Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)


J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

The religion of the Muslim or Mohammedans. The word means "submission," and ought to be used instead of Mohammedanism. For the establishment of it see Koran and Mohammed. It is not true that the Koran preaches intolerance, though the history of Islam records a good deal; and it is a flagrant historical misstatement, if common enough, to say that the Arabs poured over the world in the seventh century in a frenzy to convert unbelievers. The Cambridge Mediaeval History is lamentably out of proportion in the space it gives to the Arabs and Persians, while it devotes stout volumes to the coarse antics of the Christian nations of Europe, but it does make these facts clear. The Arabs were not fanatical about any religion, and after the death of Mohammed the majority disowned the Prophet and his supposed revelation. His successor, Omar, a genuine fanatic, could reunite them only by declaring war on rich Persia. It was, says Sir W. Muir, "the scent of war that turned the sullen temper of the Arabs into eager loyalty." It would be better to say the scent of incomparable loot. It was the scepticism of early Moslem rulers, in Syria and Spain, who descended from the men who had derided Mohammed's claims, that enabled the Arabs to reach a high stage of civilization in two generations, while the Christian nations took a thousand years.


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