TBHB is now an Amazon Associate
as you can see from the books listed on the sidebar. Considering how much I’ve spent at Amazon, I figured it was time I joined the associates program (and if you’re in a kind mood, please add to the tip jar, too.) I’ll be posting a Amazon Associates link to each of my book reviews. The items on “Fausta’s bookshelf” on the sidebar are books I’ve read recently and recommend — I’m planning on listing nine books and a CD on a rotating basis.
This week I’ll be reading The Legacy of Jihad. Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims edited by Andrew G. Bostom. From Bruce Thorton’s review at Victor Davis Hanson’s website:
Bostom continues his own introductory essay with a survey of Islamic conquest and the accompanying massacres, raids, kidnapping, ethnic cleansing, devastation, and enslavement that marked the advance of Islam from Spain to Southeast Asia. Given how obsessive we are over the European enslavement of Africans, it’s eye-opening to read about the extent of Islamic slave-trading: an estimated 17 million Africans, over one-and-a-half times the estimated 10 million purchased by Europeans, were acquired and then forced-march across the Sahara to their masters’ territories, thousands dying along the way, their bones littering the desert sands. This trade continued for centuries after Europe and America had ended the slave trade: slavery wasn’t formally abolished in Saudi Arabia until 1962, and continues in Sudan and Mauritania today. And let’s not forget the millions of Europeans kidnapped and sold into slavery by Muslim pirates in the Mediterranean, or the African men cruelly castrated to provide eunuchs for harems and government service, or the Balkan Christian boys, perhaps as many as one million, taken from their parents, forcibly converted, and made to serve the Ottoman regime.
Finally, Bostom concludes his overview with a series of excerpts from European and Muslim historians on the nature of jihad, and with the proclamations of modern jihadists and terrorists from around the globe whose interpretations of jihad are consistent with those of the historians. Particularly significant, given the distortions surrounding the Arab world’s assaults on Israel, are the comments arising out of a conference of Muslim scholars and jurists held in 1968 after the humiliating Arab defeat in the Six Day War: “Repeated declarations,” Bostom summarizes, “expounded the classical Islamic doctrine of jihad war, focusing its bellicose energy on the destruction of Israel.” Lest you distrust Bostom’s interpretation, he quotes liberally from the proceedings. Here is Abdullah Ghoshah, Chief Judge in Jordan: “’Jihad is legislated in order to be one of the means of propagating Islam. Consequently Non-Muslims ought to embrace Islam either willingly . . . or unwillingly through fight and Jihad. . . . War is the basis of the relationship between Muslims and their opponents.’” Likewise the Mufti of Lebanon specifically characterized the struggle to destroy Israel as a jihad: “’We do not think this decree [Allah’s regarding Palestine] absolves any Muslim or Arab from Jihad (Holy War) which has now become a duty incumbent upon the Arabs and Muslims to liberate the land, preserve honor, retaliate for [lost] dignity, [and] restore the Aqsa Mosque [in Jerusalem] . . . from the hands of Zionism.’” Notice that not a word is said about the frustrated nationalist aspirations of the Palestinian people.
Please note this is not my idea of bedside reading. It is, however, a most enlightening work on the history of Islam expansion.