On November 13, 2019, American Thinker published a review by John Dale Dunn, titled “Raymond Ibrahim and the History the Army Refuses to Heed.” A shortened version follow:
In the book Sword and Scimitar Raymond Ibrahim, an Egyptian Christian, tells the story of the millennium-plus of conflict between Islam and Western (Christian) Nations, structured on 8 landmark battles. The first, Yarmuk in 636 AD, was a devastating defeat for the West, and the last in 1683 at Vienna, a defeat for the attacking Islamist army of the Ottoman Empire.
Ibrahim uses contemporaneous sources that provide insight into the cultural and religious mindsets of the opposing parties, essential for understanding the nature of the conflict that was, at that time and since, so long and horrific. […]
Ibrahim shows that Islam is an unrelenting lethal danger for Western Civilization and asserts “Muslim hostility for the West is not an aberration but a continuation of Islamic History.” In the first few centuries of Muslim conquest and depredations of conquered countries, all the main targets were Christian societies, Middle East, North Africa, Sicily and Iberia, all countries that that suffered brutal conquests and a horrific trail of death and bloodshed as well as cruelty, rape, pillage, and genocide. A reader cannot ignore the bellicose acquisitive nature of Islam. […]
Ibrahim did his graduate work under Victor Davis Hanson — renowned and respected historian and author of many books on military history and politics, but also a widely published and prolific essayist. Dr. Hanson provides a forward for Mr. Ibrahim’s book that is worth the book all by itself, since Dr. Hanson writes at length about the important points of the book that he considered dispositive on the question of Islamist aggressiveness and remarkable aggressive cruelty, that clearly exceeded anything that the West might be accused of. […]
In his preface Mr. Ibrahim lays out his intention in the book that “documents how the West and Islam have been mortal enemies sine the latter’s birth some fourteen centuries ago. It does this in the context of narrating their military history, with a focus on their most landmark encounters, some of which have had a profound impact on the shaping of the world.” He concludes his preface by asserting that his book “demonstrates once and for all that Muslim hostility for the West is not an aberration but a continuation of Islamic history.”
I will never forget reading The Rage and the Pride and The Force of Reason by Oriana Fallaci, famous Italian journalist, who made it clear that Europe had forgotten the evil that was Islam with a history of violent and barbaric depredations of Europe visited by Muslim pirates and armies. […]
Fallaci was persecuted after she condemned the political correctness insanity of Europe with clarity and eloquence and advocated an effort to stop the Islamist migrations that brought with them societal disruptions, civil strife, widespread out of control criminal and political lawlessness fueled by Muslim antagonism and hatred of any Western Europeans who were infidels.
All that Fallaci asserted is well established by the evidence of history, but Mr. Ibrahim puts it all together to make a brilliant case for the magnitude of the Islamist threat — as evidenced by the Islamist persistent and energetic, unrelenting effort to destroy anything that is not Islam, or compliant to Islamic demands. He documents the case in his book on Islamic conquest and barbaric destruction of all they find offensive, and the list is long, anything that is not Islamic. […]
[…] Samuel Huntington, in his well-received book Clash of Civilizations and Remaking of World Order (1996) points out that Islamists are involved in the majority of all the wars and conflicts around the world, and we should not ignore the reality that Islamists are committed to conquest and have no taste for resolution of their enmity for non-believers.
Ibrahim made the news before and after his book came out and he was recognized and acclaimed as in important voice in the matter of the threat of Islam, the problem of persistent and dangerous Islamic Jihadis personified by Hamas, Hezb’allah and of course the pretentious attempt to create the new Caliphate, ISIS. Ibrahim showed by history that the West was naïve to think that Islam is a religion of peace. He asserted that naiveté in these matters ignores hundreds of years, more than a millennium of conflict between Muslims and Christians (identified as “the West”). […]
As Ibrahim asserted, history did not begin with Western Imperialism and slavery did not originate in the United States. Muslim Imperialism lasted from 630 to the end of the Ottoman Empire after WWI. It enslaved millions of people from all of the lands it conquered, those that it allowed to live or avoid slavery. Consider such a stark contrast from Christian practices and certainly Christian non-violent expansion in the first centuries of the first millennium.
The Crusades were not an example of “aggression” against peaceful Muslims but an effort to take back the Holy Lands from the Muslim conquerors who had taken the Middle Eastern Christian Countries by violent conquest and were persecuting the remainders of the Christians that inhabited the lands Islamist conquerors had subjugated and enslaved. Genocide is still a practice among modern Muslims — exemplified in Africa and the Middle East, in all Islamist countries.
There is nothing adequate to describe the nature of Islamic violence on infidel enemies and the book describes shocking beheading deaths, wanton destruction, devastation, burning alive, crucifixion, skinning alive, impalement, rape, pillage, kidnapping, abominable abuse and slavery that accompanied the spread of Islam. Conquered towns and cities with stacks of skulls at their entrances to intimidate. In the book Ibrahim provides details, and the butchery and shocking violence was over 14 centuries. The author of a contemporaneous account in Sword and Scimitar ends his bloodshed-riddled account with “But let us say no more, for it is impossible to describe the horrors the Muslims committed.” Such things were common to the Jihad.
Raymond Ibrahim was invited to talk about his book at the Army War College. Then he was “uninvited” after pressure was exerted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation efforts to fund terrorist organizations promoting jihadi anti-American entities. Don’t ask me to find excuses for the US Army for such a thing, but may I give another example of inane Army political correctness in a personal experience. I was at the door of the emergency department to receive the victims of the Nidal Hasan mass shooting November 5, 2009, and a few days later General George Casey, then Chief of Staff of the US Army, visited Fort Hood and expressed his concern that the event might impede his project to promote “diversity” in the Army. (Translated that means increasing Muslim soldiers.)
Ibrahim provided an excellent rebuttal to this scurrilous propaganda/nonsense promulgated by CAIR, and the weakling decision by the War College. More important, he pointed out that the American Military is obligated to know the nature and the motives of the enemy, including terrorist Islamists. But the Army caved and cancelled the engagement, but that’s what the Army does. They have a politically correct diversity project that includes ignoring the threat presented by Islamic Jihadists and Islamic antagonisms and ambitions, particularly Islamic hatred of non-believers. There is a strange political blind spot and willingness to accept disadvantage.
Sun Tzu, the renowned military sage said know yourself and know your enemy.
John Dale Dunn MD JD is a physician and inactive attorney in Brownwood, Texas.