French    German    Spain    Italian    Arabic    Chinese Simplified    Russian

Western Civilisation

Until the advent of materialism and 19th c. dogma, Western Civilisation was  superior to anything Islam had developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Proof of this resides in the 'modern' world and the unending political-economic and spiritual poverty of Muslim states and regions.  Squatting on richer civilisations is not 'progress'.  Islam is pagan, totalitarian, and irrational.   

Back     Printer Friendly Version  

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bookmark and Share

Book Review: 'The Great Arab Conquests', by Hugh Kennedy.

The largest imperialist project in history. Never discussed.

by Ferdinand III

The Arabs built the greatest land empire in history in just 150 years, from 632 to 750 A.D. It is an empire which still exists today. This is the legacy of the Arab imperialist project, based around the Koran. It is a history of war, jihad, conversions, taxation, cultural annihilation, and cultural diffusion as well as trade, commerce. It is without question the largest and most permanent imperialist project in history – greater even than that of Christianity. Very little positive or accomplished has come from this Arabian expansion. The Arabs and their Turkish and African Islamic progeny have created history's largest ever imperialist domain premised on an Arabian moon cult now encompassing 60 odd countries and 1.2 billion people. These are amongst the poorest, most illiterate and savage domains on the planet. The Islamic project has killed at least 300 million innocents through war and jihad. It still carries on violence in the name of ali-ilah [Allah] or the Meccan moon deity, today. Forests are cut to explain the evil nature of white cultural imperialism – but nary a tale is told about the vitality of the Arab moon cult project. Good for Kennedy to tackle this topic. Kennedy relates the Arab expansion from an uncivilised backward set of moon worshipping cults, to world power, in rather crisp fashion. No blood, gore, body counts, or exagerrated personal opinions color this 400 page narrative. Kennedy is fascinated, as should anyone be who is interested in history and geopolitical affairs, by the establishment of a world-wide cult and empire, by a fractionally and factionally small group of backwards Arabs. It is a remarkable tale indeed. As Kennedy states, “What makes the Arab Muslim conquests so remarkable is the permanence of the effect they had on the language and the religion of the conquered lands.” These lands now stretch from Morocco to Indonesia and included Spain, Portugal, Ukraine, southern Russia, and the Balkans. What we now think of as being natural Arabicised land – Egypt, Syria, North Africa, 'Palestine', Afghanistan etc. was of course non-Arabic until the Mohemmadans broke out of Arabia in 632 A.D. In the 7th century the Mediterranean basin was largely Greek, Jewish, Roman, Christian and animist. Persian Sassanids controlled a wide empire stretching from Iraq to the Chinese border. Even Arab speaking tribes – semitic and related to the Jews – who lived on the desert margins in Syria and the Levant, were largely Christianised long before the start of the 7th century A.D. Arab tribes were the frontier guardians along these desert lands for both the Roman and Greek-Byzantine empires. So how did a group of tribal pagans from in and around the Mecca-Medina corridor, in a poor peninsula bypassed by new trade routes, go on to conquer vast swathes of the world and imprint a Meccan moon-cult into the spiritual minds of 1.2 billion current believers ? Without recouting all of Kennedy's story the pertinent highlights can be given as he relates the historical evolution of the Islamic cult and its ferocious explosion into the world at large: -monotheistic Islam was premised largely on Judeo-Christian ideas and even scripture -this monotheism was tied to a well known tribal moon cult in Mecca -Mohammed was a political leader who used the unifying power of this new monotheistic faith to unite the disparate Arab tribes -the elite who ran this new ideology were urban Arabs from Mecca and in particular from Mohammed's tribe, the fighters and calvary were poor Bedouin organised and controlled by this urban-tribal elite -an external program to obtain riches and power was necessary to solidify the cult and redirect its energies and that of the tribes who expected something from giving their loyalty to the Meccan cult -external enemies were built up revealed in later Koranic versions as shrill, savage and bloody invocations against Jews, Christians or anyone who did not submit to the new Arab cult -the Arabs were