By Efraim Karsh
Publish 12 months note: First released in 2007. Revised version first released 2013
From the 1st Arab-Islamic Empire of the mid-seventh century to the Ottomans, the final nice Muslim empire, the tale of the center East has been the tale of the increase and fall of common empires and, no less significant, of imperialist goals. So argues Efraim Karsh during this hugely provocative booklet. Rejecting the traditional Western interpretation of heart japanese historical past as an offshoot of worldwide strength politics, Karsh contends that the region’s event is the end result of long-existing indigenous traits, passions, and styles of habit, and that most effective between those is Islam’s millenarian imperial tradition.
The writer explores the historical past of Islam’s imperialism and the endurance of the Ottoman imperialist dream that outlasted global battle I to hang-out Islamic and heart japanese politics to the current day. September eleven will be visible as easily the most recent expression of this dream, and such assaults have little to do with U.S. foreign habit or coverage within the heart East, says Karsh. the home of Islam’s conflict for global mastery is conventional, certainly venerable, and it's a quest that's faraway from over.
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Extra info for Islamic Imperialism: A History (Revised Edition)
On the other hand, Arabic penetrated the conquered peoples to such an extent that at the beginning of the eighth century it had evolved into the official imperial language. The implications of this move cannot be overstated. For one thing, by adopting the Arabic language, the conquered peoples—Iranians, Syrians, Greeks, Copts, Berbers, Jews, and Christians—placed their abundant talents 02 Chapter 1542 5/2/07 11:45 Page 29 THE RISE AND FALL OF ISLAM’S FIRST EMPIRE 29 and learning at the service of their conquerors, thus leading to the development of a distinct Islamic civilization.
11 This fortune paled in comparison with the fabulous wealth amassed by some of Muhammad’s closest companions. The invested capital of Zubair ibn Awam amounted to some fifty million dirhams and 02 Chapter 1542 26 5/2/07 11:45 Page 26 ISLAMIC IMPERIALISM 400,000 dinars, and he owned countless properties in Medina, Iraq, and Egypt. Talha ibn Ubaidallah, one of the earliest converts to Islam to whom Muhammad had promised a place in Paradise, was similarly a proprietor of numerous estates in Iraq and Transjordan.
The authority of Allah, as embodied in the person of His Messenger, was all-encompassing and left no room whatsoever for other gods. This made the worldwide expansion of the umma, as both the constituency in which Allah’s authority had been established and the tool for its further dissemination, only a question of time. 21 Aside from its divinely ordained universalism, the socio-economic structure and political modus operandi of Muhammad’s umma, endorsed by successive generations of Middle Eastern rulers to remain the basis of the Islamic perception of international relations to the present day, contained strong imperialist elements.