Great War Publicity: Particular Countries - the 'Moslem World'



In this report of 20 December 1916, the British Foreign Office outlines its propaganda activities in the Muslim world. The list demonstrates the global scope of British-led ‘Muslim propaganda’ that was directed at a variety of colonial, neutral, and belligerent Muslims across the world. Simultaneously, it reflects the variety of media used to influence Muslim attitudes, from newspapers and illustrated magazines to cartoons. To read the original report, please click on the sources above.


Pan-Islamic and anti-colonial propaganda, sponsored by German and Ottoman agents, was targeted not only at inimical Muslim subjects, but in fact was directed at Muslim communities worldwide. This demanded global British counteraction, in the hope that it would prevent a rise in worldwide, Islamic-inspired, revolutionary movements which, in turn, could have an inflammatory domino effect on Britain's Muslim subjects. British propaganda agents therefore tried to influence their own Muslim subjects, such as the Egyptians, as well as large Muslim communities living in Java (neutral Dutch East Indies), Rio de Janeiro (neutral Brazil), Algiers (the French Empire), and Turkey (Central Powers). In 1916, the British Foreign Office and Wellington House focused on written and visual propaganda. They disseminated loyal Arabic newspapers or illustrated magazines, such as Al-Hakikat, and circulated pamphlets and brochures in diverse languages from Hindustani to Chinese (McEvoy).