We’ve written before in response to former President Barack Obama’s false claim that Islam was “woven into the fabric” of the United States since the Founding here. We have also explained how John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States, summed up the religion of Islam in one succinct sentence.
These things call to mind another harsh and brilliant critic of Islam, Sir Winston Churchill. The British Prime Minister and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature never held anything back when it came to condemning Islam’s frequent recurrence to brutality and slaughter. You might be familiar with Churchill’s famous line, “Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog.” The quote is somewhat inaccurate, but summarizes the sentiment well enough.
It comes from Churchill’s unabridged The River War:
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 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. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyzes 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.
Here’s Churchill again on Islam, this time from The Story of the Malakand Field Force:
That religion, which above all others was founded and propagated by the sword—the tenets and principles of which are instinct with incentives to slaughter and which in three continents has produced fighting breeds of men—stimulates a wild and merciless fanaticism. The love of plunder, always a characteristic of hill tribes, is fostered by the spectacle of opulence and luxury which, to their eyes, the cities and plains of the south display. A code of honour not less punctilious than that of old Spain is supported by vendettas as implacable as those of Corsica […]
Indeed it is evident that Christianity, however degraded and distorted by cruelty and intolerance, must always exert a modifying influence on men’s passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever, as we are protected from smallpox by vaccinations. But the Mohammaden religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since its votaries have been subject, above all the peoples of all other creeds, to this form of madness.
Christianity (and also Judaism) is conducive to the civilization of mankind, meaning the public recognition of the equal natural rights of all human beings. It moderates man’s passions and increases the propensity for toleration. Islam does not.
This month, Churchill is getting his due from Hollywood via the new film “Darkest Hour,” which stars Gary Oldman as the incomparable statesman. At The Federalist, Jonathan Ehret marks the occasion with a few words about the importance of Churchill’s leadership:
The film centers around arguably the most dramatic and perilous period in a lifetime of drama and danger: when Great Britain stood alone against the seemingly unstoppable onslaught of Nazi Germany. France had surrendered, the Low Countries had fallen, Scandinavia was occupied or cowed in fear, and Eastern Europe lay pinned under Nazi and Soviet jackboots. To a contemporary observer, resistance to the Nazis seemed hopeless.
More than a few neutrals threw in their lot with the Nazis in hopes of sharing the spoils of conquest, while others, including many in the United Kingdom, believed the only recourse was suing for peace on Adolph Hitler’s terms and praying a few precious scraps of freedom would remain to them. Churchill, almost alone, disagreed.
Indeed. Where is today’s Winston Churchill?