Thursday, April 13, 2017

'The River War' by Winston Churchill [1899] - About Islam

The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan (1899), by Winston Churchill, concerning his experiences as a British Army officer, during the Mahdist War (1881–99) in the Sudan.

The River War is a history of the British imperial involvement in the Sudan, and the Mahdi War between the British forces, led by Lord Kitchener, and the Dervish forces, led by Khalifa Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, "The Mahdi”, heir to the self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad who had embarked on a campaign to conquer Egypt, to drive out the Ottomans.

The River War was Churchill's second published book after The Story of the Malakand Field Force, and originally filled two volumes with over 1000 pages in 1899. The River War was subsequently abridged to one volume in 1902.

1899 unabridged, two-volume edition
The unabridged version contains many illustrations with drawings, photogravures, and coloured maps. It also contains vivid narratives of personal adventures of the author, his views on British expansionism, passages of deep reflection about the requirements of a civilised government, criticism of military and political leaders and religion.[3] The first edition was reviewed by The Times, which described it as containing material sufficient for two good books and one bad one, with the bad one being the more interesting.[4]

About Islam he wrote:

"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 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 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 civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.[5]:248–250[6]"

[Source: Wikipedia]

2 comments:

Cummfuckcius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stratu said...

Well, the day the relationship between Science and Religion is resolved is probably still a LONG way off. But that doesn't have much to do with the main points of this quote.