Notes and Comments: Islam in England

The Review of Religions (English), January 1908 Issue (Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 47–48)

We take the following note from the Freethinker:

“About two thousand English people are said to have become Muhammadans [Muslims] during the last twenty years. As this statement occurs in a Christian journal, it is likely to be true. And if it is true, we can be fairly certain that these converts have not been gained from the lower classes in this country. Bearing in mind, too, the immense difficulty Christian missionaries have in gaining converts from the highest classes of Muhammadans we feel fairly confident that this is a better record of captures than Christian missions can produce, in spite of their extravagant expenditure.”

Whatever the actual number of converts to Islam, it is a fact that with the clearing of the misrepresentations against Islam which the early generations of pious Christians laboured hard to spread, Islam is winning a place in the hearts of all unprejudiced Englishmen. It requires yet a long time to clear all the clouds of misconceptions against Islam and to show it in its true light. But the success which it has already attained without the help of any missionary propaganda gives a clear indication of the fact that with the spread of a sounder knowledge of this holy religion its conquests in the West would be as great as they have been in the East. We believe that, like the late Lord Stanley [Frederick Arthur Stanley], there are many people who are convinced of its truth though that conviction has immense barriers in its way to find an expression.