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 ]