Islamic Imperialism: A History

From the first Arab Islamic Empire of the mid seventh century to the Ottomans, the last great Muslim empire, the story of the Middle East has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires and, no less important, of imperialist dreams So argues Efraim Karsh in this highly provocative book Rejecting the conventional Western interpretation of Middle Eastern histoFrom the first Arab Islamic Empire of the mid seventh century to the Ottomans, the last great Muslim empire, the story of the Middle East has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires and, no less important, of imperialist dreams So argues Efraim Karsh in this highly provocative book Rejecting the conventional Western interpretation of Middle Eastern history as an offshoot of global power politics, Karsh contends that the region s experience is the culmination of long existing indigenous trends, passions, and patterns of behavior, and that foremost among these is Islam s millenarian imperial tradition.The author explores the history of Islam s imperialism and the persistence of the Ottoman imperialist dream that outlasted World War I to haunt Islamic and Middle Eastern politics to the present day September 11 can be seen as simply the latest expression of this dream, and such attacks have little to do with U.S international behavior or policy in the Middle East, says Karsh The House of Islam s war for world mastery is traditional, indeed venerable, and it is a quest that is far from over.
Islamic Imperialism A History From the first Arab Islamic Empire of the mid seventh century to the Ottomans the last great Muslim empire the story of the Middle East has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires a

  • Title: Islamic Imperialism: A History
  • Author: Efraim Karsh
  • ISBN: 9780300106039
  • Page: 254
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Islamic Imperialism: A History”

    1. In a perverse inversion of truth, leftwing opinion-makers have in Orwellian fashion tarred those resisting Islamic imperialism, with the brush of 'imperialism' themselves. And thus, instead of the vast Islamic Empire from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, correctly labelled as imperialist, those outposts that resist being forced into Islamic domination, such as the tiny Jewish State of Israel, have themselves been branded falsely and maliciously as 'imperialists' as well as 'fascists', 'colonia [...]

    2. In The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists, Khaled Abou El Fadl notes that two of the major things driving Islamic extremism are the use of torture and the constant stream of Islamophobic rubbish such as this book. Every time a book like this comes out, the extremists use it as evidence that "the West" is irreconcilably opposed to Islam.To be clear, unlike either El Fadl or Karsh, I have no horse in this race. I was raised by an Episcopalian mother and Jewish father. My father's fee [...]

    3. This is the first non fiction book I have read for pleasure in a very long time. I am interested in history and politics, and due to my mother being born in Cairo I am particularly interested in the Middle East. As a Christian I am also interested in Islam as I was not taught other religions at school. So, enough about me, what about the book? I thought it was excellent, mainly because it was written like a thesis with plenty of references that you could look up if you chose to. The book is esse [...]

    4. In a perverse inversion of truth, leftwing opinion-makers have in Orwellian fashion tarred those resisting Islamic imperialism, with the brush of 'imperialism' themselves. And thus, instead of the vast Islamic Empire from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, correctly labelled as imperialist, those outposts that resist being forced into Islamic domination, such as the tiny Jewish State of Israel, have themselves been branded falsely and maliciously as 'imperialists' as well as 'fascists', 'colonia [...]

    5. There are two types of thoughts about the role of Islam in the terror attacks that are perpetuated by people who claim to be Muslims. First, there are the ones who readily try to explain the attacks as a reaction to white-imperialist actions committed by Christians for centuries. They claim that the Islamic civilization was a peaceful and enlightened society which was then repressed by Christian nations. Instead of invading, the Muslims were invaded. That explains the violent backlash the West r [...]

    6. YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!!! In order to understand Islamic terrorism, you NEED to know the history of Islam. Extremist thought wasn't just a random idea that popped into OBL's mind one morning; it's been a long time in the making. This book will take you on a tour of Islam that starts from Day 1 and explains how early conflicts with Jews and Christians spawned the opposed belief systems of Islam. You'll learn about Wahabism (spelled wrong. sorry!), Sunni beliefs, and Shiite beliefs. Is all thi [...]

