Churchill, Mein Kampf and the Koran

Churchill, Mein Kampf and the Koran

I watched a tele­vi­sion inter­view which men­tioned Churchill’s com­par­ing  Hitler’s Mein Kampf to the Koran. I have searched and searched. Was the reporter telling the truth? (Who  knows these days.) Thank-you for your time. —C.C.

You are refer­ring to Fox News on 24 Feb­ru­ary 2009, where­in Glenn Beck inter­viewed Geert Wilders, a Dutch law­mak­er fac­ing pos­si­ble jail for anti-Islam­ic remarks. Wilders has since come out for ban­ning the Koran in Hol­land as a “fas­cist book.”

BECK: I just have to give you this quote and get your thoughts…. “The fact that in Mohammedan Law, every woman must belong to some man as his absolute prop­er­ty either as a child, a wife, or con­cu­bine, must delay the final extinc­tion of slav­ery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great pow­er among men.” Pret­ty out­ra­geous stuff.

WILDERS: Yes.

BECK: You didn’t say that, though.

WILDERS: I didn’t say that, no.

BECK: No. Win­ston Churchill said that.

WILDERS: Yes. And Win­ston Churchill, as a mat­ter of fact, in a book in the Fifties, also made a com­par­i­son, like Ori­ana Fal­laci in Italy but also Win­ston Churchill, the com­par­i­son between Mein Kampf and the Koran. One of the rea­sons that I’m being pros­e­cut­ed. I don’t remem­ber Win­ston Churchill, who got a Nobel Prize for this book, [being] pros­e­cut­ed.

Some Confusions

Beck was accu­rate in his Churchill quo­ta­tion (“The fact that in Mohammedan law…”), but the tran­script sug­gests it was a recent remark. Actu­al­ly it is from Churchill’s The Riv­er War (Lon­don: Long­mans Green, 2 vols., 1899), II: 248-50. It was among the many delet­ed pas­sages for the one-vol­ume abridged text, pub­lished in 1901 and in print ever since.

On Churchill’s com­par­i­son of Mein Kampf to the Koran, Wilders may have read a con­cur­rent review in The Wash­ing­ton Times of my book, Churchill by Him­self. The review­er was quot­ing from page 55 of Churchill by Him­self, under “Mein Kampf and the Koran.” Churchill wrote of Mein Kampf:

All was there—the pro­gramme of Ger­man res­ur­rec­tion, the tech­nique of par­ty pro­pa­gan­da; the plan for com­bat­ing Marx­ism; the con­cept of a Nation­al-Social­ist State; the right­ful posi­tion of Ger­many at the sum­mit of the world. Here was the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, ver­bose, shape­less, but preg­nant with its mes­sage. —Win­ston S. Churchill, The Sec­ond World War, vol. 1, The Gath­er­ing Storm (Lon­don: Cas­sell, 1948), 43.

Wilders had the date wrong (it was 1948, not the Fifties), and of course the quote takes on added sig­nif­i­cance in the light of 9/11. Also, Churchill received the Nobel Prize for Lit­er­a­ture in 1953 for the total­i­ty of his his­tor­i­cal and bio­graph­i­cal writ­ings and speech­es—not for his war mem­oirs, which were not com­plete when he received the Prize.

Addendum, 2019

In the first ver­sion of this post ten years ago, I said Churchill was “refer­ring to Mein Kampf as an arti­cle of faith, like the Koran, but he could as eas­i­ly have said the Bible.” In the light of Mr. Trott’s com­ment below and fur­ther research, I think I was mis­tak­en. When Churchill called Mein Kampf a “new Koran of faith and war” he chose his words pre­cise­ly.

Google <Mein Kampf and the Koran> and you will find sev­er­al arti­cles assert­ing that the lat­ter influ­enced the author of the for­mer. The schol­ar notes a direct ref­er­ence by Hitler to his archi­tect, Albrecht Speer, in a 2018 arti­cle, “Kuran & Mein Kampf.” Hitler, Speer wrote, thought Islam more suit­ed to he “Ger­man­ic tem­pera­ment than the Jew­ish filth and priest­ly twad­dle of Chris­tian­i­ty”…

Hitler would say: “You see, it’s been our mis­for­tune to have the wrong reli­gion. Why didn’t we have the reli­gion of the Japan­ese, who regard sac­ri­fice for the father­land as the high­est good? The Mohammedan reli­gion too would have been much more com­pat­i­ble to us than Chris­tian­i­ty. Why did it have to be Chris­tian­i­ty with its meek­ness and flab­bi­ness?” [1]

This does not how­ev­er mean that Churchill ever com­pared Nazis to Mus­lims, and Wilders’ impli­ca­tion that he did was inac­cu­rate.

