Sunday, July 30, 2006

Islamic Imperialism

A review of a new study of Islam . The book's author, the head of the Mediterranean Studies Program at the University of London, notes a movement that is more political than religious. An excerpt from the review:

In his nervy, tightly documented Islamic Imperialism, Karsh challenges scholars and Muslim leaders to refute his own picture of Islam: an imperialist seventh-century Arabic movement that forced itself on neighboring lands such as today's Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Egypt for secular colonialist payoffs - money, booty, territory.

According to Karsh, Muhammad, by claiming Allah's authority to act as both a political and religious leader, was able "to cloak his political ambitions with a religious aura" and "channel Islam's energies" into geographic expansion.

[HT: Arts & Letters Daily ]

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