Sunday, January 15, 2006


"As the British authority passes ... the old hatreds between Moslem and Hindu revive and acquire new life and malignancy. We cannot easily conceive what these hatreds are." Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 1931.

I blogged about the 1947 India partition massacres here. But there's nothing like an eye-witness account.

Radio Four are repeating their series 'Sleeping With The Enemy'. The first part (RealAudio) deals with what happened to thousands of women who survived the massacres - abducted as booty (no pun intended).

It's medieval - if not Biblical - stuff - men, many doomed to be killed themselves, slaughtering their wives and daughters to prevent them being dishonoured by the enemy. The difference being that this happened within living memory. Participants - victims and perpetrators - may still be alive. The last time stuff like that happened in the UK was probably the Danish invasions of the 8th and 9th centuries, and before that the Saxon cleansing of the Celts from what is now England.

During this period, so many women disappeared that the newly formed governments of India and Pakistan were compelled to act. They formed official 'recovery' departments to bring their women back...sometimes with even more tragic consequences. Sleeping With The Enemy tells the story of Ranjit Kaur, a Muslim woman who survived a massacre and was then claimed by a Sikh man who married her. She was 10 years old.

To prevent such perceived 'dishonour', Bir Bahadur Singh, a Sikh man, relates how he watched his father publicly behead his teenage sister - along with 25 other female members of their family - in front of a Muslim mob.

I wouldn't listen just before bedtime if I were you though.

UPDATE - I said nothing like that had happened in England since the 8th century - there was one more such (smallish) episode in England, where Jews led by Rabbi Yom Tob killed themselves at York in 1290 rather than fall into the hands of a bloodthirsty Christian mob (animated and led by a number of people who owed money to Jews).

"The mob then returned to the cathedral where the records of debts due to Jews were in safe-keeping. They compelled the guardians to turn these over to them to be burned then and there in the sanctuary."


Dave said...

yeah its scarey. I guess its a vicious circle, I am not in the slightest bit violent towards women, but if a foreign army was just about to defeat us and a gang of milita was outside my house demanding all the women, maybe the women would prefer to die than be held as a sexual prisoner for the rest of their lives?

jamal said...

churchill was a racist. his words have many flaws in.

Brituncula said...

I was listening to the same programme and what struck me was that "we" (for some value of we) wouldn't for one moment have accepted Western women being treated like property in this way.
Admittedly the numbers were smaller, but women who were captured by the Barbary corsairs weren't treated like pariahs if they were ransomed.

Laban said...

Jamal, I'll debate Churchill in the style of your post.

No he wasn't !

jamal said...

Yes he was! He is the same man who described Mahatma Gandhi as “a half-naked fakir” who “ought to be laid, bound hand and foot, at the gates of Delhi and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new viceroy seated on its back”. Furthermore, whilst the British Army prided itself on treating black and Asian soldiers with respect (at least in comparison to the Americans), Churchill insisted, “the views of the US must be considered.” Black soldiers were told to show respect for the American army’s segregation policies. So is he a racist..... For example:

“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 Moslems 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 civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.”

Sir Winston Churchill, our great wartime Prime Minister, On islam (”from The River War”, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248,50 London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899)

Churchill himself edited this quotation out of his own book over 100 years ago. It was edited out of the book shortly after it was written.

Since we are digging up the past… Remember the Crusades? The Conquistadors? The Dutch who thought Africans were ‘devils’ incarnate?, slavery, imperialism, colonialism, slaughter of the arowaks indians, maoris and the aborgines, …all in the name of civilisation, christianity and progress. And lets not forget that christianity condemned the west to poverty and barbarity between the 5th and 15th centuries.

Nevertheless,“The River War of Churchill’s account “ended in the battle of Omdurman in 1898”. In fact, even in the abridged e-book, this is Chapter 15 of 19 chapters. The volume culminates in ‘The End of the Khalifa’. And all the stuff about rabid dogs and fanatical frenzy appears not in the widely available abridged version of the book.

Anyway, as you can see, “fearful fatalistic apathy” needn’t be terminal — it’s even possible to corroborate some facts online, with a little cursory research. But should I be worried about my “degraded sensualism”? And if I’m ever improvident (my recent credit card statements suggest that I am), and I’m occasionally slovenly or sluggish, does that make me retrograde, does that paralyse my development, too? Or would other shortcomings be required for that? And who would one contact about finding a concubine?

I feel the need to exercise some artistic licence of my own, and to speculate further about why WC may have self-censored his work.

Perhaps he realised that it was rather odd for him to be ascribing “slovenly systems of agriculture” to the followers of a particular belief system. Particularly when, rather inconveniently, the origins of agriculture lie in the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia, part of present day Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Jordan. Around those parts, they first started getting sloppy about 9500-8000 BC, and it was pretty much all downhill from there, thanks to those well-known disorderly bastards, the Sumerians.

