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Encyclopaedic, timely and eye-opening.,
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This review is from: The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims (Hardcover)Having recently read Paul Fregosi's excellent book on this subject entitled "Jihad in the West; Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries", I resolved to investigate this subject further and this study did not disappoint me in it's depth and encyclopaedic content.
Spanning over 700 pages, the amount of detail provided here is breathtaking and the references are innumerable but the text is commendably readable.
However, this extensive study includes essays and commentary from many learned scholars of Jihad, and it's early claim to provide comprehensive and meticulously documented research soon becomes substantiated as the reader is confronted with realms of evidence and eyewitness accounts, amid an abundance of Muslim theological and judicial texts etc..
Among eight different parts, separate sections are also provided giving direct reference to Jihad in both the Koran and the Hadith, together with an appropriate exegesis by what are cited as the greatest classical and modern commentators, that dispel the argument that Jihad has only been justified by an alleged misinterpretation.
The book begins by providing the reader with the context surrounding the cover illustration which depicts events surrounding the surrender of the Jewish Qurayzah tribe to Muhammad and it's alleged treatment at the hands of the Islamic Prophet.
The text describes how the Jewish tribe were purported to have aided the forces of Muhammad's enemies and how they were subsequently isolated and besieged. The study proceeds to cite how all pleas for mercy, were rejected and how the Jewish tribe were henceforth delivered for judgment in Medina.
The ensuing judgment described as resulting in some six to nine hundred Jewish men purportedly being beheaded in front of Muhammad and their decapitated bodies buried in already excavated trenches.
Further context being provided as to how the young Jewish males, women and children were allegedly sold into slavery and their property and land confiscated. Muhammad himself is also cited as having taken a Jewish captive for his wife. Conversely the book illustrates how the Jewish tribe of the Qurayzah ceased to exist.
The book then proceeds to examine the worldwide impact of a multitude of named Jihad campaigns over 1300 years against non-Muslims which the book declares were characterised by massacre, enslavement and pillage, whereby the reader is confronted with how such military conquests have subdued millions of indigenous peoples and the expropriation of vast expanses of land.
One notable historical example described in the text is that of the massacre of the Armenians by the Ottoman Turks. The extent of the indiscriminate slaughter described in the text is disturbing with the perpetrators cited as allegedly respecting no surrender, bayoneting the men to death, raping the women and dashing their children against the rocks (page 667).
The exhaustive study also reveals how the teaching of Jihad ultimately determines the relations of Muslims & non-Muslims in the present day.
The reader is frequently confronted with a concern that many governments and religious bodies in the present day, are allegedly prepared to ignore what is cited as voluminous but inconvenient historical data in order to
The writer stressing the significance of how historians in free countries have a moral and professional obligation to provide the veracity underlying such issues, and pleading that these individuals should not submit to what is called any voluntary censorship in the face of those in authority who would expediently wish to falsify the record of the past and to re-write history as they would wish it to have been. (Page 22)
Fears being expressed in the text that by so doing, a distorted, revisionist history may arise which could be purportedly used as a tool of propaganda by many governments and religious bodies who would readily avail themselves of to suit their own agendas by suppressing the truth .
Political leaders and the media in general are described as being worried about the public's perception of Islam and subsequently are cited as usually only being prepared to invite the opinions of those who believe in what is cited as the ‘myth' of Islamic tolerance. Many such entities are described as, for various reasons, also wishing to play down the history of the dhimmi (non Muslims living under subjugation under Islamic rule).
The revelations provided in this book pertaining to Jihad and militant Islam are both eye-opening and disturbing at times and undoubtedly will be seen by many readers as controversial and contentious. Having said that I personally consider that the book definitely needs to be read and will be a welcome addition and essential reference to anyone with an interest in the Middle East conflict and how Islam is perceived at this time within the world's current landscape.
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Initial post: 15 Jan 2010 13:37:30 GMT
Caped Crusader says:
Excellent review, thank you D.R.
Posted on 4 Sep 2011 10:18:00 BDT
Medieval Lady says:
The Conquests of The Middle East, North africa and Spain in the Seventh and Eighth centuries were anything but 'defensive'. It is widely known that Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453, and that the Venetians sacked the city in the 13th century, but a fact not so widely publicised is that the Turks swept through Asia Minor and threatened the Capital of Byzantium in the 1070s, and also in the 7th century when legendary 'Greek Fire' was reportedly used to repel them.
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