    7. Efraim Karsh is unabashedly Islamophobic and a Right wing Zionist, so I was expecting a polemical book, but what I was not expecting was that it would also be a succinct and generally accurate summary of Islamic imperial history (Ummayads, Abbasids, Ottomans, Persian wannabes, modern Arab fantasists), though confined more or less to the core middle eastern region that is his area of academic interest. India is a major (and unjustified) omission, since it is hard to argue that the Delhi Sultanate [...]

    8. Caveat lector! This author makes no bones about the fact that he is distinctly biased against the Islamic religion. I mean, I know all people are biased in one way or another with regards to various issues, but a pretence of objectvity would be pleasant, eh.

    9. Fascinating and important book that should be required reading in schools. Describing the atrocities committed by a historically rooted Islamic imperialism is not "Islamophobic". Describing Western imperialism or white supremacy does not mean you hate the West or hate white people. Islamic supremacy, colonialism and imperialism are real and have a long history not just affecting the West but Africa, the Middle-East, Central Asia, South Asia and SouthEast Asia as well. The largest geopolitical is [...]

    10. This book posits that pan-Arabism (and in effect pan-Islamism) is an euphemism for imperialist ambition. Karsh's starts with Muhammad and the beginning of Islam and ends in the 'present'. Internecine fighting occurred through the ages as individuals and groups hawked the idea of a universal Islamic empire for personal gain. In his conclusion, Karsh says " Osama bin Laden and other Islamists' war is not against America per se, but is rather the most recent manifestiation of the millenarian jihad [...]

    11. Very Good book, it really does help explain the rapid early rise of Islam, and what it was that made them early conquerors succeed with such speed. Hint, it was not because Islam was so lovely. :)It then moves onto how that imperial / conquering mindset of the early Muslims morphed into the pan-Arabist movements of the 20th century that still plague the region to today.I gave it three stars because I found that at certain places the data presented was weak, and extrapolations were used to make t [...]

    12. I thought this book was very well written, albeit with a slight pro-Israeli tilt to it, nonetheless, it is well-researched with a brisk narrative. The reader gains an immediate and thorough knowledge in the history of Islam and what may portend for all of us with the rise of Islamism. Definitely worth the read for anyone anxious to get a handle on what is currently unfolding over there.

    13. A better title for this book would be "The Islamic Face of Imperialism." At least the first half of the book, where Karsh looks at the expansion of Islam and Islamic states throughout the Middle East and North Africa up to 1918. (A major weakness of the book is the author's neglect of sub-Saharan Africa and points east of Iran.) For me, this part of the book is unproblematic. That religion has been used since recorded history began (and certainly before) to justify the means and ends of all sort [...]

    14. If you want to know either the history of Islam in general, and especially if you want to know about Islamic theology, Islamic Imperialism is not the book you want. It's what its title describes--a history of empires and imperialist ideologies under the banner of Islam--and discussion of theology other Islam-related subjects is incidental and given only to support the thesis. You largely can't learn from this book what Muslims believe.That said, it fully explains how for Muslims (especially Arab [...]

    15. Not giving to give a rating, because that would be unfair. For me as a layman the book was very dense, certainly not the easiest introduction.It also seems the author holds his own distinct opinions (for example the reasons behind the Ottomans Empires entrance to WWI). He acknowledges other view points briefly, albeit to shortly for someone like me to fully understand the debate and evaluate the different positions.For people familiar with the history of the region this should certainly spell an [...]

    16. According to Efrahim, "Muhammad spent his entire life fighting enemies and people who are opposed to the establishment of Islam in the Arabian peninsula". Really ? The most important criticisms of this claim is that Karsh failed to acknowledge the fact that the first thirteen years of Islam which known as the Meccan period there were no fighting permitted for Muhammad against his persecutors or oppressors. Politically, Muhammad and his companions did not have a political entity and military stat [...]

    17. What forces -- and which major players -- shaped the current Middle East (and its problems)? This volume is a welcome challenge to the typically anti-Israel, anti-West "conventional wisdom" about Middle Eastern history and politics --whether concerning the Crusades, or the events of the past century. Karsh actually believes Middle Eastern powers THEMSELVES have played a major role in shaping their fortunes, not simply been the victims of European (and, more recently, American) actions. What's pa [...]

