Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, new research reported in The Independent divulged.
The revelation was uncovered In a letter discovered by a history research fellow at Cambridge University, Warren Dockter, and written to Churchill’s soon-to-be sister-in-law Lady Gwendoline Bertie.
“Please don’t become converted to Islam; I have noticed in your disposition a tendency to orientalize, Pasha-like tendencies, I really have.
“If you come into contact with Islam your conversion might be effected with greater ease than you might have supposed, call of the blood, don’t you know what I mean, do fight against it,” Lady Gwendoline wrote in the letter dated August 1907, The Independent reported.
The legendary prime minister who led Britain to victory against the Nazis during World War II never seriously considered converting to Islam, Dockter told The Independent.
“He was more or less an atheist by this time anyway. He did, however, have a fascination with Islamic culture, which was common among Victorians,” Dockter told the British daily.
Churchill’s fascination with Islam is demonstrated in a letter from Sudan where he was serving as an officer. Written to Lady Lytton in 1907 and referenced in The Independent report, Churchill wrote that he “wished he were” a Pasha, a rank of distinction in the Ottoman Empire.
The historical record also shows that Churchill was critical of Islam, The Independent report noted.
“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,” he wrote in his 1899 account of Sudan, The River War.
“Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes 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.”