Skip to main content

Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

See other formats

fighting power, Egypt's contribution to the war can challenge comparison with that of many other parts of the British Empire, though she was never given the chance of gaining credit for conscious and voluntary sacrifice. It> is sometimes argued that she would never have gained smeli credit if it had been left to her free will to decide wlxat contribution she should make, but it is hardly ^ix argument we are justified in using, since the fiction wa,s always maintained, however little it ultimately corresponded to the facts, that compulsion was never ^KPplied to Egyptians in regard to any war services they rendered. Not once during the war were the legislative bodies created to give limited opportunities of constitutional expression to Egyptian public opinion allowed to meet., or given an opportunity of associating themselves j>"u.Tblicly with the many measures actually taken by the Staltan and his Ministers in furtherance of the war. Nowhere was the censorship more rigorous and, according to most people, more unintelligent. Yet on the whole, A,ndL even in the towns, the new regime had been accepted without any outward manifestations of disaffection.
-Amongst the Mahomedan population of Cairo,  over which such a powerful centre of Mahomedan orthodoxy ci*s   "the University of El Azhar always exercises a great influence, as well as amongst the younger Pan-Islamic «arxcl   Nationalist parties  who had been in fairly close tiOULch. of recent years with the Young Turks of Constantinople, Great  Britain doubtless had few well-wishers. JLn "fche first months of the war, the prospect of a Turkish i rjLva,sion could hardly fail to create some popular excitement.    A Turkish army was known to be concentrating irx Syria in order to move against the Suez Canal, and if possible sever  our communications through that vital waterway with India and Australia.    But the excitement Kizl> sided as soon as the attack was foiled in the early clary s   of February,   1915—when, by the way, Egyptian ^jt raillery played an extremely useful part in the defence of   tdb.e  Canal—and Turks were marched into Cairo as
F 2railways and the introduc