A Review of The History of Jihad. By Robert Spencer.

Bombardier Books, 2018.

Robert Spencer is a leading authority on Islam and the challenges and risks it poses to the free West – and the rest of the world. He has written numerous important volumes on Islam, creeping sharia, and Muslim terrorism. In his newest book he offers us a panoramic view of 14 centuries of Islamic bloodshed and killing. As he says in the introduction to his book:

There is no period since the beginning of Islam that was characterized by large-scale peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims. There was no time when mainstream and dominant Islamic authorities taught the equality of non-Muslims with Muslims, or the obsolescence of jihad warfare. There was no Era of Good Feeling, no Golden Age of Tolerance, no Paradise of Proto-Multiculturalism. There has always been, with virtually no interruption, jihad.

Strong claims. But Spencer spends 400 pages documenting this in great detail. And all this is due to the life and teachings of Muhammad as recorded in the Qur’an, the hadiths, and the sira. Indeed, both of the major schools of Islam, Sunni and Shi’ite, fully affirm the need to kill the infidel if they refuse to convert or be subjugated.

Islamic terror goes back to day one of Islam. As Muhammad said on his deathbed: “I have been made victorious with terror.” Spencer remarks, “It was a fitting summation of his entire public career.” Thus the first chapter of this vital book looks carefully at the role jihad played in the life of Islam’s founder. It is not a pretty read.

And since Muhammad is regarded as the perfect example for all Muslims to follow, his bloodthirsty ways were carefully emulated by his devout adherents ever since. Spreading the faith by the edge of the sword was forever to be standard Muslim practice.

Thus by the end of the seventh century, just decades after Muhammad’s death, authoritarian Muslim control extended from North Africa to Central Asia. And the spread of Islam continued apace over the next few centuries. The conquest of Spain and India followed, and the body count continued to mount up.

So too did slavery, destruction, bloodshed and dhimmitude. The gory details of ruthless Islamic oppression in these and other regions are carefully related by Spencer, usually relying on accounts written during the time. And the many stories of the enslavement and persecution and pogroms against Christians and Jews make up a big part of all this.

While the phrase ‘streets running with rivers of blood’ may involve some poetic license, more than once we read of this being the outcome of Islamic slaughter and carnage. For example, Spencer cites historian Steven Runciman regarding the fall of Constantinople in May of 1453:

The Muslims “slew everyone that they met in the streets, men, women, and children without discrimination. The blood ran in rivers down the steep streets from the heights of Petra toward the Golden Horn. But soon the lust for slaughter was assuaged. The soldiers realized that captives and precious objects would bring them greater profit.”

Or consider one contemporary Muslim account of the jihad against Hindus in India in the 14th century. Some 100,000 men had taken refuge on an island along with their families. The Muslims transformed “the island into a basin of blood by the massacre of the unbelievers…. Women with babies and pregnant ladies were haltered, manacled, fettered and enchained, and pressed as slaves into service at the house of every soldier.”

The Islamic warlord Tamerlane, who actually penned an autobiography, spoke of his dilemma as to what to do with a large horde of Hindu prisoners. He went with an easy option, saying this: “One hundred thousand infidels, impious idolaters, were on that day slain.”

Moving to more recent times, consider the treatment of the Christian Armenians. Late in 1894 a massacre lasting 24 days wiped out 25 villages. People were burned alive, and pregnant women were ripped open and their babies torn to pieces.

Image of The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS
The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS by Spencer, Robert (Author) Amazon logo

But much worse was to come. The Armenian genocide, beginning in 1915, resulted in the death of around one and a half million Armenians, 700,000 Greeks, and 275,000 Assyrians. Says Spencer: “Christian communities that had existed since the beginning of Christianity were wiped out. Constantinople, fifty percent Christian even in 1914, is today 99.99 percent Muslim…. Adolf Hitler was impressed with the brutal efficiency of how the Turks answered their ‘Armenian question’.”

He also looks at the Islamic war against Israel. He recounts how the Soviet KGB invented the fiction of the Palestinian people (there long had been a region known by the name of Palestine, but never a people or an ethnicity). The Soviets also helped to form the PLO and carefully mentored Arafat to do their bidding.

Spencer quotes a PLO leader who said in 1977, “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state was only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity.” He also discusses the formation of Hamas in 1988 and its determination to wipe Israel off the map.

He brings things right up to date, looking at Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and September 11. And he reminds us how harmful policies of appeasement and Islamophilia have been in the West. For example, the Catholic church which was once on “the forefront of resistance to the jihad for centuries” has begun to cave, especially under the current Pope, who has become an avid defender of Islam and the Qur’an.

And of course leaders like Obama were committed to being apologists for Islam, seeking to advance their cause at home and abroad. Thankfully today much of this is being turned around. As Spencer reminds us, “at its height, the Islamic State controlled a territory larger than Great Britain… [But] within a year of the beginning of the Trump presidency, the Islamic State had lost ninety-eight percent of its territory.”

