America vs America

Trump presidency deepens clash within: Ideals of equality and freedom vs its pre-1965 history.

Written by Ashutosh Varshney | Published:February 15, 2017 12:00 am
donald trump, US president, america, america clash, equality, america national identity, barack obama, muslim ban, trump muslim ban, american muslim, white muslim, american muslim protest, trump freedom, trump equality, indian express news, indian express column, world news US president Donald Trump (File Photo)

“Critics say that America is a lie because its reality falls so far short of its ideals. They are wrong. America is not a lie; it is a disappointment.

But it can be disappointment only because it is also a hope.” These epigrammatic lines, written in 1981 by Samuel Huntington, are hugely pertinent today. Trump’s rise and his first policy pronouncements are intimately connected with contestations over America’s identity.

Huntington’s epigrams expressed a long-held view of America’s national identity. Being American was not an ethnic identity. Rather, Americanness symbolised a political creed, or a set of ideas contained in the Declaration of Independence, 1776, which laid the foundations of the American Republic.

Three ideas were critical: Equality, freedom and republicanism. Unlike the “old world” Europeans, the “new world” Americans were free, not chained by historical tradition; they would be equal, not ranked by birth-based, ascriptive hierarchies; and they would govern themselves via elected representatives, not be ruled by a dynastic monarch.

In Europe, only one nation approximated these ideals, France, but only after the French Revolution, and not entirely resolutely. Elsewhere in Europe, ethnicity, linguistically expressed, was the foundation of nationhood (with the exception of Switzerland). Both the US and France were civic nations, not ethnic nations.

The dilemma, Huntington argued, was that societies can’t easily achieve these ideals in their fullness. Given human imperfections, these ideals, especially equality and freedom, were much too lofty. At the time of the Declaration of Independence, African Americans were neither free nor equal. Their slavery ended in 1864, terminating America’s founding contradiction between the ideal of freedom and the fact of slavery. But intense racial discrimination and violence continued. Only in the mid-1960s did African Americans achieve legal parity.

America is not a “lie”, said Huntington, because genuine progress towards freedom and equality had been made. But the pace of progress was “disappointing”. However, precisely because more progress can be made towards those ideals, “hope” would mark America’s evolution. The ideals of freedom and equality, though tough to attain, were far too deeply ingrained in the American psyche to be tossed permanently aside.

Huntington was not the only scholar to make these arguments. Moreover, the arc of agreement did not stop at American shores. Several major European scholars, most prominently Alexis de Tocqueville, had made similar claims.

How do these foundational ideas apply to Donald Trump?

They do not. In his world, and that of his supporters who got him elected, an alternative conception of American identity exists. In his influential book, Civic Ideals, Rogers Smith argues that the Huntington-Tocqueville idea of America is not the only idea that has reverberated in American history. Investigating more than a century of American legislation and judicial decisions on immigration and citizenship, Smith argues that these laws “manifested passionate beliefs that America … was a white nation, a Protestant nation, a nation in which true Americans were native-born men with Anglo-Saxon ancestors.” These “inegalitarian ascriptive traditions of Americanism” were not only used against blacks and indigenous Americans, but also against Irish and Italian immigrants, who were Catholic, and against Jews, all of whom were viewed as “inferior races” when they came to the US.

With respect to some non-white immigrant groups, American laws became especially draconian. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, later expanded into exclusion of all Asians, ensured that migration into the US was overwhelmingly white for many decades. Essentially, resentment against each new wave of migrants has repeatedly appeared in American history.

America’s national identity is thus not only about a set of ideals, especially freedom and equality. It is also about what Smith calls the ascriptive white superiority. It is against this long-standing duality that the Trump moment is to be viewed.

Though not without flaws, post-1965 US has been closest to the American ideals that the US has ever been. Externally, the immigration reform of 1965 ended national/racial quotas. As a result, after 1965, most immigration into the US became non-white. Hispanics from central and south America have been the biggest immigrant group and Mexicans the largest among them. Muslims from various parts of the world also arrived after 1965 (as did, incidentally, the Indian Americans, most of whom came to the US after the mid-1960s, as a new book, The Other One Percent, by Sanjoy Chakraborti, Devesh Kapur and Nirvikar Singh, meticulously documents).

