Reasons for Christianity s Advance
By: Ayatullah Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari
Two sorts of religion exist — "Revealed" and "Natural". Today both suffer from such deformities that nearly all their manifestations not only have ceased to grow but in fact daily dwindle towards extinction. Apart from Islam, Christianity is the only exception, since it makes such enormous efforts on a world-scale that it is expanding all the time, and therefore is coming to confront the almost equally widespread Islam all over the place.
A conjunction of factors favors Christianity's spread. The world-climate is propitious. Popular thinking is easily influenced by skillful propaganda to move in any desired direction. This is due both to mankind's innate suggestibility and also to the subliminal effects of modern advertising techniques. The social renascence of recent centuries has made these techniques a life-and-death matter. In this crisis Christian leaders have launched a global campaign, with the full weight of the various Christian bodies behind it, to put Christianity within reach of everyone everywhere.
While waves of religious propaganda thus flood over these civilized peoples, lust for the brilliance of materialism sets limits to men's thinking and robs them of the ability to go deep into moral and spiritual questions. Men are so fascinated by the manifestations of material prosperity that they are turned aside from the pursuit of truth and from the quest for the treasures of the spirit.
All the factors enumerated above have combined to help Christianity flood the world with the irrational tenets that are so ineradicably rooted in Western minds and spirits.
It cannot be said that our own Islamic efforts at propaganda have been either energetic or effective. We have been so unschooled in the elementary essentials of successful publicity that we have nothing to declare. Yet the shining force of Islam's holy doctrines could be made to meet the crying needs of man, if we changed.
For centuries, Islam has made no noteworthy effort at propaganda. After the first outburst of its revolutionary up rush from the Arab homeland, Islamic landowners and viziers have preferred to maintain the status quo for their own comfort. Meantime schism split Muslim unity. As a consequence Islam lost political supremacy in world affairs, and its various portions fell victims to Western imperialism piecemeal.
Church Resources and Organization
Christianity was launched without any definitive social principles, laws or system for running affairs. This deficiency long prevented Christian spiritual leadership from interfering in social, political or governmental matters. So it continued until the sixth century of the Christian era.
On Christmas Day AD 800 the king of the Franks was crowned "Caesar" and transferred some of his territory to the over lordship of the Pope. With this began the epoch of Christian leadership's supremacy and glory. The Church grew in power and wealth. Conflicts over the control of power arose between political and religious leaders. Europe fell prey to the oppressive wars of Popes and Emperors.
People who regarded the Church as the manifestation of the spirituality of Christ were stubborn partisans of the clergy: and by their help the Church's temporal power and influence increased daily until its unrivalled hegemony was fastened upon the nations of Europe.
In early days, before deep rifts split Christianity, each Christian city had its "Bishop" and groups of neighboring cities were jointly administered by an "Archbishop" or "Patriarch". he Bishop of Rome gradually came to assume supreme authority as Pope (which means "papa" of all Christians). He interfered in all religious matters, including the appointment and dismissal of Bishops and Archbishops.
Finally this became too much for the "metropolitan patriarchs" of Constantia (i.e. Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul), and they decided to withdraw from Papal jurisdiction and set up a separate domain of their own, in recognition of the fact that the imperial capital of the Empire had been moved from Rome to Istanbul. After a series of violent clashes between the Pope and Istanbul Patriarchs, final separation occurred in AD 1052. Christianity split into two camps.
Eastern Europe was subject to the Constantinian clergy, self-styled "Orthodox". Western Europe from Poland to Spain remained obedient to the Pope as self-styled "Catholics". These two religious bodies followed different rites and hurled charges of heresy at each other.
In the early 16th century a third body formed itself in Europe, initiated by Luther and styled "Protestant". Luther and his followers started by opposing the Pope's habit of selling sites in heaven together with "indulgences" remitting sins: and went on to attempt to reform the whole Church and purge it of errors and corruptions.
They only succeeded in creating another split in the unity and simplicity of Christ's religion: the huge number of people who followed Luther in rejecting papal authority and sacerdotal dogma became a third sect including most of northern Europe.
The Pope's absolute power in Catholic Europe of the 12th and 13th centuries provoked its inevitable reaction. A number of heretical movements arose promoting doctrines condemned by the Papal Office. So great became the anxiety of the Pope and of the Catholic party about these insurrectionary movements that in 1215 AD the Pope set up the "Inquisition" to combat and eradicate such heresies. The Inquisition had branches in every city of France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Spain and other Christian lands. Persons accused of heresy were hauled up before the inquisitors, and, if condemned, suffered severe penalties.
