Quotations and Essays on Islam by Famous Men
Sir Winston Churchill
“Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes 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.” Sir Winston Churchill – circa 1899 Sir Winston Churchill…
“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. 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.” From The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248 50 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899)
And, in Thomas Jefferson’s term, “The Barbary Wars” were to free Americans who were taken as slaves from their merchant ships traveling near North Africa. They were taken by Muslim pirates who used the Koran to justify taking the Americans, because they were Christians, not Muslims.
The Barbary Wars are historic because Congress was adjourned when President Jefferson signed the declaration of war, causing uproar within the Congress! Congress called the wars “Mr. Jefferson’s War”, but after millions of dollars, and four years the Americans concerned, were freed! It is noteworthy that during Jefferson’s term, the young Democracy was still largely financed by individuals who never received reimbursement for their efforts.
Khomeini accordingly delivered notorious rebuke to the Islam-is-a-religion-of-peace crowd:
“Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]…. Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”
John Wesley (1703 – 1791) theologian and founder of the English Methodist movement
“Let us now calmly and impartially consider what manner of men the Mahometans in general are. An ingenious writer, who a few years ago published a pompous translation of the Koran, takes great pains to give us a very favourable opinion both of Mahomet and his followers. But he cannot wash the Ethiop white. After all, men who have but a moderate share of reason, cannot but observe in his Koran, even as polished by Mr. Sale, the most gross and impious absurdities. To cite particulars is not now my business. It may suffice to observe in general, that human understanding must be debased to an inconceivable degree, in those who can swallow such absurdities as divinely revealed. And yet we know the Mahometans not only condemn all who cannot swallow them to everlasting fire; not only appropriate to themselves the title of Mussulman or True Believers: but even anathematise with the utmost bitterness, and adjudge to eternal destruction, all their brethren of the sect of Mi, all who contend for a figurative interpretation of them.”
“That these men then have no knowledge or love of God is undeniably manifest, not only from their gross, horrible notions of him, but from their not loving their brethren. But they have not always so weighty a cause to hate and murder one another, as difference of opinion. Mahometans will butcher each other by thousands, without so plausible a plea as this. Why is it that such numbers of Turks and Persians have stabbed one another in cool blood ? Truly, because they differ in the manner of dressing their head. The Ottoman vehemently maintains, (for he has unquestionable tradition on his side) that a Mussulman should wear a round turban. Whereas the Persian insists upon his liberty of conscience, and will wear it picked before. So, for this wonderful reason, when a more plausible one is wanting, they beat out each other’s brains from generation to generation.
It is not therefore strange, that ever since the religion of Mahomet appeared in the world, the espousers of it, particularly those under the Turkish emperor, have been as wolves and tigers to all other nations ; rending and tearing all that fell into their merciless paws, and grinding them with their iron teeth: that numberless cities are rased from the foundation, and only their name remaining : that many countries which were once as the garden of God, are. now a desolate wilderness; and that so many once numerous and powerful nations are vanished away from the earth ! Such was, and is at this day, the rage, the fury, the revenge, of these destroyers of humankind!”–John Wesley, “The Doctrine of Original Sin“, (1817). p.35
Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī (865 – 925 AD) Persian physician, alchemist, chemist, philosopher, and scholar:
“If the people of this religion [Islam] are asked about the proof for the soundness of their religion, they flare up, get angry and spill the blood of whoever confronts them with this question. They forbid rational speculation, and strive to kill their adversaries. This is why truth became thoroughly silenced and concealed.”
“You claim that the evidentiary miracle is present and available, namely, the Koran. You say: “Whoever denies it, let him produce a similar one.” Indeed, we shall produce a thousand similar, from the works of rhetoricians, eloquent speakers and valiant poets, which are more appropriately phrased and state the issues more succinctly. They convey the meaning better and their rhymed prose is in better meter. … By God what you say astonishes us! You are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation. Then you say: “Produce something like it”?![“– 2.0 2.1 Jennifer Michael Hecht – Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson (pg. 227-230) – HarperOne, September 7, 2004, ISBN 9780060097950
Omar Khayyám (1048 – 1131 AD) Persian polymath, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer, physician, and poet who wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, and music. Translation by Richard Le Gallienne:
Allah, perchance, the secret word might spell
If Allah be, He keeps His secret well.
