What had to be overcome in order to engage in reform was the traditional world view that included a considerable opposition to the very idea of reform. As Bernard Lewis has noted, in the Islamic state and community, it was believed that they were the sole repositories of enlightenment and truth, surrounded by an outer darkness of barbarism and unbelief. There was nothing to learn from the outside world. And therefore, there was a great difficulty to make the transition into a world where this was no longer true. Where the Islamic state was no longer the sole repository of enlightenment and truth. And one depended on learning from the Christian world and becoming more dependent on the goodwill of Christian powers. There were two main opponents to reforms in the Ottoman Empire, the Ulama, that is the religious establishment, the men of religion and the Janissaries. The Janissaries were the elite, military force of the Ottoman Empire. Both of these were extremely opposed to any idea of reform. The opposition of the religious establishment, the Ulama, was based on opposition in principle, to any innovation, particularly to the adoption of infidel practices, which is what reform actually meant. The Janissary, called the one time elite Ottoman infantry, had lost much of their equality and had become extremely corrupt. A word or two about the Janissaries and their gradual corruptions. The origins of the Janissaries, yeniçeri in Turkish, which means new soldier. The Janissaries were originally Christian boys, abducted from their families, to be raised as Muslims, elite soldiers and loyal servants of the sultan. But with time, positions in the force were inherited or sold to non-professionals. And the Janissaries gradually declined with time and became an ineffective and weak military force, and they turned eventually into a troublesome group at the disposal of the enemies of reform. Selim III, in his reform program, employed many foreign advisers. Many of them were French. He also established permanent embassies in Western Europe, and people who served in these embassies in the west became the people who were the architects of the future, of reform in the later years of the Ottoman Empire. The focus of reform as we have mentioned, was on the military, and this is a factor of great importance not only then, but all the way through even to the modern time. Military offices in the Middle East, as a result of their being at the center of the process of reform, military officers have become the standard bearers of modernization and secularism. And therefore, we will see military officers throughout the history of the Middle East of the last 200 years. At the focus of revolutionary movements and of clashes between the forces of modernity and the forces of tradition. The most important reform of Selim III in the field of the military, is the establishment of a new core of troops known as Nizam-i Jedid. This was established in 1791, and the ranks of the Nizam-i Jedid were filled by conscription, European style, following the example of European conscript armies. In 1805, the Janissaries obviously opposed to this kind of competition, revolted against the general conscription and defeated the new troops. Other auxiliary troops of the Ottoman army rebelled in 1807 because they were required to wear European style uniforms. It is particularly interesting to note that just the change of uniforms was enough to arouse rebellion because this touched on a very sensitive issue of collective identity. It wasn't just changing the clothing. The problem of European-style uniforms meant abandoning the external appearance distinguishing between Muslims and infidels. For Muslims, it was important to distinguish their external appearance from those who were not Muslims. There is an Islamic tradition requiring believers to distinguish yourselves from the infidels. Their mutiny of these auxiliary troops was supported by both the Janissaries and the Ulama, the religious establishment. And both of these, the Janissaries and the Ulama, had either ideological reasons, or interests of self-interest to oppose the reforms. For the Ulama, this was both a question of ideology and self-interest. After all, reforms meant eroding the place of the men of religion in the state. For the Janissaries, this was mainly an issue of self-interest, creating military forces that would turn them within time to a superfluous, out-of-date military order. But it is their opposition that led to the overthrow of the reforming Sultan Selim III. He was deposed in 1807, and the main reason for his failure, at this time, to continue the pace of reform, was that the opponents of reform simply outnumbered those who supported it. The fact that the reforms were carried out with foreign advice, made it much easier to discredit them as infidel innovations.