Page 205

IN

THE SHADOW OF ISLAM

125

sentiment in their religion, not unlike, to use a simile, the overdose of romanticism in literature which tends inevitably towards general decadence, has affected the moral and intellectual standpoint of all these people, just as in El Islam the ignorant interpretation of

the Koran, which the Arab's limited reasoning power has crystallised into falsity, has affected the mental attitude of Northern Africa. In this

we

trace the real

weakness of Islam

—

it is practised of the dictates follow races inferior to those who intellectually by It may be pointed out that this implies a corresponding Christ.

inferiority in the creed of the saving faith itself ; but it has been suggested by more than one authority that none of the three

great religions of the world are, in a wide sense, inferior to each " other.' New truths, old truths, sirs, there is nothing new all possible to be revealed to us in the moral world ; we know that we shall ever know, and it is for simply reminding us, by their various respective expedients, how we do know this and that

other matter, that men get called prophets, poets and the like." The contradictions offered in the pages of the Koran are as ""

open to generous interpretation as are those of the Bible, and side by side with violent words and bloody appeals to force, are found is simplicity precepts of charity and even justice, while the dogma

The

itself.

secret, therefore, of religious degradation probably the creed than in the limited mentality of those who and it would be extreme to sympathise with the opinion

lies less in

follow

it,

of the blind and embittered precursor of Omar Khayyam ^ that the inhabitants of the earth divide themselves into two categories

— those

gifted with intelligence

and without

with religion but deprived of intelligence.

religion,

and those

There

very

is

little

doubt that the low moral status of the Mohamedans of Africa, and, in another degree, of the Andalusians of Spain, springs not limitations only from a fanatical form of faith, but from mental '

^

Compare

in this connection an Imperial letter published in

R. Browning.

^

Germany in 1903.

Abou'l-'Ala 'Al-Ma

'arri.

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In the track of the Moors -Sketches in Spain and Northern Africa  

Impressions of Spain.- Andalusia.- Granada.- Origins of Moorish architecture in Spain.- The Moorish gardens of Spain.- Arabesque and Azulejo...

In the track of the Moors -Sketches in Spain and Northern Africa  

Impressions of Spain.- Andalusia.- Granada.- Origins of Moorish architecture in Spain.- The Moorish gardens of Spain.- Arabesque and Azulejo...

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