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July 15, 2004

A prophetic view of the threat of Islam?

A few days ago I posted a comment on the proposed new legislation designed to "protect" adherents of Islam from "Islamophobia". Since then I have read several articles in a variety of newspapers on this theme - almost all of them opposed to the idea. Not that such opposition will affect the judgement of Mr Blunkett and his friends.

The most interesting item I found on this quoted from a work by one of my heroes, none other than Sir Winston Churchill. Sir Winston wasn't everyone's cup of tea, and he probably wasn't always right, but he certainly had an astute eye and a very keen brain. His comments on Islam are worthy of wider readership, and I take the liberty of quoting him here while I'm still able to:

In The River War (1899), Winston Churchill's account of the Sudanese campaign, there's a memorable passage which summs up very adequately the problem in the Islamic world:

"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."

The language may not be to everyone's taste, but he certainly says it as he sees it, and he is to a very large extent right.

Christianity did, for a long time, resist the march of science. That dam broke in the greater part of Western Chrsitendom in the late 14th and early 15th Centuries. Since then, and in particular in the last 150 - 200 years, the mainstream of Christian thought has recognised that science, far from being the enemy of faith, either confirms many of its tenets or at least raises further questions to which only faith, at this time, provides answers. Yes, there are those who cling to their literal interpretations and refuse to accept the affirmation of science in revealing the full extent and wonders of the Creation, but they are a minority. Science and religion are not in opposition, they complement each other, and, as the Medieval Monks who started it all would argue, in pursuing scientific answers and understanding, we widen our wonder and understanding of the God in whom we are all united.

Christianity perceived (wrongly) that it was a "revealed" faith - exclusive and untestable, not to be understood or explored, but to be accepted whole and followed unquestioningly. This position lasted for almost 600 years - roughly from the point that Constantine made it the religion of State - until the late 1400's. Then travel, scholarship, growing literacy all began to open up the word to a wider understanding. It is a "revealed" faith, but not in the sense that it is revealed once, unchangeable for all time. Rather it was revealed in Jesus Christ, but is still revealed as we grow and develop our understanding and reach toward spiritual maturity. The Reformation in many ways almost derailed that, but fortunately it persisted, and our modern society is very much the creation of Christian ethics, philosophy and thought.

It is ironic therefore that those who seek now to denigrate the Christian Church do so by attacking it for being "unscientific" or "superstitious" or, if they can't manage anything more definite, "irrelevant to modern society." Surely it is even more ironic, then, to find these same denigrators seeking to protect (and therefore promote) the fastest growing and most fundamentalist of all religions - Islam!

Islam claims to be a "revealed" religion. Its scholars argue that the word as "received" in the Quran is perfect and therefore not open to interpretation or change. They argue that Jesus Christ was a minor prophet, inferior to Mohammed, and that Christianity is a "false" religion. It should be noted that I find the view they put forward on the role of Christ to be deeply offensiv; to me he is the ultimate manifestation of God Incarnate, not some minor bit player prophet. I find it equally insulting that they can claim that the Quran is a "perfect" and "received" document when large chunks of it are direct lifts from Jewish and heretical Christian writings. Poetic it may be, but it is not perfect in its concept or its ideas. It is a religion which preaches peace yet condones violence and bloodshed as long as it is committed "in defence of Islam" and against "infidels". It is a religion which pronounces the death sentence upon any who dare to renounce it or to question any of its teachings. As Churchill wrote: "Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." This is hardly a religion which promotes equality of the sexes, races, or religions as we are now being urged to do. This is a religion which steals the individuals thoughts and imposes a mantra of actions, laws, and slavish obedience rather than stimulating thought and seeking to develop an understanding of God and a raproachment of the soul.

I find it unbelievable that in this, the 21st Century, we have to condone the antics of the anti-semitic Mr Livingstone and the rest of his Left wing Socialist cronies who support and covertly endorse the rantings of the sick and frankly disgusting Muslim Cleric who condones, supports and promotes the use of suicide bombings in Israel on the grounds that "Israeli women are militarised." Presumably the Palastinian women who make the bombs, encourage their moronic menfolk, and sometimes strap on a bomb themselves, are not "militarised".

It is time to put aside the "All Muslims are Victims" thinking and recognise that Islam must grow up. The problems in the Middle East and elsewhere relating to Islam are generated by the tension created by the fact that Islam is intolerant of any other religious philosophy. This is not as it is in the Quran, but it is what the Mullahs preach Friday by Friday.

It is Islam which holds back development in most countries where it holds sway, and it is Islam which will bring this country to its knees if we are not very careful indeed. Mr Blunkett's new law will be used to stifle debate, it will be used to further the promotion of Islam, and it will be used to force Christianity and Judaism to the margins. This is a dangerous and potentially explosive idea, and it should be rejected and resisted by everyone.

Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom from interference by the cretins who presume to dictate what we may and may not say, believe, or discuss are principles well worth fighting for.

It is a little more than 100 years since Churchill wrote: "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." Islam is now spreading rapidly through Europe and it will, in due course, stifle science, pervert the law, and destroy progress. It will bring the same corruption that is so rampant in the Middle East and certain areas of the Far East.

If this is the world you would like to live in, it is only necessary to let Blunkett and the rest of his party of arrogant and ignorant aparatchiks continue unchecked.

Posted by The Gray Monk at July 15, 2004 10:21 AM


A flaw of the current War on Terrorism (a title sometimes prefaced with "Global") is that is a war that dare not speak its name. I hope that we do not remain blinded to the true nature of the War, for then the flaw will become a fatal one.

This is a war against Islam.

Why should it hurt so to call it what it is?

Posted by: Kevin Smith at July 15, 2004 01:48 PM

The African nations are certainly in turmoil, true, but have you given much thought to the increasing Christian aspects of Africa? The prominent role of the Nigerian Archbishop Akinola is a telling (his province contains many more practicing Anglicans than Britain and North America combined) indication that there may just be an increasing & surprising [both for good & ill] change of history in the making from that part of the world.

And this isn't just from an Anglican perspective, of course. I think the largest contingent of converts in Africa are to Protestant Charismatic Faiths. It's a factor I've been giving though to recently. I know that its highly unlikely for this trend to affect the WoT any time soon, but in the future, who knows?

Posted by: urthshu at July 15, 2004 07:34 PM