London: Former British PM Sir Winston Churchill had high regards for Islam and may have thought of converting into a Muslim, says a history research fellow at Cambridge University citing an August 1907 letter.
Warren Dockter, a history research fellow at Cambridge University, stumbled upon a letter written to Churchill by his future sister-in-law, in which she pleads him to not get convert to Islam, reports the Sunday Telegraph.
Dr Dockter stumbled upon the book while researching for his forthcoming book, “Winston Churchill and the Islamic World: Orientalism, Empire and Diplomacy in the Middle East”.
“Please don’t become converted to Islam; I have noticed in your disposition a tendency to orientalise, Pasha-like tendencies, I really have,” the Telegraph report quotes Lady Gwendoline, who married Churchill’s brother Jack.
“If you come into contact with Islam your conversion might be effected with greater ease than you might have supposed, call of the blood, don’t you know what I mean, do fight against it,” she added.
The Telegraph cites another letter, written in the same year by Churchill himself to Lady Lytton, in which the British leader expresses the desire to be “like a pasha”.
“You will think me a pasha [rank of distinction in the Ottoman Empire]. I wish I were,” Churchill wrote.
Speaking to the Telegraph, the history research fellow Dockter says that Churchill was a great admired of the Islam religion and he culture of Orient as he had enough exposure to 'Islamic areas’ when he served in UK military and fought in Sudan and on the North West frontier of India.
Churchill's fascination with Islam can be understood by the fact that in October 1940, he approved plans to build a mosque in central London and set aside £100,000 for the project that later culminated in the building of London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park.