fortunate to attack empires and states decidedly weakened from war, civil conflict, economic stagnation and a declining demography due to plague, disease and social dislocation The amazing aspect of the Arab advance from 632 A.D. onwards is of course its speed and totality. As Kennedy states, “The forces that conquered Iraq [in the decade 632 – 640] seem to have been significantly smaller, and the Arabic sources quote between 6.000 and 12.000 men. The numbers in Egypt were smaller still: Amr's initial force was between 3.500 and 4.000 men, though they were soon joined by 12.000 reinforcements.” Even by ancient standards these are token forces. Alexander crushed the Persians at Gaugamela with 40.000 men who slaughtered and defeated a force 5 times that size. The Arabs defeated the weakened Byzantines at the Yarmuk river in Syria in 636 A.D. with perhaps ¼ of Alexander's forces destroying a disorganised Greek-Roman army twice its size. The Arabs were military conquerors not missionaries of love and compassion. Mohammed himself led 80 odd booty raiding expeditions and killed Jews and non-Muslims with his own hands. His last words called on the Arabs to conquer the world in the name of the Meccan moon cult. Gold, money, slaves and urban refinement were the incitements for the Arab advance. The Byzantines and Persians still had empires of opulence but in their weakened 7th century state, made an easy target for Arab predations. Both the Greek and Persian empires had spend 30 years engaged in a long and bloody war which decimated their treasuries, border lands, and their urban centers. A 5th century plague, much like the Black Death of the medieval period, had wiped out perhaps ¼ or more of the population centers of both empires. Both economies had suffered immense damage due to social and military privations and both had imposed unreasonably high levels of taxation and state appropriation of wealth further distancing the population from the ruling class. Thus war, disease and demography made both the Byzantines and the Persians a set of reasonably easy prey to poach. In fact in many of the lands the Arabs passed through there was no military resistance. Many locals in both the Byzantine and Persian empires viewed the Arabs as liberators. The Copts in Egypt, the Jews in Israel, the Christians in Persia, and various tribes and nascent states aided, or at least did not hinder the Arab advance. Much of the Arab advance was also due to military incompetence of its enemies, as well as the sheer speed, mobility, zeal and fanaticism of the Arabs themselves. The Arabs did not keep supply trains, their small forces fed off the land. They were superb horsemen and fanatical in combat. They were fearless, tough, and under smart leadership. The Muslim's enemies were lax, poorly trained, and badly led. The Byzantines and Persians did almost nothing right in the face of the Arab advance and almost everything wrong. In Egypt and North Africa the story was the same, “Part of the explanation for the speed of the conquest lies in the political structure of Egypt. From pharoanic times the administration of the country was highly centralised. In late antiquity, defence was in the hands of the governor and his army. Most of the population had neither arms nor military training.” This was the same everywhere the Arabs appeared. Once you defeated the central army, the land was yours. The Arabs were also smart administrators. Like the Romans, they set up a somewhat lenient system where the Qurayesh Arabs or the urban Arab elite would rule as a minority in the far richer conquered society. The conquered populations would either have to convert or suffer dhimmi or second class status including extraordinary taxation, and severe restrictions on social-political mobility and freedom. If the dhimmis complied than well enough was left alone. As Kennedy says, “conquest was the prelude to conversion.....By the year 1000 it is likely that the majority of the population in all the different areas that had been conquered by the 750 were Muslim.” Indeed. This of course does not mitigate the gross expressions of Arab imperialism – the slave trading, the destruction of whole cities and regions in war or reprisal, and the deaths of literally millions of people in the course of the conquests. Kennedy does not relate this 'darker' side of Arab pagan imperialism. It is the only weak point therefore of his work. Kennedy does a great job of providing an overview of the Arab imperial project. What is missing are the human, cultural and civilisational costs. Maybe someone will add this as a volume two – the detail both good and bad of the Arabian imperialist venture. It is a story that needs to be told.

