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commerce of Egypt has gone, for now the trade of all nations goes through the Canal without benefit to Egypt, and the silk is brought from Japan and the cotton from India and the railway is half empty, but God has punished the subverter of nature, when he wanted to build another Canal to join other waters that God has separated, and He has benefited the enemies of the Canal, who bought up for 500 francs the share which is now worth 2,000, and who now possess most of the shares and nearly all the trade and all manner of interest on this and on that, which is lawful to Christians and Jews. And the tribute also of about £700,000 a year which is paid by Egypt to the Khalifa, is given to foreign bond-holders, so that as long as the Sultan is our master they will enjoy the fruits of their manœuvres. And in the same way let all Egyptian creditors be paid, whether their loans were for our good or for our evil, or were given willingly or not, for “the Believer" has never repudiated an acknowledged debt, whether just or unjust, or turned a suppliant from his gate, and the weak Jews who are expelled by Russia, the powerful, find an asylum in the territory of the Khalifa, may God lengthen his life and increase his glory! And as for Russia, which proposes to seek alliance with him, and thus to become the master of the Muhammadans in Central Asia and India, verily her persecutions of the Faithful and of other creatures of God will be on her own head, and though she may say to the French “ Do this ” and they do it, yet will this not continue, for the French are not enemies of Islám, and are among the greatest of nations, who will not obey anyone, whether it be Russian or German or both. Moreover, they speak politely, and they do not beat the Egyptians or find fault with everything, and they are not always wanting to see this and to see that, and are not ever writing books and reports, both men and women not knowing Arabic, and always saying they are the best of men, and sending news to their newspapers, which, being written in haste, are the causes of precipitation and strife, and, although little practising their
own creed, subverting our religion. If the English have come here for our good and to teach us to govern ourselves, they should leave us to do so after the teaching of ten years, and God will reward them as the miracle of the Age, but if they have come here for their good, let them say so, for an honest enemy is better than a faithless friend, and the lowest hell is prescribed for the hypocrite.
As the English vessels can command the Red Sea, even if an enemy had the Suez Canal, there would be no danger to them, and, at any time, “the mother of waters,” the “Um-al-má” can be temporarily closed by the sinking of a large ship ; so what is the use of giving Egypt as a prey to all nations, when by giving it to none, all will enjoy peace and the respect in this world and the next! Let it be declared that Egypt is a “ Dár-ul-Imán ”=a seat of safety and faith, and that whatever nation disturbs that condition, all other nations will fight against it. Let the religious authority of the Sultan, ihe Commander of the Faithful, be restored, and the followers of the misguided (Mahdi) will desert him. Let the large salaries now paid to foreign officials be reduced along with the taxes. annually paid for the English army of occupation—whether the same be large or small--may still continue to be paid, provided it is spent on attempts to reconquer Khartum, though I believe that the moment the English army leaves, we shall be able to regain it by religious means. Our Lord the Khedive has acquired the sciences of Europe and possesses those of Islám. The people love him as no other Khedive has been loved, and if the English desire the respect of the people, they must treat him also with respect. We know our affairs better than any foreigner, and we can manage them more cheaply. We shall, however, ever revere the English, if to their great qualities, they add suavity for the creatures of God and consideration for the rights of others.
And although there are men who wield both the sword and the pen, yet should military officers not be sent on
missions of peace, unless disturbance is secretly intended, as at Morocco, for they will use the pens as swords; but they should be sent to the Sudán, where even the women and boys fight bravely like the heroes of other countries, and the men are as whirlwinds of destruction. As for the heresy of the Mahdi, it had been revived by English wanderers denying the authority of the Sultan of Turkey, as the Khalifa of the Faithful, because he is not of Koreish descent. Truly, the Great Sherîf of Mecca is a Koreishi, but he has no army to enforce his decrees, and is not recognized by the orthodox Community as Khalifa, though we venerate him, whereas the Sultan of Turkey has an army, and is so recognized by Muhammadans of the. “Sunnat” all over the world. The holy Prophet, on whom be Peace, has said that “a short time after me there shall be no 'perfect' Khalifa ” (uniting all the qualities of descent, secular power, acceptance by the faithful, etc.), and therefore, nearly all the Khalifas have been “imperfect," but, none the less, are true Khalifas of the believers. Therefore, when Emperor Nicholas commanded that he would take Turkey and England might take Egypt, for the protection of her way to India, he wished to have under his control the Khalifa, and destroy the influence of England eventually in India and in Muhammadan countries. The rulers of England are of two parties, which, one openly, and the other secretly, obey Russia, though the people hate her, so they are like Gog and Magog, and we are approaching the days of darkness, unless it is the will of God that there be a delay, and this delay can only be if Egypt is made a land of peace (neutralized) and the authority of the Sultan is acknowledged in acts, as it is in words.
