Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Fearless Muslims Of North Africa- Part2

Karmayogin, 2 October 1909

Nation-stuff in Morocco
The Powers of Europe are highly indignant at the tortures and
mutilations practised by Mulai Hamid on his vanquished rival,
El Roghi, and his captured adherents. There is no doubt that the
savage outbreak of mediaeval and African savagery of which
the Moorish Sultan has been guilty, is revolting and deprives
him personally of all claim to sympathy; but European moral
indignation in the matter seems to us to be out of place when we
remember the tortures practised by American troops on Filipinos
(to say nothing of the ghastly details of lynching in the Southern
States), and the unbridled atrocities of the European armies in
China. Be that as it may, we come across a remarkable account,
extracted in the Indian Daily News, of the stuff of which the
Moorish people are made. The narrator is Belton, the Englishman
who commanded the Sultan’s army and has resigned his
post as a protest against the Sultan’s primitivemethod of treating
political prisoners. Death and mutilation seem to have been the
punishments inflicted. Belton narrates that twenty officers of El
Roghi had their right hands cut off and then seared, according to the barbarous old surgical fashion, in a cauldron of boiling
oil, to stop the bleeding. Not from one of these men, reports
the English soldier with wonder, did there come, all the time,
a single whimper. And he goes on to tell how one of them,
after the mutilation, quietly walked over to the fire where the
cauldron was boiling, and, while his stump was being plunged
in the boiling liquid, lighted from the flame with the utmost
serenity a cigarette he held in his hand. Whatever may be the
present backwardness of the Moors and the averseness to light
of their tribes, there is the stuff of a strong, warlike and princely
nation in the land which gave birth to these iron men. If ever
the wave of Egyptian Neo-Islam and Mahomedan Nationalism
sweeps across Morocco, Europe will have to reckon with no
mean or contemptible people in the North West of Africa.

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