Family Jewels

Hence, as in many primitive and tribal societies, the “great inheriting families” who control the government and major corporations and financial institutions in the United States marry within their own families in order to keep the “family jewels” to themselves. Love marriages with people outside of the family are perhaps crushed or suppressed by the “great inheriting families” of America for the sake of money interests, as in the case of India where the government and corporate elites of India famously give their sons and daughters to one another in order to protect and shield their money interests from people outside of their families. However, there are adverse consequences for such insular rituals and practices, such as hemophilia and so forth which are sufficiently documented by certain historians and social scientists.

But oddly enough, the practice of keeping the “family jewels” within one’s own family – while practiced amongst the “great inheriting families” of the West – is something that was not practiced in the Islamic empires of the Islamic “Golden Age.” During my trip to Istanbul about a month ago, my guide during an exploration of the historic area of Istanbul told me that as a rule, Ottoman sultans – all of whom were Turkish – married non-Turkish wives, because of the belief held by Turkish sultans about Turkish women in general, which was that Turkish women were keen on interfering in the business and social affairs of Turkish men and especially of the Turkish sultans. Thus, as a rule, Ottoman sultans would marry non-Turkish wives, because the Ottoman sultans had learned from experience that non-Turkish women were less prone to interfering in the business and social affairs of the Turkish sultan than Turkish women were.

Turks have very close cultural and perhaps even blood ties with Iranians and Afghans, and the outlook amongst a number of Iranian and Afghan men regarding their own women are largely the same as that wielded by the Turkish sultans of the past. The personal doctor of one of Iran’s recent presidents, who is Iranian, is actually married to a Mexican woman. When asked why he was not married to an Iranian woman, the Iranian doctor’s response was that Iranian women could never become wives.

As I have mentioned before, my mother comes from Afghan nobility to a certain extent. My great-grandfather from my mother’s side – Aseel Khan Waziri – was first a Southern militia leader who fought the British during the “Third Anglo-Afghan War” before cooperating with the British. Aseel Khan was actually an ordinary person who was forced into “The Great Game” when the King of Afghanistan invaded neighboring British India in 1919. Aseel Khan and his militia gained rich experiences, technical knowledge, and weaponry as a result of the “Third Anglo-Afghan War” of 1919. In fact, a certain segment of Aseel Khan’s ‘Waziri Militia’ continued the fight against the ‘British Raj’ until the British Raj finally gave up, which in turned opened up the path for India’s various independence movements led by the legendary Mahatma Gandhi. India’s independence was perhaps the stamp on the collapse of the British Empire, and ironically, it was induced by certain segments of Aseel Khan’s Waziri tribesmen.

But when a power vacuum materialized in Afghanistan after the “Third Anglo-Afghan War,” a Northern militia occupied Kabul in 1929 soon after the central government in Kabul collapsed. The British were under the impression that the leader of this Northern militia which occupied Kabul in 1929 was a Russian agent. Thus, the British – through a middle man – reached out to Aseel Khan and supported him in assembling a Southern militia which then pushed the Northern militia out of Kabul and in turn installed a monarch (Nadir Khan) who was acceptable to the British. This British-backed monarch and his family – whom Aseel Khan literally installed – would rule Afghanistan for approximately the next fifty years. Not only did the British-backed monarch give Aseel Khan land and money for his support, but the monarch also married him to a woman from his own family in order to solidify their ties. The woman from the British-backed monarch’s family was Aseel Khan’s third wife. Aseel Khan’s first two wives were middle class or rural, whereas his third wife who came from the British-backed monarchy was largely modern and westernized. Hence, the social dimension of “The Great Game” is arguably more preponderant than the economic and political dimensions. But as with any other proposition or issue, such a proposition or issue is up for rich academic and scholarly debate.

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