1,400 Years of Jihad and Islamic Terror, Well Told by Robert Spencer
Robert Spencer is the man, the best prepared person to write a comprehensive history of the horrors of Islam.
And he has.
Spencer's The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS is an amazing book, extraordinary in its detail and riveting in its narratives and analysis.
This book documents the history of horrors, violence, brutality, oppression, conquests by the sword, beheadings of hundreds of thousands (probably millions), destruction of civilizations and cultures, corruption, deception, and lies that are part of the Islamist culture, and every other evil that you can imagine that one group of humans could impose on others in the name of an ideology or, in this case, a pseudo-religion. The book is a comprehensive history of the role of war and terror in the spread of Islam, and the book details 1,400 years of sheer evil with no relief, imposed on the Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, India, and Asia. The only let-up in these killings that ever came was when some of the cultures and civilizations successfully repulsed the monsters, or else were conquered and then violently and rapidly subdued.
Spencer briskly traces the 1,400-year war of Islamic jihadis against the rest of the world, detailing the jihad against Europe, including the 700-year struggle to conquer Constantinople; the jihad in Spain, where non-Muslims fought for another 700 years to get the jihadi invaders out of the country; and the jihad against India, where Muslim warriors and conquerors wrought unparalleled and unfathomable devastation in the name of their religion.
Spencer adds to the drama and impact by telling much of the tale in the words of contemporary chroniclers themselves, both Muslim and non-Muslim. The History of Jihad shows that jihad warfare has been a constant of Islam from its very beginning, its major focus. In fact, in reading the stories and considering the historical realities, it is safe to say that the Islamists were constantly on the hunt and constantly bloodthirsty – thirsty for conquest and focused on plunder. That is what proves that the history of Islamism is consistent with present-day jihad terrorism, and that present-day jihad proceeds along exactly the same ideological and theological foundations as did the great Islamic warrior-states and jihadi commanders of the past.
The book is worthwhile now as a lesson in history in an age when Islamic jihadis are more assertive in Western countries than they have been for centuries, and propaganda and deception are tools well developed in a culture that approves of deception and promotes conquest. Taqiyya is the Muslim word for approved deception of the non-believer, which raises the question for today: at which point can a non-Muslim trust the promise of a jihadi or any Muslim?
Read this book and understand that faithful and observant Muslims are part of the jihad, as commanded by Islam and Allah, whether armed or not, and thus cannot be assumed to be "peaceful" since Islam is all about conquest at any cost and oppression or destruction of the kafir non-believer (infidel). Consider the attitude of Islamists for the non-believer in this 1,300-plus-year saga that extends all the way into the early 21st century – the Muslim philosophy that is nothing but hair-on-fire murderous when directed at non-believers. That is why beheading is so common among their jihadis. They hate, and they want to strike terror in the hearts of their enemies. Their enemies are anyone who is not a Muslim.
With this logic, an easy argument to make is that there is no place for national loyalties in the mind of a Muslim – and in fact, one of the internal conflicts in Islam itself is its rejection of secular, or less than sharia law, nations. However, a method for conquest that includes some deception is approved by Islam, and when a Muslim swears an oath to the United States, for example, it is a deception for the benefit of the conquest, and that certainly that would be approved by Allah. Muhammad himself broke treaties and lied to advance his cause, and he clearly taught that deception to advance the cause of Islam is not immoral, but to be promoted and utilized for jihad.
This brings us to today.
This book is indispensable to understanding the geopolitical situation of the twenty-first century and ultimately to formulating strategies to deal with the Islamist threat and defeating radical Islamist terror.
It's critical to know and understand this for context, yet that's not being done. It's certainly not being done by the wimpy Western intellectuals and politicians, intimidated by the well-developed Islamic propaganda machine.
Knowing the enemy is essential to survival and victory. To underestimate a threat and the nature of the enemy is suicide. Spencer has long been the leading historian of the nature of Islamic violence and conquest, and now he's telling the story of the monstrous movement that is Islam. His grasp of the history of, and the important events and figures within, Islam from the beginnings to the present is unexcelled. In reading this book, it's obvious he is the go-to guy for scholarship on the theology, or what is more properly the ideology dressed up like theology, of Islam as we can see it.
It's also important that he be listened to. These days, it is taken for granted, even among many Washington policymakers, that Islam is a fundamentally peaceful religion and that Islamic jihad terrorism is something relatively new, a product of the economic and political ferment of the twentieth century. It's not true. In The History of Jihad, Spencer proves definitively that Islamic terror is as old as Islam itself, as old as Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, who said: "I have been made victorious through terror." He had been a highwayman and terrorist for years before he founded his religion, dying in 632.
Reading the details of the killings is not only alarming, but exhausting. I learned that some Islamist leaders spent all their time killing and torturing people and taking woman and children as slaves, both sex slaves and house slaves.
I also learned that Islam had a limited economic base – effectively confined to conquest and slavery. Muslims were effectively a criminal enterprise, and anything they acquired of value came from the end of a sword or the threat of death or torture.
The book is a long serial of bloodbaths and terrorist outrages.
I challenge any reader to keep track of the killers and the magnitude of the killing (millions died) in places such as North Africa and the Asian subcontinent, or the number of churches, shrines, temples of the non-believers destroyed and replaced with mosques. Civilizations decimated – it is a disgusting thing, Islam, and to keep track of the appalling conduct requires copious note-taking and remains difficult to grasp. Spencer tells a terrible tale, indeed, yet all Western intellectuals can do is talk about the conduct of the crusaders.
The Spencer book will cure the reader of that silly nonsense. One reads too many stories in the book of Muslim victors doing mass executions of enemies to have any fury left for crusaders. Muslim conquerors were positively steeped in violence and bloodshed – stacking the heads of their enemies high and raping all of their women, executing hundreds of thousands, and far more than can be accurately counted.
I spent uncomfortable hours reading the of the horrors of Islam and sometimes had to take a break from the bloodletting – it is and was a movement of prodigious killing and torture – but then one must remember that it is an ideology and a movement built on terror. If you hang in and wade through the gore and the blood, which is the main story for more than 400 pages, you will realize that the Islamist conquest was rivaled only by communism in the number of people annihilated and the civilizations destroyed, by terror, torture, oppression. Only a fanatic ideology can produce killing and evil on this prodigious scale.
Most important, Spencer is our ally in the war against the evil and treacherous phony "religion" that is nothing more than a corrupt ideology of conquest, xenophobia, and misanthropy. What is unfortunate is that people don't pay attention to Spencer, who can, in a wink, extinguish the idea that Islam is a religion, and with certainty demonstrates that it has no place in any credible vision of peace, as the Western politicians and intellectuals have claimed and as so many leftists continue to babble on about. To try to make a case for Islam as a religion of peace after reading what Islamists did for the last 1,400 years is nonsense. Spencer underlines that Islam, and its practitioners, above all, are all about conquest.