Raymond Ibrahim is the author of an important new book about Islam, “Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War Between Islam and the West”.
In this meticulously researched work, he shows how anti-western attitudes have been endemic in Islam throughout its history. He charts how, over the centuries, Muslim armies went on the offensive to “reclaim” areas of the Middle East, north Africa, southern Europe and Asia Minor – which had belonged to the Roman, Hellenistic Greek or Jewish worlds centuries before Islam was even founded. He also shows how these wars against the west were usually religious rather than nationalistic.
As Ibrahim writes, his book
“definitively answers one of the most pressing questions of our time: Are militant Muslims—aka “terrorists,” “radicals,” “extremists”—being true to Islam, as they insist, or are they “hijacking” it for their own agendas, as we are told?”
His answer is emphatically yes – but he makes it not by relying on doctrinal texts that are open to interpretation but by documenting “what Muslims have actually done to and in the west for centuries”, demonstrating “that Muslim hostility to the west is not an aberration but a continuation of Islamic history”.
So the book is a vital contribution to our understanding of the most lethal and far-reaching geopolitical threat of our time.
I think you might be able to guess what’s coming next.
Ibrahim was invited to give a lecture on the book last month at the US Army War College. This prompted a smear campaign against him by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 federal terrorism funding case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, along with Linda Sarsour’s group, MPower Change.
They claimed (without any evidence) that the book “advances an Orientalist and inaccurate view of Islam” and that its “simplistic and flawed version of history — riddled with prejudiced stereotypes of Islam — espouses a dangerous agenda that demonises Muslims.”
Ibrahim, they said, was a “racist” and “Islamophobe” and guilty of “white nationalism”. If allowed to speak before American soldiers, he would “normalise and justify violence against Muslims, which is already a burgeoning problem for the military.”
Get that? Ibrahim is ethnically an Egyptian. But fall foul of this lot, and however minority- ethnic you may be you suddenly become a white supremacist.
According to former Pentagon official Peter Leitner, CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood front masquerading as a civil rights organisation. “Based on its actions, one of CAIR’s many objectives is to shut down any individual or company that has a negative view of Islam, speaks out against Islamic terrorism or reveals the truth about CAIR… In reality, CAIR is an integral part of the jihadist movement… CAIR is a purveyor of disinformation and name-calling, using the contrived label of ‘Islamophobe’ on individuals and organisations in repeated attempts to either silence critics of its subversive agenda or to extort money from corporations.”
So did the US Army War College behave as a military institution might be expected to do and stand up against bullying and intimidation from such sources?
Too right once again. It did not. It surrendered instead. Cancelling Ibrahim’s lecture, which was scheduled six months ago, it tried to pretend it hadn’t caved in by maintaining that this was merely a “postponement” that had nothing to do with the campaign being waged against its invited speaker.
It claimed that Ibrahim’s speech was postponed so that the army education unit could “pair Mr. Ibrahim’s military history insights in close proximity with another historical perspective, at a time when [the Army War College] curriculum has addressed historical analysis of influences on conflict.”
Even if true, that is hardly any less shameful – the singling out of this historical account as unsayable by itself because it is in need of a corrective.
As the political commentator and former US army Lt. Colonel Allen West has observed: “My Army has just emboldened and encouraged the enemy, and they are laughing at us.”
For if the army can’t be relied on any more to defend America and the west, who can?
Reprinted with author’s permission from Raymond Ibrahim