Egyptian secret societies, 1911

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8 Scopus citations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-623
Number of pages21
JournalMiddle Eastern Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006

Bibliographical note

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When Milne Cheetham sent the report to Grey, he drew the attention of his minister to two societies ‘whose objects include propaganda beyond Egyptian territory’. These were society no. 7, Jam‘iyyat al-Ittihad al-Maghribi (Maghribi Union Society), and society no. 25, Jama‘at al-Da‘wa wal-Irshad (Society of Propaganda and Guidance).16 In 1909 there arrived in Morocco an Ottoman military mission, some of whose members remained in Morocco and made contact in May 1911 with Mawlay Zayn al-‘Abadin, a pretender to the Moroccan throne. They intended to provide him with military advice and monetary backing, financed by the secret Cairo-based pan-Islamic Jam‘iyyat al-Ittihad al-Maghribi. However, they never accomplished their objectives, being arrested by the French in June 1911 and deported. Two of them, officers ‘Arif Tahir and Muhammad Hilmi, returned to Morocco in summer 1912 and got involved in another attempt to support the resistance forces against the French. A general insurrection of the Moroccan population against the French was supposed to break out in mid-September (the end of Ramadan), sponsored by Jam‘iyyat al-Ittihad al-Maghribi. The society’s agents in Tangier communicated with resistance fighters in central Morocco, and arms and money were to be smuggled to the Berber tribes. An attempt was also made to send a military mission composed of Egyptian and Turkish officers, Tahir and Hilmi among them, to advise the resistance forces, but they were intercepted by the French before reaching their destination.17

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