By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org
Although radical violent Islam is resurgent in the 21st Century it has been in existence for hundreds of years. Three fascinating books, The River War and The Malakand Field Force by Winston Churchill written 120 years ago, and Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade should be in anyone’s library that wants to understand the subject. The books can be ordered by clicking on the title links
Churchill diagnosed the dangers of radical Islam.
In September 1898, the 23-year-old Churchill was one of the officers leading the 21st Lancers cavalry charge that secured a British victory over 19th century Islamic terrorists at the Battle of Omdurman in Sudan.
Some 13 years earlier Muhammad Ahmad, “the Mahdi of Allah,” had established the first modern Islamic caliphate governed by sharia law when he beheaded British General George Gordon after his dervish jihadi army captured Khartoum. Only superior British military power stopped Ahmad’s successor, Ibn Muhammad, from spreading the caliphate throughout Africa, and elsewhere.
The River War, Churchill’s account of the British retaking of Sudan, published in 1899, Churchill noted the threat to Western Civilization radical Islam poses:
“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 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 proselytising 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.
Islam, Churchill wrote, “is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog.”
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 Mohammedanism 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.
Writing earlier in the River War, the conduct of the Mahdi who led this modern caliphate was beneath contempt, in Churchill’s view:
“After the fall of Khartoum and the retreat of the British armies the Mahdi became the absolute master of the Soudan. Whatever pleasures he desired he could command, and, following the example of the founder of the Mohammedan faith, he indulged in what would seem to Western minds gross excesses. He established an extensive harem for his own peculiar use, and immured therein the fairest captives of the war.
In his first book, a description of British battles in Afghanistan, The Story of the Malakand Field Force, an Episode of Frontier War, published a year earlier in 1898, Churchill explained how local tribesmen were mesmerized by the call of Islam:
“The Mullah will raise his voice and remind them of other days when the sons of the prophet drove the infidel from the plains of India, and ruled at Delhi, as wide an Empire as the Kafir holds to-day: when the true religion strode proudly through the earth and scorned to lie hidden and neglected among the hills: when mighty princes ruled in Bagdad, and all men knew that there was one God, and Mahomet was His prophet. And the young men hearing these things will grip their Martinis, and pray to Allah, that one day He will bring some Sahib (prince) – best prize of all – across their line of sight at seven hundred yards so that, at least, they may strike a blow for insulted and threatened Islam.
Churchill compared Islam unfavorably to Christianity:
Indeed it is evident that Christianity, however degraded and distorted by cruelty and intolerance, must always exert a modifying influence on men’s passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever, as we are protected from smallpox by vaccination. But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness.
In the same book, Churchill also offered this on Islam:
That religion, which above all others was founded and propagated by the sword—the tenets and principles of which are instinct with incentives to slaughter and which in three continents has produced fighting breeds of men—stimulates a wild and merciless fanaticism. The love of plunder, always a characteristic of hill tribes, is fostered by the spectacle of opulence and luxury which, to their eyes, the cities and plains of the south display. A code of honour not less punctilious that that of old Spain is supported by vendettas as implacable as those of Corsica.”
Brian Kilmeade known to many as co-host of Fox & Friends and host of his radio talk show has written a fascinating history of Thomas Jefferson’s response to the Muslim Barbary Pirates attacks on United Sates shipping and the capture of the frigate USS Philadelphia. The Muslim’s felt that Christians were fair game for their piracy and depredations. President Jefferson had enough.
When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America was deeply in debt, with its economy and dignity under attack. Pirates from North Africa’s Barbary Coast routinely captured American merchant ships and held the sailors as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new country could afford.
For fifteen years, America had tried to work with the four Muslim powers (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco) driving the piracy, but negotiation proved impossible. Realizing it was time to stand up to the intimidation, Jefferson decided to move beyond diplomacy. He sent the U.S. Navy and Marines to blockade Tripoli—launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America’s journey toward future superpower status.
Few today remember these men and other heroes who inspired the Marine Corps hymn: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.” Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates recaptures this forgotten war that changed American history with a real-life drama of intrigue, bravery, and battle on the high seas.
These wonderful books make great gifts for young people, but read them yourself first!