All up this book makes for sickening and gruesome reading. Here we have example after example of 1400 years of bloodshed, murder, rape, pillaging, enslavement and terror – all proudly and decidedly done in the name of Islam. The simple truth is this: the history of Islam is the history of jihad.

When Muslim jihadists screaming “Allahu Akbar” mow down innocent men, women and children on the streets and sidewalks of Nice or London, or stab them to death in Brussels or Melbourne, they are simply doing what Islam has always done. Their acts of terrorism are simply a continuation of what Muhammad began, and what has always been the MO of the political ideology known as Islam.

We all owe Robert Spencer a debt of gratitude for bringing together in one volume this stomach-turning but necessary story of what Islam really is all about. Just as there were countless “useful idiots” who promoted and made excuses for godless, totalitarian communism, so too there are also plenty of apologists for, and clueless defenders of, the deadly political ideology of Islam.

Hopefully this book will help to change that to some extent.

[1172 words]

27 Replies to “A Review of The History of Jihad. By Robert Spencer.”

  1. Stumbled on this small news.
    The current Malaysian deputy prime minister, a woman named Wan Azizah, recently told the Muslims of her country: “Making the Prophet Muhammad as an example to be emulated or as a model in the life of a person is never a loss. He has shown the best example of a man, husband, father, teacher, leader, warlord, diplomat and so on.”

    DId you catch that, Muhammad is regarded as an example to follow and among his many accomplishments is as a warlord. ‘Interesting’ times ahead for Malaysia.


  2. David Wood interviewed Robert Spencer today on his YouTube channel and they talked extensively about his book. Very interesting stuff.

  3. Good article Bill,

    It’s hard to know what to think when reading stuff like this.

    I can scarcely take my mind off my own children while reading through the slaughters of the innocent.

  4. There is much to do Jono. On an individual level, Christmas is coming: buy a dozen copies of this book and give them to your friends and contacts. If that is too expensive, share this book review all over the place. On a bigger level, nations need to stop living in denial and playing games of appeasement. Stricter immigration would be a start, etc, etc.

  5. I’m waiting for my copy of Robert’s new book to arrive, and I have started to read “Jihad Blood and Slavery From Muhammad to ISIS” by M.A. Khan.

  6. Bill;
    As an American Christian, I am finding it very difficult to accept the ‘Head in the Sand ” perspective of far to many American citizens. The onslaught of diversity training in schools and universities has truly desensitized the populace to the head on problem of radical Islam.

  7. Thanks Bill,
    As you published on the 11th Nov in “Let’s Get Real About Islamic Terrorism”.
    There was a list entitled “10 Questions About the Compatibility of Islam with America.”

    My comment was
    “The ten points are almost watertight in illustrating negative dimensions of Islam.
    The weakest is perhaps no. 6 “Has there ever been a period in history fully characterized by peaceful co-existence between Muslims and non-Muslims?” The answer to this depends on the definitions in the question. The writer indicates this by his language about the books he refers to.”

    Thank you for the extra article now on this.
    Spencer answers almost exactly, “There is no period since the beginning of Islam that was characterized by large-scale peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims.”
    and 400 pages!

    Just reading in the Quran (The Noble Quran..M M Khan) today the classic verses about Jihad 2:190-193.
    “And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. ……………… [This verse is the first one that was revealed in connection with Jihad, but it was supplemented by another (9:36)]. …”

    This is at first sight this is about self defense and so is 9:36, but the margin comment below tells how it is understood in respected Muslim circles.

    “(V. 2:190) Al-Jihad (holy fighting) in Allah’s Cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s Word is made superior, (His Word being La ilaha allallah which means none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and His Religion (Islam) is propagated. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honour is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfil his duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.”

    And further- this time from the Hadith cited next in that margin reference-
    “Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Masud (pbuh): I asked Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) “O Allah’s Messenger! What is the best deed?” He replied, “To offer the Salat (prayers) at their early fixed stated times.” I asked, What is next in goodness?” He replied “To be good and faithful to your parents.” Further I asked, “What is next in goodness?” He replied, “To participate in Jihad in Allah’s Cause.” ….. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Hadith No. 41).

    And some more extracts
    S 2:191 “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. …….”
    S 2:193 “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone). …. ”

    The margin reference for this last verse is;
    “(A) (V. 2:193) Narrated by Ibn Umar (pubh): Allah’s Messenger (pubh) said, “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people till they testify that La ilaha illallah wa Anna Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah (***) and Muhammed (pbuh) is the Messenger of Allah), and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat, so if they perform all that, then they will save their lives, and properties from me except for Islamic laws, and their reckoning (accounts) will be with (done by) Allah.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol1, Hadith No. 24).

