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April 15, 1854 Karl Marx


The Koran and the Mussulman (Muslims) legislation emanating from it reduce the geography and ethnography of the various peoples to the simple and con­venient distinction of two nations and of two countries; those of the faith­ful and of the infidels. The infidel is “harby,” i.e., the enemy. Islamism proscribes the nation of the infidels, constituting a state of permanent hos­tility between the Mussulman and the unbeliever (e.g. Jihad). In that sense the cor­sair ships of the Berber states were the holy fleet of Islam. How, then, is the existence of Christian subjects of the Porte to be reconciled with the Koran?”

Source: Lewis, Bernard. A Middle East Mosaic Fragments of Life, Letters and History, Random House 2000, p. 294-299

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