The Islamic State may be on its way to defeat, but the brutal savagery of Islamic warfare, which has been with us for nearly fourteen centuries, is not about to exit the world stage just yet. Because the commandment to global conquest by jihad is obligatory for all Muslims today just as for those of the 7th century—until the world ‘be all for Allah’ (Q 8:39)—Islamic warfare of both the violent and stealthy kind will never cease unless forcibly defeated. Until now, however, few had delved deeply into the merciless, systematic, and ongoing methods of classic Islamic warfare that date back to medieval times to understand the nature, the concepts, and the philosophy that combined with such deadly effectiveness to defeat brilliant civilization after brilliant civilization, from the Byzantines to the Hindus to the Persians.
We of Western Civilization (along with the Han Chinese) remain among the only peoples on earth ever targeted by Islam for conquest but not yet subjugated. If we are going to prolong that happy circumstance, we will need to examine the cultural, military, political, and religious currents within Islam that inspire its relentless drive for supremacy. Only by understanding what compels Islam to conquest and the means employed to achieve it will we have a chance to avoid the fate of myriad lost civilizations gone before us which were crushed under the onslaught of Islamic forces. Nor did the Amazigh, Byzantines, Copts, and so many others fall only to Muslim warriors on the field of battle: then as now, asymmetric means, deceit, and guile played their part. 21st century jihad in the Dar al-Harb—the non-Islamic West—is being fought as often as not with asymmetrical means: airliners brought down with explosives secreted in a laptop; the individual jihadi suicide bomber; the car, the gun, the knife.
To help us recall these lessons of the past and understand their relevance for societies fighting to remain free today, the Center for Security Policy is pleased to present the newest monograph in its “Terror Jihad Reader Series”: Modern Islamic Warfare, by Dr. Harold Rhode. This publication explains how the deep Islamic faith and implacable ruthlessness of this enemy shape his tactics and strategy on both the kinetic and civilizational jihad battlefields. Dr. Rhode, who earned a Ph.D. in Islamic History, specializing in the history of the Turks, Arabs, and Iranian peoples, also studied in universities in Iran, Egypt, and Israel. He speaks Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, and Turkish, and served as an advisor in the U.S. Department of Defense for many years.
He brings to this new monograph a breadth and quality of scholarship that is increasingly rare these days.
Dr. Rhode joined Center President Frank Gaffney for a lively discussion on the eve of the book’s release: