The Arab Nation
This chapter explores Antonius's view of the culture and social capital of the Arab nation. It explores the Arab nation, which patriots such as Antonius defended as a world rich in social capital arid sought to help toward self-governance, contained the basic ingredients for the indigenous development of a moral democracy. Centuries earlier the Arab world had been distinguished by a culture of inclusive diversity that respected learning and transcended the religious conflict found in Europe. The Arab nation becomes a cultural and moral framework that refines human conduct through natural bonds of affection and love that restrain abuse of power. In the sixteenth century the Ottoman Empire, headquartered in Constantinople, conquered most of the Arab-speaking world and became one of the largest and longest-lasting multinational empires the world has known. Alexandria was then one of the world's leading cosmopolitan centers. It was a prosperous port city with a population nearing half a million.