A prophetic statement about Islam

The British Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc said in 1938:

[Westerners] have forgotten all about Islam. They never come in contact with it. They take for granted that it is decaying, and that, anyway, it is just a foreign religion which will not concern them. It is, as a fact, the most formidable and persistent enemy which our civilization has had, and may at any moment become as large a menace in the future as it has been in the past…. It has always seemed to me possible, and even probable, that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons and grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and what has been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent.

(quoted in Christopher Caldwall’s Reflections on the Revolution in Europe. Thanks for David G. for bringing it to our attention.)

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Timothy A. writes:

The passage is from Belloc’s book “The Great Heresies” which I read many years ago. The whole book is worth reading as a work of Catholic historical apologetics (Belloc discusses Protestantism as one of the Great Heresies).

The text of the book is available online at the EWTN website. The chapter on Islam containing the quotation is here.

Howard Sutherland writes:

Thank you for posting evidence that modern Western notables were able, fairly recently, still to see and speak the true nature of Islam. Both Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill are held in high regard today, and whatever their blemishes each saw Islam clearly and reported forthrightly what he had seen, unblinded and un-gagged by post-modern conventions. Hilaire Belloc and Ernest Renan may not be as chic today as T. Roosevelt and Churchill, but Belloc’s view of Islam actually went well beyond its being merely a once-actual and always-potential threat to Christendom and the West. In his The Great Heresies (Christian heresies, that is), Belloc identifies Islam as the greatest and most dangerous of heresies. It takes Belloc about 25 pages to make his case—which is pretty convincing, although I’m not sure I agree because I don’t think Mohammed, at any rate, ever held any Trinitarian Christian belief of his own to twist and repudiate. But for those who don’t want to go through all of Belloc’s chapter on Islam-as-Christian-heresy, Fr. James Schall, S.J., summarizes Belloc’s thesis in about 12 pages. We need to heed these warnings and remember that Islam has been a direct challenge and threat to Christianity—along with Judaism and every other competitor-faith—from the day it first germinated in Mohammed’s mind. Of course, if we look at our own history from the 7th century through the present honestly it’s plain that Islam has been the West’s greatest and most persistent ideological and geopolitical adversary. 1,400 years is a little longer than the Iron Curtain stood! And the Iron Curtain stands no longer, but the Kaaba certainly does (and, no, we infidels are not welcome to visit it!).

Karl D. writes:

I was watching Fritz Lang’s 1921 silent film Destiny last night. In one segment a “Frank” (a Frenchman) sneaks into a mosque during Ramadan in full veiled garb to speak secretly to the Caliph’s sister who is his lover. Someone grows suspicious and tears off his veil and the place goes crazy with cries of “Kill the infidel, kill the unbeliever.” The sister fools them into not spilling his impure blood in the mosque. He manages to escape, only to be caught later unbeknownst to the girl. Later the Caliph brings her onto the roof of his palace to look at the night sky. She hears something going on down below. “Who is digging in the garden at this time of the night?” she asks the Caliph. “The gardener, he says, “has planted a special flower for you.” Pan down to the garden and you see two slaves who have murdered and buried the Frenchman up to his neck so that only his head is exposed. Wikipedia’s article on the movie states that the stories told in this film are “nominally historic, but really in the realm of fantasy.” In this case, I am not so sure.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 17, 2011 10:54 AM | Send

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