페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

together with a most advantageous modification of the administrative abuses from which we suffer. For in the meantime, between our foes and our allies, we might fare but little better than the unfortunate Tangier guards, who thought they were doing what the European ministers desired (viz., to maintain order) by the only means they were accustomed to employ. True, they did shoot the Gibraltarian; but the Moorish view of the situation was, that the former should have peaceably obeyed the repeated injunctions of the guard to disperse, to go home, to go to bed, not to bawl or shout in the public streets, and smash windows; and that when, instead of thus obeying, the British subject attacked them, his blood should be upon his own head. Alas! they were not educated or accustomed, like the English policeman, to go unarmed about their work; and having fire-arms the Moorish guards thought themselves justly entitled to use their guns

when attacked. And now, behold! they are murderers, and are ordered to be beaten and imprisoned; whilst their countrymen groan with indignation, and the Sultan broods in his palace over the event !

On the other hand there has been much animated discussion in the London Press, and also at Paris, Madrid and Rome. England was to send a new minister to retrieve the failure of Sir Charles Euan Smith last summer. For this task an Under-Secretary of State was selected. The Times even asserted, in an apparently inspired article, that Colonel West Ridgeway would come supported by such a display of naval force as would compel attention to his demands. Immediately there was question of sending a French squadron from Toulon under Admiral BugeItalian frigates were announced from La Spezzia and Spanish troops were ordered to be mobilized at Malaga. Then M. Waddington goes to London with very energetic and precise instructions from M. Ribot ; and, presto, the English music, lately so belligerent, is lowered a couple of octaves; and we now read, in paragraphs equally inspired, that Sir J. West Ridgeway is to produce the desired effect upon the Sultan's Government, not by the display of ironclads or angry “notes,” but by sitting solemnly at the British Legation, until the Sultan, becoming conscious of his own errors, sues for pardon.

The Sultan may indeed hasten to renew more friendly relations with a Power which he has no conceivable interest to offend; but I express an opinion which is that of my fellow-Muhammadans on this situation, an opinion which might also be that of many well-informed Englishmen, couched in a familiar Arabic phrase, which may be rendered: “ Proceed as you begin, If by violence then violently to the end, If by moderation then moderately or benignly to the end.” Or more literally translated : “Verily he who does an atom's weight, whether of good or evil, shall find it; as the beginning is good or evil, so shall the end be good or evil.”

فمن يعمل مثقال ذرة خيرا يره ومن يعمل مثقال ذرة شرا يره إن كان أوله بالخير يكون آخره بالخير وان كان أوله بالشر يكون آخره بالشز

Frankly, such unseemly alterations and contradictions of attitude, as some organs of the English press have betrayed of late, are not likely to exalt the prestige of England in native, or foreign, or even in dispassionate English, eyes. Whilst, most unfortunately, infinite harm has resulted from all these alarınist rumours, bitter dissensions have been sown, trade seriously injured, and many much needed local improvements arrested here in Tangier, where English influence, if so beneficial as it is pointed out, might better make itself evident, not in belligerent bluster, but in good works, obviously advantageous even to Moorish eyes.

ALI BEN ABD-ES-SALAM,

Shereef of Wazan.

THE NEUTRALIZATION OF EGYPT.

By SAFÎR BEY, AR-RASHÎDÎ.

[We have inserted the following article, as also extracts from Egyptian newspapers, in the conviction that the strong and well-meaning need not fear criticism, and that it certainly must be an advantage To see ourselves as others see us."

-ED.] Our religion lays down that our first duty is to man and our second to God, for man can be injured and God cannot, and as both “good works” or alms and "faith " are included in the same root of “Sadaqa" or "righteousness," "he who does not thank man does not thank God,” and, finally, it is said that “men follow the religion of their rulers.” I will, therefore, discharge the duty of friendship, and comply with your request to inform you of our feelings as regards the English occupation, though argument is no sword, and what is ordained cannot be avoided, and the pious are cautious of blaming Pharaoh (a tyrant), for God has appointed him because of our sins. This land of Egypt is also called the land of Pharaohs, and “to the wise a hint is sufficient."

