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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

154
THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
CHAP.
I
echo amongst a certain school at least of Egyptian malcontents, with whom Nationalism is apt to be merely a form of Pan-Islamism.
Egyptian Nationalism is made of a very different stuff from Turkish nationalism. The Turks have always been a fighting race and a ruling race. The Egyptians have not. Little love is or has ever been lost between the Egyptians and the Turks, who were so long their masters. But the common tie of Islam must not be underrated. In Hamidian days Turkish political refugees often took sanctuary in Egypt. Many of the great families, including the Sultan's, are still more Turkish than Egyptian, and after the Turkish revolution of 1908, the Khedive Abbas, who could play the Nationalist when it suited him, and many of the Egyptian leaders of the pre-war Nationalist movement, kept up very close relations with the " Young Turks."
One need not assume, now or in the past, any direct and intimate co-operation between Egyptian and Turkish Nationalists. Their ultimate aims are too clearly destined to clash. But that the Egyptian Nationalists largely modelled their political organisation on that of the Turkish Nationalists can scarcely be doubted. It may lack the Turkish virility, but it makes up for it by remarkable flexibility, and it displays no little adroitness in exploiting the fluctuations of the international situation and the peculiar idiosyncrasies of the Western nations with which it has to reckon. There is even less reason to assume any co-operation between the leaders of Egyptian Nationalism and Muscovite Bolshevism, but the Bolshevist spirit is abroad all over the East as well as the West, and any violent political movement, however peaceful the vast majority of those engaged in it may desire to keep it, inevitably attracts a large number of hangers-on whose anarchist instincts are always against peace and order. These have supplied a contingent of irregular forces to Egyptian Nationalism which has brought much discredit upon it, but which its leadersd to find a responsive