Internally, the Voting and Civil Rights Acts, passed in 1964-65, severely undermined state laws that licensed racial discrimination, especially against African Americans. While the racial situation is far from ideal, it is noteworthy that at no point in American history have African Americans acquired such prominent positions in public life. In Obama, America had a black president for eight years, something inconceivable until some time back. Hispanics too have risen to the highest levels of the polity.

Census specialists now predict that by 2041, the US will cease to be a white-majority nation. It is this racial anxiety and the impending loss of white privilege that forms the bedrock of Trump’s base, strewn widely over middle America, as also in the smaller towns on the two coasts. It is especially concentrated among the non-college educated whites. The Protestant-Catholic divisions are no longer salient. A new white nationalism is reborn. The proposal to build a wall on the Mexican border and a ban on Muslim migration is the contemporary incarnation of white nationalism.

Against white nationalists are fighting those who defend the deepening of post-1965 American politics. Institutionally, the courts thus far are leading this fight (they did not always, and they may not). And in terms of mass support, hundreds of thousands, indeed millions, of Americans who have come out in protest, represent the post-1965 charge.

Notably, Trump’s temporary Muslim ban did not provoke only American Muslims to protest. Large numbers of non-Muslims, including thousands of whites, have come out in support of an American ideal they hold dear. Moreover, we also have the strong voice of women defending women’s dignity, mocked in such an unseemly manner by Trump.

In sum, the US is witnessing a deepening clash between those who wish to take the country to its political ideals of equality and freedom regardless of race and ethnicity, and those who wish to drag America back to its pre-1965 history. A political battle is underway.

The writer is director, Centre for Contemporary South Asia, Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University

