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Sword and Scimitar : Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West

9780306825552 200x300

Author: Raymond IbrahimVictor Davis Hanson


Publish Date: 14 Feb 2019

ISBN-13: 9780306825552

Pages: 304

File Type: PDF

Language: English



The West and Islam–the sword and the scimitar–have clashed since the mid-seventh century, when, according to Muslim tradition, the Byzantine emperor rejected Prophet Muhammad’s order to abandon Christianity and convert to Islam, unleashing a centuries-long jihad on Christendom.

Sword and Scimitar chronicles the significant battles that arose from this ages-old Islamic jihad, beginning with the first major Islamic attack on Christian land in 636, through the occupation of the Middle East that prompted the Crusades and the far-flung conquests of the Ottoman Turks, to the European colonization of the Muslim world in the 1800s, when Islam largely went on the retreat–until its reemergence in recent times. Using original sources in Arabic, Greek, Latin, and Turkish, preeminent historian Raymond Ibrahim describes each battle in vivid detail and explains the effect the outcome had on larger historical currents of the age and how the military lessons of the battle reflect the cultural faultlines between Islam and the West.

The majority of these landmark battles are now forgotten or considered inconsequential. Yet today, as the West faces a resurgence of this enduring Islamic jihad, Sword and Scimitar provides the needed historical context to understand the current relationship between the West and the Islamic world, and why the Islamic State is merely the latest chapter of an old history.
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“Raymond Ibrahim’s Sword and Scimitar is a riveting military history of eight pivotal battles between the armies of Islamdom and Christendom. Ibrahim tells his story with extensive citations of primary sources which vividly bring to life the bloody fighting. 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 “A riveting account of the major battles between Islam and the West.”–Catholic World Report “Impressively informative, Sword and Scimitar is an exceptional work of outstanding scholarship that is so well written it reads more like a deftly crafted novel than a non-fiction history.”–Midwest Book Review “Enlightening for readers unfamiliar with the long history of war between these two faiths.”–New York Journal of Books “Ibrahim tells this history vividly, clearly, and engagingly.”–American Thinker “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.”–Dar o Fern ndez-Morera, Northwestern University, author of The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians, and Jews under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain “Raymond Ibrahim has the humility to take seriously the voices and opinions of history’s Christians and Muslims; the result 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, Crusades historian, California University of Pennsylvania “With passion, Raymond Ibrahim offers an edgy and eye-opening introduction to a millennium of warfare between the Muslim and Christian worlds before the modern age.”–Thomas Madden, award-winning author of Istanbul, Venice, and Concise History of the Crusades
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