ISIS: Churchill Saw It Coming

Old portrait of the late Winston Churchill

Will ISIS attack America or its values on July 4? It’s anybody’s guess.

In the eras of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, it’s difficult to imagine a more clueless and ineffective, if not morally and militarily suicidal, approach to a ruthless and sadistic enemy. Young Winston Churchill, speaking candidly on Islam way back in 1899, had a more accurate take on the subject than today’s dim-witted and willfully evasive, politically correct hacks could ever hope to achieve.

How desperately we need a Winston Churchill today.

Churchill, famed for leading Great Britain through its “darkest and finest” hours of World War II, was smarter and wiser than most of us know. Look at this quote on the subject of Islam. He could be just as well be talking about the early twenty-first century:

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.

(Source: The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-250 London, 1899 ).


As one commentator wrote: “Churchill saw it coming.” You do not have to be psychic or have some sort of wisdom superior to rational knowledge. All you need to do is to listen to the ideas and professed ideals of those who take ideas seriously. That was one of Churchill’s many great attributes. Like most serious religions, Islam takes ideas seriously. The content of those ideas is not the point here. The point is that they mean what they say, and they mean it wholeheartedly. So you had better listen, if you want to predict their future course of action.

Most of us are used to people who don’t mean what they say. They commit to exercising more, eating more regularly, paying more serious attention to their children and careers, and yet their actions never match their words. With politicians we’re even more used to such a lack of integrity. Cynical attitudes towards politicians in the United States, as well as the rest of the Western world, are entirely well-founded. However, exceptions are possible. One shining example were the Founders of the United States, who took ideas seriously and made every effort to implement them in support of individual rights.

Granted, the glaring evasion was permitting slavery, but note that the U.S. Constitution ultimately carried the day on that issue as well, because of the commitment to principle displayed by the authors and thinkers behind that document. Rights, they held, either exist or they do not. Ultimately, for that reason, slavery had to go, even if it took several decades and a bloody Civil War to eradicate it. The Founders meant what they said.

Islam, back in 1899 as today, is a long-range vision. Its “holy warriors” see themselves on a centuries-long mission, or whatever it takes in order to conquer the world by identifying and preying upon its weaknesses and inner contradictions. Considering the overwhelmingly superior firepower of their enemies, the militant Islamofascists are making remarkably good progress in a short amount of time.

Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

You cannot escape the consequences of your own ideas, especially when you take those ideas seriously. Some Muslims may seem, individually, like reasonable or even great people. The politically correct, like President Obama and former President Bush, go on and on about how Islam is a religion of peace, greatness and civility, a role model for all to see.

But at some point you have to ask yourself, “What’s the standard for greatness?” If you hold greatness to be one of self-sacrifice and sacrifice of life on earth for some higher purpose outside of reality and certainly outside of self, then it logically follows that Islam is a great philosophy. In fact, its adherents promote martyrdom in favor of an afterlife and an Allah “higher than oneself,” the very principle we’re told by our socialist and Christian politicians and spiritual leaders should be our ideal. If those things are the ideal, then why isn’t Islam’s Allah and literal martyrdom superior to – and more consistent than – the watered-down approach to self-effacement and selflessness promoted by Western thinkers?

If self-sacrifice and martyrdom; commitments to a purpose higher than ourselves or better than life on earth, are the noble ideals Christian believers hold up when elevating Jesus Christ, then what’s wrong with the even more consistent and absolute commitment to these supposed virtues when Muslims take it all the way?

Most of our philosophical, political and ethical leaders do not mean what they say. They talk a good line about the insignificance of life on earth and the total importance of subservience to a Higher Power. But at the end of the day, they lead secular lives – sometimes very robust and prosperous ones – just like everyone else. This includes many evangelical Christian preachers and leaders.

From this hypocritical perspective, the problem with Islam – that Churchill quite incredibly sensed more than a century ago – is that they really mean it. Muslims really don’t care about life on this earth, at least not the Muslims behind the Jihad slowly taking down the West. To followers of Jihad, life is not even a test (as many Christians claim); it’s simply an insignificant waystation on the road to Allah’s mystical fantasy kingdom beyond the sky. Hence, “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.” Why make life on earth prosperous and habitable when the real deal is just a flatline away?

That sounds like Islamic societies today as well as in 1899. Nothing has changed and nothing will change, as long as faith in the mystical afterlife is the overriding standard.

