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"Jihad," the Muslim holy war against Christians and others, has raged for 1,300 years with bloody conquests in Europe dating from campaigns to convert the infidels in the 7th century to today's random acts of terrorism in the name of Allah. Yet this huge unrecorded "hole" in European history has been censored and stifled by political and literary authorities who have feared reprisals from angry Muslims trying to hide a legacy of brutality vastly more bloody and six times longer in duration than the atrocities of ...
"Jihad," the Muslim holy war against Christians and others, has raged for 1,300 years with bloody conquests in Europe dating from campaigns to convert the infidels in the 7th century to today's random acts of terrorism in the name of Allah. Yet this huge unrecorded "hole" in European history has been censored and stifled by political and literary authorities who have feared reprisals from angry Muslims trying to hide a legacy of brutality vastly more bloody and six times longer in duration than the atrocities of the crusades.
This is the engrossing factual account of the immense and little-known Islamic military invasions of Europe, and the major players who led them, beginning around 650 CE. The Islamic Arabs (and later the Moors) occupied a number of the Mediterranean Islands, and invaded Spain and Portugal in 711 CE, and ruled over much of the Iberian peninsula for the next 800 years. France was attacked and invaded, as was Italy, and the European coasts all the way to Ireland and Iceland. The Muslims swept over the Balkans, besieged Vienna, and were intermittent masters of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary into the 19th century, destroying the Byzantines and conquering Constantinople (turning it into Istanbul). Ambitious and unrelenting, the Muslims also sought to conquer Austria and Russia.
In a bright and brisk narrative, Paul Fregosi's unique and provocative work is the first, and only, general history of the Jihad, the most neglected and disregarded phenomenon in European history.
|Glossary of Useful Arabic and Turkish Terms||11|
|Introduction: The Holy War That Isn't||19|
|1||The Beginnings: Mecca 570-622||31|
|2||Gabriel Cometh: Medina 622-632||34|
|3||The First Battles||40|
|4||A Man of Many Parts||46|
|5||When the Killing Had to Stop||52|
|6||A Man of His Time||56|
|7||Of Bones and Stones||60|
|8||A Paradise for Warriors||65|
|9||Onward Muslim Soldiers: Byzantium and Persia 632-640||71|
|10||The Island Campaign: Cyprus, Rhodes, and Crete 649-668||76|
|11||Checkmate on the Bosporus: Constantinople 668-673||83|
|12||The Toledo Whore: Spain 710||89|
|13||The Mountain of Tarik: Spain 711||93|
|14||A Conqueror's Fate: Spain 711-715||97|
|15||The Forgotten Isaurian: Constantinople 717-718||103|
|16||The Dhimmis: Dar-al-Islam from the Seventh Century Onward||107|
|17||Forays into France: The Languedoc 718-732||110|
|18||The Hammer of the Franks: Tours 732-759||116|
|19||The Umayyad Takeover: Spain 756-852||122|
|20||The Long Resistance: Sicily 827-902||130|
|21||The French Riviera Campaign: St. Tropez 898-973||135|
|22||The Corpses of Simancas: Spain 912-961||143|
|23||Aurora's Lover: Santiago de Compostela 967-1002||149|
|24||Exeunt the Umayyads: Spain 1085||153|
|25||The Desert Warrior: Zalaca 1085-1086||156|
|26||Mio Cid: Valencia 1080-1108||161|
|27||Liberation in Lusitania: Portugal 1079-1147||171|
|28||Whence the Greeks and Normans: Sicily 1025-1091||175|
|29||The African Takeover: Spain 1104-1212||182|
|30||The Year of Decision: Las Navas de Tolosa 1212||192|
|31||The Muslim Debacle: Spain 1212-1250||197|
|32||Five Cities to Go: Andalusia 1230-1248||201|
|33||The Ottoman Advent: Turkey mid-1200s||209|
|34||The Mongolian Horde: Russia 1340-1480||212|
|35||Janissaries Ahoy: Thrace 1301-1353||216|
|36||The Gay Revolt: Thrace 1376-1388||219|
|37||The Field of Blackbirds: Kosovo 1389||224|
|38||The Wild Knights of France: Nicopolis 1396||231|
|39||The Hungarian Hero: Varna 1444||240|
|40||The Last Agony: Constantinople 1453||248|
|41||The Road to Rome: Belgrade 1456||260|
|42||The Sigh of the Moor: Granada 1492||267|
|43||The Ottoman Empire: Selim the Grim 1512-1520||275|
|44||The Red Danube: Mohacs 1526||278|
|45||The Untaken Capital: Vienna 1529||285|
|46||Sailors, Slavers, and Raiders: The Mediterranean 1504-1546||288|
|47||In Arms Always and Prepared for Combat: Malta 1565||295|
|48||The Rhapsody of Death: Hungary 1566||309|
|49||The Alpujarras Rising: Spain 1568-1570||312|
|50||The Flaying of Bragadino: Famagusta 1571||317|
|51||A Good Day to Die: Lepanto 1572||322|
|52||Colonialism Muslim Style: Eastern Europe 1574-1681||329|
|53||Never Was There a Victory More Complete: Vienna 1683||343|
|54||The Jihad Totters: Greece and Hungary 1685-1699||349|
|55||The Gravediggers: Central and Southeastern Europe 1716-1770||354|
|56||The Orloff-Suvarov Duet: The Mediterranean and Crimea 1770-1792||362|
|57||To the Shores of Tripoli: North Africa 1798-1830||371|
|58||The Surrogates of Pericles: Greece 1821-1827||380|
|59||Wars Galore: The Balkans 1828-1878||389|
|60||The Great Unholy Wars: Dar-al-Harb 1912-1945||399|
|61||Terrorism: The West 1980s-1990s||410|
|Epilogue: An Action in All Its Luster||413|
Posted February 25, 2006
