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Publisher's Summary

The comprehensive history of the role of war and terror in the spread of Islam. 

It is taken for granted, even among many Washington policymakers, that Islam is a fundamentally peaceful religion and that Islamic jihad terrorism is something relatively new, a product of the economic and political ferment of the 20th century. But in The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS, Islamic scholar Robert Spencer proves definitively that Islamic terror is as old as Islam itself, as old as Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, who said “I have been made victorious through terror.”

Spencer briskly traces the 1,400-year war of Islamic jihadis against the rest of the world, detailing the jihad against Europe, including the 700-year struggle to conquer Constantinople; the jihad in Spain, where non-Muslims fought for another 700 years to get the jihadi invaders out of the country; and the jihad against India, where Muslim warriors and conquerors wrought unparalleled and unfathomable devastation in the name of their religion.

Told in great part in the words of contemporary chroniclers themselves, both Muslim and non-Muslim, The History of Jihad shows that jihad warfare has been a constant of Islam from its very beginnings, and present-day jihad terrorism proceeds along exactly the same ideological and theological foundations as did the great Islamic warrior states and jihad commanders of the past.

The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS is the first one-volume history of jihad in the English language, and the first book to tell the whole truth about Islam’s bloody history in an age when Islamic jihadis are more assertive in Western countries than they have been for centuries. This book is indispensable to understanding the geopolitical situation of the twenty-first century, and ultimately to formulating strategies to reform Islam and defeat radical terror.

©2018 Robert Spencer (P)2018 Post Hill Press

What listeners say about The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS

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Outstanding!!!

This is the first in depth study of Jihad, holy war. This verifiable history is shocking to Westerns and many Muslims. There is an unbelievably dark side to Islam.

6 people found this helpful

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Great book!

Amazing! It showed me the big picture. Now I can much better understand present events in their historical context.

5 people found this helpful

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Caveat Kaffir

I am unaware of another history of world Jihad. and since the author himself reads the text, it is represented very accurately in relationship to his intent.

I have studied the topic early broadly as well, and Spencer's work always provides me with something more from the detailed study of the history.

It is almost impossible any longer to find honest analysis of Islam. This work provides an excellent and holistic threat analysis to the institution of jihad as a whole.

I would like to add particularly that the book is not anti-muslim. There are points in the book that Spencer gives particularly differential benefit of the doubt to a number of historical Muslim figures. I am familiar with these figures and would not have been generous considering the surrounding circumstances, but the author did so with the intent of maintaining objectivity it seems.

For those critical of the book, I would suggest they review the citations, and familiarise themselves with the Quran, Hadith and Sunnah. I do not find inconsistency in his analysis of the available text.

4 people found this helpful

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Should be required reading!

Robert Spencer narrates this brilliantly researched and compiled foray into the true nature of Islamic Jihad with great fervor. From Muhammad's robbing of caravans, to the reality of Islamic infiltration of the U.S. government, this book leaves no stone unturned in exposing the exact meaning and consequences of Jihad.

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Clear, informative & enlightening!

Very pleased. Great audio book. Bought the hardcover after finishing the audio book. Going to read the book with the idea of discovering something new. A must have audio book!

3 people found this helpful

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Complete Historical Account

Robert Spencer offers the most complete historical account of Muslim jihad and quotes Islam's support for jihad within their holy books. A must read for all people.

2 people found this helpful

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Must read

If you are curious about Islam then this is a must read, excellent work by Robert Spencer

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The true and nearly complete history of Islam’s reign of terror

None of this is taught in schools, mentioned in newspapers and magazines, or shown on television. Worse than Hitler, worse than Stalin, worse than Mao, Worse than Polpot, Islam’s Reign of terror goes back to the first massacre of Muhammad. The author reviews in chronological order and significant detail the rape, murder, plunder, subjugation of people around the world in the name of Allah, but to the pleasure in richness of Muslims.

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Endless details, names, dates, w/o interpretation

I was SO excited to find a title that purported to cover the topic this book purports to cover -- not just 9/11 but the decades that created the ingredients to make a catastrophic event occur. What I found instead was 14 hours of names, dates, and cities (which as a Westerner I had no mental map I could refer to -- to keep track of them all as the author whizzed by them and hopped all over the region.) Nor did the writer provide any details of the key players that would help the reader form a mental image of them either.

What did these people look like? What were their unique and memorable quirks or personality traits? The lack of this kind of descriptive detail is what makes story-telling compelling, memorable, GREAT -- sights, sounds, smells, foods, music -- and this book contained NONE of that.

