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Churchill criticized Islam for the wrong reason

Reader comment on item: Churchill, Hitler, and Islam

Submitted by Prashant, Sep 21, 2017 at 16:16

Dear Dr Pipes:

I am no fan of Islamic doctrine(s) but, I think, Churchill's criticism of Islam in the two pages from the 'RIver War' that you reproduced. I took the trouble of reading those two pages was unfounded. Churchill's criticism of Islam is triggered by a statement of the (presumably) Muslim train driver of the train in which Churchill was traveling. According to Churchill the engine of the train broke down and the journey could not progress. At this point the driver of the train said that "Allah's will has some wise purpose". The driver probably implied that some good will come out of the breaking of the engine.

Churchill was a great leader and we all cal learn a lot from his life. But he was had a disparaging view of the colonized cultures. He had famously called Mahatma Gandhi a 'half naked fakir' (without perhaps realizing that as a barrister the mahatma could have easily afforded a jacket that Churchill could ever afford as a journalist!). Coming back to Churchill's story, he took exception to the train driver's 'fatalistic attitude'. If 'leaving everything to the God' is fatalism (or Theological Determinism), it is found in many religions including Winston's Churchill's. If you do not like theological determinism, you ought to dislike many religions and not just Islam.

I think the above criticism of Islam by Churchill is no more substantiated than Churchill's criticism of so many other things and people. Churchill might have given better reasons of why he did not like Islam in subsequent pages but you did not quote them.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (15) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Churchill criticized Islam for the wrong reason [265 words]PrashantSep 21, 2017 16:16240885
It ought to be obvious from the wording that his criticism isn't simply based on this anecdote [17 words]AnonSep 22, 2017 18:41240885
This is not a win [6 words]Jon PurizhanskyAug 10, 2017 12:45240446
Winston Churchill and Abdulaziz ibn Saud - champagne and Jew hatred [75 words]Martin J. MallietAug 1, 2017 14:35240328
The Saudi Muslims may make peace with the Jews before the South Korean Christians do with the Japanese [109 words]Michael SAug 11, 2017 04:37240328
Abdulaziz ibn Saud and Winston Churchill - blasphemers and the fear of exposing them [312 words]Martin J. MallietAug 16, 2017 07:57240328
This "Fascist Deplorable" no longer cares about Churchill, or any other European [78 words]Michael SAug 22, 2017 08:44240328
Amor sui usque ad contemptum Dei vs amor Dei usque ad contemptum sui [40 words]Martin J. MallietAug 23, 2017 09:17240328
I support my President, plain and simple [33 words]Michael SAug 28, 2017 01:56240328
...huh? [106 words]Michael SJul 28, 2017 04:40240272
sadly .. [52 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Anne JulienneJul 25, 2017 03:17240195
The Muslims should learn from Hitler [26 words]Michael SJul 25, 2017 02:05240191
two paths from the same way [83 words]frankzJul 24, 2017 23:45240188
Churchill never changed: 1899 & 1948 [24 words]RichardJul 24, 2017 21:34240180
1In the eyes of the contemporary left, Churchill was a far-right figure, a xenophobe and an Islamophobe [227 words]AnonJul 24, 2017 18:53240179

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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