Customer Reviews for

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Will Islam forge swords into ploughshares?

    It is quite an achievement to condense the History Of The World Through Muslim Eyes into a book of 362 pages. Tamim Ansary does it, presenting the Muslim narrative in elegant and clever prose. The book is rich in facts, names and lucid explanations. It evokes, however, a sense of unease once the meaning of Islamic Destiny is understood and digested.
    Layer after layer the history of Muslim lands is unveiled as an endless cycle of violence starting with the destruction and plunder of the Byzantine and Persian worlds and their mutation into the Islamic Caliphate. Short lived prosperity under the Umayyads and, later, of the Abbasids flourished into Islamic civilization fertilized by the wisdom and talents of conquered people. Peace, marred by continuous infighting of the Fatimids, Almohads and Buyids, was followed by Mongolian catastrophe and invasions of Tamerlane and the Seljuks. Then came new rebirth under the Mughals and Ottomans, who fleeced their conquered flock, only to briefly flourish and then wilt again, and so on and on.
    Islam is not just another religion. It is a social project based on a supremacist and militant ideology. In the need to prove itself a true revelation of God, Islam must maintain itself in a state of perpetual struggle for the hearts and minds of believers. The name of the struggle is Jihad. It starts with words of guidance and inspiration. If words fail, the sword is pulled from the scabbard - the Sword of Islam (as on the banner of Saudi Arabia). The goal of Jihad is to fulfill the destiny of Islam in bringing humankind to the state of Aslama - submission to God the Muslim way.
    The book is not without weak points. In his presentation of Muslim modernity Tamim Ansary follows uncritically the shibboleths of the Arab propaganda. For instance, he blames Israel for starting the Six Day War of 1967. In reality, the Arabs, yearning to regain self respect after the debacle of 1948, planned the war to eliminate a non-Muslim country from of what they claim as the Islamic realm. Preempting the imminent attack, Israel attacked and defeated the Arabs. The Egyptian debacle in the Yom Kippur war of 1973 further exacerbated the Arab anguish and led to deeper disappointment with the path of westernization in the Arab world. Military defeats, together with other grievances both just and unjust, catalyzed the radicalization of Muslim society leading to the emergence of al Qaeda and other Jihadi organizations. The cycle of war resumed, and there is no end in sight.
    The chances that Islam will forge swords into ploughshares and turn to peaceful coexistence with the rest of humankind are, at present, nonexistent. What might sway Islam to desist from Jihad, nobody knows. But thanks to books like Destiny Disrupted the reader is alerted to an urgent problem.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2011

    Outstanding

    The history explained is thorough yet written in such an engaging way that you never get bogged down or have to press through dry spots until the book gets interesting again. I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2010

    Islam Described by Talented History Author

    This book or series of CD's is a must for Americans who want to understand the present world situation. The writing is excellent, at times clever, and even amusing in spots. The author himself reads the book on the CD series clearly pronouncing the names with an ease born out his own familiarity with the cultures of Islam, his birth culture, as well as American culture, including American folk culture.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Well Narrated

    Every time I put this book down, I wanted to read it even more. History is told truthfully and fairly. I recommend it to anyone who likes to hear the Islamic history never taught in schools.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2009

    Entertaining and Fascinating

    I absolutely loved "Destiny Disrupted" - what a fascintating and utterly entertaining read! I could not put it down and have been recommending it to everyone I know.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great first step to understanding the Islamic narrative as a Westerner

    I found this book very fair minded and easy to read. It gives the casual observer of Islamic cultural a better understanding of it's origins and how Muslims view world history. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in history or foreign relations.

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