Who Are We, Who Are Our Enemies - The Cost of Historical Amnesia
"The Jihad, the Islamic so-called Holy War, has been a fact of life in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East for more than 1300 years, but this is the first history of the Muslim wars in Europe ever to be published. Hundreds of books, however, have appeared on its Christian counterpart, the Crusades, to which the Jihad is often compared, although they lasted less than two hundred years and unlike the Jihad, which is universal, were largely but not completely confined to the Holy Land. Moreover, the Crusades have been over for more than 700 years, while a Jihad is still going on in the world. The Jihad has been the most unrecorded and disregarded major event of history. It has, in fact, been largely ignored. For instance, the Encyclopedia Britannica gives the Crusades eighty times more space than the Jihad."
The quote is from Paul Fregosi's book Jihad in the West from 1998. Mr. Fregosi found that his book about the history of Islamic Holy War in Europe from the 7th to the 20th centuries was difficult to get published in the mid-1990s, when publishers had the Salman Rushdie case in fresh memory.
A few years later, an even more comprehensive book, The Legacy of Jihad, was published by Andrew G. Bostom. Bostom has written about what he calls "America's First War on Terror."
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, then serving as American ambassadors to France and Britain, respectively, met in 1786 in London with the Tripolitan Ambassador to Britain, Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja. These future American presidents were attempting to negotiate a peace treaty which would spare the United States the ravages of Jihad piracy – murder and enslavement emanating from the so-called Barbary States of North Africa, corresponding to modern Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
Andrew Bostom notes that "an aggressive jihad was already being waged against the United States almost 200 years prior to America becoming a dominant international power in the Middle East." Israel has thus nothing to do with it.
The Barbary Jihad piracy had been going on since the earliest Arab-Islamic expansion in the 7th and 8th centuries. Francisco Gabrieli states that:
"According to present-day concepts of international relations, such activities amounted to piracy, but they correspond perfectly to jihad, an Islamic religious duty. The conquest of Crete, in the east, and a good portion of the corsair warfare along the Provencal and Italian coasts, in the West, are among the most conspicuous instances of such "private initiative" which contributed to Arab domination in the Mediterranean."