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even worse evils; for the most unnatural vices and nameless crimes are of frequent occurrence in every Muhammadan land. It is painful to speak of these things. Suffice it to say that Islam has rendered, throughout a large portion of the world, the very conception of a high and pure family life impossible.

§ 2. The Muhammadan view of political matters is that Church and State are in their very essence one. The sovereign must either be the ''Vicegerent of the Apostle of GOD," or else a usurper.


There is now no Khalif, and all even among the Sunnis are by no means prepared to grant the claim of the Sultan of Turkey to be his successor. The Shi'ahs, though rejecting all the orthodox Khalifs, yet hold that the Imams, descendants of 'Ali, were GOD'S vicegerents. The last of these is said to be still living, though invisible to man; and therefore the Shah of Persia is usurping the sovereign power which of right belongs to the Imam alone. For obvious reasons, however, these views are not openly professed, yet they have their influence. The ruler must have absolute power, as GOD'S representative: thus he is an arbitrary despot and the people his slaves. No race of hereditary nobility can properly be said to exist, possessed of power to stand between the king and the people. The laws are based upon the Qur'an and the Traditions, or upon the opinions of learned divines founded thereupon by induction. Thus political reforms are almost


impossible, and must certainly be regarded as impious. The political system, which was perhaps to some degree suited to an Arab tribe in Muhammad's time, thus becomes stereotyped into an unchangeable, nay, a Divinely-imposed yoke upon all Muslim states, and one that must last for all ages, or at least until the Crescent1 fades before the Cross. Political freedom cannot even be desired by a pious Muslim. The tyranny of the Sultan is imitated by his representatives in every province, until at last countries like Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, or Turkey, once the homes of an advanced civilization, mighty in commerce, renowned for learning,—or again, like Palestine, worthy of being described as "flowing with milk and honey,"—are blighted and ruined, their people downtrodden and heartbroken, their fertility itself almost forgotten; tyranny and intolerance, ignorance and sloth, crime and superstition hang like a curse over all things and blast even the very face

1 Although here and elsewhere in these lectures I have permitted myself the use of this expression, yet I must confess that the popular idea upon which it is based, viz., that the Crescent is the religious emblem of Islam, is not strictly correct. Muslims themselves express surprise and almost incredulity when told that we believe that the Crescent is the symbol of their faith. In reality, as they have more than once told me, the Crescent and Star are merely the "coat of arms," so to speak, of the Sultan of Turkey. But as he claims to take the place of the Khalifah, the mistake is a natural one, and it is too late to change the English phrase now.

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