Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Review by Fjordman: “The Human Web”

Fjordman’s latest book review has been published at Tundra Tabloids. Some excerpts are below:

The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History from 2003 is an attempt by Robert McNeill and William H. McNeill, a father-and-son team of historians, to outline the major trends of human societies from Paleolithic times until the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Just out of curiosity, I searched for the word “jihad” in the index of The Human Web and found a single reference to it. Arab Muslims had laid siege to Constantinople in AD 674-678 but failed to take the city. They tried again in 717-718, but once more the Byzantines, assisted by Bulgars, managed to repel them. On both occasions they were crucially aided by so-called Greek fire, a mysterious, but highly effective flammable substance possibly similar to modern napalm that was successfully employed to set ablaze the attacking Muslim fleet. They lost several important provinces, but had managed to salvage Constantinople for the time being.

If you believe Robert and William H. McNeill, after this event in the year 718, “Subsequent fluctuations of the military-political balance between Christendom and Islam, though substantial, never shook each side’s commitment to their respective versions of the one True Faith. Consequently, Crusade and jihad — raid and counter-raid — came to prevail in Christian-Muslim borderlands, even though trade and intellectual contacts were never broken off.”

Describing the Crusades, which were of limited duration in time and space, with the peculiar Islamic institution of Jihad, which is valid for all times and all places, is grossly misleading.

Read the rest Tundra Tabloids.

3 comments:

Paardestaart said...

Hm - historians who call 'crusades and jihad' raid and counter-raid do not inspire much confidence in me
Good review - thanks Fjordman

goethechosemercy said...

It makes it all sound so equal, so comforting.
These historians should be confronted, their ears should be made to turn red for their refusal to apply reason and Western standards of critical method to the history of Islam and the West.

Lawrence said...

goethechosemercy said..."their ears should be made to turn red for their refusal to apply reason and Western standards of critical method to the history of Islam and the West."

Western standards of critical thinking seem to be somewhat flexible in context here lately, and I'm sure their intellectual peers in academia would never forgive them for challenging the current methods.