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The History of Jihad
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About the Author

Robert Spencer is director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, where he is a Shillman Fellow. He is the author of eighteen books, including The New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the FBI, the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group, the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the Justice Department's Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council, and the U.S. intelligence community. He has discussed jihad, Islam, and terrorism at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Ministry. He is a consultant with the Center for Security Policy.

Reviews

"Jihad is not mere terrorism. Ironic as it may seem, that is Western wishful thinking. From its inception, as Robert Spencer incontestably illustrates, jihad has been the outward, aggressive expression of a conquest ideology. The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS is as relentless in relating unvarnished truth as is the phenomenon it tracks in seeking domination--and never being satisfied with less, however long it takes. Those who care to preserve Western rationalism, civil liberties, and free societies must confront this history, and its implications, with eyes opened."--Andrew C. McCarthy, bestselling author, former federal prosecutor, and National Review contributing editor
"From the first Arab-Islamic empire of the mid-seventh century to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the story of Islam has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires and, no less importantly, of never quiescent imperialist dreams. In this tour de force, Robert Spencer narrates the transformation of the concept of jihad, 'exertion in the path of Allah, ' from a rallying cry from the prophet Muhammad's followers into a supreme religious duty and the primary vehicle for the expansion of Islam throughout the ages. A must-read for anyone seeking to understand the roots of the Manichean struggle between East and West and the nature of the threat confronted by the West today."--Efraim Karsh, author of Islamic Imperialism: A History
"For those who still think--and alas, there remain many--that Islamic Terrorism has emerged only in the last forty years or so, Robert Spencer's carefully researched work on Jihad from the beginning of Muhammad's political and prophetical career to the acts of terrorism of September 11, 2001, will be a salutary shock. It will not be at all easy to refute Spencer's account since he, for the first three Islamic centuries, relies almost entirely on the Arabic sources, that Muslim historians and scholars, such as Ibn Ishaq, Al-Tabari, Ibn Sa'd, Bukhari, Tirmidhi, and Muslim, who paint a grim picture of the early Islamic conquests. For the later Middle Ages, Spencer has also diligently consulted the primary sources where possible and has relied upon recognized modern scholars such as Ignaz Goldziher, Bernard Lewis, Bat Ye'or, and Steven Runciman, among others. Spanning centuries and continents, from the seventh to the twentieth century, from Spain to India, Spencer takes us on a tour of the global jihad that is Islamic history. Along the way, he shatters many myths, such as the myth of the Golden Age of Spain, a putative period of ecumenical harmony, a kind of perpetual medieval Woodstock Summer of love. He also puts the Crusades into perspective and reminds us that the Crusades were a belated response to years and years of jihad, and persecution of Christians. Spencer brings the story up to modern times, not forgetting the Armenian genocides perpeturated by the Turks between 1915 and 1923.

Robert Spencer's work is essential reading for all of us, for all those who want to defend our values from the relentless jihad that has not ceased for fourteen centuries. We must heed Spencer's final words, if we are to succeed in saving Western Civilization: 'In the twenty-first century, the leaders of Europe, as well as many in North America, having brought almost certain doom on their countries no less unmistakable than that which befell Constantinople on May 29, 1453. Yet instead of taking responsibility for what they have done, they have stayed their course, and would have denounced the doomed Emperor Constantine XI, like his predecessor, Manuel II, as "Islamophobic," and his exhortation to defend Constantinople to the death as "militaristic" and "xenophobic." In the twenty-first century, as the 1,400-year Islamic jihad against the free world continued to advance, the best allies the warriors of jihad were the very people they had in their sights.'"--Ibn Warraq, author of "The Origins of the Koran" and "The Quest for the Historical Muhammad"

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