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Analyst's note:  Absolutely must read.  What is it that Winston Churchill knew about Islam that our modern-day military commanders, assigned to “win the hearts and minds” of Muslim “extremists”, do not? 

Please consider reading the entire original article for additional detail.



Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
(Common English translation)

It was first an epigram written by French novelist, critic, and publisher Alphonse Jean Baptiste Karr in 1849. Now it is regarded as a proverb. It applies to the Islamic nations of Pakistan and Afghanistan (and any other Islamic nation), because nothing there has changed in centuries but the weaponry and technology that Islam could never have created and has certainly appropriated to “defend the faith.” American presence there has had less influence than had the British. The cultures of Pakistan and Afghanistan are still stagnant, obdurately and contentedly imprisoned by a barbaric creed. Those who in those countries raise their hands or their minds against the creed are almost immediately struck down.

Over a century ago Winston Churchill described the problem with Islam, and specifically with Muslims. His first-hand experiences with them in Afghanistan and later in the Sudan are evidence of an uncorrupted epistemology and an uncompromised moral evaluation of them. Not even the most ardent anti-jihadist would portray Muslims in the frank and objective terms that Churchill did. He did not flinch from the evidence of his eyes. He did not search for some “saving grace” in Islam or in a Muslim that would forego a blanket condemnation of Islam

In The River War, his two-volume account of the Sudan Campaign of 1896-1899 – the campaign ending with the battle of Umm Diwaykarat and the demise of the Mahdiyah regime, established in 1885 over the Sudan – he picks up where he left off in The Malakand Field Force:
"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 - 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."*

In those and in subsequent paragraphs there is no hint of a suggestion by Churchill that Islam could be “reformed” or that there are redeeming qualities in the creed which would civilize a Muslim and render him as indistinguishable from and non-threatening as the average Catholic or Presbyterian.

In The Malakand Field Force, published before The River War, Churchill went into damning detail about the Afghan tribesmen and their culture, which have not changed to this day, and never will.

[....] The first step in defeating an enemy is to acknowledge that it is one. The second step is to not to talk it to death, or engage it in a friendly panel discussion on the meaning of life. Jihadists know this, and act accordingly – bringing down a helicopter full of American soldiers, and winning a foot-bath and prayer room in a Western business or factory. But the West has forgotten the true rules of engagement, preferring to pretend that the enemy would not be an enemy if only we “understood” it and “tolerated” it. Kipling had some advice about indulging in that kind of evasive “tolerance” of an enemy one secretly fears will destroy for the sake of destruction.
“To each man is appointed his particular dread – the terror that if he does not fight against it, must cow him even to the loss of his manhood.”***

The light that is failing in the West is the knowledge of its own superior, life-affirming and life-sustaining value. Islam is a nihilist ideology that must be fought against with the same dedication one must oppose the ongoing jihad of secular collectivism unleashed against us by the Progressive Marxists in Washington.

Islam will not and cannot change. It can trade filthy robes and sandals for three-piece suits and Rolex watches, and spears and swords for rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikov rifles, but it will remain what it has been for fourteen centuries: a cult of death and degradation.

*Winston Churchill, The River War, Vol. II, pp. 248-50. London: Longmans, Green, 1899.

**Winston Churchill, The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, pp.6-8. (Originally published by Longmans, Green & Co. 1898.) Text quoted here is from my copy of the Dover 2010 reprint of the Thomas Nelson & Sons edition, 1916 (London).

***Rudyard Kipling, The Light That Failed, p. 128 (1899). New York: Charles Scribner’s & Sons, 1909.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Edward Cline is the author of a number of novels, and his essays, books, reviews, and other nonfiction have appeared in a number of high-profile periodicals.
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