19 SEPTEMBER 1925, Page 2

The Angora Government abolished the Caliphate mainly for political reasons

and has been led on to further stages in the secularization of the State. It has now decreed the abolition of " Monasteries," elide means the end of the Dervishes. There must still be Moslem monasteries which are centres of learning,. protests against materialism and even of some spiritual value, though their influence is slight. But most of them have sunk to a low level even in Constantinople, and among the Kurds far from civilization they are centres of the grossest superstition and ignorance. Unlike the abbeys and monasteries which are now recognized as having been the best landowners of mediaeval Britain, these Moslem monasteries were quite unpro-i ductive and provided the attraction of an idle life to many while lives of mysticism, contemplation or prayer, were the vocation of very few. That was very much what happened in Egypt owing to the degradation of the Coptic hermits. The Manchester Guardian of Tuesday gave a most interesting account of the " Whirlers," or dancing Dervishes, and of the " Howlers," who are the two chief sects remaining. Their oriental desire for ecstasy and " union with the Divine " has sunk into exhibitions of perfectly useless auto-hypnotism.