How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.

~ Winston S. Churchill

Once he traveled to a village to purchase a large rice harvest, but when he arrived the rice had already been sold to another tradesman. Nevertheless, Siddhartha remained in this village for several days; he arranged a feast for the peasants, distributed copper coins among their children, helped celebrate a marriage, and returned from his trip in the best of spirits.Kamaswami reproached him for not having returned home at once, saying he had wasted money and time.Siddhartha answered, Do not scold me, dear friend! Never has anything been achieved by scolding. If there are losses, let me bear them. I am very pleased with this journey I made the acquaintance of many different people, a Brahmin befriended me, children rode on my knees, peasants showed me their fields, and no one took me for a tradesman.How very lovely! Kamaswami cried out indignantly. But in fact a tradesman is just what you are! Or did you undertake this journey solely for your own pleasure?Certainly. Siddhartha laughed. Certainly I undertook the journey for my pleasure. Why else? I got to know new people and regions, enjoyed kindness and trust, found friendship. You see, dear friend, had I been Kamaswami, I'd have hurried home in bad spirits the moment I saw my purchase foiled, and indeed money and time would have been lost. But by staying on as I did, I had some agreeable days, learned things, and enjoyed pleasures, harming neither myself nor others with haste and bad spirits. And if ever I should return to this place, perhaps to buy some future harvest or for whatever other purpose, I shall be greeted happily and in friendship by friendly people and I shall praise myself for not having displayed haste and displeasure on my first visit. So be content, friend, and do not harm yourself by scolding! When the day arrives when you see that this Siddhartha is bringing you harm, just say the word and Siddhartha will be on his way. But until that day, let us be satisfied with each other.

~ Hermann Hesse