...that you snipped out "in good oriental fashion" from the Engels quote. He and Marx weren't exactly 'PC' in modern terms.
Perhaps more significantly, a different edit of the same letter gives us:
"Here we have the same old story as in all agrarian countries. From Ireland to Russia, from Asia Minor to Egypt, the peasant of an agrarian country is there to be exploited. It has been the same since the time of the Assyrian and Persian empires... As I see it, we can perfectly well enter the arena on behalf of the oppressed fellaheen without sharing their current illusions (for a peasant population has to be fleeced for centuries before it learns from experience)"
This begs the question of where we expect progressive forces to come from in a still largely feudal economy. Without the existence of a proletariat, is it realistic for a Marxist to talk about "...the victory of a truly democratic socialist ideology..." as Farooq Tariq does here? Serious question.