Rabat - Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Sir Winston Churchill was urged by his family to 'fight against' the desire to convert to the Islamic religion, according to a newly-discovered letter.
Rabat – Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Sir Winston Churchill was urged by his family to ‘fight against’ the desire to convert to the Islamic religion, according to a newly-discovered letter.
According to the Independent, the letter was found by a Cambridge University historian, Warren Dockter while researching for his book ‘Winston Churchill and the Islamic World: Orientalism, Empire and Diplomacy in the Middle East’.
“Please don’t become converted to Islam; I have noticed in your disposition a tendency to orientalise, Pasha-like tendencies, I really have,” says the letter from Churchill’s future sister-in-law Lady Gwendoline Bertie, dated August 1907.
“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 Bertie who was soon to marry Churchill’s brother Jack, added.
The Prime Minister who led Britain to victory in World War Two had an opportunity to experience living in an Islamic society when he served as an officer of the British Army in Sudan.
Churchill even dressed in Arab clothes in private and wrote in the letter that he “Wished he were a Pasha,” a rank of distinction in the Ottoman Empire.
The British Politician was interested in Islam but “never seriously considered converting, Dr. 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.
Churchill might have voiced his admiration for Islam, but he was not uncritical.
“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,” Churchill wrote in 1899 about his experience in Sudan titled, The River War.