The Pasha's Interview


New York Times - June 16, 1915

In response to the public accusations issued by the British Consul-General that animals have been loaded onto the liner Imperator by the Ottoman delegation to be used for cruel and unclean ceremonies, this paper has obtained an exclusive interview with a leading member of said delegation, Mehmet Ali Bey, assistant to Abdul Hadi Pasha, a representative of the Ottoman Sultan.

This interview was conducted by this reporter in a hold of Imperator, amongst the bleating of a flock of living, extremely well-fed animals that the Ottoman representative was very quick to display.

NYT: You are no doubt aware of the accusations lodged by the British consulate…

MAB: Yes. His Excellency is most distressed at these slanders. One would expect the British government, having so many adherents of the Islamic faith under it’s rule - for now - would be far better informed about the tenants and practices of the Muslim peoples.

NYT: Then blood sacrifice has no place in Islam?

MAB: Certainly not. Commitment to Islam entails striving for peace through a struggle for justice, equality of opportunity, mutual caring and consideration for the rights of others, and continuous research and acquisition of knowledge for the better protection and utilization of the resources of Creation. Islam teaches that the objective of the Commandment of God is that peace should be established in the human societies of this world, in preparation for a further dimension of human existence in the world to come, the Afterlife. In this way, Islam is very similar to Christianity.

NYT: Why then have these animals been embarked?

MAB: His Excellency has been taken by his service to His Imperial Majesty far from his beloved estates, and his passion for sheep-breeding. In addition, his household wishes to contribute materially to the war effort by knitting woolens for the troops at the front. In any event, if the animals were to harmed, would His Excellency have given them individual names?

NYT: The Pasha has named these sheep?

MAB: Indeed! For instance, (pointing) this one is named Ajax, that one Orion, that sturdy looking one over there is Monarch.

NYT: I see. Well, thank you very much for your time, and I hope all goes well for you and the Pasha on your return journey.

MAB: Inshallah, and thank you.

By John