Timeless Insights for General Stanley McChrystal from Historian Edward Augustus Freeman (d. 1892)

Edward A. Freeman, a fierce 19th century opponent of jihad-imposed dhimmitude, and its Western Power abettors


Edward Augustus Freeman (1823-92), was a highly esteemed and influential British historian. Freeman was born at Harborne, in Staffordshire, and educated at Oxford, where he became a Fellow of Trinity College, and later Regius Professor of Modern History. One of the leading Victorian writers on English medieval history, Freeman’s most enduring achievement is his six-volume “The History of the Norman Conquest of England” (1867-1879). He was also an authority on the ancient world, especially the development of Greek civilization.


Freeman additionally took an active part in the politics of his own day, and was a passionate supporter of modern Greece and the struggle of Orthodox Christians in the Balkans for independence from the Ottoman Empire. He expounded such views for non-academic audiences writing for many years in the Saturday Review.


Freeman’s major published works include “History of Architecture” (1849); “Essay on Window Tracery” (1850); “Architecture of Llandaff Cathedral” (1851); “History and Conquest of the Saracens” (1856); “Ancient Greece and Mediaeval Italy: (in “Oxford Essays” for 1858); “History of Federal Government” (1863); “Old English History” (1869); “History of the Cathedral Church of Wells” (1870); “Historical Essays” (1871; 2d series, 1873); “Growth of the English Constitution” (1872); “Comparative Politics” (1873); and “History of the Norman Conquest,” his magnum opus (6 vols., 1867-79).


Freeman’s sadly timeless insights on Islam would be particularly edifying for General Stanley McChrystal. These are germane extracts from “History and Conquest of the Saracens—Six Lectures Delivered Before the Edinburgh Philosophical Institute” (1856; re-published in 1876, MacMillan and Company), pp. 202-203:


Mahometanism [Islam] is essentially an obstructive, intolerant system…It has consecrated despotism; it has consecrated polygamy; it has consecrated slavery. It has declared war against every other creed; it has claimed to be at least dominant in every land…When it ceases to have an enemy to contend against, it sinks into sluggish stupidity and into a barbarism far viler…It must have an enemy; if cut off…from conflict with the infidel, it finds its substitute in sectarian hatred of brother Moslems…


[Islam] has done nothing for man in his highest earthly capacity, as the citizen of a free state; it has done nothing for the higher of even his purely speculative capacities…It has by its aggressive tenets brought them into direct antagonism with the creed and civilization of the West.


And speaking most directly to General McChrystal’s fantasy Islam, Freeman (p. 203) decried the dangerous naivete of those (like McChrystal and his ilk),


…who expect to see a Mahometan [Islamic] state [like Afghanistan] become tolerant and civilized without ceasing to be Mahometan…So long as a government remains Mahometan, so long must it be intolerant at home; so long will it only be restrained by weakness from offering to other lands the old election of “Koran, Tribute, or Sword.”

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