Σάββατο, 16 Απριλίου 2016

Greek muslims and Isma'il Ragheb Pasha : Minister and Prime minister of Egypt

Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha(1769 - 1849) was an Ottoman Albanian commander in the Ottoman army, who rose to the rank of Pasha, and became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan with the Ottomans' temporary approval. Though not a modern nationalist, he is regarded as the founder of modern Egypt because of the dramatic reforms in the military, economic and cultural spheres that he instituted. He also ruled Levantine territories outside Egypt. The dynasty that he established would rule Egypt and Sudan until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952  led by Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser. Sultan Selim III (reigned 1789–1807) had recognized the need to reform and modernize the Ottoman Empire along European lines to ensure that his state could compete. Selim III, however, faced stiff local opposition from an entrenched clergy and military apparatus. Consequently, Selim III was deposed and ultimately killed in 1808. Muhammad Ali, too, recognized the need to modernize, and unlike Selim, he had dispatched his chief rival, giving him a free hand to copy Selim's attempted reforms. Muhammad Ali's goal was to establish a powerful, European-style state. To do that, he had to reorganize Egyptian society, streamline the economy, train a professional bureaucracy, and build a modern military. His first task was to secure a revenue stream for Egypt. To accomplish this, Muhammad Ali 'nationalized' all the land of Egypt, thereby officially owning all the production of the land. He accomplished the state annexation of property by raising taxes on the 'tax-farmers' who had previously owned the land throughout Egypt. The new taxes were intentionally high and when the tax-farmers could not extract the demanded payments from the peasants who worked the land, Muhammad Ali confiscated their properties. In practice, Muhammad Ali's land reform amounted to a monopoly on trade in Egypt. He required all producers to sell their goods to the state. The state in turn resold Egyptian goods, within Egypt and to foreign markets, and retained the surplus. The practice proved very profitable for Egypt with the cultivation of long staple cotton. The new-found profits also extended down to the individual farmers, as the average wage increased fourfold. In addition to bolstering the agricultural sector, Muhammad Ali built an industrial base for Egypt. His motivation for doing so was primarily an effort to build a modern military. Consequently, he focused on weapons production. Factories based in Cairo produced muskets and cannons. With a shipyard he built in Alexandria, he began construction of a navy. By the end of the 1830s, Egypt’s war industries had constructed nine 100-gun warships and were turning out 1,600 muskets a month. However, the industrial innovations were not limited to weapons production. Muhammad Ali established a textile industry in an effort to compete with European industries and produce greater revenues for Egypt. While the textile industry was not successful, the entire endeavor employed tens of thousands of Egyptians. Additionally, by hiring European managers, he was able to introduce industrial training to the Egyptian population. To staff his new industries, Muhammad Ali employed a corvée labor system. The peasantry objected to these conscriptions and many ran away from their villages to avoid being taken, sometimes fleeing as far away asSyria. A number of them maimed themselves so as to be unsuitable for combat: common ways of self-maiming were blinding an eye with rat poison and cutting off a finger of the right hand, so as to be unable to fire a rifle. Beyond building a functioning, industrial economy, Muhammad Ali also made an effort to train a professional military and bureaucracy. He sent promising citizens to Europe to study. Again the driving impulse behind the effort was to build a European-style army. Students were sent to study European languages, primarily French, so they could in turn translate military manuals into Arabic. He then used both educated Egyptians and imported European experts to establish schools and hospitals in Egypt. The European education also provided talented Egyptians with a means of social mobility. A byproduct of Muhammad Ali's training program was the establishment of a professional bureaucracy. Establishing an efficient central bureaucracy was an essential prerequisite for the success of Muhammad Ali's other reforms. In the process of destroying the Mamluks, the Wāli had to fill the governmental roles that the Mamluks had previously filled. In doing so, Muhammad Ali kept all central authority for himself. He partitioned Egypt into ten provinces responsible for collecting taxes and maintaining order. Muhammad Ali installed his sons in most key positions; however, his reforms did offer Egyptians opportunities beyond agriculture and industry. During the Greek War of Independence, Ottoman Egyptian troops under the leadership of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt ravaged the island of Crete and the Greek countryside of the Morea where the Muslim Egyptian soldiers enslaved vast numbers of Christian Greek children and women. Ibrahim arranged for the enslaved Greek children to be forcefully converted to Islam en masse. The enslaved Greeks were subsequently transferred to Egypt where they and sold as slaves. Several decades later in 1843, the English traveler and writer Sir John Gardner Wilkinson described the state of enslaved Greeks who had converted to Islam in Egypt: White Slaves — In Egypt there are white slaves and slaves of colour. There are [for example] some Greeks who were taken in the War of Independence. In Egypt, the officers of rank are for the most part enfranchised slaves. I have seen in the bazars of Cairo Greek slaves who had been torn from their country, at the time it was about to obtain its liberty; I have seen them afterwards holding nearly all the most important civil and military grades; and one might be almost tempted to think that their servitude was not a misfortune, if one could forget the grief of their parents on seeing them carried off, at a time when they hoped to bequeath to them a religion free from persecution, and a regenerated country. (Sir John Gardner Wilkinson, 1843) Isma'il ibn Ahmad ibn Hassan bani Yani, known simply as Isma'il Ragheb Pasha  (1819 –1884), was a Greek Ottoman politician who served as Prime Minister of Egypt and held several other high-ranking government positions. Isma'il Ragheb was of Greek ancestry and was born in Greece on 18 August 1819 on either the island of Chios following the great Massacre or Candia Crete. After being kidnapped to Anatolia he was brought to Egypt as a slave by Ibrahim Pasha in 1830 and was converted to Islam. Immediately following his arrival, he studied at al-Maktab al-Amiri and obtained his advanced degree in 1834. He was fluent in Greek and was elevated to the rank of First Lieutenant by Egypt's viceroy Muhammad Ali Pasha. In 1836, he became head of the Accounting and Revenue Agencies. He was promoted to the rank of bikbashi (Lieutenant Colonel) in 1840, then kaymakam (Colonel) in 1844, and finally amiralay (Brigadier General) in 1846. He held the positions of Minister of Finance (1858–1860), then Minister of War (1860–1861). He became Inspector for the Maritime Provinces in 1862, and later Assistant to viceroy Isma'il Pasha (1863–1865). He was granted the title of beylerbey and then appointed President of the Privy council in 1868. He was appointed President of the Chamber of Deputies (1866–1867), then Minister of Interior in 1867, then Minister of Agriculture and Trade in 1875. He again held the Finance portfolio in Muhammad Sharif Pasha's first government (1879). After the fall of Mahmoud Sami el-Baroudi's government, Isma'il Ragheb became Prime Minister of Egypt in 1882. Although his government was short-lived (it lasted from 17 June to 21 August only), it was the only one to present concrete programs. His achievements include the modernisation of the budget through the inventory of revenues and expenses, the Law on Salaries, the La'eha Sa'ideyya as well as several agricultural laws. Isma'il Ragheb died in 1884.
Πηγή: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raghib_Pasha

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