Mr. Marmaduke Pickthall, in a Foreword to the book, The Khilafat and England by Dr. Syed Mahmud, wrote:
The Divine laws governing mankind collectively, the laws which must be obeyed if there was ever to be any moral progress of humanity as a whole are no where codified and clearly stated except in Al-Coran-esh-Sharif, therefore Islam has a definite and most important contribution to make to the world, but that contribution cannot be made without the means to emphasize it by example and Muslims cannot give an example of Islamic progress except in independence. The Islamic civilization is a theocracy and the khilafa is it earthly head, whether he be an Arab or a non- Arab, whether the seat of power is at Medinah, Baghdad or Constantinople and the centre of Islamic culture and Islamic hope of human progress has always shifted with the seat of the khilafat. All European students will admit that Medina and Baghdad, when the seat of the Khilafat, were a light to the world. But many will deny that Stamboul has been such. I think it has. At any rate it was an asylum for the victims of religious persecution in days when Europe burnt alive and tortured “infidels” and “heretics”. Its art and literature have been grossly underestimated, its comparative enlightenment unrecognized save by a few deep-thinking Orientalists. However that may be, it is quite certain that it had not consciously attempted to present a great example of Islamic progress for the world at large. being kept incessantly at war by the attacks of Christendom, until some 14 years ago when there took place a great awakening of the Osmanli Muslims. They suddenly beheld their own shortcomings from the Muslim standpoint, they saw that Europe had some reason for denouncing them; and holding out their hands to Europe they asked for peace and leisure to reform their country and improve their lives, resolved with Allah’s help to give the world a great example of Islamic progress upon modern lines which Europe could appreciate. That was the signal for their destruction.
Everyone has witnessed the sufferings of Turkey since the Revolution of 1908, when the Turks declared their wish for progress with the help of Europe.
Every Muslim can see that while the Muslim Empire was reactionary it was tolerated, even bolstered up, by Christian governments; but the moment it became progressive, energetic and inspired by true Islamic fervour, it was furiously attacked and torn to pieces. That means that Christians, jealous of their boasted modern civilization would not allow Muslims even the chance of showing what Islam would make of it, for fear that it might make of it something so clearly better, that the world would turn to it.
Bombay, March 24th, 1921