This book review was written by Eugene Kernes
“Since then, there is a new perception of the Crusades as an early prototype of the expansion of European imperialism into the Islamic world. A more accurate description would present them as a long-delayed, very limited, and finally ineffectual response to the jihad. The Crusades ended in failure and defeat, and were soon forgotten in the lands of Islam, but later European efforts to resist and reverse the Muslim advance into Christendom were more successful, and initiated what became a series of painful defeats on the frontiers of the Islamic world.” – Bernard Lewis, Chapter 3: From Crusaders To Imperialists, Page 51
Is This An Overview?
Islam has a diverse community,
formed by diverse views. There are those
who seek peace and friendly relations with others, but there are also those who
seek to justify conflict. This book is
focused on explaining why there are those who want conflict, on the
justifications. The Islamic community
had been a leading civilization in military power, commerce, and science. But since at least the 17th
century, Islamic communities have been falling behind. Without an effective resolution to the
gap. There are those who place the fault
on Western imperialism. Some sources of
material support came from foreign sponsors who also provided a philosophy to
express anti-Western sentiments.
Although foreign influence did not cause the sentiments, many Islamic
states were receptive to the sentiments.
Those who seek
conflict, need an enemy to retain power.
Even creating conflict to prevent cooperation and diplomatic
relations. In Muslim states, there is no
separation of government and religion. Islam has a devote population with high
participation, and deference to the community that is no longer found in the
West. Giving people an identity, and
obtaining loyalty. There are those who
seek a pure and authentic Islam. A
piousness that restricts behavior, with those who commit inappropriate behavior
seen as legitimate targets of conflict.
As this book focuses on
understanding those seeking conflict, there is not much on those seeking
cooperation. There is a lot of Islamic
history, with this book covering relatively few events that focus on explaining