Thursday, November 19, 2009
Winston Churchill on Islam - 1899
“As that wise sage, Anon, once observed, "All generalizations are false, including this one." Recognizing, then, the perils of generalizing about a religion, I nevertheless was impressed at the insight of such a young Winston, as set forth below.
Herewith a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, in 1899, when he was a young soldier and journalist. He was ever a master of the English language and creator of some great turns of phrase. Here's the speech:” (introduction, unknown author)
"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries; improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; and the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome."
[Sir Winston Churchill; The River War, first edition, volume II, pp. 248-250, London]