Tuesday, 13 March 2012

It's always interesting to read perspectives on Islam from the era before political correctness cast its blight upon the western world, driving honest discussion from mainstream public discourse out to the margins, before it finally made a glorious comeback on the blogosphere.

I was reading a book about the history of "human rights" and came across a reference to a James Lorimer who, in the nineteenth century, argued that Islamic states should be excluded from the family of nations. Intrigued, I did some googling.

Lorimer, it seems, was a Scottish professor of law and one of the founders of the Institut du Droit International, an organisation that played a leading role in shaping what is called (wrongly, in my view) international law.

Lorimer believed that the Islamic ethical system was so radically distinct from that found among the rest of humankind that Islamic nations should be excluded from the sphere of international relations and not granted recognition as legitimate sovereign actors. In his book "The institutes of the law of nations; a treatise of the jural relations of separate political communities" (1883), he wrote:
To talk of the recognition of Mahometan States as a question of time, is to talk nonsense. Unless we are all to become Mahometans, that is a time which
Mahometanism itself tells us can never come. We are thus
driven to assume towards it the same uncompromising attitude
which it presents to us. So long as Islam endures, the recon-
ciliation of its adherents, even with Jews and Christians, and
still more with the rest of mankind, must continue to be an
insoluble problem
; and it is a problem, unhappily, which
presents itself not only to the whole of Europe in the Eastern
question, but to the Russians and to us in Asia, and to the
French in North Africa, in each case on a prodigious scale.
To us it is aggravated by our national traditions and feelings,
which forbid us to refuse to any portion of mankind the
ultimate prospect of self-government. But prejudice, when
based on false dogma, is the toughest of all forms of error,
and these religions will die hard. For an indefinite future,
however reluctantly, we must confine our political recognition
to the professors of those religions which, by conscious or
unconscious processes, have been reasoned out from the facts
of nature, and which preach the doctrine of ''live and let

Now that we know so much more about the unique evil of Mohammedanism, it behooves us to take note of the few discerning minds who perceived it long ago. We should pay their prescience the tribute it is due.


Anonymous said...

Not just James Lorimer but dozens of scholars and statesmen such as Churchill, thought that Islam and Muslims should be cordoned off from the civilised world.

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