Timeless Islamo-Realism from Princeton’s Patricia Crone

 


Historian of early Islam, Patricia Crone: “Muhammad’s God elevated [this] tribal militance and rapaciousness  into supreme religious virtuesIn short, Muhammad had to conquer, his followers liked to conquer, and his deity told him to conquer: do we need any more?”

Patricia Crone (1945—) is a political, social, and military historian renowned for her pioneering studies on the origins of Islam. She has co-authored or authored, Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World, (1977; with M.A. Cook), Slaves on Horses: The Evolution of the Islamic Polity (1980), God’s Caliph : Religious Authority in the First Centuries of Islam (1986; with Martin Hinds), Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam (1987), Roman, Provincial and Islamic Law : The Origins of the Islamic Patronate (1987), God’s Rule : Government and Islam. Six centuries of medieval islamic political thought (2004), Medieval Islamic Political Thought (2005), and From Arabian tribes to Islamic empire : army, state and society in the Near East c.600-850 (2008)

Whatever else Princeton Professor Crone writes, under the coercive, stultifying pressures of Islamic correctness that pervade the academy, these words will remain, eternally, an irrefragable testament to her Islamo-Realism, circa 1987 (from Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam,  Princeton, NJ, 1987, pp. 244, 245):

Muhammad’s God endorsed a policy on conquest, instructing his believers to fight against unbelievers wherever they might be found…Arab soldiers were told on the eve of the battle of Qadisiyya [as recorded by the great Muslim historian Tabari], with reference to Iraq; ‘if you hold out…then their property, their women, their children, and their country will be yours.’ God could scarcely have been more explicit. He told the Arabs that they had a right to despoil others of their women, children, and land, or indeed they had a duty to do so: holy war consisted in obeying. Muhammad’s God elevated this tribal militance and rapaciousness  into supreme religious virtues: the material interests were those inherent in tribal society, and we do not need to compound  the problem by conjecturing that others were at work. It is precisely because the material interests of Allah and the tribesmen coincided that the latter obeyed him with such enthusiasm…In short, Muhammad had to conquer, his followers liked to conquer, and his deity told him to conquer: do we need any more?

 

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at @andrewbostom.org

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