Words and Symbols.


29. A ridiculous instance of enforcing words by symbols, after the Oriental manner, occurs in Arabian history. When the people of Medina revolted against Yezid the first, they assembled in the mosque. One of them rose up, took off his turban, and flinging it on the ground, exclaimed, “I depose Yezid from the caliphate in the same manner as I cast away my turban.” In an instant all who were near enough to understand him followed his example, and immediately a multitude of turbans were thrown down, and every one was repeating the same formula. In another corner of the mosque, a Moslem took off his slippers, and threw them away, and cried, “I depose Yezid 48from the caliphate as I throw away my slippers.” They who were near him took off their slippers in all haste, threw them away, and repeated this formula also. The ceremony went no farther, or perhaps the whim of some violent symbolist might have given rise to a set of Mahommedan Adamites.


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