The Arab Islamic World

4- The Ottoman  ruling period (1517-1918)

Early tenth century, the Turkic (Oghuz) people started to convert to Islam when one of their clan (the Seljuq) sought refuge in the Samanids’ territories. The Samanids were Persians who, in the early seventh century, had converted to Islam during the Arabs military campaign in Persia. The main reasons behind the Seljuq conversion were the support they received against their local rivals (the Ghaznavid) and the finance they gained from selling able-bodied men to the Arabs as military slaves. These military slaves eventually played major roles in controlling the Muslim Arabs’ caliphs. They also became powerful generals and key members of the Ottoman empire army.

By the late thirteenth century, the Seljuk Turks controlled most of the Middle East and parts of the Anatolian Peninsula.

The Seljuks, however, were disorganised and declining, giving the Ottoman Turkish the opportunity to establish their mighty empire (1299-1922) that reaches its apex in the 16th century when it stretches from  the  the Persian Gulf in the east, to Hungary in the northwest and from Egypt in the south to the Caucasus in the north.

In the name of Islam and for four centuries, the 34 consecutive Ottoman sultans ruled Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, parts of Arabia and much of the coastal strip of North Africa. 

The Ottoman empire collapsed following its defeat by the Allies in World War I. It was officially ended on the 1st November 1922, when the Ottoman sultanate was abolished, and Turkey was declared a republic.

This is what has been said about the Ottoman Empire:

  • The Balkan states remembered it as a brutal oppressor.

  • The empire that unleashed savage murderers to massacre millions of Armenian people.

  • Denounced as an alien horde by all European liberals.

  • An empire that hosted dictators who would go to any length to eliminate their rivals. A good example is the execution of the 23 Lebanese and Syrian nationalists by the Ottoman military leader Jamal Pasha, named as the 'bloodthirsty', in May 1916. The nationalists’ only crime was to seek justice and freedom for their nations. 

Full details in my book ' The Islam Delusion-Volume 2'