Field: History of Islam, Contemporary Issues
Title: The Myth of Muslim Barbarism and its Aims
Author: S.E. Al-Djazairi
Publication: Bayt al-Hikma Press 2007
Reviewed by: Safwan
“From Pope Urban’s depiction of Turkish horrors to justify the launching of the crusades (1095-1291) or the church ranting about Muslim crimes in Spain to justify their extermination (16th-17th century), or the horrific Western accounts of Mamluk rule of Egypt to justify the invasion of Egypt (1798), or the Turkish and Algerian barbaric despotism and piracy to justify the invasion of Algeria (1830), or the Muslim ruler of India suffocating British subjects to justify the onslaught against him (late 18th century), and multiple other similar instances, Islamic violence and barbarism has always been the justification for attacks on Muslims…”
This book, in brief, incorporates historical reality into today’s practicality. The author dedicates more than three quarter of this work to arranging the facts in excellent order, so as to help readers get the real picture of reality itself, while setting his theories too exact to be refuted. Thus, it was shown how, from the days of the monarch to the rule of democracy, mainstream western treatment (mistreatment) of Muslims have changed but imperceptibly.
Having painted Muslims as cruel oppressors, mistreating captives, indulging in slave trade, and violently racist, the West then proceeds to invade, ravage, and loot their countries. This is not only the artful machination of their kings and imperialists, which can be understandable, but the main contribution comes from their academicians. In fact, as al-Djazairi explicitly shows, righteous voices against their evil will be dampened at any cost- the tragic story of Craig Murray, the then British ambassador in Uzbekistan, being one of the many instances.
Citing some proves, the author suggests that this misrepresentation is deliberately made on Islam and Muslims mainly out of their fear for the religion. Islam has, in the past, awakened an illiterate community to wrestle with the giant Roman Byzantine; it is hence not impossible for it to do the same today. Islam is not only seen as an antagonist to the West, but also as a ponderous rival potential.
In the last chapter, the author reminds us of the trail of atrocities that befell the Muslims. The crusades and Spanish Inquisition as the starting points, it continues until Egypt was invaded in 1798, then Algeria, India, African countries, and more recently Bosnia & Herzegovina, Afghanistan, and Iraq in the 21st century. He maintains that if this isn’t changed for the better, no one can guarantee the world to be free of Muslim massacres in the near future.