Sir Winston Churchill, who won the World War II for Britain, had strong affection towards Islam since his Childhood, as described in the letter written by Churchill’s sister-in-law to him. The family of Sir Winston Churchill warned him time and again to fight against his urge to convert to Islam revealed the newly discovered letter.
The former Prime Minister of Britain, who earned the victory for Britain with his courage and valor, was so attracted towards the teachings of Islam and the its cultural norms that his family became afraid of his possible conversion to Islam.
In 1907, Winston Churchill’s soon to be sister-in-law wrote a letter to him: “Please don’t become converted to Islam; I have noticed in your disposition a tendency to orientalise, 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.”
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This newly discovered letter found by Warren Dockter, a history professor at the Cambridge University, had been written by Lady Gwendoline Bertie who happened to marry with Churchill’s brother Jack.
Warren Dockter said that Churchill was an atheist since his teenage years but he, certainly, was attracted to Islam and if there was any religion he followed, it would certainly have been Islam.
“Churchill never seriously thought of converting to any religion,” Dr Dockter told the journalists in Britain. “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.”
Churchill remained closely associated with the Islamic society during his service tenure in Sudan as an officer of the British Army. Amazingly, he wrote a letter to Lady Lytton in 1907 in which he expressed his desire to become a Pasha one day. Pasha was a high ranked official in Ottoman Empire.
He would also wear Arabic clothes in private parties and he shared his fondness of Arabic clothes with his close friend the poet Wilfrid S. Blunt. But, Dr Docketer reiterated that despite Churchill’s affection towards Islam, his family should not have worried about him possible acceptance of the Islam.
“[Lady Gwendoline Bertie] was worried because Churchill was going on an African tour and she was aware of Churchill’s close bind with his friend, Wilfrid S. Blunt, who was a renowned Arabist, anti-imperialist and poet. Though he and Churchill were friends and wore Arabian dress at times for Blunt’s eccentric parties, they rarely agreed.”
When the World War 2 began, Churchill was the leading the Britain against the Nazi-Germany in the war. Churchill, to astonishment of his colleagues in war office, approved the establishment of London Central Mosque in the Regent’s park. He also put aside 100,000 pounds for construction of the mosque. It is said that Churchill did this to garner support from Muslim countries in the war but his old affection towards Islam might have influenced him too to take this step.
Churchill talked about this step in the House of Commons saying that many of Muslim countries had appreciated the construction of mosque in Britain and extended diplomatic support tin return.
Despite having shown his appreciation of Islam over and again, Churchill did not refrain from criticizing aspects of Islam which would not align with his own ideology. “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,” Chruchill wrote in “The River War”, his memoir of Sudan in 1899.
Churchill further said, “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralizes 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.”