I firmly believe that we can pick up very valuable lessons from history. From both past actions as well as the wisdom of people who went before us. As my Granny once told me, "If they were all fools, we wouldn't be here would we?" This is a fine example of that wisdom, written by a personal hero of mine, Sir Winston Churchill. Mr. Churchill in his early days served as a officer in the British Army and took part in some of the small colonial wars that were fought in Africa in the glory days of the British Empire. Churchill also served as a newspaper correspondent as well as a author. His second book, The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan was written in 1899 and contains this observation on the religion of Islam. I believe I have blogged this before, but it is WELL worth repeating,
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. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all
know how to die 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.
Isn't it amazing how something written in 1899 rings so true in 2012? But again, it is a foolish person who doesn't learn from the past.