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Eugene Rogan who has recently written ...
Oct 2015

Eugene Rogan who has recently written The Fall of the Ottomans contends that Arabia would have been a stable area only if the Empire had not been dismembered at the end of World War I.  Whether Kemal Ataturk was right in abolishing the Sultanate of Turkey and simultaneously the Caliphate of Sunni Islam may perhaps be debatable but it was apparently a progressive step.  At the same time, there is no doubt, using Eugene's contention, that this progressive step has led to chaos in virtually the entire Arabian peninsula. Even Saudi Arabia, the most conservative bastion of Islam, is at war with Yemen not to speak of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is  out to re-establish the Caliphate of all Sunni Islam once again.

At the time of writing, ISIS appears to be winning in its cause. Re-establishing the Caliphate means the return to the 7th century.  This makes the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire certainly a legitimate step.  However, when a change is made it is the duty of the changemaker to replace his doing with a lasting viable solution which the Allied Powers led by Great Britain did not do.  They divided the Arabian peninsula as per their convenience which can be called more a displacement than a replacement.  If they could not read the future of Arabia right, they could have left the Ottoman Sultanate secure with its Arabian Empire.  Dismemberment is not an essential follow up of defeat.  It is possible that had the Empire remained intact the region would not have experienced the instability that it faces today.


April 2017


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