Islamic Imperialism: A History

I’m 2/3 through an excellent and important book on Islam by Efraim Karsh entitled, Islamic Imperialism: A History. I will post excerpts shortly. Wiki Efraim Karsh

A History

Inside front cover

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 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.

In Islamic Imperialism, Karsh poses a fundamental challenge to the way we understand the history of the Middle East and the role of Islam in that region.

Inside back cover

Efraim Karsh is professor and head of the Mediterranean Studies Programme, King’s College, University of London. He has published extensively and often served as a consultant on Middle Eastern affairs, Soviet foreign policy, and European neutrality. His books include Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East, 1789-1923 and Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography.


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Posted on December 14, 2006, in Islamism. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. its funny how everyone has their own assumptions of Islam. First Muslims are called terrorists and now they say taking over the world runs in their bloods. Both, may I add, is based on biased facts. September 11th is not Islamic in any way, shape or form. Islam means Peace, so why would they bomb the Towers to spread it. (A group of terrorists did it, not a group of Islamic terrorists. Terror and Islam are two completely different things.) I don’t see how that is imperialistic. Also, back then everyone was imperialistic. The Middle East naturally wanted to spread out too. I don’t see them doing it now. And arguing that the quest to conquer Jerusalem is imperialistic is also wrong. That area is a Holy place for Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Yes, it is sad they all want it, but it also makes sense why.

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