Article Comments:

Related Articles:

Books Reviewed

12/10/2023:  EurArabia and EU Dhimmitude

11/5/2023:  The Palestinian Delusion, by Robert Spencer

9/4/2023:  'The Templars', by Michael Haag

8/27/2023:  The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam, Jonathan Riley-Smith (2008)

7/30/2023:  Simon Webb: ‘The Forgotten Slave Trade; The White European Slaves of Islam’

7/5/2023:  Scanderbeg: A History of George Castriota and the Albanian Resistance to Islamic Expansion

6/29/2023:  Defenders of the West. Raymond Ibrahim. Another must-read.

6/21/2023:  A must read book, Raymond Ibrahim’s ‘Sword and Scimitar’.

5/29/2023:  Judith Herrin, ‘Byzantium. The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire’.

5/26/2023:  Review: 'Byzantium and the Crusades', by Johnathan Harris.

5/18/2023:  Johathan Harris, The Lost World of Byzantium

5/13/2023:  History of the Byzantine Empire, Sir Charles Oman, 272 pages, 2018

11/7/2022:  Christopher Dawson 'Religion and the rise of Western culture'

8/26/2022:  Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity. By Peter Brown

4/14/2022:  Henri Pirenne, 'A History of Europe: From the Invasions to the XVI Century'

1/22/2022:  ‘Through the Eye of A Needle’ by Peter Brown

11/28/2021:  Peter Hammond: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam. Exposing the moon cult and Jihad

11/14/2021:  The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, A.D. 200–1000. Peter Brown.

10/4/2021:  Henri Pirenne: Mohammed and Charlemagne

9/27/2021:  Henri Pirenne: Mohammed and Charlemagne. Rome never 'Fell'. It was replaced.

8/9/2021:  The Catholic Enlightenment, Ulrich L. Lehner. Nicholas Bergier, defender of the Church.

8/8/2021:  The New World Order, by A. Ralph Epperson

7/15/2021:  The Catholic Enlightenment, Ulrich L. Lehner. From the 16th century to Pope Francis.

7/9/2021:  The Catholic Enlightenment, by Ulrich L. Lehner

3/29/2021:  The Clock and the Camshaft, J. W. Farrell

3/20/2021:  Bearing False Witness, by Rodney Stark, #2.

3/17/2021:  Bearing False Witness, by Rodney Stark, #1.

2/5/2021:  ‘Slavery, Terrorism and Islam’ by Peter Hammond

1/27/2021:  Emmet Scott 'The Impact of Islam' and the mythical Golden Age of Muhammadan Spain

1/24/2021:  The Impact of Islam, by Emmet Scott (part two)

1/20/2021:  The Impact of Islam, by Emmet Scott (part one)

11/20/2020:  The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery, by Seb Falk. Science and sphericity.

11/11/2020:  The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery, by Seb Falk

10/16/2020:  The Age of Plunder, by W. G. Hoskins

10/11/2020:  Michael Wood's 'In Search of The Dark Ages'. Plenty of light, the basis of civilisation

9/8/2020:  The Glory of the Crusades, Steve Weidenkopf (2014)

8/5/2020:  C.S. Lewis and 'The Abolition of Man' by Steve Turley

12/18/2019:  The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Spencer

12/11/2019:  Islam: Religion of Peace?: The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up, Fr. Portella

11/25/2019:  2030: Your Children's Future in Islamic Britain, by David Vincent

4/28/2016:  History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French Revolution - James MacCaffrey

2/24/2016:  Morris Bishop, 'The Middle Ages'

11/6/2015:  “Medieval Lives” by Alan Ereira, Terry Jones and the 'other side' of the Monkish orders

11/6/2015:  Medieval Lives by Alan Ereira, Terry Jones

8/18/2015:  Dr. Robert Morey, 'Islam Unveiled' – The Real Desert Storm

8/16/2015:  R. A. Morey, 'Islam Unveiled', 1991

1/18/2015:  Ataturk in the Nazi Imagination, by Stefan Ihrig

11/28/2014:  The poorly named Enlightenment - James Hitchcock, History of the Catholic Church

11/27/2014:  Michael Coren's 'Hatred: Islam's war against Christianity' Read it.

11/20/2014:  "The Catholic Church and Science" by Benjamin Wiker

11/14/2014:  Michael Coren: 'Hatred; Islam's war on Christianity'. Stating the obvious.

11/11/2014:  Collins and Christian-Catholic Culture in the West

11/4/2014:  The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, the Creation of Europe in the 10th Century P. Collins

7/25/2014:  James Hitchcock, The History of the Catholic Church

7/19/2014:  William Muir, 1868, 'Life of Mahomet' - the madness revealed

6/30/2014:  Garwood: 'Flat Earth' - a belief only held by atheists and evolutionists

5/1/2014:  How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity by Rodney Stark

4/23/2014:  The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, + Western Success - Rodney Stark

3/31/2014:  John Freely: 'Before Galileo', Kuhn and the real history of real science.

