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SYRIANS AND TURKS, Issue 15668, 5 December 1914
SYRIANS AND TURKS
Mr N. Bouzaid, a British subject, mid a native of Mount Lebanon, writes from Carterton as follows, under date December 1: The cabled news that the Sheik-uI-Islam has declared holy war. and that the Turks have already begun to kill Christians, induces mo to again refer to the absurd suggestion of some Press writers that Syrians should be regarded as Turks and treated accordingly «« enemies. I would onoo again call attention to the writers’ ignorance of historical and common facts. Most of tho Syrians in New Zealand aro naturalised, and they come from tho historic district of Lebanon, in tho Holy Land. The Syrians, so far from being fighters for Turkey, ara Christians whose forefathers for very many generations have fought against tho massacring Mohammedans of tho -Sultan. Tho good people of New Zealand should understand the truth, and if they thought for a moment, or referred to history, they would find their own judgment telling them how mistaken they are in mixing up Syrians and Turks. To go back no further than 1840, it will bo seen how a few thousand Christian Syrians bravely withstood over a hundred thousand Turks in defence of their homes and faith. At that time, if it had not been for the Blessed Virgin and St. George, the Syrians would have been wiped out altogether.' Again, in 1860, the Syrians had to fight as desperately against tho Turks for their homes and faith as their fellow-Christians the Belgians have don© and are doing against tho Germans. I could tell many horrible cruellies inflicted by Turks upon Christian Syrians—of massacres of men, women, and children ; of women being compelled to cany water two miles to Turkish soldiers over tho bodies of their own wounded and dying fathers and brothers, erring for a drink; of fh© some women, who stopped to wet tho lips of their dying relatives, being shot down by the merciless Turk ; of nearly 3,000 men treacherously invited into a town to get food, and then disarmed and slaughtered like sheep. Many stories of horrible cruellies inflicted by Turks upon Syrian Christians could bo told and verified in history, and yet there are some ia New Zealand who would class Syrians with Turks. It will bo found in comparatively recent history that English and French and allied nations raved Mount Lebanon from the Mussulman sword when faint and weary and at tho point of annihilation. It was a goodly sight, when, in a cloud of dust, the rescuers were seer approaching to the westward of the citv of Zable, in Mount Lebanon, and word "came: “ Cheer up, you Christians of Mount Lebanon ! To you we come, for you and your faith we are with you. Rots I and fear not. for we will fight ns you have fought.’’ The fight was won, and the Turks chased to Damascus, where many were hanged from the walls of that ancient city. With a past like ours, can you think the Syrians would fight with any against the English, least of all with the Turk? As a matter of fact most of us in Now Zealand are prepared to shed our blood for the British Flag, which ia tho emblem of fairness and freedom to all. His Holiness the Pope has always assisted the Christians of Mount Lebanon, t heir schools and their churches. In 1887 and 1893 you will read that France, England, and Belgium aided them in finance. In 1898 Prince Edward, afterwards King of England, visited tho Patriarch of tho East on the river Jordan, and praised the brotherhood of tbo Christianity of Mount Bohannon. In 1902 Franco helped Mount Lebanon to better education, and concessions were wrung from the Turk by tlje Embassies of England, Franco, and Russia. Queen Victoria greatly favored the people of Mount Lebanon, and so did King' Edward, and so will King George, for there is a peculiar connection between the British Throne and tho Holy Land, which includes Mount Lebanon. From his neighborhood came the stone upon which the Kings of Great Britain and Ireland are crowned. Your readers will know that it was the stone used by Jacob for a pillow when ho had his marvellous dream This stono was, it is said, transported in a miraculous manner to Ireland, then the core of Christianity. Thence it was taken to Scotland, and Scottish Kings were crowned on it. Edward the First took it to England, and now the Kings of tho whole British Empire are crowned upon that stone, which came from the land that tho Syrians como from. So also did the sacred sapphire which came into Edward the Confessor's possession about a thousand years ago. Tho tradition is that the King wore tlris jewel in a ring, and one day a beggar asked him for aims. Having nothing else of value with him, tho King gave the beggar the ring. The beggar was an angel and the spirit of John the Evangelist, who gave the ring back, blessed with healing powers, and it still adorns the crown of England. The ancient spoon and tho ampulla which contains the anointing oil used at the English coronations is also supposed to have come in a miraculous wav, through Thomas a’Bockett, from the lloly Land, with a prophecy, given in a dream, that, an English King, the fifth of Iris name, would wrest tho Holy Land from tho grip of the Turk. Cannot the Almighty, who caused tho war-cry of “The Holy Virgin and St. George” to save the Syrians in 1840 at Lebanon, also bring it about that as the spirit of St. John entered the beggar who received, tho King’s ring and gave it back to form a jewel in tho British crown, so the spirit of St. George can inspire King George, the fifth of Ins name wearing tho sacred jewel, anointed from the strangelyacquired ampulla, to fulfil the remarkable prophecy and become King also of the Holy Land after it has been taken from the Turks? Who would rejoice at this more than the Syrians of Mount Lebanon? Then, more than ever, we would be all one brotherhood, singing ‘ God Save Our King’ and ‘ Britain Rules the Waves.’
SYRIANS AND TURKS, Issue 15668, 5 December 1914
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