Theodore's World: Sir Winston Churchill In 1899 On Islam

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March 11, 2006

Sir Winston Churchill In 1899 On Islam

Thsi is a quote from an 1899 book by Winston Churchill, "The River War", in which he describes Muslims he apparently observed during Kitchner's campaign in the Sudan against the jihadists of that day (not to be confused with the same sort at work there today). It's a bit of history which seems as apropos today as it apparently was then:

"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; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedans 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 proselytising 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, Vol. II, pages 248-50 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899).

Posted by Wild Thing at March 11, 2006 01:47 AM


That is a much more civil assessment than one that I would give them. During my oil patch days I worked with Indonesian, Pakistani and Iranian nationals, all but 2 were Muslim, those two were Christians. Both of the Christians immigrated to the US, one Pakistani last known to be living in Louisiana, the other Iranian, who prefered to be called Persian, gained full citizenship in 1980 after 30 years here and raising his family, he lives in California. Those two were the most decent individuals of the lot, the rest you couldn't trust, couldn't rely on their word and they wouldn't join in as team members. Yeah I'm bigotted, I don't hate them as a race but each and every single one of them. They have for me demonstrated their good side, and it isn't there, the former video link is proof of that and it's just one of many, like the news this morning about the American hostage being shot to death in Baghdad. Do we need more proof?

Posted by: Jack at March 11, 2006 11:30 AM

Thanks for sharing that Jack. I agree, I have to work with one like I posted about in another topic. There is no way anyone can tell me there are moderate Muslims especially after having to work with one. His hate for Jews, his treatment of women ( his wife and those of us in the work place) is proof of his upbringing in Islam.
He is from Turkey and his comments about the war in Iraq, Saddam ( he says Saddam should have been left in power), his hate for Bush/all Republicans/Haliburton etc. is more proof.
His comments that Islam will be the main religion in the world and that America will one day be more Muslim then anything else and will rule America etc. There is more but that alone from a man that says he is a moderate Muslim. grrrrr

Thank you so much for commenting and sharing on this.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 11, 2006 12:36 PM

Churchill was correct, IMHO.

Posted by: Washington at March 11, 2006 01:50 PM

Winston Churchill's statement shows that muslims don't advance and improve over time. My former Kuwati neighbor enjoyed the freedoms and privileges of living in America, but never failed to remind me that one day America would be better because it would be islamic.

Posted by: TomR at March 11, 2006 02:03 PM

Hi Washington, yes I agree, and he is speaking about them as diplomatically as possible. I found it interesting that he even mentions how they do not progress and they don't even in all the years that have passed since Churchill wrote that. Amazing isn't it.

Thank you so much for commenting.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 11, 2006 03:34 PM

Tom that always amazes me how they say things like that and truly mean it too. Thank you for sharing about that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 11, 2006 03:35 PM

Good ol' Winston! To my mind the greatest man of the 20th century. What a command of English he had. Course just about any Englishman with a decent education had that too. What a voice, I could listen to him for hours. Lastly what a fabulous wit.

As a young man, Churchill was asked by a friend about the London dinner party he had attended the night before.

"Well, " replied Churchill, "it would have been splendid . . . if the wine had been as cold as the soup, the beef as rare as the service, the brandy as old as the fish, and the maid as willing as the duchess."

P.S. What he wrote over 100 years ago is still true today.

Posted by: SparkS at March 11, 2006 06:20 PM

HI SparkS, so glad you posted that quote of his. I love his quotes.

Thank you so much for commenting.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 12, 2006 01:20 AM