Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries


"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 ...

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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 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Rather frantic conservative polemic in the guise of a history of Muslim "holy wars" against the Christian West. Seeks to root all contemporary political violence by Muslims in the militant doctrines of Islam, and warns of a dire long-term threat from Islamic civilization. Includes b&w photographs of victims of Muslim terrorism and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem raising his arm in Hitlerian salute, in case you hadn't made the connection. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573922470
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Pages: 442
  • Sales rank: 690,787
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Fregosi (Sydney, Australia), born in Marseilles and educated in Britain, is the author of the widely praised Dreams of Empire: Napoleon and the First World War 1792-1815.

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Table of Contents

Glossary of Useful Arabic and Turkish Terms 11
Preface 15
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
Bibliography 417
Index 427
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2006

    Correcting popular misconceptions.

    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 Isla

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2002

    a book that points out the reality of what we face

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2001

    Interesting Read

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2001

    Terrible misleading book on Islamic History, and the term jihad

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2000

    An extra star for feistiness

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 1999

    Honestly, The Worst Book I Have Ever Read

    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.

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