This well researched, easy to read and perhaps timely book grips the readers attention throughout. A contention is held in the book that the described Muslim military conquests of centuries past, and the terrorist campaigns of the modern day, share much more than just the same name of 'Jihad' but also encompass what the book cites as the Muslim 'distaste for and basic antagonism to' the entire non-Muslim world that is described herein as being seen to be 'blasphemers and infidels'. While some readers may find such comments to be contentious or inflammatory, the book submits these subjects to a meticulous scrutiny with a view to presenting an appropriate context to these assertions. Throughout it is clear that the writer strives to provide an objective analysis wherever possible without attacking the fundamental aspects of the Islamic religion - instead attempting to concentrate on the context of it's implications & relationship to the furtherance of Jihad itself. The writer states that Jihad has possibly been the most unrecorded and disregarded major event of history and introduces his study as perhaps being one of the first pertaining to the subject of Jihad, arguing that history has largely ignored what are described as the Muslim attacks and invasions of Europe from the seventh to the twentieth centuries, instead being content to remain transfixed on the Christian Crusades. Beginning his investigations from the time of Muhammad and the writing of the Islamic Koran in the early 7th century, the text illustrates in commendable detail the origins of Jihad during that period and throughout the wars of some 1,300 years ago in Arabia, during which the study depicts how Muhammad purportedly fought against what he describes as the pagan Arab tribes of the peninsula, allegedly demanding that they acknowledge his suzerainty and convert to Islam itself. Although this work is not written from the platform of any religious persuasion, the reader is confronted with a direct comparison between the Christian Crusades and Islamic Jihad. The study illustrating how Muhammad purportedly cited to his followers that the 'sword' is the key to heaven and hell, but that Christ had said to his followers some six hundred years earlier, that he who lives by the 'sword' shall perish by the sword. The writer drawing attention to what he calls the ethical differences between Islam and Christianity, with Christians who kill being responsible for ignoring the words of Christ, but that Muslims who kill are following the commands given to them. Recognition is also given in the study to how many devout followers of Islam allegedly believe that the Crusades are a prime factor for what is cited as the 'confrontation between Christendom and Islam' and therefore believe that it was the Crusaders who 'forced' Islam to create Jihad as a means of self defence. Due detail is provided to illustrate how Jihad had already been in action against Christendom for nearly five hundred years before the Crusades were launched in 1096. As an aside, the book makes reference to a number of factors/comparisons including how, in Europe today, Muslims can worship in their own mosques but that some Muslim countries forbid Christians to practice their own faith or build churches for their own worship, with even stricter restrictions being placed upon Judaism. Another factor referred to is how Muslims are forbidden to change their religion at the risk of their own lives, with apostasy being punishable by death. The book recognises what it describes as the often uncritical devotion of Muslims in regard to their Prophet Muhammad, while citing that any criticism or the Prophet or attack upon Islam is also undertaken under similar risk. As the investigation into the history and precepts of Jihad progresses, the study declares that the purpose of Jihad became, and allegedly still is, to 'expand and extend Islam' until the whole world is under IslaWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2002
I think that the author presents the history of muslims that most people are trying hard not to learn. The book is a bit dry - really a hard corp history book. However, one learns of muslim history - one that not many people know - one that if we do not learn could mean loosing a modern war.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 23, 2001
The author points out that his book presents one side on the subject of Jihad. He also states that we all have to acknowledge the past (Jihad and the Crusades) and that we should leave it there, in the past. While there are numerous books chronicling the Crusades, there are not many that discuss the history of Muslim holy wars or Jihad. I found the book to be very interesting though it would have benefited with footnotes.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2001
This book is a terrible onesided, anti muslim book. It twists history (like most books in the west do about islam)and ties political movements in the middle east with islam (islam is not synonomous to Arabs or people of the middle east). It would be like tying the so called white christian KKK and other so called people who claim to be christians and bind them into the same group of ordinary law abiding christians. This book is an unfair biassed book on the subject of islamic history and further purports the anti islam trend as felt in the west.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 7, 2000
Taken on its own merits, this book probably deserves three stars. It isn't exactly what you'd call a 'balanced' look at the wars and various attrocities Fregosi labels Jihad. And as other reviewers noted, it would benefit from footnotes. Were I a teacher of the impressionable young, I would assign it to my students with caution. Enough of caveats. 'Jihad in the West' is opinionated, feisty and very readable. The lack of balance, moreover, may be justified by years of willful ignorance (in Western Europe and America, at least) concerning Muslim incursions into Europe. With the publication history of the book and the outrage directed at it, you get the added benefit of handling a dangerous and forbidden text, like 'The Satanic Verses' in Iran. That's why I gave it an extra star.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 19, 1999
Perhaps if Prometheus Books had hired an editor to work on Paul Fregosi's antithesis of a masterpiece, it could have turned out a decent book. However, Mr. Fregosi easily loses track of the subject at hand, adds in extraneous information, and had led me to believe that this text can not be used as historical truth.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.