I'm NOT saying the author is on the spectrum, but it READ as if the author WERE on the spectrum, or at a minimum is someone with an excessively right-brained orientation obsessed with facts, figures, names, and dates, and that he created reaps of lists and chronologies of everything related to the topic of his book and then just regurgitated them on a piece of paper!

There wasn't any deep analysis -- summative or interpretive conclusions offered. And worst: It made NO mention of just how catastrophic Russia's role was in the 1970s, igniting the fire in Afghanistan that has now raged 60 years. Why have no international legal bodies ever held them accountable?

Afghan women used to be doctors, university professors! Now they are veritable prisoners in their own homes, unable to leave unless "accompanied" by their sons as young as 8! Yet they are among but the MILLIONS of women stripped of all dignity and basic human rights, and their horrifying, limited lives were not only rarely mentioned in the text -- there wasn't even a CHAPTER dedicated to it (though frankly, weaving it throughout and not relegating it to a "sidebar" would be infinitely preferable!)

I was in Egypt in 1997 and again in 2015, and I barely recognized the place. They had gone from a country where maybe 5% of women wore veils -- to 100%, Why? Social pressure and public taunting/ ostracism if they didn't! I witnessed a similar swing to the right in Jordan. Considering women constitute over half of the region's population, how disappointing to read such a phallocentric-focused book in this day and age.

If anyone who read a book on this topic (especially if it's in audio format) that rectifies these many problems -- do please share it's title here because I feel just as ignorant as when I started. And I listened to it 3 times all the way through!

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A necessary read for every American.

How could so much history be supressed? I was blown away by The History of Jihad. What the Muslim religion has done throughout history is more horrifying than anything the Nazi did. The last couple of chapters are the most important, as they are the most current.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-30-20

Enlightening and inducing metanoia!

I tried to listen to this on the fence, aware that transgressions go both ways BUT...


PEOPLE judge the Nazis by their historical accounts and activities! WHY should it be any different for other groups ? ? ?

Tolernce of the intolerant is NOT tolerance, It is Cowardice!

You wil only see the snake in the Grass if You are aware of it!

Revelations of the over a millennia old Nemesis!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Earp
  • 10-27-18

A must read for anyone interested in world history

Very interesting. Not opinion based just historical fact from mainly contemporary sources. If history is written by the victors I shudder to imagine the real horror of the past.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jon lanģley
  • 02-01-20

Islam bashing

interesting book, highlighting the apparent brutality of Islamic history. obviously the author is a known Islamophobe and he writes from that standpoint. if you hate muslims and want that view reinforced then this is the book for you! however, I took most of it with a large dose of salt and enjoyed the historical aspects, bearing in mind how peoples of all kinds behaved, so looked at in context .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tom Hanna
  • 05-11-21

Everyone should read this!

This should be on every school's "must read" list as essential reading. A disturbing but very informative experience.

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  • Tulin Oruch
  • 12-07-20

Brilliant !!

A must read to anyone who wants to understand the true nature of jihad, and the reason behind the terror attacks around the world today

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  • Saurabh
  • 08-08-20

To understand the present you need 2 know the past

very well written , tells us how not to see current problem of terrorism not in isolation but in its entirety from past events.

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  • Matthew Balquin Jones
  • 10-22-19

Essential reading

This book is essential for understanding how jihad remains in a modern world. It is well researched, and consists of historical accounts with little in the way of opinion on the part of the author.

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  • N E Body
  • 04-14-19

essential reading.

the problem is even worse than can be imagined.

it's 23.59. awaken before it's too late

1 person found this helpful

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  • Louise Fallon
  • 02-20-19

Very biased viewpoint. Google the author

This book is very anti Muslim. The author was banned from entering the UK to speak to the EDL. This isn't an unbiased view of the historical elements.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-27-19

Riveting but so depressing.

A masterful historical account of Islam and Jihad and the Wests' current refusal to acknowledge an extremely dangerous ideology.

Depressing because many of the everyday statistics highlighted in this book go uncited or even worse, are ridiculed by those utterly blind to reality. It is so easy to summon up the flashpoint words of racist, bigoted, xenophobic, Islamophobia rather than discuss the behaviour, teachings and Imam supported rush to Jihad.

We are seemingly lemmings rushing headlong towards a cliff and eternity, and feeling oh so good about our good samaritan selves while doing it.

An epic tome that will no doubt be derided by our 'woke' generation, liberal govts, and media.

The commentary on the Rohingyas a fine point illustration of our bleeding heart media.

Highly recommended.

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  • Ganesh Shenoy
  • 11-07-19

The True Account of History of Islamic Jihad

A well-written book on the history of Jihad. Must read to understand what is coming for us in the future, if we don't do what's necessary to protect our people and our children.