In between reading episodes of Nansen's attempt to reach the North Pole (eventually setting out from his ship at the third try), I am rereading a collection of academic papers with the title "The Central Biland Al-Sudan" presented at a conference at the University of Khartoum in 1977. Geographically this area stretches from eastern Mali across the Sahel to western Sudan (Darfur).
In one paper relating to the life of a Muslim cleric in the early 19th century who promototed a militaristic concept of jihād. The author (Omar Jar) admits he does not have the answer to the rise of this aspect of Islamic philosophy but suggests:
"The European invasion and occupation of most parts of the Muslim World, which resulted in large numbers of Muslim leaders and scholars leaving their countries to take refuge in the Holy Land."
"The activities of the Ottoman [Turkish empire] agents [read today al Qaeda, Taleban etc] who took the opportunity of the pilgrimage to call for jihād against the infidels - the European powers who tried to dismember the [Ottoman] Caliphate. Hence the idea of Pan-Islamism advocated by many reformers and jihād leaders."
I don't make my views about Western innterventions in Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Far Eastern politics explicit on this blog. Regular readers will have a general idea. But ...
When will Western leaders (since pig-ignorant popes in the time of the crusades) learn from the lessons of history?
This post is dedicated to all the medical workers in crisis zones throughout the world.