Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill, in The River War (1899), gives his opinion of Islam (according to Mark Steyn):
"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. 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 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 civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome."
Offensive, but no doubt true.


Blogger Chris Bell said...

Actually, no, RDS. It isn't entirely true. See my posts at NZBC:

Churchill himself excised this section from all subsequent editions of the book except the first, and Steyn's quotation from it is incomplete.

1:48 PM, November 03, 2005  
Blogger RDS said...

Well, it's close enough, isn't it?

The sentiment expressed is still accurate. How does it become not true, just because it was not in later editions, for reasons you cannot explain?

In your own posts you provide no evidence that it was removed due to an actual change of heart, but at best can merely speculate it was removed as a political calculation -- maybe.

The only incomplete part from Steyn is apparently the sentence "The effects are apparent in many countries." This omission is meaningless.

Many take issue with your online glossary that "kafir" isn't an insult. I understand it is a grave insult.

And I wonder what you mean by this statement:
“Ist” in English usually means trouble for somebody else; it’s in Christian, after all.
Though your meaning is unclear, it smacks of anti-Christian bigotry, doesn't it?

It would be nice if people weren't put into "us" and "them" boxes, but what you fail to face is that we are being forced to respond to having been put into a "them" box -- indeed, a "kafir" box -- which means we are to submit or die.

Platitudes aren't going to get us out of that box.

The trite notion that "everyone is someone else's infidel" isn't at all useful, when the consequences of being an infidel in the eyes of the average islamist is far worse than being one in the eyes of the average Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.

9:26 PM, November 06, 2005  

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