    I apologize for the inadequate punctuation and fonts etc.

    Who needs radicalization when this is in the Quran?
    Muhammad’s example is to fight and kill until we submit.

  8. For those interested, this is Tamerlane’s account of his Indian conquest. His bragging of killing 100000 Hindus is at page 203. And his last statements at page 222 goes:
    “I had triumphed over my adversaries, I had put to death hundreds of thousands of infidels and idolaters, I had dyed my proselyting sword with the blood of the enemies of the Faith (Islam), and now that I had gained this crowning victory, I felt that I ought not to indulge in ease, but rather to exert myself still further in warring against the infidels of Hindustan. Having made these reflections, on the twenty-second of Rabi’-al-akhir, 800 A.H. 1399 A.D.), I again drew my sword to wage a religious war.”


  9. Many of us here understand the history and evils of Islam but we may have friends who think we are being ‘Islamophobic’. I book I can recommend you give them is – The Story of Mohammed – Islam Unveiled, by Harry Richardson. He writes, ‘…once people understand Islam, you don’t need to tell them it is bad. You simply let them make up their own minds. Having explained how Muslims are obliged to emulate Mohammed’s behaviour, all you have to do is show them his biography. Then, even the most politically correct will understand the problem.’ This book is concise and easy to read. He has been influenced by Dr Bill Warner another great truth warrior – http://www.politicalislam.com
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aoYOnzev2Q – This youtube is a must watch.

  10. Thank you Bill, for an excellent expose.

    I decided to research a little on the “Crusades” and how Catholics have been ‘tagged’ as being responsible for the jihad ,

    I came across this timeline:

    [The First Crusade Began in 1095…

    460 years after the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies.

    457 years after Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies.

    453 years after Christian Egypt was taken by Muslim armies.

    443 years after Muslims first plundered Italy.

    427 years after Muslims armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople.

    380 years after France was first attacked by Muslim armies.

    249 years after the capital of the Christian world, Rome itself was sacked by a Muslim army.

    And only AFTER centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions of Christians.

    By the time the Crusades finally began, Muslims armies had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.

    So much for Islam/Muslims claiming to be the victim.]

    See: http://www.catholicstand.com/the-truth-about-the-crusades/

    We can all see the misinformation (fake news) being touted to us daily, to suit the standpoint of the speaker.

    If you won’t stand for one thing, you will stand for everything — If you won’t stand up when you need to, then you will end up having to accept everything.

    Bernard Bailey

  11. Thanks Bill for causing me to get poor for buying many of the books you recommend. With the books on Islam, I have nothing on Bernard Lewis who is also a writer on Islam. It is amazing I have yet to get the Koran, any of the Hadith’s. The trouble is, which are the recommended English translations.

  12. Thanks Carl. The five books I have by Bernard Lewis are these:

    The Arabs in History. Arrow Books, 1954.
    The Crisis of Islam. Phoenix, 2003.
    Islam and the West. Oxford University Press, 1994.
    The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years. Scribner, 1996.
    What Went Wrong: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2002.

    As to Korans and the hadith, etc, see this article for recommendations:


  13. Dear Bill,
    Thank you for the review of Robert Spencer’s book. I would like to buy it but I don’t suppose for one minute it will be widely and easily available in bookshops and libraries.

    I have known about the forgotten Armenian genocide since I was in my early teens and I am eighty two now! When I was a cadet nurse in England in 1953 I met a nurse of Armenian descent one lunchtime when sitting at a table with a group of other nurses. She began to talk about the Armenian genocide and asked us if we had ever heard of it. I told her I had got into trouble for reading a book about it when I was thirteen. My father thought he had kept it well out of his children’s reach but I had managed to find it as there were few books in our house and I was an avid reader there being no TV sets at the time. I remember him taking it from me and saying ‘you will be up on the clothes line if you keep reading that’. By that time I had almost finished it as I think it was only a thin book which he had probably bought from the local market. In terribly graphic detail it described of how more than a million Armenian Christians had been driven into the desert and been cruelly massacred by the Turks which even up to this day they have never admitted to. It was my second encounter with the reality of genocide at such a tender age as I remember reading the post war newspapers about the liberation of the concentration camps where many Jews died. However unlike the Jewish holocaust which continued to receive massive publicity for many years from books and films the Armenian holocaust was ignored and forgotten.

    One result of reading my father’s book was that it left so big an impression on me that I have never forgotten that there WAS a massacre of Armenian Christians conducted by Turkish Muslims. The story of it had obviously been passed down in her family and she was making it her business to pass it on.

    As a historian myself I think Robert Spencer has done us a great service by writing this book. The UK has banned him from entering no doubt because of the trouble his visit would cause from their large militant Muslim population. This shows how far the policy of appeasement has progressed in the UK.

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