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    IT is difficult for Americans, living in this Christian country, to understand the position of a missionary who goes into a Mohammedan community with the intention of converting its members.

    The problem is exactly that which would confront a Moslem hodja, or priest, should he appear with two or three veiled wives in a devout Methodist community in Michigan and open up a campaign in behalf of the Prophet. As for the results of education upon a Mohammedan, whenever he is made to doubt his own religion, when he is educated out of it, he generally becomes an atheist. The spectacle of the Great War has profoundly influenced all non-Christian peoples and has made missionary work more difficult than ever. "Christ is not the Prince of Peace," they say; and no amount of preaching can make them believe it. "Prince of Peace," they sneer, "He is the Prince of the submarine, the bomb-throwing aeroplane, poison gas, the machine gun." The supposed results of the teachings of Christ are more evident than the teachings themselves. One element of strength of the Mohammedan religion is that it is sincere and gives free play to the passions and impulses of man’s lower nature. Whatever the teachings of the Koran as to spreading its doctrines by the sword— for the interpreters of that sacred book are legion, and one may find anything he wishes in it—there is no doubt as to the example set by Mohammed, who founded his kingdom sword in hand, who was a polygamist, a robber of camel caravans and gave orders for the assassination of his enemies. This is not said in a spirit of defamation of the Prophet, but as a statement of well-known historic facts. While advocating many virtues, the Koran gives more play to the human passions and makes a greater appeal to the natural man than the asceticism of Christianity and hence spreads more rapidly among primitive peoples and those of a lower grade of civilization.


    [Ellopos' note: The previous paragraph, from the “element of strength of the Mohammedan religion” to the end, is totally wrong. It can be understood from the point of view of, e.g. Rousseau, yet for a Christian is wrong. Man does not have two natures, and he who lives to rape or to become rich, etc, ‘the man of the human passions’, the man who thinks about himself and doesn't care for the others, is not the ‘natural man’ in contrast with the civilised – who, in this case, would be unnatural - an artificial monster!
        All this misunderstanding comes from the notion of nature that developed in Western christendom in contrast with the Orthodox East. To be synoptic, Christianity in the West is mainly directed towards the outside – one should conform with this or that command, in order to do this and not do that, etc.: the nature of man is wild and has to be tamed by education and discipline. The result is atheism, barbarity, hypocrisy and cynisism. Christianity in the East, namely Orthodoxy, sees the nature of man as greater than even the angelic nature, so that the work of faith is not to impose a saintly discipline, but to direct man, through the closest possible free personal relationship, friendship and love, to one's inner real nature, covered by unnatural passions. From the viewpoint and the life of the Church in the East it becomes, then, obvious, that Islam does not have “a greater appeal to the natural man” – Islam has a greater appeal to the beast, while the nature of man is not beastly.]

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