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  1. R
    Rajat
    Feb 15, 2017 at 4:57 am
    Trump rose because liberals are still saying 'islamic' terrorism is a myth. hijab is liberating. There will be rise of even more vicious right wing movement with por support of a vast majority. Social media has exposed the hypocrisy of these so called 'liberals' and there will be the obvious backlash.
    Reply
    1. Z
      zizek
      Feb 15, 2017 at 5:13 am
      "Unlike the “old world” Europeans, the “new world” Americans were free, not chained by historical tradition." --- So, do you think that historical tradition only chains people? In saying so, you ignore the fact that people also derive a form of ideny from these traditions and it makes their life fulfilled. Further, it can't be expected even from human beings to not have a bonding with those who 'look' similar. So, the white people feel solidarity and are anxious that they may be reduced to minority in coming decades. If they had not felt this camaraderie, they would not have cared whether whites would be reduced to minority or not.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Your analysis is conventionally liberal and therefore, doesn't add anything to what has already been said. If you guys can't see the message underlying these populist revolts, then world will see more Trumps in coming years.
      Reply
      1. A
        ak dev
        Feb 15, 2017 at 8:54 pm
        It's time to create a separate country for liberals of the world where they can do whatever they want. Let them fight among themselves and let the majority live in peace. A minuscule of liberals think they have the right to decide for the majority. They had succeed so far but no more. Majority have understood that the liberals are in fact looting them and they want to get rid of liberals.
        Reply
        1. H
          Harsh
          Feb 15, 2017 at 12:52 pm
          It is unwise to think that the capitalist will do a socialist act however; one can expect some selective charity, but certainly not overall humanity.
          Reply
          1. S
            ss
            Feb 15, 2017 at 8:07 am
            No amount of political correctness can negate the fact that the home of the brave. the land of the free, the greatest society known to man, was the work of white men. Others simply piled on. It is no accident that the decline of America corresponds almost exactly to the rise of non white immigrants in the total potion. White privilege must be protected as it is the white man who made America what it is.
            Reply
            1. M
              M M
              Feb 15, 2017 at 11:51 am
              this bogus theoretical talk does not have any relevance in fast changing times
              Reply
              1. M
                Murthy
                Feb 15, 2017 at 7:17 am
                America's dilemma is, in some ways, similar to that of many other open and liberal societies: You help change your country's demography in the name of 'human rights and consutionalism'. But you can see signs that the people you let in, and/or, claiming long understood freedoms to spread their 'religious ideologies and policies' but through violence you are not sure how to react. Liberal and open societies are once more threatened by medieval ideologies. Should they keep their gates open for all comers or allow adherents of violent ideologies, their freedom to propagate themselves and their ideologies ??
                Reply
                1. M
                  Murthy
                  Feb 15, 2017 at 7:08 am
                  Some fair points. However, I am not sure that shared history and culture depend upon "looking similar". In and of itself, it is not complete to have the same appearance to form a Nation. Canadians are a separate country, although of similar looks to Americans. Don't forget the American Civil War was between people who 'looked similar' and, probably, were mostly white anglo-saxon protestants. However, America, still a white-majority country, faces major demographic changes, in the form of people who do not share the same history and culture, and indeed, religion, of the early settlers. These people will be a lot less liberal and may NOT respect the early settlers values. It is a problem for many European countries as well. Hence the agony over more refugees turning up at their doors.
                  Reply
                  1. C
                    C
                    Feb 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm
                    It is so nice to see admirers of Churchill beyond the confines of Conservative clubs in London. Now there was a true lover of Bharat.
                    Reply
                    1. P
                      pankaj
                      Feb 15, 2017 at 7:05 am
                      D-u-m-b people from humanities. lt;br/gt;He sayslt;br/gt;[[lt;br/gt;Three ideas were critical: Equality, freedom and republicanism. lt;br/gt;]]lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Any idea equality of what? Equality of blacks with white, equality of Red Indians with white, equality of who?? D-u-m-b-o, it was fake equality of whites and really all whites? no, it was fake equality of rich whites? all rich whites, no fake equality of rich whites of particular ethnicity... lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;----It is very difficult for people trained in humanities to understand proper reasoning, they go by quotes and a vague idea based on 10 latest quotes circling in their mind... America was created by and for european migrants nobody else was equal to them, hence Africans sta as slave and red-indians got almost wiped out, their descendants are today those broad shoulder short in height illegal immigrants called mexicans.. Notion of equality even with-in whites was fake because the elites and rich had far greater say in america from the very beginning. America was elitist society from the very beginning but the elite among themselves pretended to be equal. So it is a hierarchy where at any level you pretend equality, so all billionaires are equal, all millionaires are equal, all middle cl are equal, all african americans are equal, all red-indians are equal... but only among their own groups. The equality you see in USA is thanks to its richness and that in itself is thanks to a vast amaingly resource rich continent that europeans immigrants got for themselves. And then a timely world war helped them become the leading nation after destruction of G-e-r-m-a-n-y, while G-e-r-m-a-n-y more or less invented most of the modern technology and even warfare systems.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;If you compare US with G-e-r-m-a-n-y or J-a-p-a-n at any given time, the real equality is much less in US than in those countries. In reality, US is less equal than India, but because of poverty the inequality is easily visible in India in the form of lack of basic amenities, fight for very basic things etc.
                      Reply
                      1. P
                        pankaj
                        Feb 15, 2017 at 7:07 am
                        and what the h-e-l-l- is republicanism??? and guess what america was never equal in for any religion but christianity, that is another pretension.
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          Raman Govindan
                          Feb 15, 2017 at 10:38 am
                          none has clean hands among the political parties and top politicians of USA. Carter a nobel peace winning former democratic president of USA, laid the foundation for jihadi, terrorism and fundamental religious atude in Afghanistan and stan by supporting them against the then marxist and secular USSR for snubbing it. . the baton was taken up by Reagon and nurtured by the presidents following him. the region had gone from bad to worse from that day onwards. it reduced our growth rate also.
