The documents in the present collection recall the decisive events in the historical record and provide evidence of the shaping of Islamic relations and policies; thus the contents include diplomatic correspondence and reports describing the following (to take a few examples): the Young Turks movement and political events in Turkey before the First World War; affairs of the Caliphate and the Sherif of Mecca; the rise to power of Ibn Saud, subsequently King Abdul Aziz; affairs of Islamic groups, including: the Akhwan; the Senoussi; the Druses; etc; 1919 Peace Conference arrangements and implications for the Muslim world; the fall of Hejaz and Mecca to Ibn Saud, 1925; ‘first Moslem Congress,’ 1926; pan-Islamic movements in the 1920s, and others, including Wahhabism, Mahdism; the Palestine question and the Arab cause, 1930s; the Muslim Brotherhood after World War Two; India–Pakistan relations, 1940s et seq;events in Algeria, 1956 et seq. Notes on Shia relations are found for various places and periods. The later volumes include numerous reviews of Islamic affairs and Islamic conferences. In geographical terms the documents provide an extensive report on activities not only in the heartland of Islam and the Arabian peninsula, with material on the Holy Places, but across a large number of countries, including: Egypt, Libya and the Maghreb; Sudan and Nigeria; the Soviet Union; the Balkan region; Iran, Central Asia and India; Indonesia; China and Japan.
ARRANGEMENT OF VOLUMES
Geographical coverage of the collection
In geographical terms the documents provide an extensive report on activities not only in the heartland of Islam and the Arabian peninsula, with material on the Holy Places, but across a large number of countries, including: Egypt, Libya and the Maghreb; Sudan and Nigeria; the Soviet Union; the Balkan region; Iran, Central Asia and India; Indonesia; China and Japan.
Japan: ‘Muslim Mosque Opened’, The Japan Chronicle, 12 October 1935: “Kobe’s Muslim Mosque, the first ever built in Japan, was opened yesterday by Mian Abdul Aziz, former President of the All India Muslim League …The Mosque, which is situated in Nakayamate-dori, is built in the traditional style. … the characteristic dome and traceries in daytime are a thing of beauty, while the minarets rise conspicuously ‘in the service of God and to the honour of his Prophet.”
India: ‘Resolution Passed on Monday 9 June 1947 by the All-India Muslim League Council’: “The Council of the All-India Muslim League after full deliberation and consideration of the Statement of His Majesty’s government dated 3 June 1947, laying down the plan of transfer of power to the peoples of India, notes with satisfaction that the Cabinet mission’s plan of May 16 1946, will not be proceeded with and has been abandoned. The only course left open is the partition of India as proposed in HMG’s statement of June 3.”
Bosnia: ‘ Law banning the use of cloak and veil by Moslem women in the republic of Bosnia’, 8 November 1950: “On 27 September the People’s Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina approved a law banning the use of the cloak or veil by Moslem women in the Republic. … The Bosnian Vice-Premier, M. Avdo Hunno, himself a member of a wealthy Moslem family, explained the purpose of the law to the Assembly. … Now for the first time [women] would enjoy the possibility of ‘living a full life under Socialism.’”
Details from extracts relating to Muslim groups
Young Turks: “The events which have lately occurred in connection with the “Young Turkish” movement in Macedonia have led the Sultan to change both the Grand Vizier and the Minister of War, in the evident hope of checking the movement especially in the army.”
El Nadi el Arabi: “The aim of the Nadi el Arabi is about the same as that of the Muntada, but the members of the Nadi are not so radical. That is, they are not so strong on Arab independence, but are just as much opposed to Zionism and Jewish immigration.”
El Fedaiyeh: “It is difficult to translate this word into English; the idea is that of a society of persons who are ready to sacrifice themselves. … This society, like the Akha ‘el Afaf, is subsidiary to the Muntada.”
El Muntada el Adabi: “This is the leading and most powerful Arab propaganda society in Jerusalem. … Its aims are Arab independence, prevention of any and every sort of Zionism and Jewish immigration, union of Palestine with Syria, and abolition of foreign capitulations.”
The Muslim Brotherhood: “It is an organization which is endeavouring to resuscitate the ideology brought forth by their Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace, more than 13 centuries ago. Its primary aim is to make the Muslim brother a living symbol of Islam, as it has been propagated by the Prophet and cleansed of the aberrations alien to Islam’s liberal and forthright simplicity.”