Cairo (Oct. 4)
King Hussein of the Hedjaz, former shefiff of Mecca and recently self-pro-claimed caliph of all the Faithful Moslems, resigned at nine oclock Friday evening from both the Hedjaz Kingdom and the Moslem Caliphate throne.
The abdication of the Caliph and King occured under the most dramatic circumstances, under the pressure of the Wahabi Army and a group of inhabitants of Mecca. The King put his signature to the prepared document after he had spent many hours in prayer and in wireless communication with his sons, Feisal, the King of Mesopotamia, and Abdullah, the ruler of TransJordania.
With tears in his eyes, Hussein declared to his friends that he is retiring only temporarily because of his desire to protect the Holiest of Holy Moslem cities, Mecca, from being a center of strife and the possible object of destruction. He, at the same time, expressed his hope that the All-Islamic Congress, which is to convene shortly in Cairo, will reelect him.
A state of inter-regnum now exists in Mecca, Medinah and Jeddah A committee of leading citizens have been formed in Jeddah for the purpose of creating a temporary government of Hedjaz. The Committee issued the following manifesto yesterday: “The inhabitants of the Hedjaz have decided that they require the dissolution of the Hashmite Government, headed by King Hussein, and the succession of a temporary Government for the protection of the country, to be appointed by the inhabitants of the Hedjaz, who are ready to conform to the orders of the whole Moslem world. They do not wish to fight with any one and they appeal to the whole world to stop the present hostilities.”
This newly formed Government has sent delegats to Sultan Ibn Saoud, leader of the Wahabi forces, to arrange for terms of peace before he enters Mecca.
The intentions and the proposed course of action of action the the resigning King and Caliph are not known yet, but it was stated he will proceed to Mesopotamia to seek shelter under the sceptre of his son, Feisal. Hussein’s family treasure has been rescued and brought from Mecca to Jeddah.
The Hashimite family, King Hussein and his two sons, came into the limelight of Arabia in June, 1916, when Hussein, at that
time Sheriff of Mecca, after prolonged negotiations with representatives of Great Britain and the Allies threw off the mask of loyalty to the Ottoman Empire and commenced hostilities against the Turkish army with a small group of Bedouins whom he induced to take the field against Turkey. Subsequently, Hussein proclaimed himself King of Hedjaz and on March 7, 1924, after the compulsory abdication of the Sultan of Turkey, Hussein was proclaimed Caliph by a group of Moslems, representing TransJordania, Palestine, Mesopotamia and Hedjaz.
Hussein, a scion of an ancient Arabic family with century-old pretensions to the Caliphate thrown based on their direct descent from the Prophet, encountered great difficulties in his aspirations towards the Caliphate. Although practically master of the Arabic countries, he could not secure the sympathy of the whole Moslem World his main opponent, however, proved to be Sultan Ibn Saoud of Nejd, Central Arabia, the forceful leader of the fanatic sect of the Wahabis. Ibn Saoud who is also a scion of an ancient family of Arabia who claims direct decent from Mohammed, was antagonistic to Hussein’s family, in the observance of his family traditions. He was particularly arroused to action since Hussein’s proclamation of himself as Caliph.
A very interesting situation now arises in the Arabic countries, which may have great influence on the course of development in Palestine. Hussein and his family, who were considered by a number of Arabic leaders as the standard-bearer of the revived Arabic National Idea, maintained to a certain extent recognition from Great Britain, as the man who would be able to unite and rule the Arabic countries, placing them in a status of independence and public security in co-operation with the Western civilation. The newly created Arabic states, having been divided as Kingdoms under Hussein and his sons, a plan was being negotiated for the possible formation of a Confederation of the Arabic States under the supreme leadership of Hussein.