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            Raju
                            Feb 15, 2017 at 9:45 am
                            Any honest study of the Bible must acknowledge that man, as God’s special creation, has been blessed with certain “human rights.” Any true student of the Bible will be stimulated toward ideals such as equity and justice and benevolence. America’s founding fathers put it well: “all men are created equal . . . endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Such a statement accords well with Scripture. The Bible says that man is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Because of this, man has a certain dignity and was given dominion over the rest of creation (Genesis 1:26).lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The image of God in man also means that murder is a most heinous crime. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, / by man shall his blood be shed; / for in the image of God / has God made man” (Genesis 9:6). The severity of the punishment underscores the severity of the offense. The Mosaic Law is full of examples of how God expects everyone to be treated humanely. The Ten Commandments contain prohibitions against murder, theft, coveting, adultery, and bearing false testimony. These five laws promote the ethical treatment of our fellow man. Other examples in the Law include commands to treat immigrants well (Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33-34), to provide for the poor (Leviticus 19:10; Deuteronomy 15:7-8), to grant interest-free loans to the poor (Exodus 22:25), and to release all indentured servants every fifty years (Leviticus 25:39-41).lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The Bible teaches that God does not discriminate or show favoritism (Acts 10:34). Every person is a unique creation of His, and He loves each one (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9). “Rich and poor have this in common: / The LORD is the Maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2). In turn, the Bible teaches that Christians should not discriminate based on race, gender, cultural background, or social standing (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11; James 2:1-4). We are to be kind to all (Luke 6:35-36). The Bible gives strict warnings against taking advantage of the poor and downtrodden. “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31).lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Instead, God’s people are to help whoever is in need (Proverbs 14:21; Matthew 5:42; Luke 10:30-37). Throughout history, most Christians have understood their responsibility to aid their fellow human beings. The majority of hospitals and orphanages in our world were founded by concerned Christians. Many of the great humanitarian reforms of history, including abolition, were spearheaded by Christian men and women seeking justice.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Today, Christians are still working to combat human rights abuses and to promote the welfare of all people. As they preach the Gospel around the world, they are digging wells, planting crops, giving clothes, dispensing medicine, and providing education for the desute. This is as it should be. There is a sense in which the Christian has no “rights” of his own, because he has surrendered his life to Christ. Christ “owns” the believer. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). But God’s authority over us does not negate God’s image in us. Our submission to the will of God does not annul God’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 23:39). In fact, we serve God most when we serve others (Matthew 25:40).
                            Reply
                            1. V
                              Vijay Kumar
                              Feb 15, 2017 at 9:08 am
                              Har koib apne ko Philospher samajhta hai. Anpad log.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                sdas
                                Feb 15, 2017 at 11:56 am
                                The biggest " lie " is the liberal press trying to undermine the current President while trying to hold up the last President on a pedestal despite the fact he was probably the worst to serve the White House. Lets not fool ourselves.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  SP
                                  Feb 15, 2017 at 10:44 am
                                  Even though US is called land of immigrants at the end of the day any country becomes the land of the dominant, who is more forceful may or may not be majority. White, Christian ethos dominate USA.
                                  Reply
                                  1. u
                                    us_a
                                    Feb 15, 2017 at 1:45 pm
                                    How do you define worst? Must be reading Breitbart a lot to come to such a conclusion.
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      Mubshir Nabi
                                      Feb 15, 2017 at 6:38 am
                                      Trumphism- a bellicose and melevolent ideology.The ideology with high cerude of chagrining others.Such ideologies could take us back to the period of history having a vestige of bloodshed and slavish.Before this happens we must confront these diabolic philosphies conjointly like a cohort.
                                      Reply
                                      1. S
                                        SURENDER VIG
                                        Feb 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm
                                        CHURCHILL ON ISLAMlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Unbelievable, but the speech below was written in 1899...lt;br/gt;(check Wikipedia - The River War).lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The attached short speech from Winston Churchill, was delivered by him in 1899 when he was a young soldier and journalist. lt;br/gt;It probably sets out the current views of many, but expresses in the wonderful Churchillian turn of phrase and use of the English language, lt;br/gt;of which he was a past master. Sir Winston Churchill was, without doubt, one of the greatest men of the late 19th and 20th centuries.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;He was a brave young soldier, a brilliant journalist, an extraordinary politician and statesman, a great war leader and British Prime Minister, lt;br/gt;to whom the Western world must be forever in his debt. lt;br/gt;He was a prophet in his own time. He died on 24th January 1965, at the g old age of 90 and, after a lifetime of service to his country, was accorded a State funeral.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;HERE IS THE SPEECH:lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! lt;br/gt;Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. lt;br/gt;The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, lt;br/gt;and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;A degraded sensualist deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sancy. lt;br/gt;The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, lt;br/gt;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.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. lt;br/gt;No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.lt;br/gt;It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianitylt;br/gt;is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of lt;br/gt;modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome .....
