Description of The Shade of Swords by M.J. Akbar
In "The Shade of Swords," leading Indian journalist and author M.J. Akbar has written the very first cohesive history of Jihad. In this new paperback edition, which has been updated to show how and why Saddam Hussein repositioned himself as a Jihadi against America, Akbar explains the struggle between Islam and Christianity. Placing recent events in a historical context, he also tackles the tricky questions of what now follos for Jihad after the Second Gulf War and what will happen in the new Middle East power vacuum following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime.
From the prophet Muhammed through to the Assassins, and from the collapse of the Moghul and Ottoman empires to the modern struggle of Palestine, Akbar shows how Jihad's origins lie in the earliest consciousness of Muslims. 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.