Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Shaw on Islam, part III: Genuine?

You may remember that we discussed the alleged G.B. Shaw quotes on Islam coming from a publication called The Genuine Islam .

"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe, within the next hundred years, it could be Islam." He also said, "I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitaltity. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess the assimilating capacity to changing phase of existence, which can make itself appeal to every age." (Shaw, The Genuine Islam, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936).

You may also remember that, aside from that one quotes, we could not find a trace of a publication by that name ever existing. I was lucky enough to gain access to Brill's Index Islamicus in my search for the mystery periodical from Singapore. The Index Islamicus purports to index publications Islam from 1909 until the present. I could not find no reference to George Bernard
Shaw ever writing a work on Islam from 1909 forward. I could not find any reference at all to a work by any author or any publishing house entitled The Genuine Islam . I did find what appeared to be an annual publication produced in Germany, entitled simply Islam . In 1936, it was at number 23; no volume number was used. Also, George Bernard Shaw never wrote an article for the publication. While proving a negative is always more difficult, I must conclude that the quote and the periodical never existed.

While I have exhausted the resources available to me (and then some), perhaps you have a way of verifying the quotes and the existence of the periodical. If you are able, please let me know how long The Genuine Islam was in publication. When did it begin? When did it end? Are there any surviving copies? Was it published exclusively in Singapore? Did G.B Shaw actually write the quotes in another work? If so, what was the work and when was it
published? I would really like to know.


Update 1/09: There is additional information on this question! Go here or to the full thread at the bottom of this post.



Anonymous edwinmoore@ntlworld.com said...

Hi - I stumbled across your post while searching for a source for this Shaw quote. It seems to crop up a lot these days, but has never sounded very Shavian to me. It's one for Shaw scholars to nail but I guess that it is a hoax.



8:00 AM  
Blogger DMinor said...


Thanks for visiting. I actually did finally find a reference to at least the periodical, if not the article itself. For some reason, this post doesn't appear in most searches. However, both C and I agree that there is some thing about the wording that just don't sound like Shaw. My guess is that it may have been an extrapolaiton from a conversation in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) with a Muslim notable of the time. The post is linked below:

Sunday, October 01, 2006
Genuine Evidence

7:19 PM  
Blogger Adherer said...

"Genuine Islam" was a magazine in the 1930s produced by the All-Malaya Muslim Missionary Society (now known as Jamiya), under the auspices of Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddique and Syed Ibrahim bin Omar al-Sagoff. Their editorial office was at 742 North Bridge Road.

an article of this magazine.

If there ary any doubts that george Bernard Shaw didn't write thosw quotes visit the American Library Association. Those guys can help you.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may be late, but the periodical existed: see http://askville.amazon.com/searching-Genuine-Islam-George-Bernard-Shaw-1936/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=8816046 for further details.

3:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check the preface for "Back to Methusulah", I'm pretty sure something very similar to this is there

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The New York Public Libray has some of the periodical. Here is the link:


12:37 AM  

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