This offensive action still further alarmed the Khedive Ismail, who was fully alive to the danger that might arise to his own position if a powerful military confederacy, under a capable chief, were ever organised in the Soudan. Instead of allying himself with the Darfourians, as would probably have been the more politic course, Ismail decided to invade their territory simultaneously with Zebehr.
I said the other day, 'If the people of this country were Ryahs or Christians, I might understand your bad treatment of them, but I do not when I see they are Mussulmans, as you. Upon which the Darfourians were delighted, and clapped their hands. Now the Darfourians were so fanatical that they would never let a Christian into their country, and now they ask me to send Christian Governors!"