Arab Revolt Pamphlets
Sharif Hussein said in the first pamphlet: “Members of the Committee of Union and Progress have taken over power in the Ottoman State, stripping the Caliph of all authority, and straying from the teachings of Islam. They have practised racist policies, and persecuted Arabs and their language, hanging their free men in the gallows and continuing with policies aimed at killing the Arab spirit. They have squandered several Ottoman states with their clumsy policies, and their entering the war will lead to losing the rest. Therefore, Arabs have to work to save themselves and establish an independent entity of their own.”
In the second pamphlet, published 20 September 1916, Sharif Hussein reiterated the justifications mentioned in the first leaflet, but stressed that: “Arabs are not against Turks. Their animosity is limited to the members of the Committee of Union and Progress, who have harmed both peoples.”
In the third pamphlet, dated 29 November 1916, Sharif Hussein addresses his fellow Arabs, saying he only rose “in Revolt to drive away harm and oppression” against Arabs, in adherence to the duties of nationalism and patriotism. Here he referred to the nature of the relationship with Arabs’ Allies, saying “it is based on friendship and mutual benefits.”
In the fourth leaflet, dated 7 March 1917, he speaks to Muslims in general, and Turks and Indians in particular, listing the violations of Islam committed by the Committee of Union and Progress and stressing that he still prays for the Caliph in his Friday prayer.
The first pamphlet was distributed in the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia as well as Arab and Muslim states under French control in Africa. Sharif Hussein signed the first two leaflets as “Sharif and Emir of Mecca”, while he signed the third as “King of Arab Land”.
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