Opinion: When better relations were foreseen with Muslim world

This editorial appeared in The Atlanta Constitution, Thanksgiving Day, 1942. It is reprinted as written, using that era’s word “Moslem,” rather than today’s common-usage “Muslim:

Nuri Es Sadi, prime minister of Iraq, has written President Roosevelt, stating the Arab races of North Africa and the Near East rejoice at the Allied Nations successes in North Africa.

Nuri Es Sadi is a devout Moslem and an outstanding personage in the Islamic world. His view may safely be accepted as reflecting the view and emotions of the vast majority of the Moslem peoples.

One of the most important results of the occupation of North Africa and the smashing of Rommel’s forces in Egypt and Libya, is the effect of the development on the Moslems. Evidence that the Allied Nations are winning the global conflict will solidify and strengthen the support which the Moslems have always, in great majority, given the cause of Britain and of America.

Nowhere in the world has the British ability to win the confidence and friendship of other peoples been so emphatically demonstrated as among the Moslems of Africa and the Near East. The story of Lawrence of Arabia is a romantic and dramatic illustration of this fact.

On the other hand, the inability of the Germans to successfully colonize or administer the affairs of occupied countries has been notably shown wherever they have come into such contact with the Moslem races. The old German colonies in Africa, before the first World War, were hotbeds of resentment and hatred by the natives for the German officials who tried to administer them. Always, when German and Britisher met in the far outposts of the world, it is the British representative who holds the confidence and approval of the natives, the German who is feared and hated.

Now that it is becoming clear that the Axis is on the toboggan toward complete defeat, the real sympathies of the Moslems will be shown. That sympathy will be invaluable to the Allied nations.

And it must not be forgotten that any acceptance, by Britain, of the Gandhi, or Hindu, formula for complete Indian independence, would constitute a betrayal of Moslem friends in India, who constitute a large proportion of the population in that land of many races, many tongues, many religions and many nations.

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