Meanwhile Churchill’s antecedents were bashing around in caves with antlers and bones and trying to figure out how they could keep their fire alight so they could watch Aston Villa at home to Charlton Athletic.

Where I grew up in the 1960s, “systems of agriculture” also tended towards the slovenly. They mainly involved Welsh hill farmers in wet duffle coats trying to drag bedraggled sheep by their hind legs out of the swamps and into their wellies before stopping in at the Chapel to bellow a few hymns in a defunct language (there were no mosques in Caergybi).

To WC, Islam was not only a dangerous force but also a curse upon its followers; an extraordinarily sweeping condemnation, even considering that his quoted words are over 100 years old — not that bold strokes necessarily invalidate old words. But it was a very different world in those days. Britain still had its Empire, the Crusades were being avenged in different ways and the world’s mothers were yet to bear millions of soon-to-be premature corpses.

We do well to learn lessons from the past, but we shouldn’t transpose them onto the present without questioning them, and we certainly shouldn’t expect them to help stop what is being perpetrated by a relatively small number of suicidal individuals, supposedly against the “infidel”.”

Let it be noted that ““infidel” isn’t an accurate translation of any word in the Qur’an. It was used by the Crusaders to refer to the Moslems, not the other way around.

An online glossary of terms used in reference to Islam says the word “Kafir”, which is frequently translated as “infidel”, literally means someone who covers his or her heart, somehow signifying an unbeliever. “It is a descriptive term, not a derogatory slur or a sanction for murder. Kafir does not translate to infidel, which is offensive and dehumanising, used to justify the murder of Moslems during the Crusades.” The same glossary says Mohammedan is: “an out-dated and extremely offensive word coined by orientalists to describe Moslems. Moslems reject this title since it implies they worship Mohammed, instead of The One God”. The Churchill quotation refers to “Mohammedanism” which, at the very least, is inaccurate.

Was he a racist.... definatly! In fact the only good thing about him is that he wanted to send Nazis to the electric chair, without trial. He wanted Hitler executed “like a gangster”.

Anonymous said...


Sorry mate you havnt proved anything.

Islam is dangerous.

Gandhi was a charaltan.

The crusades - militant islam moved west killing and enslaving and Europeans fought back.

Dave said...

The threat of Islam mainly comes from people like Jamal. A nice intelligent man who knows some History and can argue very well, yet at the same time he can be quite illogical when his faith requires it.

Jamal you claim Churchill was a racist because you didn't like what he said about Moslems, even though Islam is NOT a race.

Save your soul Jamal my good friend:

P. Froward said...

it was rather odd for him to be ascribing “slovenly systems of agriculture” to the followers of a particular belief system. Particularly when, rather inconveniently, the origins of agriculture lie in the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia...

Jamal, Mesopotamia is not a belief system. It is a geographical region. It lies between two rivers, if you're curious. Agriculture was almost certainly invented there first, but Islam was invented somewhere else, quite a few thousands of years later.

Secondly, even if Muslims had invented agriculture, how would that prove they weren't slovenly about it?

It seems to me that Churchill probably saw a lot of slovenly Muslim farms, and took correlation for causality. I really have no idea whether Churchill was right or not, but at least he was basing his claim on information that was relevant in some way to the subject at hand.

But my favorite is the bit about how a term "signifying 'unbeliever'" can't possibly be translated as "infidel".

You are aware they're exact synonyms, right?

TottenhamLad said...


In my own humble opinion Laban is right 99% of the time in his posts.

Was Churchill a racist? surely 'racist' is a word invented by marxists trying to impose their view of the world upon others.

PS Jamal don't post a short story as a comment as busy people like myself will just skip it. Why not try a few shorter paragraphs with some well made points.

Anonymous said...

Jamal, please don't try and glorify Islam, because all that Islam will be remember for in 100 years' time is global terrorism. They haven't contributed anything constructive to the world for over 1000 years and considering that Islam was founded 1400 years ago, and I'd say that's far too little.

I agree with Churchill, who was a great diplomat and great leader - he certainly knew what he was talking about.

You should read this about how Islam keeps appropriating the history of other peoples:

And which of these criticisms can be considered "Islamophobia"?

1) Muhammad is a role-model for all time. Muhammad married Aisha when she was 6 and had sexual intercourse with her when she was 9. I find appalling that Muslims consider this act of Muhammad to be that of the man who is in every way a role-model, and hence to be emulated. In particular, I am appalled that virtually the first act of the Ayatollah Khomeini, a very orthodox and learned Shi'a theologian, was to lower the marriageable age of girls in Iran to 9 -- because, of course, it was Aisha's age when Muhammad had sexual relations with her.

