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THE MOSLEM MENACE., Otago Witness, Issue 2797, 23 October 1907
THE MOSLEM MENACE.
SOME FACTS ABOUT THE SENUSSIA. "The next 20 years will see Europe struggling in the throes of an African war against forces so great that at the end it is unlikely to a degree that a single whifcei man remaine in Africa,'' says Captain H. A. Wilson, in a very striking and informative article on "The Moslem Menace " in the Nineteenth Century for September. "Nor am I alone in this belief," he adds. "I have quoted. Dr Carl Peters to this effect, and 1 I could quote in support the opinioni of many others. — of men who have diodicated their lives to Africa, who have given her of their best, and who form part- of the small minority of Europeans who know the native mind. So great is ihe unrest and discontent, among all native raoee of Africa that it needs but a spark, to set the continent ablaze from, end to end. To me Senus6ia appears to be the source from which that spark will come to fire the powder mine which, is awaiting it." — Unrest Throughout Africa. — "At this present moment there is throughout Africa very general discontent among the native population, not only in Mahomnredan countries, but universally over the length and breadth of the entire continent. We Jiave had the Somaliland expedition, the disturbances in Egypt, the Zulu rising, the troubles in German Sout&tWesfc and East Africa, various affairs on the West Coast, the Nandi expedition on tihe East Coast; all minor events possibly, but straws showing in which direction the wind blows. We have t!he Morocco question, and 1 the French, difficulties throughout Northern Africa, to say nothing of the Ethiopian movement in the south. It is afar cry from Paa-Islamism to Ethiopianism, from, the Dolbahanta and- Adones of the Mad Mullah to the subjects of Dinizulu, from Nigeria to Nandi, but all these am come of the outward and visible signs of the deep and kroweirful undercurrent of discontent and 'hatred' which is even now eweeping over the African continent^, "Influenced by this, the natives take up any ca/use, any local grievance which may give them a chance of proving their animosity to the w&ite man's authority. Can it not be imagined without violent effort how enormous & force would spring into being should some common factor unite these scattered factions? That is what the Semiasia bids fair to accomplish ; that is to say, by uniting a common blaze of revolt throughout African Islam to kindle the entire Dork Continent." — Origin oi the Senuesia. — ■ Who, then, are these Senussia who have such terrific force and power in their hande? They form one of the principal organisations for the propagation of PanLslaonjem. "Comparatively speaking, ex-tremely-little js known ia Europe regarding this organisation-," says Cfcptain Wilson. "In fact, to the man in the street the name Senussia conveys no meaning whatsoever : yet for' the few possessing a knowledge of this sect the name, I think, holds a sinister and peculiar significance. The little that is known, moreover, proves that the" influence of tlie iSenussia is both extensive and far-reaching, and bitterly anti-European. "While the wbxxle of Northern Africa is permeated with, the Senussia, its agents are actively employed in, almost every Mahommedan country in the world. In Turkey, Abyssinia, Somaliland, Egypt, the Soudan, and the British and other European colonies end protectorates on the East and: West Coasts of Africa, an active Islamic propaganda is being vigorously disseminated, especially aniicmg the more warlike races; and also in particular among the trained native* troop© are special efforts being made to inspire a feeling of hostility against the Christian religion, and to have all in readiness for the great Jehad which is to come. When it will come no one can tell, and this, to the thinking mind, is the greatest danger-signal about the whole business. — Senussi Doctrines.--"The sect 'was founded' in 1835 by Sindi Mahomed bin AH es Senussia, otherwise known as Sheikh Senussi, an Algerian Arab born near Moetaga-nem towards the end of the Turkish dominion. A lineal descendant of the prophet Mahomed, he first pained a reputation for sanctity at Fez. H« then proceeded to Mecca, where he commenced preaching. However, his success, which was remarkably rapid, caused great local jealousy, and he had perforce to fly to Egypt. He started a zawia or monastery at Alexandria, but being excommunicated) by the Shiekh el Islam at Cairo, he was again compelled to seek safety m flight. This time he fled across the Lvbian desert to Jebel el Akhdar, near Benghazi on. the north opaet, where he again established a zawia, and in a short time had obtained a considerable following. There he lived and preached, and died in 1856 cv- 1860, having firmly established the Senussia sect. He was succeeded by his ton Mahomed j 'The doctrine preached by the Sheikh Senussi. ar.4 which still comprises the doctrines and aims of his disciples, was as follows t To- free the Mahommiedan religion from- the many abuses which have crept into it. To restore, under one universal leader, the former purity of faith. | Finally, and more especially, to free all Moslem countries, more particularly those in Africa, from the dominion of the infidel ; to which end undying hostility to every kaflr is enjoined. This last object — viz., to free Moslem countries from the rule of the infidel, is the primary object of their dear-e, without the fulfilment of whiQh, indeed, the remainder of their task would be almost im.p»>s6ible to attain. It fy to be accomplished by a universal Jehad, or hcAy war, after which Islam under a general leader — presumably the then ruling Senussi sheikh — is to be cleansed and
