The Shade of Swords
Jihad and the Conflict Between Islam and ChristianityBook - 2002
A prominent Indian journalist pens the first comprehensive history of jihad, from the Prophet Muhammad to the present lethal revival of the concept, revealing how jihad infused the first Muslims and survives to this day all over the Islamic world, impacting everything from Indian-Pakistan relations to the Iraqi situation. Reprint.
& Francis Publishing
The Shade of Swords is the first cohesive history of Jihad, written by one of India's leading journalists and writers. In this paperback edition, updated to show how and why Saddam Hussein repositioned himself as a Jihadi against America, M.J. Akbar explains the struggle between Islam and Christianity. Placing recent events in a historical context, he tackles the tricky question of what now for Jihad following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime.
With British and American troops in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and once again in Iraq, the potential for Jihadi recruitment is ever increasing. Explaining how Jihad thrives on complex and shifting notions of persecution, victory and sacrifice, and illustrating how Muslims themselves have historically tried both to direct and control the phenomenon of Jihad, Akbar shows how Jihad pervades the mind and soul of Islam, revealing its strength and significance.
To know the future, one needs to understand the past. M.J. Akbar's The Shade of Swords holds the key.
Blackwell North Amer
The Shade of Swords traces the origins of jihad in the struggle against oppression that was part of the earliest consciousness of Muslims. Travelling across centuries and continents, from the triumphant rise of Islam under the Prophet Muhammad to the depression of defeat in the First Crusade, through the renewal of Saladin to the rise and fall of the Ottoman and Mughal empires to the raw passions of Afghanistan and the Indian subcontinent, M.J. Akbar's story explains how jihad thrives on complex and shifting notions of persecution, victory and sacrifice. The conflict between Islam and Christianity began from the time of the Prophet himself and has acquired myriad shapes over fourteen-hundred years: in doctrine, dialectics, literature, culture and of course on the battlefield, from the fall of Jerusalem to the Caliph Omar in 637, to the presence of British and American troops in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2002. The anger that is visible on the streets of the Muslim world today is fuelled by a perception of injustice and exploitation by the West. Akbar observed in an essay written just after the collapse of the Soviet Union: 'The West's next confrontation is definitely going to come from the Muslim world. It is in the sweep of Islamic nations from the Maghreb to Pakistan that the struggle for a new world order will begin.' The Shade of Swords narrates why and how.