What He hath hidden, who shall hope to find?
Shall God His secret to a maggot tell?
The Koran! well, come put me to the test
Lovely old book in hideous error drest.
Believe me, I can quote the Koran too,
The unbeliever knows his Koran best.
And do you think that unto such as you,
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew,
God gave the secret, and denied it me?
Well, well, what matters it! believe that too.”
— Omar Khayyám, Rubaiyat
Salomon Reinach (1858 – 1932) French archaeologist who received honours from the chief learned societies of Europe. He made valuable archaeological discoveries at Myrina near Smyrna in 1880-82, at Cyme in 1881, at Thasos, Imbros and Lesbos (1882), at Carthage and Meninx (1883-84), at Odessa (1893):
“From the literary point of view, the Koran has little merit. Declamation, repetition, puerility, a lack of logic and coherence strike the unprepared reader at every turn. It is humiliating to the human intellect to think that this mediocre literature has been the subject of innumerable commentaries, and that millions of men are still wasting time absorbing it.” –Salomon Reinach, Orpheus: A History of Religions, (1909)
Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919)
“Christianity is not the creed of Asia and Africa at this moment solely because the seventh century Christians of Asia and Africa had trained themselves not to fight, whereas the Moslems were trained to fight. Christianity was saved in Europe solely because the peoples of Europe fought. If the peoples of Europe in the seventh and eighth centuries, an on up to and including the seventeenth century, had not possessed a military equality with, and gradually a growing superiority over the Mohammedans who invaded Europe, Europe would at this moment be Mohammedan and the Christian religion would be exterminated. Wherever the Mohammedans have had complete sway, wherever the Christians have been unable to resist them by the sword, Christianity has ultimately disappeared. From the hammer of Charles Martel to the sword of Sobieski, Christianity owed its safety in Europe to the fact that it was able to show that it could and would fight as well as the Mohammedan aggressor… The civilization of Europe, American and Australia exists today at all only because of the victories of civilized man over the enemies of civilization because of victories through the centuries from Charles Martel in the eighth century and those of John Sobieski in the seventeenth century. During the thousand years that included the careers of the Frankish soldier and the Polish king, the Christians of Asia and Africa proved unable to wage successful war with the Moslem conquerors; and in consequence Christianity practically vanished from the two continents; and today, nobody can find in them any “social values” whatever, in the sense in which we use the words, so far as the sphere of Mohammedan influences are concerned. There are such “social values” today in Europe, America and Australia only because during those thousand years, the Christians of Europe possessed the warlike power to do what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do — that is, to beat back the Moslem invader.” —Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) Biography: Impact and Legacy – The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, January 19, 2005, AND; Legacy/ Theodore Roosevelt
(Saint) Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274), Influential philosopher and theologian:
“On the other hand, those who founded sects committed to erroneous doctrines proceeded in a way that is opposite to this, The point is clear in the case of Muhammad. He seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh goads us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected, he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity. He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the contrary, Muhammad said that he was sent in the power of his arms—which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning, Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Muhammad forced others to become his followers by the violence of his arms. Nor do divine pronouncements on the part of preceding prophets offer him any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimonies of the Old and New Testaments by making them into fabrications of his own, as can be. seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place any faith in his words believe foolishly.“–Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles (13th cent). Book 1, Ch. 6.4
Thomas Carlyle (1795 – 1881) Scottish satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era:
“. . I must say, it [the Koran] is as toilsome reading as I ever undertook. A wearisome confused jumble, crude, incondite; endless iterations, long-windedness, entanglement; most crude, incondite; — insupportable stupidity, in short! Nothing but a sense of duty could carry any European through the Koran . . . It is the confused ferment of a great rude human soul; rude, untutored, that cannot even read; but fervent, earnest, struggling vehemently to utter itself in words . . . We said “stupid:” yet natural stupidity is by no means the character of Mahomet’s Book; it is natural uncultivation rather. The man has not studied speaking; in the haste and pressure of continual fighting, has not time to mature himself into fit speech . . . The man was an uncultured semi-barbarous Son of Nature, much of the Bedouin still clinging to him: we must take him for that. But for a wretched Simulacrum, a hungry Impostor without eyes or heart . . . we will not and cannot take him. Sincerity, in all senses, seems to me the merit of the Koran; what had rendered it precious to the wild Arab men . . . Curiously, through these incondite masses of tradition, vituperation, complaint, ejaculation in the Koran, a vein of true direct insight, of what we might almost call poetry, is found straggling.”–Thomas Carlyle, “On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History”, pg. 64-67.
