Notes and Comments: An Atheist on Islam

The Review of Religions (English), March/April 1908 Issue (Vol. 7, Nos. 3 and 4, pp. 140–141)

We take the following remarks of Professor Ernest Haeckel from the Observer, which quotes the Library Guide and Rationalist Review:

“When you send your boy to school, he begins Monday morning with a lesson on religion, and is taught the doctrine of the Trinity. He is taught that three times one are one! His next lesson is arithmetic, when he learns that three times one are three! And then this doctrine of the Trinity is not even original. It is a development of the sun worship of the Chaldean magicians. You find it also in India. But what I object to is the strong anthropomorphic shade which has been given to the Godhead. It is also absurd to speak of Christianity as monotheism. There are not only three persons, but there are the Madonna and thousands of saints who all perform Divine functions. As it is at present, Christianity is nothing else than polytheism. The best form of monotheism in the world is Islam. If I must have a religion at all, I would prefer that of the Muhammadans [Muslims]. How noble and impressive their service! How entirely fitting and dignified their house of prayer! How noble and august the mosques in comparison with the Christian churches! These latter are full inside with bright pictures and glittering things, while outside their walls are covered with the images of men and beasts and hideous gargoyles. And the simple solemn service of the Quran! Compare it with the word juggling and the noisy music which we hear in our Christian fanes.”

The same paper quotes the views of another Atheist, Condorcet, the famous French philosopher, according to whom

“the religion of Muhammad is the simplest in its dogmas, the least absurd in its practices, and the most tolerant in its principles.”