Footnote

[1] Albrecht Speer, Inside the Third Reich, trans. Richard Win­ston, Clara Win­ston, Eugene David­son (New York: Macmil­lan, 1971), 143; Inside the Third Reich: Mem­oirs (New York: Simon and Schus­ter, 1997), 96.

11 thoughts on “Churchill, Mein Kampf and the Koran

  1. The real­i­ty is that Hitler want­ed a much more aggres­sive mod­el than Chris­tian­i­ty to inspire his takeover agen­da. This he found in the Koran. The sim­i­lar­i­ties are obvi­ous.

  2. In reply to first reader’s com­ment, 19 Jan­u­ary 2011, “your women” implies own­er­ship and adding “com­mit­ted helpers” implies sub­mis­sive servi­tude. So, the writer’s own “defense of Islam” shows that Islam encour­ages own­er­ship of women, slav­ery and sub­mis­sion.

  3. “Here was the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, ver­bose, shape­less, but preg­nant with its mes­sage.”

    He seems to be imply­ing that MK is a text of faith and war, which is how he seems to per­ceive the Koran. Remem­ber he also said “Far from being mori­bund, Mohammedanism is a mil­i­tant and pros­e­ly­tiz­ing faith. It has already spread through­out Cen­tral Africa, rais­ing fear­less war­riors at every step.”

  4. Speak­ing of obfus­ca­tion, it’s not clear what your point is. Per­haps you should re-read what I wrote.

    Geert Wilders was using Churchill to equate the Koran with Mein Kampf. Whether Wilders was right is irrel­e­vant. Churchill nev­er said that. He did not equate Mus­lims with Nazis. And by the way, it’s LAng­worth.

  5. “…but he could as eas­ily have said the Bible.”

    But Churchill did not say Bible or Torah and he DID say the Koran. Per­haps he meant to be a lit­tle bit “polit­i­cal­ly cor­rect”, less direct. Churchill was a jour­nal­ist and a mas­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tor. He knew exact­ly what he was say­ing.

    The ques­tion is: Why are you, Mr. Long­worth, try­ing to obfus­cate? Are you per­haps a bit uncom­fort­able with the truth?

  6. “Arti­cles of faith” have been used to sup­port vio­lence since there were Arti­cles. Vio­lence in the name of Chris­tian­i­ty peaked 1300-1400 years after the found­ing of the reli­gion, iron­i­cal­ly the same age as Islam is today. It’s not what is writ­ten, it’s the use peo­ple make of it. In this respect Churchill’s com­par­i­son was apt.

  7. Mein Kampf pas­sages sup­port world con­quest through vio­lence — the Nazi mas­ter race will con­trol all, one way or anoth­er. Koran pas­sages sup­port world con­quest through vio­lence. Bible pas­sages do not sup­port world con­quest through vio­lence. The ancient Jew­ish nation had a nation­al bor­der and lived with­in it — no one was forced to live there. So-called Chris­tians in the past have used vio­lence, but they could not find Bible pas­sages that would sup­port that vio­lence.

  8. Hold on there. The pur­pose of my post is to cor­rect var­i­ous mis­state­ments made about Churchill by Glenn Beck and Geert Wilders, not to state my opin­ion. (It was Wilders who stat­ed Churchill’s com­par­i­son with Mein Kampf.) But if you’re ask­ing my opin­ion, it is that by “Mohammedan law” Churchill was refer­ring to what he saw among Mohammedans where he was at the time, and remem­ber, he was writ­ing in 1898. How­ev­er, I also have eyes to observe, for exam­ple, how woman are treat­ed in cer­tain places right now. And I beg to reg­is­ter my dis­ap­proval.

  9. Hel­lo. First of all, there is noth­ing like “Mohammedan Law” in the uni­verse. The laws that are giv­en in Koran are the laws of the cre­ator, Allah.

    Sec­ond­ly, Win­ston Churchill’s say­ing is absolute­ly wrong. There is noth­ing like “every woman must belong to some man as his absolute prop­er­ty either as a child, a wife, or con­cu­bine” in the Koran. The truth is Islam has always encour­aged the extinc­tion of slav­ery and pro­tect­ed to laws of women. Let me give you an exam­ple.

    In his final ser­mon, the last prophet said, “Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your part­ners and com­mit­ted helpers.”

    Please do more research on Islam if you want to learn its immense vision of life.

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