4 AUGUST 1984, Page 17

One hundred years ago

European civilisation cannot be grafted on a Mussulman stock. Mohamedanism has been in the world for twelve centuries, and its capacity for civilisation has been tested among every variety of people and in every variety of circumstances; and the result has been everywhere the same. Civilised govern- ment, as we understand it, has always been found incompatible with Mussul- man rule. And the reason is plain. There are four cardinal doctrines which are of the essence of Islam, and which bar for ever the path of progress and civilisation. These are the eternal in- feriority of the non-Mussulman to the Mussulman in civil and religious life; the institution of polygamy and con- cubinage, with practically unlimited di- vorce; the slavery of non-Mussulmans; and prohibition of free inquiry.

Spectator, 2 August 1884