This institution used its excessive powers in such a way as to suppress all freedom of thought. Anyone suspected of ideas and opinions regarded as contrary to those held by the Church was subjected to hellish tortures. These courts even sometimes passed sentence for heresy on the dead, ordering the disinterment of their coffins— a process described by Will Durant in his "History of Civilization" (vol.18, p.35) thus: "The 'Court for the Inspection of Ideas, Laws and Religion', had a legal procedure all its own. Before a local assizes of the Court was held, the 'Faith-ace (Auto da Fe) was read from all Church pulpits, demanding that information be laid against anyone suspected of atheism, irreligion or heresy: and that such persons be hauled before the Court of Inspection.
Neighbors, friends and relatives were encouraged to turn informer. Informers were promised complete secrecy and protection. Anyone who harbored an atheist, or failed to denounce him, was himself incarcerated, and threatened with the church's excommunication, curse and ban. Sometimes the dead were charged with atheism and blasphemy.
Special ceremonies were employed for their judicial condemnation. Their property was confiscated: their heirs were stripped of their inheritance. From 30 to 50% of the property of a deceased person who was condemned were given to the successful accuser. Trial by ordeal assumed different forms in different times and places.
Sometimes the accused man's arms were bound behind his back and he was suspended from them. Sometimes he was so bound that he could make no movements and then water was poured down his throat so that he died of suffocation. Sometimes ropes were tied so tight round arms and legs that they cut through flesh to the bone."
So powerful did the Christian hierarchy become in Europe that no fewer than ten kings and political leaders of Germany and France were excommunicated by Popes. Some great landed proprietors lost all. Some were compelled to do public penance. Thus in AD 1075 Pope Gregory VII excommunicated the Emperor of Germany, Henry IV, for disregarding a Papal Firman, and told him that he must give up his throne.
Henry promptly donned penitent's garb and hurried to the Papal Court, where the Pope kept him waiting three days before receiving him, accepting his repentance and granting him absolution.
In 1141 Pope Innocent II excommunicated Louis VII. In 1205 Pope Innocent II excommunicated King John of England for attacking certain bishops.
Finally John felt compelled to send a message to the Pope saying: "An angelic messenger bade me supplicate Jesus and His Apostle, our benefactor Pope Innocent, and his catholic successors, on behalf of England and Ireland. From henceforth we hold these kingdoms as Viceroy of the Pope and the hierarchy, and have commanded that the sum of £1,000 English be paid to the Roman ecclesiastical coffers annually, in half-yearly installments of £500 each, in silver. Should I or any of my successors on the English throne transgress against the purport of this decree, we forfeit right to the English sovereignty."2.
The same author writes: "During this period 5,000,000 people were punished for offences against orthodox thought, or contravention of a papal decree. They were hanged on the gallows; or left in the pitchy dark of well-like dungeons. In the 18 years, 1481-99, the Inquisition burnt 1,020 people alive, sawed 6,860 asunder, tortured 97,023 to death." 3
Victor Hugo wrote: "The real history of the Church will be read not on the pages, but between the lines, of the official annals. The Church caused Parnili to be whipped within an inch of his life for declaring that 'stars do not fall from their appointed paths.'
The Church cast Campland into prison 27 times for claiming that innumerable other worlds besides earth exist. The Church tortured Harvey for the crime of proving that the blood circulates through the arteries and veins of the body.
The Church incarcerated Galileo for claiming that the earth orbits round the sun, in contradiction of theories put forward in the Old and New Testaments. The Church imprisoned Christopher Columbus for discovering a land not mentioned by St. Paul.
They claimed that it was sacrilege to discover laws of the heavenly bodies, or the orbit of the earth, or an unforeseen continent not foretold in scripture. The Church excommunicated Pascal and Montey for immorality, and Muller for sacrilege and immorality."4
The Church also exercised her power against Islam. On the pretext of treeing Jerusalem, she launched campaigns of bloodshed and atrocity in what she called "Wars for the Cross" or "Crusades", during the years 1095 to 1270.
Although the prime cause of these wars was the hatred and jealousy of Islam nursed by the Pope and the hierarchy, they stirred up the common people to enlist by false promises of loot and by ingenious calumny against the Muslims. Pope Urban II called a congress of clergy and religious leaders to decree a war against Muslims: at which the Pope ordered all bishops and clergy to enlist men for the battle against the Muslims, and himself led the recruiting campaign in France.
