Sicily in the hands ot the Mussulmans, the Theme of Lombardy abandoned to the weak suzerainty of the Greek catapans, the Lombard duchy of Benevento slowly falling to pieces and the maritime republics of Naples, Gaeta and Amalfi extending their influence by commerce in the Mediterranean, were in effect detached from the Italian regno, beyond the jurisidiction of Rome, included in no parcel of Italy proper.
Four years later an insurrection broke out, owing to the violation of the provisions of an imperial decree (February 1856), whereby liberty of conscience and equal rights and privileges with Mussulmans had been conferred upon Christians.
In spite of the admission of their co-religionists to high office in the government, the Mussulmans, it is true, still complained of continuous ill-treatment having for its object their expatriation; but these complaints were declared by Sir Edward Grey, in answer to a question in parliament, to be exaggerated.
The first withdrawal of the troops (July 27), hailed with enthusiasm by the Cretan Christians, led to rioting by the Mussulmans, who believed themselves abandoned to their fate.
His reply, while stating that his government would safeguard the interests of the Mussulmans, left open the question of the attitude of the powers, complicated now by sympathy with reformed Turkey.
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