2) I find appalling that Islam provides a kind of Total Regulation of the Universe, so that its adherents are constantly asking for advice as to whether or not, for example, they can have wear their hair in a certain way, grow their beards in a certain way, wish an Infidel a Merry Christmas (absolutely not!).

3) I find appalling the religiously-sanctioned doctrine of taqiyya -– a doctrine that has its sources in the Qur'an itself (3:28 and 16:106).

4) I find appalling many of the acts which Muhammad committed, including his massacre of the Banu Qurayza, his ordering the assassination of many of those he deemed his opponents, even an old man, a woman, or anyone whom, he thought, merely mocked him.

5) I find appalling the hatred expressed throughout the Qur'an, the hadith, and the sira for Infidels -- all Infidels.
6) I find nauseating the historic imposition of the jizya on Infidels, the requirement that they wear identifying garb on their clothes and dwellings, that they not be able to build or repair houses of worship without the permission of Muslim authorities, that they must ride donkeys sidesaddle and dismount in the presence of Muslims, that they have no legal recourse against Muslims for they are not equal at law -- and a hundred other things, designed to insure their permanent, as the canonical texts say, "humiliation." A practice from the past, you say? Or a practice that in many ways can still be detected, in the shabby treatment of non-Muslims all over the Muslim world, from the mistreatment of Copts, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Maronites, Armenians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, all the ay to the disguised jizyah of the Bumpitura system in Malaysia.

7) I find the mass murder of 60-70 million Hindus over 250 years of Mughal rule, and the destruction of tens of thousands of artifacts and Hindu (and Buddhist) temples, some of the them listed in two volumes edited by Sita Ram Goel and others, appalling.

8) I find the 1300-year history of the persecution of the Zoroastrians, some of it continuing to this day according the great scholar of Zoroastrianism, Mary Boyce, which has led to their reduction to a mere 150,000, something to deplore. There are piquant details in her works, including the deliberate torture and killing of the dogs (which are revered by Zoroastrians), even by small Muslim children who are taught to so behave.

9) I find the record of Muslim intellectual achievement lacking, and I attribute this lack to the failure to encourage free and skeptical inquiry, which is necessary for, among other things, the development of modern science. I find convincing the argument that there was some intellectual activity in non-Muslim lands for a few centuries after the initial conquest, as long as the Christians and Jews (in the Middle East) were still a significant and fructifying influence, and that when they ceased to be, such activity came to an abrupt end.

10) I deplore the prohibition on sculpture or on paintings of living things. I deplore the horrific vandalism and destruction of Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Hindu, and Buddhist sites, from the thousands of temples, right up to today, with the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, pre-Islamc archeological sites vandalized all over Iraq, and in Europe itself, churches and statues in public the object of attack and destruction.

11) I deplore that part of Muslim jurisprudence which renders all treaties between Infidels and Muslims worthless from the viewpoint of the Infidels, though worth a great deal from the viewpoint of the Muslims, for they are only signing a "hudna," a truce-treaty rather than a true peace-treaty -- and because they must go to war against the Infidel, or press their Jihad against the Infidel in other ways, on the model of the Treaty of al-Hudaibiyya, no Infidel state or people can ever trust a treaty with Muslims.

12) I deplore the speech of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, so roundly applauded several years ago, in which he called for the "development" not of human potential, not of art and science, but essentially of weapons technology and the harnessing and encouraging of Muslim "brain power" for the sole purpose of defeating the Infidels, as a reading of that entire speech makes absolutely clear. Here -- would you like me to read it now for the audience?

13) I deplore the fact that Muslims are taught, and clearly many have taken to heart, the idea that they should offer their loyalty only to fellow Muslims, the umma al-islamiyya, and never to Infidels or to the Infidel nation-state to which they have uttered an oath of allegiance -- apparently such an oath must be an act of perjury, because such loyalty is impossible. Am I wrong? Show me exactly what I have misunderstood about Islam.

14) I deplore the ululations of pleasure over acts of terrorism, the delight shown by delighted and celebrating crowds in Cairo, Ramallah, Khartoum, Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, and of course all over Saudi Arabia, when news of the World Trade Center attacks was known -- and I can, if you wish, supply the reports from those capitals which show this to have taken place. I attribute statements of exultation about the "Infidels" deserving it to the fact that Islamic tenets view the world as a war between the Believers and the Infidels.

15) On that score, I deplore that mad division of the world between Dar al-Islam and dar al-Harb, and the requirement that there be uncompromising hostility between the two until the final triumph of the former, and the permanent subjugation and incorporation into it of the latter.

