German propaganda in support of Islam in the Dutch East Indies, 4 May 1916

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Description

The first fragment contains the report of 4 May 1916 written by the French envoy to The Hague Henri Allizé to the French Ministry of Colonies regarding German incitement of Indonesian Muslims. The second fragment is an article by the Dutch writer and head of the French propaganda office in The Hague Henri Borel on German revolutionary strategies in the Dutch East Indies, published in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf around 24 June 1916. In the third fragment, Allizé ordered Borel to investigate German pan-Islamic propaganda in the Dutch East Indies and French Indochina. To read the original reports, please click on the sources above.

Context

Through 1915 and 1916, British and French officials and secret services became slowly aware of the global scope of the German imperial strategies and the existence of multiple alliances between German agents and anti-colonial revolutionaries.

The first fragment, a French report, written by an alarmed Allizé in The Hague, illustrates his growing consciousness of allegedly German sponsored revolutionary activities among Indonesian Muslims. Allizé also, rightfully so, discovered similarities in the German methods to undermine the Allies, linking the German support for Sinn Fein in Ireland to the German agitation among the Muslims in Java.

The second and the third fragment illustrate how French propaganda officials collaborated with Dutch intellectuals to counter German schemes in Asia. After all, Allizé considered the German instigation of Indonesian Muslims as a serious threat for the French colonies with its large Muslim communities.

The second fragment shows how the Dutch writer and head of the French propaganda office in The Hague, Henri Borel, compiled an article on German revolutionary strategies in the Dutch East Indies, in consultation with Allizé. The article, published in the Dutch newspaper 'De Telegraaf', was aimed at provoking official Dutch measures to protect and pacify the Dutch colony from German instigation, and - from the French perspective - indirectly the French colonies in Asia and North-Africa.

In the third fragment, Allizé ordered Borel to investigate which German pan-Islamic propaganda was spread in the French colonies and in the Dutch East Indies. The role of Indonesian agents in German-Indian service was not mentioned in these fragments.