The great Hunger of Ireland and The help of the Muslim

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The Great Hunger or also known as the Irish Potato famine was  the mass starvation period in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. In the Irish language it is called an Gorta Mór (IPA: [ənˠ ˈɡɔɾˠtˠə ˈmˠoːɾˠ], meaning “the Great Hunger”.

The causes for the famine was the disease Phytophthora infestans, commonly known as blight and the penal laws of the year 1690. Ireland as a British colony was stricken and the weakest among the inhabitants were mainly farmers.


The Irish Agrarian society was owning 70% of the land by the 1859, in other words the irish representatives that had 28 seats in the house of lords.

Catholics made up 80% of the population, the bulk of whom lived in conditions of poverty and insecurity despite Catholic emancipation in 1829. At the top of the “social pyramid” was the “ascendancy class“, the English and Anglo-Irish families who owned most of the land, and who had more or less limitless power over their tenants. Some of their estates were vast: the Earl of Lucan owned over 60,000 acres (240 km2). Many of these landlords lived in England and were called “absentee landlords“. The rent revenue was sent to England,[15] collected from “impoverished tenants” paid minimal wages to raise crops and livestock for export. Many historical academics  consider the famine as a form of either direct or indirect genocide. Political writer John Mitchel describes the famine as follows.”The Almighty, indeed, sent the potato blight, but the English created the Famine”


The author Miss Jane Francesca Elgee  contributed  with her (later Lady Wilde),  well-known and popular poem, which was carried in The Nation:[69]

Weary men, what reap ye? Golden corn for the stranger.

What sow ye? Human corpses that wait for the avenger.
Fainting forms, hunger-stricken, what see you in the offing
Stately ships to bear our food away, amid the stranger’s scoffing.
There’s a proud array of soldiers—what do they round your door?
They guard our master’s granaries from the thin hands of the poor.
Pale mothers, wherefore weeping? ‘Would to God that we were dead—
Our children swoon before us, and we cannot give them bread.[70]


In 1845, Queen Victoria and the British government were raising awareness about the situation in Ireland. Mitchel wrote in his The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps), on the same subject, that no one from Ireland ever asked for charity during this period, and that it was England who sought charity on Ireland’s behalf, and, having received it, was also responsible for administering it. He suggested that it has been carefully inculcated by the British Press, “that the moment Ireland fell into distress, she became an abject beggar at England’s gate, and that she even craved alms from all mankind.

11841148 (  The infamous Cecil Wood ham-Smiths The Great Hunger)

One of the donator who became aware of the situation was Sultan Abdülmecid who declared his intention to send £10,000 to Irish farmers, but Queen Victoria requested that the Sultan send only £1,000, because she herself had sent only £2,000. The Sultan is supposed to have sent the £1,000 along with three ships full of food. According to Abdullah Aymaz in an article in The Fountain magazine, the British administration tried to block the ships, but the food arrived secretly at Drogheda harbour and was left there by Ottoman sailors. Shipping records relating to the port appear not to have survived. Newspaper reports suggest that ships from Thessaloniki in the Ottoman Empire sailed up the River Boyne in May 1847,[79] although it has also been claimed that the river was dry at the time. A letter in the Ottoman archives of Turkey, written by Irish notables explicitly thanks the Sultan for his help

These of course are the stories that are not talked about in history lesson at least not the full credit this great Muslim leader, who was concerned with the people of Ireland.

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