The character of Winston Churchill looms large in British history to an almost mythical degree. Islamophobic Britain First attempt to claim Churchill as one of their own.
This is deeply ironic for the man who is most prominently renowned for his stand against fascism! The man who lead Britain in a brutal war to stop a far right wing movement which advocated the extermination of all people of a particular religion. Sound familiar?
Britain First have dredged up three quotes that they say align Churchill with their own Islamophobic views.
All seems pretty solid at first glance. However.
All three of these quotes come from just one passage of writing from Churchill’s book ‘The River War’ published in 1899. Yes, a single passage from 116 years ago!
Also, to make things even more flimsy, there is an omission in the last quote. The passage should read;
” 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… etc”.
Obviously it’s a bit too politically inconvenient for Britain First to acknowledge the contribution that Muslim troops made to the armies of the British Empire!
The River War was written about the British military campaign in the Sudan to combat Dervish forces. What Churchill writes must be assessed in the historical and regional context of that specific conflict. Failure to add context renders such quotations meaningless. Britain First do not give any context; not even a source for the quotations.
Churchill was prominently active in public life for over 60 years. During this time he published dozens of books, wrote thousands upon thousands of letters, newspaper articles, policy & ministerial documents and notes. Not to mention also making a great many well documented speeches.
Out of all this, Britain First can present essentially only one passage, denuded of historical context and written over 100 years ago, that can be interpreted as critical of Islam.
Britain First claim that Churchill ‘despised Islam’. Surely, if Churchill was as anti-Islam as they make out, there would have been more than this? Churchill was never shy of sharing his views. Surely there would be more evidence of how much he ‘despised’ Islam? More than one passage out of a lifetime of writing??
Also, if Churchill was so opposed to Islam, why in 1907 did his future sister in law think hat he might actually convert to Islam? And why n 1940 did he approve the building of a mosque in central London (London Central Mosque, Regents Park)? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11314580/Sir-Winston-Churchill-s-family-feared-he-might-convert-to-Islam.html.
Was Winston Churchill an islamophobe? The conclusion is too obvious to even state!