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1912. 8 Oct The start of the the First Balkan War when Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia constituting the Balkan League and having large parts of their ethnic populations under Ottoman sovereignty, attacked the Ottoman Empire, terminating its five centuries of rule in the Balkans. The seven-month campaign ended in the Treaty of London (30 May 1913) brokered and mediated by the great powers of Europe, including the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. They sought to prevent further conflicts in the Balkans and to maintain stability in the region.

The main provisions included the following:

  • Serbia expanded its territory, gaining control of Kosovo, parts of Macedonia, and northern Albania.
  • Greece acquired southern Epirus, southern Macedonia, Crete, and the northern Aegean islands.
  • Bulgaria received Thrace up to the outskirts of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and parts of Macedonia.
  • Montenegro also saw territorial gains in northern Albania and Kosovo.
  • Albania was created as an independent state, with the great powers of Europe guaranteeing its sovereignty.
  • The division of Macedonia: The treaty stipulated that the majority of Macedonia would be under the sovereignty of Serbia and Greece, with Bulgaria gaining a smaller portion. This division sowed the seeds of future conflicts and territorial disputes in the region.
  • The deportation of people according to their "ethnical" backgrounds was stipulated in this treaty for the first time in history and was soon to lead to unprecedented atrocities and new forms of racism and racial prejudice committed later in Europe, especially by the Nazis. Unprecedented atrocities were committed by all parties involved and hundreds of thousands of Muslims, mostly Greeks, Bulgarians and Slavs now designated as "Turks", were deported eventually to the Asiatic parts of Turkey, putting an end to Ottoman rule in Southeastern Europe. [Colonialism, Nationalism and Jewish Immigration to Palestine: Abdu´l-Baha's Viewpoints Regarding the Middle East by Kamran Ekbal p16]

    In a talk at the Japenese Independ

  • Balkans; London; United Kingdom Imperialism/colonialism; Ethnic divisions; History (general)
    1923. 24 Jul The Treaty of Lausanne, signed on July 24, 1923, concluded the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) and was an important international agreement that officially ended the hostilities and conflicts stemming from World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It is primarily known for recognizing the Republic of Turkey as the successor state to the Ottoman Empire and for defining the borders of modern Turkey. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is considered the founding father of the Republic of Turkey serving as its president from 1923 until his death in 1938.

    The treaty was significant because it prescribed for a population exchange between Turkey and Greece. It resulted in the forced relocation of around 1.5 million Greek Orthodox Christians from Turkey to Greece and about 500,000 Muslim Turks from Greece to Turkey. This exchange was intended to create ethnically homogeneous nation-states and minimize tensions between these groups.

    Another provision of the treaty is that it established the international status of the Turkish Straits, including the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. It guaranteed their neutral status and regulated the passage of ships through these strategically important waterways. This arrangement sought to prevent the militarization of the Straits and maintain freedom of navigation. [Colonialism, Nationalism and Jewish Immigration to Palestine: Abdu´l-Baha's Viewpoints Regarding the Middle East by Kamran Ekbal p6]

    Lausanne; Switzerland ethnic divisions
    1948 14 May The British Mandate in Palestine ended and the state of Israel was proclaimed.

    The notion of a Jewish state evolved during the nineteenth century and in the aftermath of the French Revolution, which generated the idea of nation states and nationhood in the modern sense. The first plans came from non-Jewish sources. Napoleon Bonaparte suggested the settlement of European Jews in the Suez region to safeguard a canal project he had envisaged. Lord Palmerstone, British Foreign Secretary from 1830-1841, seeking to halt French advances in the East, planned the establishment of a British-backed Jewish client-state in Palestine to stop their advance and block Muhammad Ali´s progress. Plans of this kind set up by the Powers for safeguarding their own interests were quite numerous. When the Germans were constructing the Berlin-Baghdad Railway in the years before its completion in 1940, plans were made to settle Jews in Asia Minor alongside the rails or bestow an Ottoman Pashaliq (Territorial administrative division) upon the territory occupied by them.

    After the French Revolution the Jews of Central and Western Europe now felt that they were citizens of their respective countries. Orthodox Jews refused the idea of a Jewish state believing that only when the Messiah came that such a state could be founded.

    But then anti-Semitism was on the rise in Europe from the early and mid 1800s with such beliefs as Social Darwinism, Eugenics, Scientific Racism, Racial Hierarchy: the Nazi Racial Theories and the lingering concepts of colonialism and imperialism. The horrors of the Holocaust played a significant role in discrediting and rejecting these racial and biological ideologies that were not based on sound scientific findings.

    Jews had started to immigrate into Palestine after the first anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia in 1881 and more especially after the establishment of the World Zionist Organization in 1897, it was of a different, a political nature. The Jewish immigrants came now with the explicit aim to establish a state of their own and to the exclusion of the Arab inhabitants of the land.

    "The Jewish Colonial Projects in Palestine" refer to the efforts by Jewish individuals and organizations to establish settlements and communities in the region of Palestine, primarily during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These efforts were part of the broader Zionist movement which aimed to establish a Jewish homeland in what was then part of the Ottoman Empire and later became the British Mandate of Palestine. These projects played a significant role in the eventual establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

    First Aliyah (1882-1903): The First Aliyah was a wave of Jewish immigration to Palestine that began in the early 1880s. During this period, many Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe and Russia settled in agricultural communities, known as "moshavot," in various parts of Palestine. They aimed to establish self-sustaining agricultural settlements and escape persecution in their home countries.

