Wednesday, August 30, 2006


A reader complains about my use of the term Mohammedan. He says that his dictionary says that the term is archaic, and not favored by Muslims.

I am just using the word in its ordinary dictionary meaning. I realize that there are those who are inventing new terms like Islamist, Islamic Fascist, Islamofascist, Islamonazi, Jihadist, etc. None of these terms have generally accepted definitions yet, and they are not favored by people who call themselves Muslims. Perhaps I'll use one of those terms as well. I will continue to use the term Mohammedan because it is the most accurate and inoffensive term I can find for the followers of Mohammad.

I found this in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia:
After Mohammed's death Mohammedanism aspired to become a world power and a universal religion. ... Mohammedanism now comprises various theological schools and political factions. ...

It is hardly necessary here to emphasize the fact that the ethics of Islam are far inferior to those of Judaism and even more inferior to those of the New Testament. ...

Religion and the State are not separated in Islam. Hence Mohammedan jurisprudence, civil and criminal, is mainly based on the Koran and on the "Traditions". ... Slavery is not only tolerated in the Koran, but is looked upon as a practical necessity, ...

In matters political Islam is a system of despotism at home and aggression abroad. The Prophet commanded absolute submission to the imâm. In no case was the sword to be raised against him. The rights of non-Moslem subjects are of the vaguest and most limited kind, and a religious war is a sacred duty whenever there is a chance of success against the "Infidel". Medieval and modern Mohammedan, especially Turkish, persecutions of both Jews and Christians are perhaps the best illustration of this fanatical religious and political spirit.
This is not an objective source, of course, but might be representative of the Catholic view in 1910.

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