Churchill was free to say in 1899 what could not be said today. Even where freedom of speech is permitted, the politically correct establishment led by the likes of Obama and Bush would discredit and decimate Churchill as a hate-mongering racist for simply pointing out that Muslim societies are poor and starving – not because of what Western nations did to them, but because of their own ineffective attitudes, beliefs and ideas.

In fact, in parts of Europe or Canada, Churchill could possibly be prosecuted as “Islamophobic,” not to mention blamed for any terrorist violence that occurs in the aftermath of his frank remarks.

Consider this example from recent years:

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal today handed down a not-guilty verdict in the case against Maclean’s magazine and its columnist Mark Steyn.

Maclean’s and Steyn faced charges of ‘Islamophobia’ in the wake of Maclean’s decision to republish an excerpt from Steyn’s best-selling book “America Alone.” In the excerpt Steyn argued that Europe, and Western post-Christian civilization on the whole, are experiencing a civilisational exhaustion that has led, in particular, to a demographic crisis. This demographic crisis, contended Steyn, exposes the West to the ambitions of an increasingly vocal and increasingly violent Islamic minority in Europe.

Following the publication of the excerpt Dr. Mohamed Elmasry, the National President of the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), and Dr. Naiyer Habib, filed nearly identical complaints with the human rights commission arguing that the article exposed Muslims in British Columbia to ‘hatred and contempt.’

The tribunal that reviewed the case, however, ‘has concluded that the complaints are not justified because the complainants have not established that the Article is likely to expose them to hatred or contempt on the basis of their religion.’

The tribunal wrote that, in its opinion, ‘The Article may attempt to rally public opinion by exaggeration and causing the reader to fear Muslims, but fear is not synonymous with hatred and contempt.’” [source:]

While it’s true that Steyn was found “not guilty,” what are the standards of guilt and innocence in a legal charge of “Islamophobia”? From the decision rendered, you’re guilty of a crime if what you say or write leads people to feel afraid, but not hatred. How is that measured? Human feelings are very individual, complex and personal. By what means did this tribunal ascertain the precise emotions – as feelings of fear versus hatred – in the majority of Canadians so as to render a guilty or not-guilty verdict?

Steyn may have been found not guilty this time, thanks to the subjective opinion of those on the tribunal. But next time, Steyn or anyone else critical of Islam could just as easily (and just as subjectively) be determined to be guilty because of a perception that someone’s writings “made” people angry and hateful rather than merely afraid.

Also: How can anyone’s writings “make” one feel a certain way? One’s feelings are the product of one’s ideas, evaluations and opinions. With enough coercive force behind them, people can potentially force you to do something. But how can anyone – even at gunpoint – make you feel or think something you do not think or feel? It’s patently impossible, which tells you something about the real motives of those who support the existence of such a tribunal in a nation that supposedly has freedom of speech. (How long before America gets its own version of this?)

If Steyn had been found guilty, it would have been because he “made” people feel hatred towards Muslims rather than merely fear them. It’s only because he “made” them feel anxious, and not hateful, that he was cleared of charges. How should this be a comfort to Steyn – or to anyone else who might dare to have a critical thought or opinion about a Muslim or about Islam?

Churchill had the presence of mind to identify how irrational and threatening the Muslim mindset might become. But one wonders if he could ever have expected the nations most threatened by this Muslim irrationality and violence to be the ones to set up tribunals to intimidate or imprison Islam’s critics? This would have been too much even for a Churchill to foresee, because it involves a level of self-destructive, if not suicidal depravity difficult for anyone remotely decent to conceive.

You can’t defeat an enemy if you’re unwilling to name its nature and the factually verifiable consequences of that enemy’s ideas. While military firepower is a requirement of defeating militant Islam – and we should not shrink from using every bit of it, if we have to do so – that military power is worthless if we render ourselves morally powerless to even say an unkind or critical word to that enemy.

The politically correct, like Obama and Bush and their ilk, assume that Muslims want the same thing the rest of us want – a happy, peaceful and prosperous life on earth. But that’s not what the published and proclaimed ideals of their religion teach. And, contrary to many other religions, they fully and really mean it.

Until or unless America and other Western nations get a grip on these facts, we will continue to lose the “war against terrorism,” which is really a war waged on Western civilization by militant Islam.


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