The First Jihad: The Battle for Khartoum and the Dawn of Militant Islam [NOOK Book]

Overview

Before there was Osama bin Laden, Abu al-Zarqawi or Ayatollah Khomeini, there was the Mahdi-the "Expected One"-who raised the Arabs in pan-tribal revolt against infidels and apostates in the late 19th-century Sudan.

Born on the Nile in 1844, Muhammed Ahmed grew into a devout, charismatic young man, whose visage was said to have always featured the placid hint of a smile. He developed a ferocious resentment, however, against the corrupt Ottoman...
See more details below
The First Jihad: The Battle for Khartoum and the Dawn of Militant Islam

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 35%)$16.99 List Price

Overview

Before there was Osama bin Laden, Abu al-Zarqawi or Ayatollah Khomeini, there was the Mahdi-the "Expected One"-who raised the Arabs in pan-tribal revolt against infidels and apostates in the late 19th-century Sudan.

Born on the Nile in 1844, Muhammed Ahmed grew into a devout, charismatic young man, whose visage was said to have always featured the placid hint of a smile. He developed a ferocious resentment, however, against the corrupt Ottoman Turks, their Egyptian lackeys, and finally the Europeans who he felt held the Arab people in subjugation. In 1880, he raised the banner of holy war, and thousands of warriors flocked to his side.

The Egyptians dispatched a punitive expedition to the Sudan, but the Mahdist forces destroyed it. In 1883, Col. William Hicks gathered a larger army of nearly 10,000 men. Trapped by the tribesmen in a defile at El Obeid, it was massacred to a man. Three months later, another British-led force met disaster at El Teb.

Prime Minister William Gladstone ordered a withdrawal from Sudan, and dispatched one of Victoria's most celebrated heroes, General Charles "Chinese" Gordon, to effect the evacuation. Instead, Gordon was besieged by the Mahdi at Khartoum. In an epic contest pitting military innovation and discipline against religious fervor, the Mahdi and Gordon dueled throughout 1884, while the British government hesitated to send relief.

On January 26, 1885 a treacherous native (or patriot, depending on one's point of view) let the Mahdist forces into the city of Khartoum. Gordon, realizing that the end was at hand, donned a white uniform, took up his sword, and walked out upon his palace steps. He was hacked to death by jihadists and his head was carried around the city on a pole. A British relief column arrived two days later.

The Mahdi died shortly afterward, yet his revolt had succeeded. The British vacated the territory for almost 15 years until in 1899, led by Herbert Kitchner, they returned to forestall encroachments by other European powers. The Mahdist forces were crushed at the Battle of Omdurman, and the great jihad temporarily dissolved into the desert, not to be renewed for another century.

In today's world the Mahdi's words have been repeated almost verbatim by the Muslim jihadists who have attacked New York, Washington, Madrid and London, and continue to wage war from the Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean. Along with Saladin, who once defeated a holy war, the Mahdi stands as an Islamic icon who once launched his own successful crusade against the West.

This deeply researched work reminds us that the "clash of civilizations" that supposedly came upon us in September 2001 in fact began much earlier. This book is essential reading for all those who seek to understand the roots of our current relationship with Islam.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

California Bookwatch
...key to understanding not only the Mahdi, but his ongoing importance to events happening today.
—J Cox
Publishers Weekly

This well-researched but reactionary history chronicles the little-known holy war (jihad) led by Sudanese cleric Muhammed Ahmed ibn 'Abdullah—known as the "Mahdi" or "expected one"—against the English Empire. The initial armed encounter took place in late 1882, when 50,000 of the Mahdi's men obliterated a British garrison in Kordofan, after the English became embroiled in regional affairs due to financial concerns about the Suez Canal. Enraged, British Prime Minister Gladstone sent decorated war veteran Gen. Charles "Chinese" Gordon to reassert British control. While Mahdi had sheer manpower, Gordon had superior ammunition. But after holding off a 317-day siege of Khartoum, Gordon's forces crumbled in January 1885, when an Egyptian lieutenant helped the Mahdi into the city. However, the Mahdi died shortly thereafter and in 1899, his short-lived empire was put to rest by a renewed English offensive. Butler lays important tracks into the study of terror, fundamentalism and the early clash between Islam and Christianity, but his account is tarnished by an angry narrative tone, in which he casts Islam as murderous, inflexible and impervious to modernization, while General Gordon is civilization's savior destroyed by savages. 16 pages illus., maps. (Mar.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Military Modeling International
. . . not a repeat of folk-lore history as depicted in many books and on the silver screen, but the result of most thorough and painstaking new research of memoirs, letters, government papers and many other primary sources . . . a very fine book and I recommend it most highly to you all.
Library Journal

For those looking to find the origins of the extreme terrorism now gripping the planet, this book is the ideal starting point. Butler (Age of Cunard) has extensively researched the struggle for empire in the late 19th-century Middle East among Egypt, Great Britain, and Muhammed Ahmed, the Mahdi—or "Expected One"—of what was then the Sudan. This struggle reached the world stage with the siege of Khartoum by Sudanese rebels in 1884 and the subsequent massacre of the Egyptian inhabitants and their British defender, Gen. Charles Gordon. It culminated in the destruction of Mahdist forces at the Battle of Omdurman in 1899. The jihad dissolved into the sands of the desert only to be renewed 100 years later, and the similarities between these two events—the jihads, then and now—are frighteningly real. Although Butler states that his initial purpose was not to draw that parallel, the facts are there for all to see. Highly recommended.
—David Lee Poremba

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935149613
  • Publisher: Casemate Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/29/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 661,615
  • File size: 3 MB

Table of Contents


Introduction     vii
"Fuzzy Wuzzy"   Rudyard Kipling     x
Prologue     1
The Land and the Prophet     3
The Coming of the Mahdi     19
Revolt in the Desert     37
The City Between the Rivers     55
Gordon     71
The Siege Begins     99
London and Cairo     121
The Duel     141
The Relief Column     163
The Fall of Khartoum     183
The Death of the Mahdi     201
Omdurman     219
Epilogue     235
Author's Note     241
Bibliography     247
Index     250
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)