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          SURENDER VIG
                                          Feb 15, 2017 at 12:41 pm
                                          Trump has learnt from history as if he does not,he will be doomed to repeat it.He has understood the perils of RADICAL ISLAM and has taken timely steps.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;CHURCHILL ON ISLAMlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Unbelievable, but the speech below was written in 1899...lt;br/gt;(check Wikipedia - The River War).lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The attached short speech from Winston Churchill, was delivered by him in 1899 when he was a young soldier and journalist. lt;br/gt;It probably sets out the current views of many, but expresses in the wonderful Churchillian turn of phrase and use of the English language, lt;br/gt;of which he was a past master. Sir Winston Churchill was, without doubt, one of the greatest men of the late 19th and 20th centuries.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;He was a brave young soldier, a brilliant journalist, an extraordinary politician and statesman, a great war leader and British Prime Minister, lt;br/gt;to whom the Western world must be forever in his debt. lt;br/gt;He was a prophet in his own time. He died on 24th January 1965, at the g old age of 90 and, after a lifetime of service to his country, was accorded a State funeral.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;HERE IS THE SPEECH:lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! lt;br/gt;Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. lt;br/gt;The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, lt;br/gt;and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;A degraded sensualist deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sancy. lt;br/gt;The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, lt;br/gt;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.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. lt;br/gt;No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.lt;br/gt;It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianitylt;br/gt;is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of lt;br/gt;modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome .....
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            SURENDER VIG
                                            Feb 15, 2017 at 12:49 pm
                                            Trump is crticized by liberals who have not read history.I think he has gone through Indian History thoroughly and appreciates how India was parioned in 1947 on religious lines and first stan was created as a Muslim State and after bloody war of 1971,it was divided and Bangladesh came into being.Both these countries have ensured that Hindus must either convert or get out,Hindu potion in these countries has dwindled to almost zero.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;You are saying about Christianity;what about Radical Islamdian subcontinent has seen the barbarianism and India has stan and Bangladesh mostly inhabited by Hindus converted to Islam due to coercion and brutality.History,dominated by West,has not shown much about this side of Islam.USA has realised it and Trump has taken a tough stand to prevent Islamisation of USA.He has learnt from history so that it is not repeated stupidly.Americans do not foersee as most of them are not concerned as they ,today ,have too much of everything.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;CHURCHILL ON ISLAMlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Unbelievable, but the speech below was written in 1899...lt;br/gt;(check Wikipedia - The River War).lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The attached short speech from Winston Churchill, was delivered by him in 1899 when he was a young soldier and journalist. lt;br/gt;It probably sets out the current views of many, but expresses in the wonderful Churchillian turn of phrase and use of the English language, lt;br/gt;of which he was a past master. Sir Winston Churchill was, without doubt, one of the greatest men of the late 19th and 20th centuries.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;He was a brave young soldier, a brilliant journalist, an extraordinary politician and statesman, a great war leader and British Prime Minister, lt;br/gt;to whom the Western world must be forever in his debt. lt;br/gt;He was a prophet in his own time. He died on 24th January 1965, at the g old age of 90 and, after a lifetime of service to his country, was accorded a State funeral.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;HERE IS THE SPEECH:lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! lt;br/gt;Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. lt;br/gt;The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, lt;br/gt;and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;A degraded sensualist deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sancy. lt;br/gt;The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, lt;br/gt;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.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. lt;br/gt;No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.lt;br/gt;It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianitylt;br/gt;is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of lt;br/gt;modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome .....lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;CHURCHILL ON ISLAMlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Unbelievable, but the speech below was written in 1899...lt;br/gt;(check Wikipedia - The River War).lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The attached short speech from Winston Churchill, was delivered by him in 1899 when he was a young soldier and journalist. lt;br/gt;It probably sets out the current views of many, but expresses in the wonderful Churchillian turn of phrase and use of the English language, lt;br/gt;of which he was a past master. Sir Winston Churchill was, without doubt, one of the greatest men of the late 19th and 20th centuries.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;He was a brave young soldier, a brilliant journalist, an extraordinary politician and statesman, a great war leader and British Prime Minister, lt;br/gt;to whom the Western world must be forever in his debt. lt;br/gt;He was a prophet in his own time. He died on 24th January 1965, at the g old age of 90 and, after a lifetime of service to his country, was accorded a State funeral.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;HERE IS THE SPEECH:lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! lt;br/gt;Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. lt;br/gt;The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, lt;br/gt;and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;A degraded sensualist deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sancy. lt;br/gt;The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, lt;br/gt;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.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. lt;br/gt;No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.lt;br/gt;It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianitylt;br/gt;is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of lt;br/gt;modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome .....
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