Many at this site are familiar with Churchill’s comment about the menace of Islam to Western Christendom, and the fanaticism of Muslims (whom he called “Mohammedans” — a term that, given the centrality of Muhammad to Islam, as uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil — is hardly unfair or even, as some suggest, misleading).
It is a comment that deserves to be printed out, and placed on refrigerators everywhere, but especially on refrigerators in Georgetown, and McLean, Virginia, and Silver Spring, Maryland — and of course at Camp David and at the White House and in those office refrigerators that Congressmen may keep.
So here one mo’ time is Churchill, with everyone’s favorite quote about Muslims:
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.
There is what Churchill saw, in the very same African neighborhood as Chad, where Jihad now rages — for Churchill, last-cavalry-charge-at-Omdurman Churchill, was reporting from what is now the Sudan, where Jihad also rages.
The “fanatical frenzy” which is “as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog” and that can burst out, whether in the Sudan, or anywhere else.
Think of Pakistan. How many mob scenes do you need to recall — perhaps the one of the Pakistani mob besieging the American Embassy in November 1979 because one group of Muslims seized the Great Mosque in Mecca from another group, the Al-Saud? Think of Bangladesh — remember what has happened to hapless Hindus passing by a mosque as Friday Prayers are getting out? Think of all the cheering, clapping, delighted mobs of Muslims, handing out confetti if they were poor — in the “West Bank” — or treating others to multi-course dinners if they were rich, as in Riyadh and Jiddah, and all those in-between, in Cairo and Amman and elsewhere, who were simply delighted, in their fine frenzy, their ill-concealed hydrophobic blood-lust, when they heard the glad tidings about the attack on the World Trade Center.
And you need go no farther than supposedly “civilized” Lebanon, where the Christian presence is said to have uplifted, in an unrecognized mission civilisatrice, the local Muslims and quasi-Muslims, to see the same blood-lust on display just the other day, when a child-murderer was given a hero’s welcome, hailed by one and all, held up for the nation’s youth as an example of how to heroically behave.
Yet there is no need for Winston Churchill. There is a need, in each country, for sensible people to behave sensibly. Some of them may take time to comprehend a belief-system about which a few years ago they knew nothing. Some will take time to overcome the platitudes of the present, to remove the layers of indoctrination and self-indoctrination, the sheer crappiness of the age.
Not Churchill, but a hundred Jacques Barzuns are called for. They exist. Some of them exist outside the regular channels, the conventional institutions, the validation that those institutions offer and that so many who are incapable of making judgments without that validation by others fail to recognize. Many are lone wolves by nature. But they exist. Find them, support them, promote them, and if they happen to be candidates for office (that too can be achieved, in this suddenly topsy-turvy and most unsettled world), vote for them.