Note: The following book review appeared on Moonbattery:
We might reverse the decline and fall of Western Civilization if only we could get enough people to read Sword and Scimitar, a new book by Raymond Ibrahim.
This highly readable military history of the ongoing 1,400-year war between Islam and the West focuses on eight key battles, four of which where won by either side: Yarmuk, the 717 Siege of Constantinople, Tours, Manzikert, Hattin, Las Navas de Tolosa, the final Siege of Constantinople, and the second Siege of Vienna.
It would be hard to come away from the book without understanding what many felt in their gut after 9/11 and have had reinforced ever since. Islam is the enemy, has always been the enemy, and always will be the enemy until either it or we are eradicated.
For Muslims, the current struggle is nothing new. War by terror and by mass immigration is a continuation of a struggle for supremacy that has been going on since the year 636. If one of the European victories in the battles listed above had gone the other way, the struggle would likely have ended long ago in Islam’s definitive favor.
In the West, few realize that the Islamic world consists largely of land taken by force from Christian populations, which were then coercively Islamized over the course of centuries. Conquest and coercion are integral to Islam.
The book is not for the squeamish. The horror and scale of Muslim atrocities against Western populations are staggering, featuring genocide, enslavement, wanton destruction, desecration of all things Christian, crucifixion, impalement on stakes, skinning alive, and of course rape. Imagine civilization threatened with extinction by overwhelmingly massive armies of Islamic State maniacs. That is the world our ancestors lived in for over a millennium.
History is not over. It is still happening, and it is crucial to be able to place contemporary events in their historical context. Ibrahim explains why:
Islam did not change, but the West did: Muslims still venerate their heritage and religion—which commands jihad against infidels—whereas the West has learned to despise its heritage and religion, causing it to become an unwitting ally of the jihad. …
[I]f Islam is terrorizing the West today, that is not because it can, but because the West allows it to. For no matter how diminished, a still swinging Scimitar will always overcome a strong but sheathed Sword.
For the past 2 centuries, the West has had the upper hand, but that could easily change if we do not remember how we got here and start fighting back. Terrorism, invasion by immigration, and nuclear proliferation may tip the balance back in Islam’s favor. A fifth column of liberals who side with Islam could be the deciding factor.