October 2012


More on support for a new Caliphate

I was doing some unrelated historical research recently reading minutes  from a cabinet meeting of His Majesty’s government  from 1937 in which the topic being covered was a series of letters more than 20 years earlier between Henry Macmahon (High commissioner in Cairo) and Sherif Hussein (Emir of Mecca) as to what England would do in exchange for Arab help during World War I.

Out of a sense of urgency to develop  allies that could bring about  victory over the entente  powers and the concern if they failed to do that in the Arab world, these letters show a willingness on the part of his Majesty’s government to do what it would take to secure that victory.

The minutes stated “on the 31st October, 1914 the Ottoman Empire entered the War. Two dangers were at once apparent to the Allied Powers, Syria and Palestine might be made the base for a Turco-German  attack on the Suez Canal; and the prestige of the Caliphate might be used in an attempt to raise all Islam against the Allies in a Jihad or Holy War.”

The British who have been involved in the Muslim Middle East longer than any other Western nation had their own reservations about the Caliphate and what its possibilities were.  Their fear was not unfounded. They knew how powerful a Caliphate could be in influencing and coordinating a Jihad against any Western enemy even in 1914.

Given that the Muslim situation today is extremely more hostile than it ever was toward the west  100 years ago it does seem like we might be biting off more than we could chew in promoting or supporting the idea of a new Caliphate. Your thoughts?


p.s. By the way if you would like to view the document yourself, go online to the British government archives and look up the meeting entitled “Desire of the Royal Commission on Palestine to Quote Extracts of the MacMahon-Hussein Correspondence in their report,”  May 1937, CAB/24/269. Knowing what I know about how the English set up their cabinet meetings and subsequent minutes, I am reasonably sure that there is more on the possibility of English fears of Jihad from the Muslim world if you went back to that time period and checked the records of 1914. If you want you can do it, but I don’t have the time or the inclination but since I ran across this statement and I have been writing to you about my opposition to your proposal to supporting a new Caliphate, I thought this would be an interesting addition to the discussion.

Jewish community examiner

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field