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Churchill warns of Islamic threat, recounts grandfather’s legacy

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)–Radical Islam poses to Western civilization a threat similar to that of the Nazis and the Soviets, Winston Churchill said Sept. 26 at Union University.

Churchill -– author, journalist, former Member of Parliament and grandson of the former British prime minister -– spoke before about 1,800 people at Union’s 10th annual Scholarship Banquet to raise funds for students scholarships.

“Together we have overcome far more powerful enemies than those that assail us today,” Churchill said. “I have every confidence that, in confronting this new challenge, America and Britain -– together with our allies -– can prevail and shall prevail, just as together we have triumphed in the past.”

Churchill noted his grandfather’s crusade against the Nazis and the Soviets and his efforts to woo the support of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the fight.

“By the power of his oratory, he persuaded his fellow countrymen -– though the situation seemed hopeless -– not to surrender in those crucial weeks of late May/early June 1940, when all effective resistance to the Nazis on the continent of Europe had come to an end and many, including the friends of Britain abroad, thought that we were finished,” Churchill said. “It was this alone that made possible -– once America joined the fray some 18 months later -– the liberation of the nations of occupied Europe and the ultimate defeat of Nazi Germany.”

If it weren’t for his grandfather’s resolute opposition to Germany, Churchill said the Nazi swastika might still be flying over Buckingham Palace, the houses of Parliament and the capitals of Europe.

One of the qualities that made Churchill so successful as a leader was his prescience, the younger Churchill said. His grandfather was one of the first to warn about the dangers that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union presented. The former prime minister also spoke about the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism 85 years ago, and the younger Churchill said recent events have proven his grandfather to be prophetic.

The threat from radical Islam comes in two forms, Churchill said. The first is the global terrorist threat that everyone recognizes. The second is a demographic threat confronting Europe.

For example, Churchill pointed to the population trends in France, where 10 percent of the population is Islamic. But among those 20 years of age and younger, that percentage rises to 30 percent. Given the rates at which Muslims reproduce, that means France will be an Islamic state in only one generation.

“Europe is sleepwalking towards disaster,” Churchill said. “We would sooner commit national suicide than be accused of being politically incorrect.”

Churchill concluded his remarks by examining the essence of leadership, as embodied by his grandfather.

“It comprises many elements: knowledge, wisdom, prescience, honor and courage,” Churchill said. “As Winston Churchill himself declared, ‘Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality which guarantees all others.’”

Previous keynote speakers for the scholarship banquet include George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, Rudy Giuliani, Colin Powell and Lou Holtz.

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth
    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.Read All by Tim Ellsworth ›