François-Marie Arouet (1694 – 1778), Better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and free trade:
“But that a camel-merchant [Muhammad] should stir up insurrection in his village; that in league with some miserable followers he persuades them that he talks with the angel Gabriel; that he boasts of having been carried to heaven, where he received in part this unintelligible book, each page of which makes common sense shudder; that, to pay homage to this book, he delivers his country to iron and flame; that he cuts the throats of fathers and kidnaps daughters; that he gives to the defeated the choice of his religion or death: this is assuredly nothing any man can excuse, at least if he was not born a Turk, or if superstition has not extinguished all natural light in him.”–François-Marie Arouet, Letter to Frederick II of Prussia, December 1740, referring to Muhammad.”
Winston Spencer-Churchill (October 10, 1940 – March 2, 2010),Grandson of former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill:
“At its most extreme, authoritarianism is exemplified by the isms of the 20th Century — Communism, Fascism and Nazism. The Fascists and Nazis were responsible for the deaths of more than 30 million human beings, while more than 50 million are estimated to have been murdered by Stalin and the Russian Communists, while Mao-Tse-Tung and the Chinese Communists are believed to have accounted for some 80 million.”
“But today a new challenge — another ism — confronts us, and that is the challenge of Islamic fundamentalism. Extremist Islam has declared war on the rest of the world, as evidenced by their ruthless attacks across the globe — overwhelmingly targeted at innocent civilians. Beside the outrage of 9/11, the bombings in Madrid, in Bali, in London and, most recently, in Jordan come to mind.”
“Those who have declared jihad against the West, and Western values, such as freedom of speech, are doing all in their power to mobilize against us the large Muslim communities living in our midst… Unbelievably, Washington is urging Europe to admit Turkey to the EU. Were that to happen, the Muslim population of Europe would skyrocket to 100 million — an act, in my view, of consummate folly. Already Judeo-Christian Europe is under siege from a tidal wave of Islamic immigration. The admission of Turkey would hasten its demise… Intriguingly, the dangers of extremist Islam were foreseen by Winston Churchill all of 85 years ago, as I discovered to my amazement, while compiling my most recent book, NEVER GIVE IN! The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches.”
“Churchill is, of course, well-known for his gift of prescience and, specifically, for being the first to warn of the menace of Hitler and Nazism as early as 1932, and of the Soviet threat in his famous Iron Curtain speech in 1946 in Fulton, Mo. But how many know that he also warned the world of the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism? I certainly did not!”– Winston S. Churchill speaking at the John Locke Foundation’s 16th anniversary dinner in Raleigh, North Carolina, on February 10, 2006 (full transcript).
Entry filed under: Founding Fathers, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Uncategorized. Tags: Founding Fathers, François-Marie Arouet, Islam, Jacques Ellul, John Adams, John Wesley, Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī, Omar Khayyám, Salomon Reinach, Theodore Roosevelt, Thoma Jefferson, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Carlyle, Voltaire, William Muir, Winston Churchill.