We thank, therefore, the British for the good which they have done or wished to do, and we beg them now to withdraw, so as also to enable us to earn the merit of good actions by governing ourselves in the fear of God. It will then be seen whether the pupil has learnt the good lessons of his master, or whether he will rather follow his practice, for, verily, the English occupation has lasted more than ten years, and it has been an experience to whoever can profit by it. For though the imitator is not like the originator, yet has the child become a man, and the man will be saved by his own good works, and not by the works or the words of his teacher. It is also not fitting that the teacher should praise himself, for, as is said in the Fables of Lokman, if the lions were painters, the lion would be represented as conquering the man, and not the man as conquering the lion.

The people of India, whom I have seen, are gentle as sheep; and the people of Egypt were lambs, before Alexandria was bombarded and Arabi taken into captivity and the Súdán abandoned, which, owing to the help of our Khalifa, the Sultan, we had ruled for 20 years in peace, and for wishing to retain which the Egyptian ministers were dismissed by Lord Granville in 1884 in a letter which has been wrongly applied in a recent discussion as touching the undoubted right of our Efendi, the Khedive, to appoint his ministers, which is a totally different thing.

Why should the English remain in Egypt, unless we can get back the Sûdán and re-establish the authority of the Khalifa against the Mahdi, or “the guided” (who is verily misguided); then Muhammadans (Sunnis) all over the world would be pleased, and all believers would bless England, and thereby peace and faith can alone be restored.

Why should such large salaries be paid for the administration of justice to foreigners and they yet boast of being just, as if it were a wonderful thing for them to be just, when they already have their reward ? And how can justice be administered when every fugitive from Europe has his own Law and a protector in his Consul ? French and Russian and English and Italian and of all races come for gain to Egypt, and make false claims and get large compensations.

It is a strange thing that these nations, in whose homes there is much misery and vice and tyranny, are anxious to deliver the oppressed of one another, and not their own, and to lead them in the path of goodness. The French grieve over the oppressed Irish, the English mourn the oppressed Russians, and the Russians wish to free the oppressed Bulgarians, Armenians, and others. Africa has been divided among various nations of Europe, in order to sell their goods and procure produce by paying the smallest remunerations to the sons of the soil. Verily, slavery has been checked by the Prophet, on whom be Peace, but it has raised the slave, so that he is of the house of his master, and is cared for when old or ill or weak, and ruling dynasties have descended from the Mamalûks (or “the possessed ”). But he, who is employed by Europeans, is taught intoxicating drinks, and that, if he works, he can get money with which to buy them, and is left to die of hunger and the thirst of vanities when no longer able to work.

As for the Fellahîn, their burthen has always been great, and they do not compare the sorrow of to-day with the sorrow of yesterday, but think the present more heavy than they can bear. Verily, there is truth in this, for the revenues have increased and the salaries of officials are large and the foreign protectors go away with large savings made in a poor country and from poor people, and spend them in rich countries where everything is expensive, whereas in former times our rulers died in the country and left their property to be divided, and, as long as they lived, having the same religion, could be deterred from injustice or punished for it in many ways through relatives or pious men or the censure of companions and the contempt of the people, for which foreigners do not care, getting their salaries from the Khedive, and obeying Lord Cromer.

As for the French, whose manners are light and whose yoke is heavy, they have asked the Khalifa to protest specially, but he has only renewed his old protest, for, by the arrangement with Wolff in 1887, the English occupation would have ceased in 1891, there being a clause of the help of an English army hereafter in the Sûdán, should H.M. the Sultan be unwilling to send more than a Turkish Commissioner with such army, as a sign of his authority over Egypt. The French, however, objected, and also spoke about occupying Syria, and they have, moreover, ruined Egypt by the construction of the Suez Canal, which has cost the lives of thousands of badly-fed labourers obliged to work for nothing, and, when they were dead, compensation was claimed for bringing foreign labourers, who filled the land with wickedness. The

« 이전계속 »