So vast was the first army that started out for Jerusalem that it seemed as if all Europe were afoot toward Asia. Some say there were as many as a million men on the march. En route these plundered, burned, mutilated and drowned the local citizens.
They slew soldiers and civilians alike, women and children included. When they finally took Jerusalem in 1099, three years after the start, only 20,000 survived out of the original million. Civil wars and pestilence followed this "Christian" sacrifice of myriads of their own and of other nationals.
In the words of Gustave Le Bon: "The atrocities committed by the Crusaders against friends and foes, against soldiers and innocent peasants, against women and children, against old and young, give them top place in the annals of savagery.
One of their number, Robert the Monk, wrote: 'Our army raged through alleys and piazzas and over the flat roofs of adjoining houses like a mother lion robbed of her whelps, rampaging, tearing children to shreds in savage delight. We put old and young to the sword. To speed up the work we used one rope's loop to hang many people together.
Soldiers stole anything that came to hand, even ripping open the bowels of corpses in their search for jewels or coins. Whatever they found they pocketed. Finally, Bohemond assembled all the survivors—men and women, maimed and helpless, together—in the castle, and butchered them all, saving only the young for sale in the Antioch slave- market.'
And Godfrey Hardouinville reported to the Pope: 'In Jerusalem Muslims who fell into our hands were slain by our people in Solomon's porch until the temple precincts flowed knee-high with blood'." 5
The Inquisition's torture of the learned and thinking class of its day roused an inevitable reaction against the Church. Independent-minded scientists pushed on with their work, despite severe censorship, until Church bigotry was compelled to beat a retreat and leave the road open for enlightened study and investigation.
But by now scientists had come to regard all religion as the partisan of superstition, of ignorance, and of the suppression of science and erudition. The atrocities of the Crusades and barbarities of the Inquisition aroused abhorrence and suspicion in the popular mind against every form of religion.
In Russia, too, the Church's neglect of the poor and destitute, and patronage of the rich, roused a reaction which aided the rise of the communist movement, and caused its leaders to declare war on religion, stigmatizing the religious as "capitalist lackeys and exploiters of the working class," and declaring that it was only "by obliterating the myth of God from the mind of man" that the revolution of liberty, equality and fraternity could be realized.
Ferdof, in his book "Religion in the U.S.S.R." (p.7), writes: "In Czarist Russia the Church owned vast properties in lands, buildings and furnishings, with millions of robles in gold in the banks. She drew an income from forests, pastures, fisheries, commerce, industry and much else.
In fact, the Church was the biggest capitalist of all, the biggest landowner, the biggest banker of Russia. She mercilessly exploited merchants, small and large. She made no attempt to improve industrial working conditions. So great was the hatred this conduct aroused amongst working and shop keeping classes that the clergy were called `wolves in priests' clothing'."
Christianity, in its day the preserver of ancient manners and customs, the conservative reactionary, has today learned to strengthen its own foundations by adding to its brilliant historic past all that science and culture has to offer to modern genius.
The Catholic Church alone wields 4,000 propaganda organs spread all over the globe. Their budget enables them to extend their efforts at conversion to darkest Congo, to remotest Tibet and to the most primitive tribes of Australia.
The annual budget of the Church of England is well over 900,000,000 tomans.
Such figures, when compared with the pittance at Islam's disposal, pain the heart.
The Gospel has been translated into more than 1,000 languages. In 1973 the American "Society for the Publication and Distribution of the Gospel" put out 24 million copies.
The Vatican publishes its own newspaper "L' Osservatore Romano" with a daily circulation of 300,000. It produces some 50 monthly periodicals with a total circulation of several millions per month. It runs 32,000 primary schools, universities and hospitals. Four powerful agencies dispatch missionaries to the other continents.
Christianity employs three methods of propaganda:
1. Translation of the books of the New Testament;
2. Erection of churches and places of worship;
3. Dispatch of missionaries to all parts of the world.
Protestant sects likewise exert remarkable efforts at spreading their faith. "The Reader's Digest" wrote: "The revolutionary foundation of the Protestant Church of America was a revolt against efforts in Europe to renew the exaction of the 'tithe' which has been the Church's ancient right.
Yet from 1950 on, the movement of 'stewardship' has been taken up increasingly, so that many congregations have doubled or trebled their contributions, and thus made possible hundreds of new church buildings, and the reinforcement of missions at home and abroad.
