CAIR 'Demands' US Army War College Cancel My Lecture on Islamic History
The "unindicted co-conspirator" Council on American-Muslim Relations ("CAIR") and its Islamist allies are "outraged" because the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. has invited me to give a lecture on my recent book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West.
On May 28, CAIR's Pennsylvania leadership — namely, Jacob Bender, Timothy Welbeck, Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu — sent a letter to USAWC commandant Gen. John Kem and provost Dr. James Breckenridge urging them to revoke "the decision of the US Army War College to invite Mr. Raymond Ibrahim to deliver the prestigious 50th Annual Lecture Series of the US Army War College."
The reason CAIR cites to disinvite me is that "Raymond Ibrahim's book ... advance[s] a simplistic, inaccurate and often prejudicial view of the long history of Muslim-West relations which we ﬁnd deeply troubling."
Much of this is covered in a Task Force report, which contains some responses from me, titled "Army War College under fire over historian's upcoming lecture on 'clash of civilizations' between Islam and the West."
As a reflection of the unprecedented (and ongoing) nature of this Islamist campaign against me, the Task Force notes (emphasis added), "The trend of disinviting speakers on controversial subjects has been on the rise at American universities in recent years, but this appears to be the first time that a speaker at U.S. military educational institution has been subject to such a campaign, according to a database maintained by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education."
CAIR has since issued other screeds, including a Press Release and a petition that present me as a "notorious Islamophobe," and — despite my being of Egyptian descent — a "white nationalist," who, if allowed to speak, will cause "white nationalism, Islamophobia, and violence" against Muslims in America to break out.
In another article, I may parse through these hysterical allegations to expose the arsenal of verbal duplicity and second-rate sophistry groups like CAIR rely on in order to keep inconvenient truths suppressed.
For now, however, consider this: although my book is 352 pages and covers nearly fourteen centuries, certain epochs in great detail, not once does CAIR highlight a certain passage or excerpt to support its claim that the book "is based on poor research."
The reason for this discrepancy is simple: although long hidden, the history I present in Sword and Scimitar is ironclad, verifiable, and beyond well documented; with about a thousand endnotes, my book is heavily based on primary sources, many of which are Muslim and from eyewitnesses. This history makes abundantly clear that Islamic terrorism and "extremism" are intrinsic to Islam, and have been from its first contact with Western civilization in the seventh century. Think of the atrocities committed by the Islamic State (ISIS) but on a much larger scale — and for over a millennium — bombarding every corner of Europe, and even America before it could elect its first president.
Put differently, the history presented in Sword and Scimitar proves everything that groups like CAIR are committed to suppressing.
Incidentally, whereas none of the CAIR activists petitioning the War College have any credentials in history, here is what actual historians and scholars in the fields of Muslim-Western history say concerning the book (many more can be read here):
- "Raymond Ibrahim's Sword and Scimitar is ... first-rate military history and a product of solid scholarship and philological research." ―Victor Davis Hanson, America's leading military historian and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution
- "[Sword and Scimitar is] a refreshingly honest account of Islamic expansion and Christian reaction that provides useful insights into today's problems. This is history as it should be done: allowing the past to inform and guide the present, rather than distorting the past to fit contemporary political ideologies." ―Paul F. Crawford, professor of Crusades history, California University of Pennsylvania
- "Ibrahim tells his story with extensive citations of primary sources[.] ... Moreover, his method reveals the religious, political, and material motivations of the leading Christian and Muslim actors in this enduring conflict of visions that seem so very different from many modern western secular sensibilities." ―James E. Lindsay, professor of Middle East history, Colorado State University
- "An accessible and well-researched examination of extremely important but often neglected cultural phenomena and historical events that have impacted several civilizations up to the present day." ―Darío Fernández-Morera, Professor of Spanish history, Northwestern University, and author of The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise
- "[An] eye-opening introduction to a millennium of warfare between the Muslim and Christian worlds before the modern age." ―Thomas Madden, professor of Crusades history and award-winning author of Istanbul, Venice, and Concise History of the Crusades
I do, however, give CAIR some credit: unlike many anti-Islamists in the West, CAIR knows how important it is to control the historical narrative between Islam and the West — a narrative that for decades has largely been in the keeping of their allies, meaning anti-Western, pro-Islamic leftist academics.
Because this pseudohistory has long presented Islam as a peaceful and progressive force throughout history — certainly in comparison to the West — all talk concerning modern-day Islamic terror and extremism has revolved around questions such as "What went wrong?" and "Why do they hate us?"
Unbeknownst to most, these supposedly all important questions that became so popular after September 11, 2001 are rooted to history: if the Islamic world was a tolerant and advanced force for centuries, as generations of Americans have been led to believe, then surely, its modern-day descent into radicalism and terrorism must be based on other factors — hence the nonstop claims that economics; education; politics; grievances; "lack of jobs," to quote the Obama White House; etc. are the real reason.
Such logic is admittedly sound — but only if one subscribes to its first premise, that Islamic history is largely peaceful and tolerant.
But for those who become acquainted with Islam's true history vis-à-vis the West — a history of virtually nonstop jihad and mind-boggling atrocities that make ISIS appear tame — there is no "What went wrong?" or "Why do they hate us?" to explain — only an unwavering, continuous line of violence and enmity, one that went on hiatus during the colonial era.
This is documented fact.
Hence CAIR'S unprecedented attack—one described as "the first time that a speaker at U.S. military educational institution has been subject to such a campaign." It knows that the first and long unquestioned — but ultimately false — premise of all Muslim apologetics is historical in nature and is doing all it can to keep that premise alive.