3/25/2014:  John Freely: 'Before Galileo', Diophantus to Bradwardine, review 2

3/15/2014:  Book Review: John Freely and 'Before Galileo'

2/19/2014:  Christianity, Islam and Atheism by William Kilpatrick (2)

2/18/2014:  Christianity, Islam and Atheism by William Kilpatrick

6/28/2013:  Raymond Ibrahim 'Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians'

4/24/2013:  Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church by George Weigel

4/21/2013:  Robert Spencer: 'Moslem Persecution of Christians'

4/13/2013:  Book Review: Islam: Evil in the name of God

3/31/2013:  The Triumph of the Risen. The Truth of Christianity.

1/12/2013:  Book Review 2: God and Reason In the Middle Ages, by Edward Grant

1/7/2013:  Book Review 1: God and Reason In the Middle Ages, by Edward Grant

1/3/2013:  The Early Middle Ages 400-1000, Editor Rosamund McKitterick, Short Oxford History of Europe

12/17/2012:  Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity, by Michael Coren

12/10/2012:  Medieval Technology and Social Change, Lynn White Jr., Oxford Press, 1968

11/29/2012:  Book Review: Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America, Kenneth Timmerman

11/28/2012:  Book Review: Islamophobia, by Robert Spencer.

11/25/2012:  Part 2: The Gies' - Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel, Review

11/23/2012:  The Gies': Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel, Review.

11/13/2012:  Book: The cult of the Moon God, by Brian Wilson

10/31/2012:  Review 2: Islam Dismantled, Sujit Das, Ali Sina

10/29/2012:  Book Review 1: Islam Dismantled by Sujit Das, Ali Sina

9/22/2012:  Book Review: Michael Coren, 'Why Catholics are Right'.

9/3/2012:  Book Review, Why the West is Best, by Ibn Warraq, Part Two

8/29/2012:  Book Review, Why the West is Best, by Ibn Warraq, Part One

6/12/2012:  Book Review: Poitiers AD 732, Charles Martel turns the Islamic tide. David Nicolle.

6/6/2012:  Review 2: Diane Moczar, Islam at the Gates, How Christendom defeated the Ottoman Turks

5/31/2012:  Review 1: Diane Moczar, Islam at the Gates, How Christendom defeated the Ottoman Turks

5/26/2012:  The Early Middle Ages 400-1000, Editor Rosamund McKitterick, Short Oxford History of Europe

4/13/2012:  Review, Emmet Scott: 'Mohammed and Charlemagne'

4/10/2012:  Henri Pirenne, 'Mohammed and Charlemagne' – Part 2

4/7/2012:  Book Review: Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne – Part One

1/29/2012:  Andrew Wheatcroft's, 'The Enemy at the Gate'

1/22/2012:  Book Review: Defenders of the Faith, by James Reston Jr.

1/11/2012:  Book Review: Norman Berdichevsky, 'The Left is not always Right'

12/10/2011:  Book Review, Nigel Cliff's 'Holy War' – good but flawed.

11/7/2011:  'How Civilizations Die', D. P. Goldman, 2011, 270 pgs.

10/21/2011:  'Religion and the Rise of Western Culture' – Christopher Dawson [Kindle Edition]

9/29/2011:  Book Review: Bynum's 'Allah is Dead'

9/16/2011:  Middle Age Dynamism

8/13/2011:  Malise Ruthven, 'Islam in the World' and the Kabaa-Hajj paganism.

8/12/2011:  EJ Brill and the Ka'ba

8/11/2011:  F.E. Peters and the pagan origins of the Kabaa Shrine

7/14/2011:  Benjamin Walker, Foundations of Islam: The Making of a World Faith 

4/12/2011:  Martin Gilbert: 'In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands', part 3.

4/6/2011:  Martin Gilbert: 'In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands', part 2.

4/3/2011:  Review part 1: Martin Gilbert 'In Ishmael's House'. A History of Jews living in Muslim lands.

3/31/2011:  Book Review: Susan Bauer, 'The History of the Medieval World'

3/24/2011:  Book Review: Empires of the Sea, by Roger Crowley. [The Final Battle for the Mediterranean]

3/22/2011:  Book Review: Will Israel survive? By Dr. Mitchell Bard, expert on Israel's political-economy.

3/20/2011:  Book Review ‘The Great War for Civilization', by Robert Fisk

3/18/2011:  Book Review: Bruce Bawer's “Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom”, Doubleday, May 2009.

