Page 209

THE SHADOW OF ISLAM

IN

129

and dogmatism through which Christian religions have had to pass, civilisation has advanced, and what is more conclusive, science as well.

spite of the phases of fanaticism

But whatever

soul flights the

of Islam has taken in the past

or will take, where do we trace any transitory condition in the Arab ? Has he changed from what he was thirteen centuries

ago

?

as

is

the

historian's verdict, his

religion hopelessly cripples him, what of the free-thinking Arabs who have always counted a goodly percentage from Morocco to Tunis ? The If,

Separatists, or Free Thinkers of Islam, as they are called, who endeavoured in close study of Greek philosophy to find a solution

to

all

dogmatic problems, and who treated the Koran and

its

traditions in a wider sense, never succeeded in displaying any Devout or otherwise, careless in genuine theological reasoning.

the practice of their faith or reciting the Koran from end to end, the Arab ofl^ers ever the same barrier to all enlightenment or

advance.

The

colonisers of

entirely envied.

can penetrate

— theThey

Mohamedan

Africa are not to be

have to meet a force which no wisdom

force of mental limitation.

Curiously enough,

dawned but slowly upon the colonising mind and As long as the Arab was a warlike Morocco, Algeria

this limitation has

in

power, backed by the halo of a dashing courage, the freedom of his nomad life and the chimera of possible conversion, he was poetised

His very faith seen from had something of the rude poetry of the desert and of a He was not an unworthy foe, splendid past.

by

a

romantic school of Orientalists.

afar

" La main ouverte

Le

sabre tire.

Et une seule parole."

But to-day the tide has changed in favour of the ruder but more amalgamatable Berber. The Arab has proved himself by instinct, tradition and intelligence, as opposed to civilisation.

He

is

limp,

nomad,

aristocratic

and

idle.

The

Berber, however.

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In the track of the Moors -Sketches in Spain and Northern Africa  

Impressions of Spain.- Andalusia.- Granada.- Origins of Moorish architecture in Spain.- The Moorish gardens of Spain.- Arabesque and Azulejo...

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