Sir Winston Churchill knew the Islamic world, as a journalist, a soldier, and statesman. In his 1899 book ‘The River War,’ Churchill made some comments on Islam that only enhance his reputation as a prophet before his time. More than a century ago he wrote, of Islam, “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.” Fifty years after his death, he is being proved right in a way that is especially painful to the west. More than a century ago, Churchill saw that the evil of slavery, especially the forced slavery of women, would not be eradicated from the world until Islam itself “ceased to be a great power among men.” ISIS and Boko Harem are verifying his words today. Most presciently, more than a century ago, Churchill warned that, should the West be so foolish as to abandon the Age of Reason, the “fierce warriors of Islam” would be unrestrained, with the result “the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.” It’s up to us to ensure his words of warning are not actually fulfilled in our own time.
Here are the great man’s words in full:
“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 Muslims 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.