The Truth About Jihad: Islam Was Spread By The Sword

September 1, 2015 – San Francisco, CA – – In a timely piece published by FrontPage Magazine, How The Islamic World Was Forged: An Exercise In Common Sense and written by Raymond Ibrahim [Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center], the author strips away much of the [academically inspired] Western apologetics regarding the nature of Islamic jihad.

In the space of barely 1,000 words, Ibrahim demonstrates that the explosion of the Muslim religion during the 7th and 8th centuries wasn’t due to its intrinsic appeal but rather that it was spread forcibly by the sword in a series of bloody campaigns of jihad.

“What made non-Muslims convert to Islam, leading to the creation of the Islamic world? Early historical sources - both Muslim and non-Muslim - make clear that the Islamic empire was forged by the sword; that people embraced Islam…converting in order to evade the dooms of being on the ‘losing team.’”

Noting the ahistorical nature of modern American society, rather than relying on the ancient texts and contemporaneous accounts of the time the author presents what he calls a common sense approach to understanding the rapid spread of Islam.

If one is able to grasp the centrality of religion in all aspects of life during these times the reason behind the Muslim ascendance quickly becomes clear.

“In the 7th century, when Muslim Arabs overran Egypt, and on into the medieval era, religion was not something to be casually adhered to or changed as it is today in the West. People of that era were true believers; there was no alternative narrative…In Medieval Europe, the truths of Christianity were etched into the minds of all, from youth on up. There was no doubt—because there was no alternative. As historian of Medieval Europe and the Crusades Thomas Madden puts it, ‘[T]he medieval world was not the modern world. For medieval people, religion was not something one just did at church. It was their science, their philosophy, their politics, their identity, and their hope for salvation. It was not a personal preference but an abiding and universal truth.’”

In this view - with religion as the core organizing principle during the age of Islamic expansion - the idea that one would in an uncoerced manner, casually convert from Christianity to Islam becomes absurd; to do so would be to jettison one’s entire world view and justification for living, not to mention forsaking the promise of a pleasant afterlife.

Thus understanding the phenomenon of the unparalleled rise of Islam during the 7th and 8th centuries is uncomplicated and can be done with very little historical knowledge - sans understanding the place of religion in ancient societies, “The long and short of all this is simple: Past and present, Islam has been a religion of coercion…The Islamic State and like organizations and Muslims around the world are not aberrations but continuations.”

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