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Churchill on Muslim fanatics

Dear Editor:I recently had the pleasure of hearing Winston S. Churchill, the talented grandson of the great prime minister, who spoke most eloquently at an Aspen Writers’ Foundation event about the old statesman’s life. He reminded us of Churchill’s uncanny early insights into the greatest dangers that have faced our civilization in recent times: Churchill was the first and sometimes the only political leader to both speak out and act against the two greatest menaces of the 20th century – he fought Lenin’s communism in 1918 and Hitler’s Nazism in 1932.However, I had not realized until we heard this younger Churchill that the old lion had also spoken out against the dangers of Muslim fanaticism: “… the Wahabi sect (based in Saudi Arabia), a form of Mohammedanism which bears, roughly speaking, the same relation to orthodox Islam as the most militant form of Calvinism, would have borne to Rome in the fiercest times of the religious wars. The Wahabis profess a life of exceeding austerity, and what they practice themselves they rigorously enforce on others. They hold it an article of duty, as well as faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahabi villages for simply appearing in the streets. It is a penal offense to wear a silk garment. Men have been killed for smoking a cigarette and as for the crime of alcohol, the most energetic supporter of the temperance cause in the country falls far behind them. Austere, intolerant, well-armed, and bloodthirsty, in their own regions the Wahabis are distinct factor which must be taken into account, and they have been, and still are very dangerous … .”I was amazed to learn that Churchill had presented these insights on June 14, 1921, when addressing the House of Commons on the problems of the Middle East. The younger Churchill went on to say that in recent times the Saudi government had made a pact with the devil – that if the Wahabi clergy would ignore the corrupt lifestyle of the Saudi princes, then in exchange the Wahabi clergy would receive unlimited funding to spread their hate of the West and its values. So the Wahabi poison is now being taught to millions of Muslim children all around the world. Lawrence LadinSnowmass Village


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