Note The Quote

There is a good deal of confusion in much of the world, and particularly in the Middle East, between two different words: freedom and independence. In many parts of the region the two words are used as if they were synonyms. They are not synonyms. They mean very different things. And much of the world has now learned painfully not only that it is possible to have one without the other, but in many situations the two appear to be mutually exclusive. Some of the empires gave far greater freedom in the sense of individual rights to their subjects than were ever accorded by the independent states that arose on the ruins of empires. Nowadays some rather bitterly define independence as the right to be kicked in the teeth by a compatriot instead of being hit on the head by a foreigner.

Bernard Lewis, Cleveland E Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University.

From his book “ From Babel to Dragomans” 2004.