Claim: Winston Churchill wrote about the "dreadful curses of Mohammedanism" in his 1899 book The River Wars.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, January 2015]
Origins: An obscure quote attributed to British statesman Winston Churchill has been circulating on the Internet since at least May 2013, when Missouri State Representative Rick Stream sent an
He was a brave young soldier, a brilliant journalist, an extraordinary politician and statesman, a great war leader and Prime Minister, to whom the Western world must be forever in his debt. He was a prophet in his own time; He died on
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 Muslims 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.
The passage as reproduced on the Internet typically incorporates one small omission, though: it elides Churchill's praise of "Moslems" as "brave and loyal soldiers" and covers the gap by combining the remaining part of the sentence with the previous one:
Last updated: 8 January 2015