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Book review: The Crusades through Arab Eyes

Blog, Book Review
By: Joseph Hammond The plane was preparing for takeoff. The passengers were all aboard. The cabin and crew were making their final checks. Suddenly, there was a commotion and a passenger was asked to leave the flight. His transgression? Reading a copy of Amin Maaloul’s The Crusades through Arab Eyes. The cabin crew, who had asked for the passenger’s removal, had been unsettled by the sight of this book in the hands of an Arab Christian man, who, as later revealed, was a member of the U.S Secret Service. First published in 1984, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes is a colorful portrayal of the various Crusades launched from the 11th until the 13th century, and was strongly influenced by the discourse of Edward Said’s Orientalism, which was published a few…
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Book Review: Two Faiths One Banner

Blog, Book Review
By: Joseph Hammond Since Samuel Huntington unveiled his “Clash of Civilization” thesis in a 1993 Foreign Affairs article, a cottage industry of critiques have emerged to challenge it. Great thinkers, such as Amartya Sen, Amin Maalouf and Edward Said, have expended time and ink to refute Huntington’s controversial thesis. For the most part, these works have presented rationale critiques that focus on theoretical problems raised by Samuel Huntington’s board game like simplification of geopolitics and global history. Few of these critiques have, however, tried to counter Huntington’s argument with primary source research or been as readable as Ian Almond’s Two Faiths One Banner: When Muslims Marches with Christians Across Europe’s Battlegrounds (2011). In this slim book, Almond shows that European history is far more muddled than Huntington’s depiction of one…
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