Interessantes neues Buch über die Bagdad-Bahn:
Under the influence of the irrepressible Middle Eastern scholar and enthusiast Baron Max von Oppenheim, the Germans devised the stratagem of having Jihad, Holy War, pronounced in fatwas (in Turkish, fatvehs) against all infidels except Germans, Austrians, Americans, and any other ally of the Porte or any significant neutral. Some thought this message was likely to prove confusing to fanatics bent on murdering anyone who did not look Turkish or Arab, and the thought proved prescient. Its main aim was to get the huge number of Muslim subjects of the British Empire to rise against their masters, thus saving Germany and its allies the trouble of defeating Britain themselves.
In the words of the American ambassador to the Porte, Henry Morgenthau, “the Kaiser’s desire” was “to let loose 300,000,000 Mohammedans in a gigantic St Bartholomew’s Day massacre of Christians.” One of the pamphlets distributed by the Germans blamed what it called “the state of degradation to which the World of Islam as arrived” on the European Christians who in India, Egypt and the Sudan had subjugated hundreds of millions of Muslims. And the worst of these “enemies of God,” said the pamphlet, were “the infidel English”. The pamphlet told Muslims everywhere “that from today Holy War has become a sacred duty and that the blood of the infidels in the Islamic lands may be shed with impunity (except those who enjoy the protection of the Muslim power and those to whom it has given security and those who confederate with it).” And in a phrase that remains chillingly resonant today, the pamphlet concluded, “The killing of the infidels who rule over the Islamic lands has become a sacred duty, whether it be secretly or openly; as the great Koran declares in its word: ‘Take them and kill them wherever you come across them’.”