    18. Considering the vast scope of the topic - the approximately 13 or 14 centuries that Islam has been in existence as a geopolitical force, in addition to a religion, the volume covers the salient points of the historical journey through time in a concise and attention-grabbing manner. It is a very readable although densely written volume. The thesis the author makes is that succeeding Islamic empires were much the same as prior and subsequent empires - with the same dreams of expansionism, aggrand [...]

    19. Amir Taheri of Asharq Alawsat (a leading Arabic International Daily, in their English edition) characterized the general field of this kind of scholarly work as being of two major sides, apologies defending Islam as the religion of peace, and that of the Islamophobes. What drew me to this book was that Taheri said Efraim Karsh's work here DOESN'T fall into either of those camps, despite the fact that other commentators continue to perceive the world as such and try to relegate Karsh and Islamic [...]

    20. The story of Islam is complicated, but Karsh has done a remarkable job in his research and presentation. Islam is inherently imperialist in its aims and scope, but its followers have neither fully embraced this nor fully rejected it. The current struggle to eliminate the terrorist cadres dedicated to this imperial dream is, it seems, a doomed effort. Even if victory is won on the battlefield, the text of the Qu'ran will not change, and those who revere it will never grow weary of attempting to i [...]

    21. Very interesting book. Couple of key bits of information. Islam was movement that conquered many people and lands. Even plundering into Italy and Spain. The crusades were a reaction to some degree to the violent spread of Islam. Two, the view of the crusades as a scar in the Islamic/Middle Eastern memory is a modern idea that was created when the Ottoman Empire was under pressure from Europe as they propped her up for years until she sided with Germany and was defeated and split up in the afterm [...]

    22. I confess my ignorance of the history of Arabia and much of the middle-east, however this book has wet my appetite. The author's extensive research has put much of the current events in the world in a proper historical context, allowing us to understand the roots of the thought behind much of the terror we see inflicted on the world. I applaud the other for making a historical book impossible to put down. It is a fairly easy to read book and propels the reader effortlessly forward. I am recommen [...]

    23. Karsh asserts that the current conflicts that exist between and among middle eastern nations as well as the rest of the world are nothing new. Imperialism is ingrained into the region's culture, and Islam is a catalyst for middle eastern imperialsim. The writer, however is not out to condemn Islam or single it out unfailry. He does a very good job, however, of disproving the notion that Islamic nations and muslims are victims of western influence by pointing out the destructive internecine dynam [...]

    24. Before you cry that this book is "racist", actually read it first. Islamic Imperialism is an account of the history of Islam and how its violent conquest for their pan-caliphate dream never quite come true.Unlike other books, it solely dealt with historical facts rather than focusing on the cursed book itself. The details were brutal and disturbing but those were the truth, arm yourselves with this book, it's the ammunition we need to shine some light on the sympathizers and apologetics.

    25. Overall, a very intriguing and informative book about the imperial history of Islam from its inception to today. The book could GREATLY benefit from subtitles that separate and organize the various sections; merely having chapter divisions is not enough to organize the vast amount of history presented in this work. It would have also been beneficial for the author to have included a thorough bibliographic section.

    26. This book is a must for anybody seriously contemplating the question if Islam and its place in the modern world. Though Efraim Karsh isn't afraid to speak his mind, never do his arguments degenerate into anything other than fair, intelligent discourse on Islam's darker side, and overall a healthy objectivity remains.

    27. Excellent history. I have read on this subject extensively. His writing is direct, clear and does not mince words about what has and has not been done by Muslims (particularly those in political and military power) throughout Islamic history. This addresses a blind spot in many contemporary histories on the Islam and the Middle East.

    28. Argues that Islamic Fascism is not necessarily rooted in religious fervor, but instead is rooted in pragmatism. Their objective is siding with the strong and attacking them later on in their weakness. Interesting take on Islamic Terrorism. Although it is a bit heavy on facts and depth.

    29. The contents of this book reflect the imperialism of Efraim Karsh, a much less impressive imperialism than the big dogs just to let you know. If an authors ratings are so poor does he cease to qualify as an expert, quit writing, stop selling books, stfu, or all the above? You decide, Efraim.

    30. Good basic history book on Islamic Empires. Does display a little too much fear mongering in the last few chapters though.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *