As an officer of the British Army in 1897 and 1898, he fought against a Pashtun tribe in the northwest frontier of British India and also at the Battle of Omdurman in Sudan. In both of those conflicts he had eye-opening encounters with Muslims. These incidents allowed his keen powers of observation and always-fluid pen to weigh in on the subject of Islamic society.
While these words were written when he was only 25-years-old (in 1899), they serve as a prophetic warning to Western civilization today.
“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism (Islam) 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.”
Churchill apparently witnessed the same phenomenon in several places he visited. “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.”
He saw the temporal and the eternal tainted by their belief system. “A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity,” he wrote.
The second-class status of women also grated at the young officer. “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,” he noted.
“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.”
Well before the birth of modern Israel, its terror tactics and drive for world domination were felt. “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 (Islam) has vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”
Churchill’s quotations are from “The River War,” Volume II, pages 248-250, published by Longmans, Green & Company, 1899.