purified, and to return to its former austerity and rigour of faith. "So rapid wa6 the growth of the Senussia. that in 1887 there were known to be over 120 zawias in existence, distributed over almost every Mahoonmedan country. "Mahomed was expected: to make some demonstration in November, 1882, the beginning of the fourteenth century of the Hijra, but the date passed without any action on his part, probably on account of his ability to see that the occasion was premature, and that success on any large scale was impossible. Mahomed died a few ye ars ago, nevcT having sanctioned any Jehad on a large scale, probably on account of the reason given above. He is rtportied to have been, succeeded by his 6on, the present sheikh, about whom little definite information is forthcoming, but from, what knowledge we have there is no doubt that- the policy inaugurated by Mahomed is being vigorously developed by his successor along precisely the same lines. "At the present moment over all the British pDSSESsions on the East and West Coasts of Africa and, of course, in Egypt and the Soudan the most determined efforts aore being made to enliet into membership all the Mahommedan troops. Since the West Coast is far more in touch with the north by the several caravan routes, it is natural that Senussia preaching has been in progress longer and has taken a deeper root there than on the East. I believe that I am absolutely correct in saying that numbers of Senussia agents yearly enlist as soldiers with, the sole purpose of carrying, on their mission , among the troops. — The Present- Sheikh SenuEsi.— "Tbe Sheikh Senussi is at present at Tunis Khuddera engaged in organising a movement for a general Mahommedan rising throughout Africa. He has agents throughout North and West Africa, and his agents have reached East Africa, and are enlisting the Mahjommedans. there iv the cause. Also the Sheikh Senussi's intention, before starting a general rising, is to get his movement thoroughly organised, and then, if possible, to wait until a war breaks out in which either France or England, or both, are involved, and are thus unable to give a great deal of attention to Africa. "Another significant and interesting point is that I have reliable information that yearly numbers of the Senoseia are sent to Europe, chiefly to England* and France, to be thoroughly educated on .European lines. These men come chiefly from the North and West of Africa. These two facte alone show definitely that we are dealing with no ordinary Arab or negro fanatical outbreak, but witih a vaet organised movement directed by a high intelligence whose ramifications extend everywhere, and wirich in the coming years will prove itself a distinct and important, if not the dominating, factor in the affairs of the Dark Continent.
"In Barbary, the Sahara, and in fact all Northern Africa Sennssism penetrates the whole of Islam. It is firmly^ established in Egypt, tihe iSudan, Sa-malilamd, Arabia, Abyepinia, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Turkey, Uganda, Zanzibar, and the East and West Coasts of Africa. Th» following towns and districts are hotbeds : El Aghowat, Oraa, Algiers, Twat, Insala, Timbuctoo, Senegal, Tripoli, Tunis, Jarabud, and Benghazi. From all these places emissaries in hundreds sally forth, to preach the Jehad- to the faithful." So far Captain Wilson. — A Senoussi Writes to the Spectator. — An extremely interesting letter from one who is a member of tbe "Senouesi" [so it is spelt] appears in the Spectator of August 24. Soleb El Khalidi ie the writer. He was recently in England, and in the spring made a journey from tihe !binterland of Tripoli into Upper Egypt, passing from one monastery of the Senouesi to another. These monasteries, or rather habitations of warrior monks, are stretched within a day's march of each other across the deeert.
Be declares that the Senoussi believe that Sidd Mahomed, tbe son of ihe founder, is not dead, - but will shortly appear at the head' of a great army to wage the Holy War. He concLudes by saying that "every hope of the Pan-Islamists lies with the Senoussi, who are far from, being a foe to be despised. In my humble opinion the Pan-If lamiste do more harm than good to their co-religionists. What Islam should do is to range itself frankly on tihe side of modern ideas, putting aside religious ones. One may be a true believer without nourishing hatred for all others and refusing to be associated with their works. The emancipation of the people can only be won by science and progress-. Barbarism and a clinging to ancient ideas will but hasten the end and bring complete disaster. Islam has but to make her choice between her emancipation and her ruin. "Bizarre as this news may appear," declarer this Senoussi, "it nevertheless merits tlie attention of all the Powers who have interests in tlie East and; in Africa. A general coalition of Moslems comprising th^ inhabitants of Tripoli, of Egypt, and of Hidjaz, Utopian as it may appear, is yet porsib'.e. It must not be forgotten that the Senouesi possess an actual political organisation, that they are well posted as to all movements, that they have a very considerable supply of magazine rifles, and that they are aided in their crusade by the heads of the Moslem States."
THE MOSLEM MENACE., Otago Witness, Issue 2797, 23 October 1907
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