Moslems, by Hilaire Belloc and Gabriel Oussari


"I cannot but believe that a main unexpected thing of the future is the return of Islam."

Thus warned Hilaire Belloc in 1936 -- long before the Christian West permitted millions of Moslems to immigrate and proliferate, building thousands of new mosques in the United States and Europe, including a huge one in Rome itself a few years ago. Belloc's essay on Moslems, together with five important and meaty Catholic Encyclopedia articles by scholar Gabriel Oussani in 1908, comprise this valuable book. Major themes:

  • What Mohammed actually taught. 
  • What's in the Koran? A healthy sampling
  • How close the Moslems came -- as recently as three centuries ago -- to dominating Europe by force
  • Mohammed's personal background, lineage, wives, offspring, disciples
  • Islam and women
  • Why the Moslem military threat was so real...and then collapsed
  • Why it's a mistake to think Moslems can't adapt to, and use, technology
  • The real origins and astonishingly rapid development of Islam
  • Why it remains a potent religious force to this day
  • Where Catholics and Moslems can agree doctrinally
  • Islam's corrosive effect on culture and its own people
  • Paradoxically, why it enjoyed a period of high culture and intellectual achievement
  • All about the Crusades (and why do Church leaders apologize for them?)
  • Christianity in Arabia: once dominant, then dominated by Mohammedans (not a pleasant fate, then or now)
  • Belloc and Oussani's writings make it abundantly clear that Moslems and Christians don't mix very well. The lesson: Christians need to reproduce to survive. Just as important: Christians cannot share political power with sworn enemies without dire consequences for their children and grandchildren.

Belloc on the threat -- in 1936

"Religion is at the root of all political movements and changes, and since we have here a very great religion physically paralyzed but morally intensely alive, we are in the presence of an unstable equilibrium....The suggestion that Islam may re-arise sounds fantastic -- but this is only because men are always powerfully affected by the immediate past: one might say they are blinded by it....The second period of Islamic power may be delayed -- but I doubt whether it can be permanently postponed."