Most important, congregations and their members have realized the joyful results and unexpected rewards of the revival of this ancient custom."
Christianity and Islam in Africa
The Christian religious establishment has no fears of Judaism, Hinduism or Buddhism, since these are religions of national groups which exert little influence outside their native environment. So the only danger which they feel to be menacing is Islam. For it has an ideology and way of thought which they know, some as friends, and some as enemies. The "Suddeutscher Zeitung" reported the Pope as saying to the bishops assembled at the Vatican Council 1: "Islam constitutes a more serious threat in Africa to Christianity than does Communism."
Although Islam's missionary efforts are practically nil, its sheer breadth of culture and emotional power win many converts in a number of places, particularly in Africa, where oppressed blacks find its inclusive brotherhood so attractive a refuge that the Church cannot fail to take note of the numbers which it draws.
"Belgian Institutes" reports that, at the start of the 20th century, there were 4,000 Muslims in one province of the Congo, and that by the 1960s in Maniyema and Stanleyville and Kivu this number had increased to 236,000.
The Paris periodical "Peru" quotes Marcel Corder, European expert on Islam in Africa, as saying: "Islam, once the religion of chiefs and princes, has recently become a faith of the masses, who like rushing floods are on the move toward a better, quieter life ; and, carried on this tide, the realism and urgency of Islam spreads from the north of Africa to the south with irresistible speed."
"The Revue de Paris", assessing Islam, paganism and Christianity in Africa, says: "Islam is advancing at a phenomenal rate, winning on the average half a million new adherents annually, not on the ground of its ancient roots, but of the new conditions of life developed in the last century, so that a conservative estimate might reckon 50% of black Africans as in some measure Muslims ... In 1950 four graduates of Al-Azhar opened Muslim schools in Mabaku, which were making lightning progress until the French government stepped in and swiftly closed them down."
Dr. Laura Veccia Vaglieri, Professor at Naples University, writes: "What is the reason why, despite the considerable freedom allowed to non-Muslims.
1 The Vatican Council draws Catholic leaders from every continent to Rome, where it is held about style='font-size:6.0pt;line-height:110%; once a century. Its object is to settle issues which may have arisen in any part of the world. At the last vatican Council 7,000 Church leaders assembled under the chairmanship of the Pope. Its discussions on church affairs occupied three series of sessions, each two months long, at a total cost of some 650 million Italian lire!
Islamic communities, and the total lack of any Muslim missionary work nowadays, and the general weakness of all religions everywhere, Islam has nonetheless been making great advances in Asia and Africa in recent years? Today it is not the sword which compels acceptance. Indeed, many lands once ruled by Muslims are now under non-Muslim governments which push their own religions at the Muslim populations—yet in vain! What is the power hidden in this faith? What in the inmost nature of humanity finds contentment and satisfaction therein? What profound element in the human spirit is moved to respond to Islam's call with so enthusiastic and glad a shout of 'Here am I'?"
Christians stop at nothing in their efforts to destroy Islam. Professor Muhammad Qutb writes: "A shipping line of English origin runs establishments in South Africa. It once employed many South African Muslims on its ships, but, being a Christian company, decided not to employ Muslims. To achieve this end it paid part of its employees' earnings with alcoholic drink. Since alcohol is forbidden to Muslims, nor may they sell it, they lost this part of their wages. A Muslim lawyer learnt of their plight and advised them to refuse to receive this form of payment, unknown anywhere else in the entire world, and to take the company to court if it objected to their protest. The company, as soon as the protest was made, promptly made it a pretext for firing every Muslim from their employ." Philanthropy indeed!
Muslim missionaries face a wide-open door in Africa. The people of that continent are ready to embrace Islam with heart and soul if we would show any sort of zeal in carrying the message to them. For all Africa is seeking a religion that can harmonies the spiritual and the material, promote social equity and equality, and call all mankind to peace, to quiet and to truth.
Modern Christianity cannot, because of its own poverty and deficiencies, meet this longing. The Church itself is a divisive factor, supporting discrimination, not allowing black and white to worship the same God in the same building at the same time! In fact, the Christian attitude to the blacks is inhuman.
Lumumba, Congo leader now dead, once told a Paris newspaper: "I could never understand why we were taught in our schools that Christian principles merited our respect, while outside our schools Europeans acted in ways entirely contrary to those principles and trod all civilized humane precepts underfoot. The way the Europeans treated the blacks gave the lie to all that their schools taught."
