"From the first Arab-Islamic empire of the mid-seventh century to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the story of Islam has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires and, no less importantly, of never quiescent imperialist dreams. In this tour de force, Robert Spencer narrates the transformation of the concept of jihad, 'exertion in the path of Allah,' from a rallying cry from the prophet Muhammad's followers into a supreme religious duty and the primary vehicle for the expansion of Islam throughout the ages. A must-read for anyone seeking to understand the roots of the Manichean struggle between East and West and the nature of the threat confronted by the West today."
"Robert Spencer, one of our foremost analysts of Islamic jihad, has now written a historical survey of the doctrine and practice of Islamic sanctified violence. With crystal clarity and rigorous argument, he relentlessly marshals the facts that put the lie to the sophistries of apologists and the delusions of Western appeasers. To fight the enemy we must know the enemy, and Robert Spencer's page-turner is the place to start."
"The most important book you will read about the fourteen-hundred-year war that Islamic jihadists have waged on us. Spencer's brilliant book is also the only book you can read on this history, since appeasers of Islamic bigotry and bloodthirstiness have worked so diligently to suppress it."
"Robert Spencer's book on the history of jihad is disturbing—so much so that mainstream media and academia will either ignore it or label it 'Islamophobic.' But that evades the only important question: is the book historically sound or not? If it is not, someone will have to refute the extraordinary amount of evidence Spencer cites. But if it is historically sound, this book is as troubling as it is important. That is to say very troubling and very important."
"For those who still think—and alas, there remain many—that Islamic Terrorism has emerged only in the last forty years or so, Robert Spencer's carefully researched work on Jihad from the beginning of Muhammad's political and prophetical career to the acts of terrorism of September 11, 2001, will be a salutary shock. It will not be at all easy to refute Spencer's account since he, for the first three Islamic centuries, relies almost entirely on the Arabic sources, that Muslim historians and scholars, such as Ibn Ishaq, Al-Tabari, Ibn Sa'd, Bukhari, Tirmidhi, and Muslim, who paint a grim picture of the early Islamic conquests. For the later Middle Ages, Spencer has also diligently consulted the primary sources where possible and has relied upon recognized modern scholars such as Ignaz Goldziher, Bernard Lewis, Bat Ye'or, and Steven Runciman, among others. Spanning centuries and continents, from the seventh to the twentieth century, from Spain to India, Spencer takes us on a tour of the global jihad that is Islamic history. Along the way, he shatters many myths, such as the myth of the Golden Age of Spain, a putative period of ecumenical harmony, a kind of perpetual medieval Woodstock Summer of love. He also puts the Crusades into perspective and reminds us that the Crusades were a belated response to years and years of jihad, and persecution of Christians. Spencer brings the story up to modern times, not forgetting the Armenian genocides perpeturated by the Turks between 1915 and 1923.
Robert Spencer's work is essential reading for all of us, for all those who want to defend our values from the relentless jihad that has not ceased for fourteen centuries. We must heed Spencer's final words, if we are to succeed in saving Western Civilization:
'In the twenty-first century, the leaders of Europe, as well as many in North America, having brought almost certain doom on their countries no less unmistakable than that which befell Constantinople on May 29, 1453. Yet instead of taking responsibility for what they have done, they have stayed their course, and would have denounced the doomed Emperor Constantine XI, like his predecessor, Manuel II, as "Islamophobic," and his exhortation to defend Constantinople to the death as "militaristic" and "xenophobic." In the twenty-first century, as the 1,400-year Islamic jihad against the free world continued to advance, the best allies the warriors of jihad were the very people they had in their sights.'"
"Spencer argues, in brief, 'There has always been, with virtually no interruption, jihad.' Painstakingly, he documents in this important study how aggressive war on behalf of Islam has, for fourteen centuries and still now, befouled Muslim life. He hopes his study will awaken potential victims of jihad, but will they—will we—listen to his warning? Much hangs in the balance."
"In a time of cowardice and deliberate falsehood, the courageous and scholarly exposure of the greatest challenges and dangers of our time by Robert Spencer is priceless."
"Few westerners know more about Islam and jihad than Robert Spencer. Fewer still write with greater honesty, or more fearlessly. A concise but essential account of a millennium-old war on human freedom and dignity."
"Jihad is not mere terrorism. Ironic as it may seem, that is Western wishful thinking. From its inception, as Robert Spencer incontestably illustrates, jihad has been the outward, aggressive expression of a conquest ideology. The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS is as relentless in relating unvarnished truth as is the phenomenon it tracks in seeking domination—and never being satisfied with less, however long it takes. Those who care to preserve Western rationalism, civil liberties, and free societies must confront this history, and its implications, with eyes opened."