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THE REAL RAISULI.

A Character Sketch of tbe Ortftt '■■■: Outlaw. (By HALL CAINE la the " Daily Mail.") The Europ&an is in no true position. ' to judge of a man like Raisuli, and 1 can think of hardly any miscarriage of justice more flagrant than would be the verdict of an average English jury on the hTevrork of the;, great, rebel, wlw* is now so prominent in the public eye. If one were to judge of Haiauli bj» the light of European opinion at thi t moment ony would have to think of ■ him (as four or five years ago we wer# taught to think of Musolino, the Cala* bnaii bngand) merely as a had example of bloody and atrocious crimiaauty, made amusing by madness, grotesque by fanaticism; ridiculous by vanity, revolting by atrocity* and dan-' gerous by cunning. But to understand . ? , maa ., hke ;RaisuK you must go dee*^ into the conditions which produce« v him. I cannot attempt to do that here. : I^e utmost I can do is to protest witHSL f!f vebe ™«nee of my- soul •gains* the wsumpkon. that Raisuli £ th« S«^ r tl i ni « ui *y *hat has take*" shape m the European mind. _Raißuh does not belong (as the Euro*' pean nations appear to suppose) to that class of criminals whose offences har« an intimate relation to fraud and robbery whcse crimes are perpetrated ou« of a lust of blood or from pure animal ferocity,- but to the far higher an<T S re Lf 0^ who * 6 opposition t<* t tne established order ie compounded ol " moral and religious impulses, corrhpt- ' ed, perhaps; but deep and sincere. In! short, Raisuli's story and the truth of Moroccan miagoremment taken together show-plainly that (as seen by himself at all events) the outlaw is an ' arm and weapon of justice, and that hit crimes are committed to avenge the op* pressed and uplift the downiiodden. , A GXEAT yAKATCC. : Such men in history and in liteii^ ture, when rightly understood, become" tne most moving and impressive of human figures. -Karl Moor, Bob Boy. Monte Cristo, Garibaldi; David Laizaretti—the avengers, the protectors; the 1 deliverers, the liberators, the prophets'' of the poor. Raisuli's story is that of nearly every great fanatic— the world - has.yet seen. Self-deceived he. may be, ' with a conscience that has acquired at kind of moral squint." Cruel lie may have become, . and even ferocious 'and almost hateful, but all the same it itf' impossible to watch the development of" the man's soul without sympathy. Be--ginning with tt sense of intolerable wrong, it goes on from frantic act ia act with a fervour which cannot keep itselt alive on a desire for personal vengeance alone. Enlarging its sphere, fb\ takes under the vast wings of its protection the cause of humanity itself.' First, tne innocent man robbed andcast into prison by the officials of an unscrupulous tyranny; then the victims calling aloud on' Allah in his dark cell for freedom that he may execute his vengeance on his enemies; then the' escaped prisoner going through the land like a terror that walks in darkness and striking down tyrants as if by theY invisible wing of a destroying angel. The brigand becomes more and more terrific as one by one his enemies fall before Kirn. He has no misgivings about tne vengeance he execute^ uponr them, for his crimes are not crimes-be-' cause tney are commissioned by Allan. He is the emissary of tne Most High-,' going about as .the arm of justioe. \ t ' Having: reached jthw ertage BaJsuh is a figure round which legends begin to \ {xatheTi Incredible 'stories are told; of' his physical prowess, of bis personal beauty, of his tenderness, his humouri pafhoe and charm. A certain atmosphere of melancholy gathers about the outlaw and lifts him into >the region of poetry and romance. The^final developmVnt is reached wh^n Ra^h begins to be accredited wrtlj supernatural assistance. Why w it that the armies of the Sultan cannot capture him? Because .Allah is guarding His own. How did he escape from prison? By the help ofwints and angels. It may be all very crude and fantastic, and almost g«**«£« ' *** J vulgar, but it has a creepy reeeinUanee to certain *rea^ &**«*s mtostor? and biography which .n»nta«d does ao* | laugh at any longer, but talks of with 'bathed breath, THB ENTJ THAT AWAITS. HUt The readers of the "Daily Mail ' are now aware that I was not wrong when I said that RaisuH captured my friend Mr Perdicaris with Mr Varley solely in his despair of obtaining re-, dress for himself and his people against the wicked corruption of the Moonstt officials. In, his own eyes (and I confess in mine) he was then a champion,, not only of justice, but of N peace. He knew that as a rebel and as a Mahdimi could only overthrow the infamous Go* • vernment of the Sultan by one of two, means — a prolonged and bloody war o* an appeal to the powet of the cmme^l nations of Europe and America: He. chose the latter, and he was parti/ justified by the results. But the cm-: Used nations were only concerned to cave the lives of their own subject*. They cared nothing about the downtrodden people of Morocco, and less than nothing about Raisuli, the big, perhaps half-insane sotd who was fighting a desperate fight against the tyrants who were grinding the faces of the poor aid robbing the widow and the fatherless.' Arid that is the condition, now. Germany and Russia, France and England are only troubled to protect tiieir own, and the easiest way to do that' is to help the impotent Sultan to put down rebellion. . But in helping the Sultan the Powers axe opposing the people and suppressing justice and perpetuating an infamous and niercileaa tyranny. ...... Raisuli will be captured sooner ot later and the head of one more avenger of Morocco will hang over the gate of Fez. It will be .the same with him. a* it was in, a more civilised tountry with, the commoner type of outlaw, Muaolino and Divid Lazzaretti. Society has to protect itself against anarchy, and the man who captured Mr Perdicaris and Kaid Maclean, the lonely wanderer among the Moorish mountains, with a price on his head, is, in the eyes of Europe, merely, an anarchist. " Violence is wrong;" jie says, " therefore it ia right to resist violence." If; Raisuli's following were powerful enough to overthrow the Government of the Sultan, the outlaw would speedily be known in the Cabinets of Europe by a more pretentious name. Failing that, his claims to divine aid and inspiration, his loud appeals to Allah in the name of justice, will not save him from the cow-' demnation of the civilised world. He is one of the gloomy giants who, in every corrupt country,. try to make^ a law unto themselves, and the law-abid-ing nations have no use foV men of that sort. But Raisuli is not so muoh a criminal as a condition: He is a kind of writing on the wall, and the Powera would do well to take note of it. i

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TS19071019.2.9

Bibliographic details

Star, Star, Issue 9063, 19 October 1907

Word Count
1,244

THE REAL RAISULI. Star, Issue 9063, 19 October 1907

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