Leaders of the Khilafat Movement
The Khilafat Movement was a pan-Islamic force that originated in 1919 along with the Non-Cooperation Movement in India. The movement was an effort to salvage the Ottoman caliph as a symbol of unity among the Muslim community in India during the British raj.
- Muslims in India were outraged by Britain's stance toward Turkey.
- Turkey was defeated in World War I, and the harsh terms of the Treaty of Sevres (1920) were viewed as a major insult by Muslims.
- The Khilafat Movement was led collaboratively by Khilafat leaders and the Congress, with prominent leaders including Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, M.A. Ansari, Saifuddin Kitchlew, and the Ali brothers.
- The majority of the prominent political and public protests in favour of the caliphate occurred in India, despite their emergence across the Muslim world.
- Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar, a well-known Muslim journalist with an education from Oxford, served four years in prison for supporting the caliphate and encouraging resistance to the colonial government.
- Muslim religious leaders were concerned for the caliphate at the start of the Turkish War of Independence because the European powers were reluctant to defend it.
- The idea of being drafted to fight against other Muslims in Turkey was abhorrent to some Indian Muslims.
- The Khilafat was not a religious organisation to its founders or adherents; rather, it was an expression of support for their Muslim brothers and sisters in Turkey.