around Mecca,
might be used by the European Powers to
foment a separatist movement in the
distant parts of the Ottoman Empire.
There was, then, a common opposition on
the part of the Turkish khalif as well as
of Christian statesmen to the spread of the
Panislamic movement. But the fear of
guilty European consciences gave Abdul-
Hamid an idea. He put himself, as
klialif, at the head of the Panislamic
movement, and saw in it the means of


carrying on a political propaganda
throughout the whole iVlohamniedan
world. Panislamism w^as to bring about
the revival of the Ottoman Empire in all
its ancient glory and power. Abdul-
Hamid's agents penetrated everywhere.
The sultan began to work on a railway
from Damascus to the holy cities of Islam
which would transport pilgrims to and
from ^lecca through Turkey.

Abdul-Hamid would not have succeeded
in gaining power and prestige from his
Panislamic propaganda had the policy
and intentions of European Powers
toward JNIohammedan states and INIoham-
medan races been honorable and just.
For then they need have feared no dissatis-
faction where their control was already es-
tablished, and need have had no anxiety
about the regeneration of Islam in inde-
pendent states. They would have wel-


corned any movement working for reform
and for democracy. They would have
seen in Panislamism, if generously aided
by them to keep its original spirit, a force
that might rehabilitate Islam, and enable
Mohammedan races to follow in the path
of European races to self-government, in-
dependence, and vigorous national life.
But that is precisely what the men who
guided the foreign and colonial policy of
European states did not want, precisely
what they have always been willing to
precipitate wars to prevent. To prepare
INIohammedan colonies and protectorates
for self-government, to strengthen and
help to rehabilitate weak Asiatic and
African states, that would be sheer mad-
ness! Not only would commercial and
13olitical advantages be lost, but, if the hold
already acquired on INIohammedan coun-
tries was lessened or released, and if op-


portunities were allowed to pass to get a
hold on the remaining independent JNIo-
hammedan countries, some other Power
would not be so squeamish. No Power —
not one — was squeamish. The result is
that virtually every INIohammedan coun-
try in the world has been treated by Eu-
ropean nations as Belgium and Serbia and
Poland have been treated. Their wrongs
cry out to Heaven to be redressed, their
aspirations cry out to the sense of fairness
and justice of all mankind to be heard.
In a similar position are the Christian
races still waiting to be emancipated from
the Ottoman j^oke. If the wrongs are not
known, it is because the world is ignorant
of and indifferent to things that happen
"far away"; if we are less familiar with
the aspirations of Asiatic and African
JNIohammedan and Christian nations than
we are with the aspirations of certain sub-


ject races in Europe, it is because selfish
political interest, and not humanitari-
anism, is to-day the motive power behind
championship of small nationalities in
every single belligerent country of Eu-

Panislamism was neither fanatical nor
political in its inception. It need not
have become so in its development. It did
not have in it the danger the European
statesmen suspected, and as a powerful
influence throughout the INIohammedan
world that could be w^ielded as he chose
by the Turkish sultan, Panislamism was
a chimera, an absurd unreality. The dis-
illusionment of Germany in the present
war has proved that European statesmen
have long been slaves of a mythical
Frankenstein, the creation of their own in-
trigues and imaginations. Aside from the
radical divisions of Sunnites and Sheahs,


there are numerous other sects in Islam.
The followers of IMohammed are no more
united in religious belief and ecclesiastical
affiliation than are the followers of Christ.
In fact, the bonds in Islam are so loose, the
ideals so democratic, the foundations so
lacking in hierarchical tradition and pos-
sibilities, that Islam does not enjoy the
spirit of unity, does not possess the ele-
ments of solidarity.

It is undoubtedly true, on the other
hand, that we must guard against inter-
preting the failure of Islam to march with
Turkey in the Holy War as a proof of
love and loyalty of Moslems to their Eu-
ropean masters, and also against denying
the existence of a Panislamic sentiment
in regard to Europeans. In densely igno-
rant and remote and savage countries,
which have no national history, the sec-
tators of Mohammed bear no grudge


against the foreigners who rule them.
The loyalty and evident good-will of the
Sudanese to the British, of which I have
written recently, is striking proof of this.
Senegalese loyalty to France is another
proof. But in Egypt, Arabia, Turkey,
Persia, and Albania, frangi (the Arabic
word includes all Europeans) are
anathema. The dislike and distrust of
Europeans is general, and no distinction
is made by the mass of the people between
Europeans of this or that particular
Power. They are all frangi. The dislike
and distrust have come to include native
Christians, who lived for centuries in com-
parative peace under INIohammedan rule.
The reason of the xenophobia is the belief
that European political and commercial
activity, manifested by the presence of
foreigners in INIohammedan countries, is
actuated solely by the desu'e to exploit the


natives; and the reason of fanaticism
toward indigenous Christian elements is
the belief that their fellow Christians are
conspiring with European governments to
dispossess them. I am not holding a brief
for the reasonableness of the jMoham-
medan attitude. I am simply stating the

It does no good to utter disclaimers, and
to argue that the Mohammedans are labor-
ing under a misapprehension. If this war
is to solve the question of the Orient, the
peace conference must prove to the Mo-
hammedan world by acts, and not by high-
sounding phrases, the intention of Europe
to put local jNIohammedan interests ahead
of European interests in jNIohammedan
countries: by (1) abstaining from parti-
tioning or bringing under direct European
sovereignty what countries of the Moslem
world have succeeded so far in escaping


the territorial greed of the Great Powers ;
and (2) taking upon themselves the
mutual solemn obligation to prepare for
self-government and eventual separate na-
tional existence ]Mohammedan countries
now held as colonies or protectorates.
For is not the only justfication of "emi-
nent European domain" the happiness and
well-being of extra-European peoples in
subjection? If so, the complete control
(especially in internal affairs) of the Eu-
ropean benefactors must be exercised in
such a way that the people be prepared
for self-government as rapidly as possible :
and the people need to be convinced by
acts — words no longer count for anything
— that the officials imposed upon them
place the interests of the occupied country
and its inhabitants before the interests of
the occupjang country. Let no reader ex-
claim that I am a dreamer, setting forth


an absurd and unrealizable and impracti-
cable policy. It was the American policy
in Cuba. It is the American policy in
the Philippine Islands.


The relations of Europe with Africa
and Asia have been allowed during the
last thirty years to be troubled and upset
by a curious and wholly unfounded sup-

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