It is not only in Africa that Christianity is being challenged by Islamic advance. In America Islam bids fair to win the allegiance of the black population. Every effort is made to suppress Islamic agencies. The Senate requested the president to ban the Black Muslims and make their activities illegal. But preventive measures only increase Black Muslim membership and strengthen the enthusiasm of their activities. They now run 70 branches in 27 states. Islamic cultural centers exist in Chicago and Detroit: while Islamic centers and mosques have been built in numerous other cities of the U.S.A. The Muslims run a newspaper called "Muhammad Speaks". They stage protest-demonstrations at which they carry banners inscribed: "There is no God but Allah: and Muhammad is His Prophet."
Black Muslims perform their religious duties with exemplary enthusiasm. Their womenfolk wear the veil. They try to buy only meat slaughtered in accordance with Muslim law, stamped with the "Moon and Star" guarantee. The fact that certain individuals have made personal fortunes by monopolizing sales of proper dress, foodstuffs and other Muslim essentials in exploitation of the new piety; the fact that a few extremists have resorted to irreligious violence; and the fact that many of the new converts have still only a rudimentary grasp of the theological truths underlying their faith — these facts do not negate the blessings already brought to the converted masses. They are ills which will be cured as instruction and practice deepen the newfound faith. For Black Muslims eagerly learn Arabic and insist on schools and colleges teaching their children Arabic to enable them to read the Qur'an in the original. Amongst them thieves may be executed. Even enemies admit that Islam has brought a change of heart to Black Muslims.
Christian missionaries in Africa do not attempt to assist the Africans to progress to equal the whites. They wish them to remain subject to the white church and state. As Professor Westermann "Imperialism and the Gospel" writes: "Conversion to Islam raises the convert's social status, increases his self-respect, shows him his possibilities, teaches him to be a world-citizen, defines his relations with Europeans in dignity. The black man who previously carried garbage on his head gains in Islam a status which wins respect, even amongst Europeans. But a black man who abandons paganism for Christianity sees himself in a different light from the Black Muslims, since the foundation of our society is different from that in which Africans were brought up. They see the outward benefits of our civilization, but cannot grasp its inwardness because we have not given them the requisite training to do so. Nor have they grasped their own distinctive contribution and specialties, because we have not understood our duty to study the black cultural background, and to help the Africans progress on lines that are a natural continuation of their historical development to date.
Comparing the African background with our own as superficially as the African regards our way of life, we offer our fellow-Europeans an unflattering and one-sided picture of the black man. We present him as an inferior European. But Islam presents him as a black African to be respected as such by himself and by others. Islam gives him a natural equality which we fail to see. He is a human being with his own history and tradition. But Christians, who think of their present level of culture as natural to man, treat black converts to their religion with the condescension due to poor savages living amid rubble and rubbish. They provoke the blacks to vindicate their superiority. Here the Black Muslims offer them their chance, while black Christians are pushed back into inferiority. For this reason American Negroes surge towards Islam and away from Christianity."
Church leaders face the advance of Islam apprehensively. To prevent the harmony of Islam's truth reaching men's ears, Christian leaders use smear tactics in a world-wide propaganda of calumny and denigration which stops at nothing.
I saw an example of this on German TV. A Yemeni Muslim described the mosques of Yemen and the worship in them. Then the TV interviewer gave a detailed description of the region's poverty and distress. He blamed Islam for acting as an obstacle to the progress of the Yemeni people. "A bigoted adherence to the tenets and principles of Islam," he said, "kept the Yemen in primitive backwardness and weakness, lingering two centuries behind the forward strides of civilization in the rest of the world." This he called an example of "Islam's failure to keep pace with the changes most of mankind are enjoying."
Imagine the effect of such poisonous propaganda, backed by skillfully selected film, on European minds, either uninformed, scantily informed, or wholly misinformed about the nature of Islam! Surely such distortions are a betrayal of humanity.
These propagandists should be asked: "If the Yemen's lack of progress in material living is to be accounted for on the background of their religion, why is the south of Italy so backward when the Pope reigns supreme there? Why do so many leave southern Italy to seek menial employment in wealthier lands? Why is Christian Greece so far behind many Muslim countries? Why did Greece, which before the rise of Christianity pioneered man's upward road, itself go downhill towards ruin after accepting Christianity, until it came under the Turkish flag and started to rise again? Or again, why do the non-Muslim peoples of Asia suffer miseries far worse than any Muslim land knows?"
