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Emet m'Tsiyon

Thursday, September 29, 2005


The Greek Revolt of the 1820s was a historical event that shook the Ottoman Empire, that evoked sympathy in Western Europe, and that set a precedent for revolts against the Empire by non-Muslim subject peoples [dhimmis].

The Sultan asked for support against the Greek rebels from his Muslim subjects, and he received it. Muhammad Ali of Egypt, later to become a rival for power with the Ottoman sultans, sent an army from Egypt to suppress the Greeks rebels on Crete. Long before, 1700 years earlier, Arab forces had aided the Roman Empire to suppress Jewish rebels in the Land of Israel in two major revolts, 68-73 CE & 131-135 CE [see earlier posts on this blog].

In Israel, local Muslims used the occasion to harass and steal property from local and foreign resident Christians. NeoPhytos the Greek monk of Cypriot origin describes the events:

That was a great and a holy day, the sixth of April [1821], when news arrived of the rebellion of the Greeks from the yoke of slavery! The Locum Tenens [deputy] of the Patriarch in Jerusalem, Procopios, with the bishops in the Synod, tried by all means to keep the news from getting abroad, but on Good Friday, the Mufti and the [Muslim] notables of Jerusalem got word by letter from Jaffa of the rebellion. These we persuaded by entreaties and presents to keep quiet and not to disclose the news until after Easter, lest the Turks [Muslims generally] already seeking an excuse, might be perturbed and cause trouble, whence some untoward accident might befall the pilgrims.
On the second day of Diakainesimos (Easter Monday) we hurried off our pilgrims to the Jordan River on their usual pilgrimage, for as yet nobody knew anything. On the morning of the fourth day of Diakainesimos (Wednesday) they returned and in the afternoon those of Samos and the other islands . . . left Jerusalem. On Friday morning they went aboard ship and sailed.
On the fifth day of Diakainesimos a courier arrived from the Waly [provincial or vilayet (= wilaya) governor, also over the Jerusalem district] of Damascus bringing letters, the contents of which disturbed Jerusalem. Rumours were rife among the Turks and we strove to fill the mouths of those in power in an attempt to keep the news from the people. Meanwhile, we had hurried up the pilgrims [who had come for Easter, to leave early] . . . But the Governor of Jaffa had received orders from `Abdallah Pasha of Ptolemais (Acre) [= Akko] that he should carefully search all pilgrims arriving at Jaffa. The Governor did search, carefully, and when arms were found, he showed his power . . . The Russian Consul . . . also received orders to come down from . . . the hill [where he lived] . . . to a house in the lower part of town [of Jaffa]. He did so, but three days later, fearing that worse might happen, he went on board a Russian boat, on the pretext of seeing to the Russian pilgrims, and then sailed away . . . [See Extracts from Annals of Palestine . . . (Jerusalem 1979), pp 11-12 (More biblio data in previous blog entries)]
These passages demontrate the fear of the Christians in Israel of the local Muslim population, fear of what the Muslims might do if they knew of the rebellion by Greek Christians against the Muslim state. Their actions demonstrate their attitude of dhimmitude, to use a term coined by Bat Yeor for the anticipatory fear on the part of dhimmis in the Muslim state of doing anything to anger or displease the Muslim overlords, and for the generally servile attitude of the dhimmis.

Another point to consider is the validity of the Third World concept, at least as applied to Egypt. The Muslim ruler of Egypt, Muhammad Ali, sent an army to Crete in behalf of the Ottoman sultan in order to suppress the Greek rebels, that is, to suppress a freedom struggle. In fact, he succeeded on Crete which did not become part of the independent Greek state for many years, remaining under Ottoman control until 1898. Here an Afro-Asian state, Muhammad Ali's aspiring, nascent empire based on Egypt suppressed the freedom struggle of people considered Europeans, the Greeks. This was done in behalf of the Ottoman Empire, a Muslim dominion that had lorded over non-Muslim subjects in Asia and Europe for centuries. Is this what Third World means? It is interesting that most or much of what is today called the Left supports Muslim jihad.

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NeoPhytos' account of the repercussions in Israel of the Greek revolt will be continued.
Coming soon: A partial explanation for why most or much of the "Left" supports Islamic jihad.


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