The Legacy of Jihad
Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims
Bostom. Andrew G.
Hardcover: 759 pages
Publisher: Prometheus Books (October 25, 2005)
Review on 03 September 2006 by Donald
N. Anderson (a version of this review is on Amazon.com):
I have just
finished reading this superlative book. It
took me at least 4 times as long to read as the usual non-fiction, but is a very
comprehensive treatment of the unique Islamic phenomena of Jihad (often called
the 6th pillar of Islam). The book
is very heavily footnoted and will be a guide for scholars for many years.
It is clear that
although there is a personal dimension to Jihad, the portion emphasizing violent
raiding, war, and subjection of other people has been a major activity of
Muslims since the 620's and continues today.
Any description of Islam as the religion of peace only refers to
relations between Muslims. (Even
there it has seldom been peaceful). As
for a Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Zoroastrians, and any other
"non-believers" it has been an unending source of forced conversion,
murder, rape, genocide, and slavery.
Even before an
areas occupation and rule by Muslims, raids for booty and slaves might be an
annual occurrence. In the area of Afghanistan-Pakistan-India these raids
depopulated areas, destroyed the culture, and impoverished the survivors for a
period of 500 years. The Muslins
then took over and governed much of the area for another 500 years.
The intense hate between Hindus and Muslims has very long roots and ample
The area now
dominated by Islam was once over 90% Christian and Zoroastrian, now these two
faiths comprise about 1% of the population in that area.
How did that happen? Bostom
and the other authors provide the answer and it sure wasn't preaching,
convincing and converting.