From Sykes-Picot 1916 to ISIS 2015: Setting the Stage for the 2015 Paris Attacks
By Edith Hathaway ©2015
“… From a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.”
Edgar Allen Poe, quoted by Barbara Tuchman in her book The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914, © 1966.
ISIS is a Sunni Muslim jihadist group in the Middle East that declared itself a Caliphate as of June 29, 2014. Prior to this, the last major official Caliphate was the Ottoman Empire, which had control over the political and religious affairs of a large swath of territory. During the height of their empire in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottomans controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa – coincidentally, many of the same areas the new ISIS or IS (Islamic State) wants to control again, including almost half of Africa. ISIS presently controls territories within Iraq and Syria. The Ottoman Empire ruled over Iraq from 1533 to 1918; its empire was founded in 1299 and dissolved in 1923 when the secular Turkish state was formed. The Ottoman Caliphate began in 1517 and was abolished March 3, 1924. The Ottomans were predominantly Sunni Muslims, and from the 16th thru 19th centuries they were at war with the predominantly Shia Persians. (Shia Muslims currently represent between 10 to 15% of all Muslims, the rest being Sunni Muslims.) Continue reading