QUESTION: What lessons can one of the greatest leaders in the last century teach us about appeasement in the face of evil?
Winston Churchill was definitely one of the great men of the 20th century. I think without him, if he had never been born, the history of the 20th century would have been much worse than it was. It was very violent, but he alone and almost single handedly saved in a certain sense Western Civilization because he stood up to Hitler, and he fought Hitler when everybody else was ready to appease.
Now one of the things he had to say about the Muslim faith, the Islamic faith, was quite startling for what people might consider today. In fact, I think he would be attacked if he had said this today. Here’s what he had to say. He said, “Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it.” Then he goes on and says, “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 for 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 civilizations of ancient Rome.”
What a lot of people don’t know about Winston Churchill is that he helped defeat Hitler, but Hitler in a sense won World War II. He won it in the Arab world. One of the most popular books that you can buy and is taught in many Arabic classes in the Arab world is Mein Kampf, Hitler’s own book. He is adored there, and a lot of those political parties are quasi neo-Nazi parties, in the Arab world.