3/15/2011:  Book Review: World War IV and Beyond, by Richard Hobbs.

3/11/2011:  Alan Dershowitz's: 'The Case for Israel.'

3/5/2011:  Leaving Islam, by Ibn Warraq

2/18/2011:  Review part 2: D. S. Margoliouth, 'The Early Development of Mohammedanism', 1913.

2/12/2011:  Review: D. S. Margoliouth, 'The Early Development of Mohammedanism', 1913.

12/21/2010:  Robert R. Reilly, 'The Closing of the Muslim Mind'. The Communal Fascism of Islam.

12/19/2010:  Robert R. Reilly, 'The Closing of the Muslim Mind'.

10/22/2010:  Rodney Stark, 'For the Glory of God'

10/20/2010:  Andrew McCarthy, 'The Grand Jihad, How Islam and the Left Sabotage America'.

10/18/2010:  Book Review: 'The Dhimmi. Jews and Christians under Islam.' Bat Ye'or.

10/8/2010:  Jamie Glazov: 'United in Hate'. Indeed they are. The Leftards and Muslims that is.

8/31/2010:  'The Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs', Robert Spencer

8/9/2010:  Amil Imani: Iranian and former-Muslim writes about the pagan savagery that is Islam.

7/15/2010:  Book Review: Baran's 'The Other Muslims: Moderate and Secular'. A fantasy novel.

6/29/2010:  Serge Trifkovic: 'The Sword of the Prophet'. Jihad, Jihad and endless Jihad.

6/28/2010:  Serge Trifkovic: 'The Sword of the Prophet'. The Madness of Muhammad.

6/5/2010:  Review, 'Medieval Civilization 400-1500' by Jacques Le Goff.

5/31/2010:  Fregosi and Islam's endless Jihad.

5/27/2010:  Book Review, 'The Civilization of the Middle Ages', by Norman Cantor, 1993.

5/21/2010:  Book Review: 'Islam's Black Slaves', by Ronald Segal, 2001.

5/9/2010:  Book Review: 'Race and Slavery in the Middle East.' by Bernard Lewis, 1990.

5/6/2010:  Book Review: 'Slavery in the Arab World', by Murray Gordon, 1987.

5/5/2010:  Book Review: R. C Davis; 'Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters', 2004 edition.

5/1/2010:  Book review: The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran, by Robert Spencer.

4/28/2010:  Book Review; Thomas Cahill, 'Mysteries of the Middle Ages', 317 pages.

4/9/2010:  Book Review: 'The Islamic Anti-Christ', Joel Richardson, 2009, WND Books.

3/26/2010:  Book Review: Wafa Sultan, 'A God Who Hates'. 2009, 244 pages.

3/19/2010:  Book Review: Brigitte Gabriel, “They Must be Stopped”. 2009. 240 pages.

3/1/2010:  Book Review; M. A. Khan “Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery”

2/22/2010:  Book Review: 'Defeating Political Islam' by Moorthy Muthuswamy

2/13/2010:  'Holy Warriors' – the Arab devastation of the Mediterranean

2/10/2010:  Henri Pirenne and why the 'Dark Ages' occurred.

2/20/2009:  Book Review: 'The Great Arab Conquests', by Hugh Kennedy.

1/22/2009:  Book Review - 'Chasing a Mirage' by Tarek Fatah. [2008, Wiley and Son, 410 pages.]

6/15/2008:  Book Review: 'Islamic Imperialism – A History.' By Efraim Karsh.

1/7/2008:  Book Review: Ed Husain, 'The Islamist'

11/22/2007:  Book Review: 'The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy', by Walid Phares

10/16/2007:  Robert Spencer's superb book: 'Religion of Peace: Why Christianity is and Islam isn't'

9/21/2007:  Book Review: 'Infidel' by Ayaan Hirsi Ali- a Somalian-Dutch Muslim Apostate

5/2/2007:  Book Review: Islam The Arab Imperialism, By Anwar Shaikh

4/9/2007:  Book Review: ‘Religion of Peace? Islam’s War Against the World’, by G.M. Davis

2/12/2007:  Book review – ‘The Truth about Mohammad’, by Robert Spencer

2/11/2007:  Book review of 'Because they hate' by Brigitte Gabriel