He wrote in The Story of the Malakand Field Force: “Indeed it is evident that Christianity must always exert a modifying influence on men’s passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever. But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and forever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness.”
“Civilisation is confronted with militant Mahommedanism. The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace. Luckily the religion of peace is usually the better armed.”
He also joined Lord Kitchener’s army in the Sudan, and took part in the Battle of Omdurman on September 2, 1898.
Churchill wrote The River War: An account of the Reconquest of Sudan: “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on it’s votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. 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. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of their 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.
“What the horn is to the rhinoceros, what the sting is to the wasp, the Mohammedan faith is to the Arabs of the Soudan – a faculty of offence.”
“All the warlike operations of Mohammedan peoples are characterised by fanaticism. The Mahdi became the absolute master of the Soudan. Whatever pleasures he desired he could command, and, following the example of the founder of the Mohammedan faith, he indulged in what would seem to Western minds gross excesses.He established an extensive harem for his own peculiar use, and immured therein the fairest captives of the war.”
Churchill noted the threat of Wahhabism on June 14, 1921 at the House of Commons. At that time, Churchill was Secretary for the British colonies, and he had been involved in the formation of Iraq (in 1921), Jordan (Transjordan) and Palestine, territories which Britain had liberated from the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire.
A large number of Bin Saud’s followers belong to the Wahabi sect, a form of Mohammedanism.
“The Wahhabis profess a life of exceeding austerity, and what they practice themselves they rigorously enforce on others. They hold it as an article of duty, as well as of 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 Wahhabi villages for simply appearing on the streets.”
“Austere, intolerant, well-armed, and blood-thirsty, in their own regions the Wahhabis are a distinct factor which must be taken into account, and they have been, and still are, very dangerous to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.”
The Bin Saud to whom Churchill refers here is King Abdul Aziz bin Saud (c. 1880-1953), who would go on officially to establish Saudi Arabia in 1932. The Wahhabists slaughtered 25 of the Mahmal caravan members at Mina because they played trumpets. Music was forbidden to the Wahhabists. The incident soured relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Churchill said: “An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last. Victory will never be found by taking the line of least resistance.”