In Bosnia, where Muslims, Orthodox and Catholics, live cheek by jowl, the Muslims are the better off. In Russia Muslims are no whit inferior to their Christian neighbors. Chinese Muslims are ahead of Buddhists there. Singapore's Arabs enjoy greater material prosperity than any other of that island's inhabitants, including the British.
Most Westerners present Islam in a false light, repeating baseless fabrications which betray blank ignorance of Islam's principles: and churches encourage such errors.
Muhammad Qutb "Islam and Misconceptions of Enlightened Thinkers" (p.298 Persian ed.) writes: "I spent some hours discussing Islamic matters in Cairo with a U.N. delegate. Suddenly he exclaimed: `All very fine! You have made a powerful case for the rightness and truth of Islam. But I can't give up the benefits of modern progress. For instance, I like flying in supersonic planes...He added a few other technological advantages until I broke in, astounded: 'But what's to prevent you enjoying modern comforts?' He replied: 'Well, I thought you Muslims advocate a return to tent life in the desert, and want me to go back to nomadism and wilderness-living like a savage!"
In Germany I lodged in a hotel where the manager was a man who had studied in English and French universities, gained high degrees, and even studied Arabic. He said to me: "As a Unitarian I know my God well and have implicit faith in Him. But I cannot accept the God whom the religious establishment bid their followers serve and worship in their buildings. It seems to me wholly alien to the rationality of a Creator to expect His creatures to follow a path which runs directly contrary to enlightened thought and to human nature itself." He added, with the depth of his feelings written all over his face: "The worship of the One God must decide man's destiny, eradicate the evil consequences of misleading ideas, and raise human culture to pure monotheism."
This highly educated European knew nothing of Islam's creed of the pure unity of God, nor of the basic difference between the Holy Qur'an on the one side and the Old and New Testaments on the other. He imagined that the Qur'an resembled Torah (O.T.) and Gospel (N.T.) in its presentation of God. So I gave him a book in German on Islam to enable him to learn its principles.
It is unfortunate that some of our compatriots commit acts when abroad which Westerners attribute to Muslims in general, and on them judge Islam, whereas the perpetrator acted (a) as an individual, and (b) contrary to his religion. Indeed, my hotelier, on the ground of the behavior of a few Iranians, had refused to accommodate any more Iranians, and only made an exception in my case because an old and trusted friend of his insisted. Even then he only agreed to a stay of a few days. In the course of that visit he gained confidence in me, solely because he never saw me overstep the bounds of decency and right, and not because I made any extraordinary effort to win his regard. He praised me (modesty forbids my quoting his exact words), and even demonstrated his emotions and affection with presents. Sometimes a guest came to his full hotel, to whom he gave my room, while offering me his own private room instead, leaving his desk in it, open and piled with documents of value!
Finally the day came that I had to go elsewhere. He took down my new address, and from then on, whenever Iranians asked him for rooms, he at once telephoned me and asked for my character guarantee. I went bail for their good conduct, to save fellow-Iranians' difficulties (for foreigners on their first visit to a foreign city, unless they have had the wisdom to reserve ahead, find much trouble in discovering accommodation in the early hours of the night).
One night the hotelier rang and asked about some newly arrived Iranians on their first visit to Germany. I gave my customary guarantee of their character. But next morning he rang me, and in a voice which betrayed his disquiet and dismay, complained: "Those people you vouched for last night proved shockingly bad guests." I shamefacedly apologized, and decided: "Never again!"
The present world crisis gives Muslims a prime occasion for opening the hearts of the civilized world to the inspiring tenets and programs of Islam. The conditions for making this holy creed known in wide circles are propitious. True, it is the congruence of a religion with the inmost needs of human nature which insures that faith's spread, but circumstances and environmental needs merit study on a world scale also, for discernment of psychological moments favorable to its proclamation. This study and this proclamation we have not yet, alas, undertaken as we should. Yet without it, individual moves, inadequate actions, hit-and-miss efforts, planless propaganda, uncoordinated institutions, can never achieve a satisfactory result, nor advance far into territories where opposition is traditional and deep-rooted.
We err in not grasping the supreme importance of intelligent propaganda with sound organization. Despite the admirable force inherent in Islamic culture for a revolutionary advance, and its specialized lore of society, the factors that should realize this have vanished from our midst. For all our heritage of the soundest canons and most rewarding ideology, our plight is desperate, and of itself leaves a wide field of action open to Islam's foes.