George Bernard Shaw

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George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856 – November 2, 1950) was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. He was an atheist and ardent socialist, who wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaptation of his play of the same name), respectively.[1]

A quote attributed to him, praising Prophet Muhammad as the "Savior of Humanity" who would have succeeded in solving all the world's problems if he "were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world", can be found posted all over the Internet. It has even been used by Muslims in a major "anti-Islamophobia" ad campaign in Australia. The reference provide for this quote is The Genuine Islam.

However, according to the International Shaw Society treasurer Richard F Dietrich, who had compiled a complete list of Shaw's works, The Genuine Islam is "bogus".[2] No such book exists. The origin of this hoax is an interview between Shaw and Muslim propagandist Maulana Mohammed Abdul Aleem Siddiqui published in a Muslim periodical in January 1936.

Rachel Baxendale of The Australian explained, "[The Muslim periodical] contains a quotation which describes Mohammed as the "saviour of humanity" and Islam as having "wonderful vitality" and "the chance to rule of Britain, nay Europe, in the next hundred years", but these are not recorded as the words of Shaw. The quotation appears in a separate quotation box without attribution, and not in the main body of the interview. However, the main body of the interview does feature Shaw challenging Siddiqui from a rationalist perspective."[2]

As with many of these fabrications, the truth is the opposite of what is claimed. The International Shaw Society treasurer pointed out that Shaw described the religion of Islam in a 1933 letter to the Rev. Ensor Walters in the following way:

Islam is very different, being ferociously intolerant. What I may call Manifold Monotheism becomes in the minds of very simple folk an absurdly polytheistic idolatry, just as European peasants not only worship Saints and the Virgin as Gods, but will fight fanatically for their faith in the ugly little black doll who is the Virgin of their own Church against the black doll of the next village. When the Arabs had run this sort of idolatry to such extremes [that] they did this without black dolls and worshipped any stone that looked funny, Mahomet rose up at the risk of his life and insulted the stones shockingly, declaring that there is only one God, Allah, the glorious, the great… And there was to be no nonsense about toleration. You accepted Allah or you had your throat cut by someone who did accept him, and who went to Paradise for having sent you to Hell.[3]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. "George Bernard Shaw", Wikipedia, accessed on July 11, 2013 (archived), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bernard_Shaw. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rachel Baxendale, "Ads for Islam 'misquote Shaw from bogus book'", The Australian, July 9, 2013 (archived), http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/ads-for-islam-misquote-shaw-from-bogus-book/story-fn59niix-1226676192844. 
  3. Letter to the Reverend Ensor Walters (1933), as quoted in "Bernard Shaw : Collected Letters, 1926-1950" (1988) by Dan H. Laurence, p. 305