    Baron Edmond de Rothschild's Support: Baron Edmond de Rothschild, a wealthy European financier, provided financial support to many Jewish settlers in Palestine. His contributions were crucial for the development of Jewish agricultural communities and wineries in the region.

    Second Aliyah (1904-1914): The Second Aliyah brought another wave of Jewish immigrants to Palestine. Many of these immigrants were inspired by socialist and labour-oriented ideologies. They established kibbutzim and collective communities, which emphasized communal living and shared resources.

    Jewish National Fund (JNF): The JNF, founded in 1901, played a pivotal role in acquiring and developing land in Palestine for Jewish settlement. It purchased and reclaimed land, planted forests, and financed infrastructure projects.

    Balfour Declaration (1917): During World War I, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, expressing support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine. This declaration laid the foundation for future Zionist aspirations.

    British Mandate Period (1920-1948): After World War I, the League of Nations granted Britain the mandate to govern Palestine. During this period, Jewish immigration and settlement continued, despite tensions with the Arab population. The Arab-Jewish conflict over land and political control intensified.

    Haganah and Israel Defense Forces: Jewish settlers organized defense forces, such as the Haganah, in the 1920s to protect their communities. They provided defence for Jewish communities and countered Arab attacks, facilitated the illegal immigration of Jewish refugees to Palestine, coordinated the various Jewish paramilitary groups and were involved in the acquiring and stockpiling of weapons and military equipment. These groups later evolved into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

    1948 Arab–Israeli War (1947-1949)

    With the British Mandate coming to an end, the United Nations approved the partition plan for Palestine, leading to the declaration of the State of Israel on the 14th of May 1948. The following day a military coalition of Arab states, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq, invaded Israel to prevent its establishment. They took control of the areas designated for Arabs and attacked the Jewish forces and settlements. As a result of the war Israel got all the lands mandated to them by the UN and 60% of the territory meant for the Arabs as well as the area that had been meant for an "international zone". Israel had retained its independence and had expanded its territory.

    This period is known as "Nakba" ("catastrophe" in Arabic). Some historians estimate that around 720,000 out of the 900,000 Palestinian Arabs that had lived in the land that was to become Israel were expelled. Another estimate says the 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed, civilians were massacred and around a million men, women, and children were expelled from their homes at gunpoint. [The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe; Colonialism, Nationalism and Jewish Immigration to Palestine: Abdu´l-Bahá's Viewpoints Regarding the Middle East by Kamran Ekbal p24; Palestinian Expulsion and Flight]

    Further details on the conflicts, Causes, Key Events of the War, as well as Outcomes and Consequences can be found here.

    The UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) is a UN agency established in 1949 that supports the relief and human development of Palestinian refugees. It's mandate encompasses Palestinians displaced by the 1948 Palestine War and subsequent conflicts, as well as their descendants, including legally adopted children. As of 2023, more than 5.9 million Palestinians are registered with UNRWA as refugees. [UNRWA]

    Palestine; Israel British history; History (general); ethnic divisions
    1994. 24 Oct The Supreme Court of India, in judgment to settle a religious dispute between Hindus and Muslims, cited the Bahá'í Faith as an example and the Teachings of the Faith as guidelines for resolving such disputes. [BW94-95p130-131; One Country]

    Background: On the 6th of December, 1992, the Babri mosque in the northern town of Ayodhya was razed by a group of Hindus because the mosque, built in 1528, had been erected on the spot where the Hindu deity Rama is said to have been born thousands of years earlier. The destruction enraged Muslims and ignited a grave crisis in India. Muslim and Hindu mobs attacked each other's houses of worship, homes and people in a number of cities, resulting in the death of hundreds and the destruction of property not only in India but in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and even in Britain. [Mess86-01p440]

      The Bahá'í community had issued a statement in English that highlighted a central theme: "Communal Harmony—India's Greatest Challenge." The issue of religious conflict and the importance of harmony and peacebuilding were emphasized. This statement was later translated into most of the official languages of India and distributed to Ministers, bureaucrats, district county workers, the superintendent of police, NGOS, and faith communities.

    The judges, in their ruling, quoted from the statement from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India Communal Harmony: India's Greatest Challenge. [Mess86-01p441]

  • A timeline for the case.
  • New Delhi; India; Ayodhya Communal harmony; Communalism; Ethnic divisions; Conflict resolution; Statements; National Spiritual Assembly, statements; Public discourse

    from the main catalogue

    1. Communal Harmony: India's Greatest Challenge, by National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India (1993(?)/2015). A formal statement from the NSA of the Bahá'ís of India on the need to overcome religious, linguistic and caste-based tensions. [about]
    2. Discussion with Farida Vahedi, Executive Director of the Department of External Affairs, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India, A, by Michael Bodakowski and Katherine Marshall (2011-03-02). Overview of Vahedi's life and work, history of the Faith in India and development projects, the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity, and issues regarding migration and protection of women and girls. [about]
    3. Division and Unity in the Baha'i Community: Towards a Definition of Fundamentalism, by Moojan Momen (2009). 15 criteria that define "fundamentalism," and their applicability and/or inapplicability to the Bahá'í community; it may be more useful to use a psychological definition that sees the phenomenon as a value-free cognitive style, a way of perceiving. [about]
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