16) I deplore the sexual inequality and mistreatment of women, which I can show has a clear basis in the canonical Islamic texts, and is not simply, pace Ebadi and other quasi-"reformers," a "cultural" matter.

17) I deplore the fact that Infidels feel, with justice, unsafe in almost every Muslim country, but that Muslims treat the Infidel countries and their inhabitants with disdain, arrogance, and endless demands for them to bend, to change, to what Muslims want -- whether it be to remove crucifixes, or change the laws of laicity in France, or to demand that "hate speech" laws be extended in England so as to prevent any serious and sober criticism of Islam.

18) I deplore the emphasis on the collective, and the hatred for the autonomy of the individual. In particular, I believe that someone born into Islam has a perfect right to leave Islam if he or she chooses -- and that there should be no punishment, much less the murderous punishment so often inflicted.

19) I find the record of Muslim political despotism to be almost complete -- with the exception of those Muslim countries and regimes that have, as Ataturk did, carried out a series of measures to limit and constrain Islam.

20) I deplore the fact that while Muslims claim it is a "universalist" religion, it has been a vehicle for Arab imperialism, causing those conquered and islamized in some cases to forget, or become indifferent or even hostile to, their own pre-Islamic histories. The requirement that the Qur'an be read in Arabic (one of the first things Ataturk did was commission a Turkish Qur'an and tafsir, or commentary), and the belief by many Muslims that the ideal form of society can be derived from the Sunna of 7th century Arabia, and that their own societies are worth little, is an imperialism that goes to culture and to history, and is the worst and most complete kind.

21) I deplore the attacks on ex-Muslims who often must live in fear. I deplore the attacks on Theo van Gogh and others, and the absence of serious debate about the nature of Islam and of its reform -- except as a means to further beguile and distract Infidels who are becoming more wary.

22) I deplore the emptiness of the "Tu Quoque" arguments directed at Christians and Jews, based on a disingenuous quotation of passages -- for example, from Leviticus -- that are completely ignored and have not been invoked for two thousand years, and I deplore the rewriting of history so that a Muslim professor can tell an American university audience that "the Ku Klux Klan used to crucify (!) African-Americans, everyone standing around during the crucifixion singing Christian hymns (!)."

23) I deplore the phony appeals of the "we all share one Abrahamic faith" and "we are the three monotheisms" when, to my mind, a Christian or a Jew has far less to fear from, and in the end far more that is truly essential in common with, any practicing polytheistic Hindu.

24) I deplore the fact that Islam is based on the idea of world-conquest, not of accommodation, and that its adherents do not believe in Western pluralism except insofar as this can be used as an instrument, temporarily most useful, to protect the position of Islam until its adherents have firmly established themselves.

25) I deplore the view, in Islam, that it is not a saving of an individual soul that is involved when one conducts Da'wa or the Call to Islam, but rather, something that appears to be much more like signing someone up for the Army of Islam. He need not have read all the fine print; he need not know Islamic tenets; he need not even have read or know what is in sira and hadith or much of the Qur'an; he need only recite a single sentence. That does not show a deep concern for the nature of the conversion (sorry, "reversion").

26) I deplore the sentiment that "Islam is to dominate and not to be dominated." I deplore the sentiment "War is deception" as uttered by Muhammad. I deplore what has happened over 1350 years in vast swaths of territory formerly filled with Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, much of which is now today almost monotonously Islamic. I do not think Islam welcomes any diversity if it means the possibility of full equality for non-Muslims.

27) I deplore the fact that slavery is permitted in Islam, that it is discussed in the Qur'an, and that it was suppressed in 19th century Arabia only through the influence of British naval power in the Gulf; that it was formally done away with in Saudi Arabia only in 1962; that it still exists in Mali, and the Sudan, and even Mauritania; that it may exist in the Arabian interior. Certainly the treatment of the Thai, Filipino, Indian and other female house workers in Arab households amounts to slavery, and it is no accident that there has never been a Muslim William Wilberforce.

I could go on, and am prepared to adduce history, and quotations from the canonical texts. And so are hundreds of thousands of Infidels who have looked into Islam, or in their own countries had a close look at the Muslim populations which have made their own Infidel existences far more unpleasant, expensive, and dangerous than they would otherwise be.

If this is "Islamophobia" -- show me exactly why it is irrational (i.e. not based on facts or observable behavior, or a study of history). Show me why it is an "irrational" dislike or even hatred of Islam. If you cannot show that, then perhaps the word should not be invoked. But if you do invoke it, be prepared to have copious quotations from Qur'an and hadith and sira constantly presented to audiences so that they may judge for themselves, without the "guidance" of apologists for Islam, both Muslim and non-Muslim.