This Day In History- Nov. 14

By Terry Odenigbo

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On this day, November 14, 1914, in Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman Empire, the religious leader Sheikh-ul-Islam declared an Islamic holy war on behalf of the Ottoman government. He urged his Muslim followers to take up arms against Britain, France, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro in World War I.

By the time the Great War broke out in 1914, the Ottoman Empire was faltering. The Ottoman navy–including two German ships –attacked Russian ports in the Black Sea, marking the beginning of Turkey’s participation in the war.

The sheikh’s declaration of a holy war after this, urged Muslims all over the world to rise up and defend the Ottoman Empire, as a protector of Islam, against its enemies.
The War ended in favour of Russia

In the face of the ongoing insurgency based on religious biases, maybe History has a lesson for us on the futility of waging war in the name of gods.

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