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100 years ago: World responsibilities

08 August 2007

August 9th, 1907.

THE bombardment by the French of Casa Blanca, anticipated though it has been, may be as the letting out of waters — the beginning of a strife which may set in battle array the opposed forces of Christendom and Islamism. Publicists of repute have frequently of late years pointed to the growth of a Pan-Islamic movement, the spirit of which, as the Morning Post of yesterday remarked, is to be found in those agitations which have been noticeable in the Near East, in Egypt, and along the shores of Northern Africa. It requires no great stretch of the imagination to picture the effects of a strife so begotten, and we hope that when the time comes for the Christian nations to stand together, there will be no defections arising from the jealousies of those peoples who still live under the Cross. The revival of Islamism is a too serious fact to allow of such an extreme folly. But are we free of the risk?

There appears to be uneasiness in some quarters respecting Sir Edward Grey’s foreign policy in regard to the Near East. If what is said is true, our Foreign Office is making overtures to Austria, offering her, in return for certain anti-German concessions, the hegemony in Macedonian affairs. This would mean, we fear, that the state of the Macedonian people would go from bad to worse. There was some chance for them, if British influence remained in the ascendant; but if Great Britain deliberately takes a subordinate place, the outlook is a poor one.

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