In conclusion, although newspapers, being, as a rule, the fruits of haste, are from Satan, and books, being the fruits of reflection, are from the Merciful, except those about Egypt written by men and women not knowing Arabic, yet it is lawful to seize the weapon of an enemy if one is on the point of destruction, and so I have written this letter, which will be pure to those who are sincere of heart, but which will be a vexation to the double-dealing and to the tourists who sing and dance on the ancient monuments of Egypt, leaving empty bottles on them and buying bones and carved beetles from the mean of our people, and carrying away the documents of the past to their own countries. Verily these documents are from “the days of ignorance” (before the advent of the prophet Muhammad), but he has recommended us to "seek science, even if it be in China,” which was not, in his time, and is not now, a country of Islám. And whereas even "an intelligent enemy is better than an ignorant friend,” so may also the English seek knowledge in Egypt in the fear of God and the love of men, and forgive any errors in this letter, for “it is the part of the small to err and of the great to forgive.”
In connection with the above, we publish a few extracts from letters as also from Arabic and French papers that may be interesting to our readers.
The well-known author, M. Paul de Régla, writes to us as follows, also suggesting the neutralization of Egypt:
“Que puis-je vous dire au sujet de vos affaires en Egypte ? J'en ai donné mon opinion dans mes · Lettres d'Orient' du Journal “La Presse.' En realité, je crains que l'occupation prolongée de ce pays par vos troupes ne soit une cause fâcheuse de guerre européenne. Que l'Angleterre se préoccupe du passage qui conduit aux Indes, c'est là une chose naturelle. Mais ne peut-elle pas arriver au même résultat en neutralisant l’Egypte? Je le crois. Que l'Angleterre propose donc à l'Europe cette neutralisation. Elle évitera ainsi de graves complications et n'aura plus besoin d'imobiliser une partie de ses troupes sur cette vieille terre des Pharaons. Or, qui peut dire que ces troupes ne vous seront pas nécessaires aux Indes un de ces jours ?”
An Arabic paper has the following comments on the conduct of English officials in the service of the Khedive in not recognising the ministry of Fakhri Pasha :
“We are not in a position to punish the insubordination of the English functionaries under the Egyptian Government and to show our indignation at their conduct whilst they take enormous salaries from the poor Fellahîn. You would have done much better, if you had waited for a decision of the negotiations between the Khedive and Lord Cromer as to the Ministry) so as not to expose yourselves to public shame, O ye honourable English officials! We are now aware of your private ends in holding so many offices and warn the Egyptian Departments."
“By your revolt against the Khedive and his Government, you have manifested your evil policy in a telegram despatched to the Times,-in the book of Milner and in the publication of Coles (?). You ought to have been at once dismissed for your revolt, so that the Times could not have said that by such people is the throne of the Khedive strengthened.
“I conjure you by God to answer this question--if these are the proceedings of the civil functionaries, what can we expect to find from your officers in the Egyptian army, save a thorough submission to Lord Cromer as against His Highness the Khedive and his authority? How shall the Egyptians not defame your reputation and shun you; or shall they put no trust in you and give no credence to your oft-repeated promises ? Where is the fulfilment of your solemn oaths, O where and where? . . . Let us, therefore, all unite in single-minded obedience to the beloved Khedive, our Lord Abbas, since we know his patriotism and the encroachments of the English on our honour and rights. The question arising nowadays amongst serious men is whether the former political prestige of the English in Egypt was a result of their own skill or of our weakness-a question which apparently has solved itself: for the late occurrences have proved it to be a result of the latter. We are, however, now in a new era and before new men, who may cause us to forget the measures and men of the past.
“It is certain that all the actions of the Khedive were inspired by prudence and love of Egypt (Egyptianism' or 'patriotism '). The ability of Abbas to discover in so short a time the selfish ends of the English is a great proof of his intelligence and judgment. The action of France, however, in at once appealing to the Sublime Porte, shows that France has more regard for our rights than the British.”
Another writer, Sheikh Abu-Naddara, professes that the halfpenny Journal, which bears his name, is prohibited in Egypt by the British officials to whom it is sent gratis, but is eagerly bought by the natives for sometimes as much as five francs a number! In the Paris Marine et Colonies in a long article on “the Sultan, the Khedive, England and Egypt,” the Sheikh affirms that since the advent of Abbas, he had laboured to draw closer the bonds between Turkey and Egypt.
If so, we do not see in what respect this representative of native opinion differs from the truest British policy on the subject, and we can well afford to let him abuse us when he affirms that he “was ever right in maintaining that neither English intrigues nor their publications, written for an object, would ever succeed in detaching the Khedive from the Sultan. The weal of Egypt must come from Stamboul :" and we have read his