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military history
The First Jihad: The Battle for Khartoum and the Dawn of Militant Islam
 
 
Author
Daniel Allen Butler.
Publisher Casemate  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 1 inches
ISBN 9781932033540
Pages/Publication Date 260/2007
Daedalus Item Code 23806
This item is not available.
Description
A century before Osama bin Laden or the Ayatollah Khomeini, an Islamic leader raised an army of thousands of Arabs in a pan-tribal revolt against infidels and apostates in 1880 Sudan. Remembered as the Mahdi, the "Expected One," Muhammed Ahmed was a devout, charismatic young man who developed a ferocious resentment against the Ottoman Turks, their Egyptian lackeys, and finally the Europeans whom he felt kept the Arab people in subjugation. As former U.S. army intelligence officer Daniel Allen Butler recounts here, the Mahdi destroyed three different British forces before Prime Minister William Gladstone dispatched one of Victoria's most celebrated heroes, General Charles "Chinese" Gordon, to effect the evacuation of the Sudan. Instead, Gordon was besieged by the Mahdi at Khartoum. In an epic contest pitting military science and discipline against religious fervor, the Mahdi and Gordon dueled throughout 1884, until an Egyptian let the Mahdist forces into the city. Gordon donned a white uniform and met the attackers on the steps of his palace, where he was hacked to death by jihadists and his head was carried around the city on a pole. Though the Mahdi himself died shortly afterward, his successful revolt has been a model for militant Islam in the modern era.

"For those looking to find the origins of the extreme terrorism now gripping the planet, this book is the ideal starting point. Butler has extensively researched the struggle for empire in the late 19th-century Middle East among Egypt, Great Britain, and Muhammed Ahmed, the Mahdi.... Although Butler states that his initial purpose was not to draw that parallel, the facts are there for all to see."Library Journal

 
 
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