Empire and Jihad The Anglo-Arab Wars of 1870-1920 Neil Faulkner

Publication date:
24 Aug 2021
Yale University Press
448 pages: 235 x 156mm
74 b-w illus. + 18 maps
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A panoramic, provocative account of the clash between British imperialism and Arab jihadism in Africa between 1870 and 1920

The Ottoman Sultan called for a "Great Jihad" against the Entente powers at the start of the First World War. He was building on half a century of conflict between British colonialism and the people of the Middle East and North Africa. Resistance to Western violence increasingly took the form of radical Islamic insurgency.
Ranging from the forests of Central Africa to the deserts of Egypt, Sudan, and Somaliland, Neil Faulkner explores a fatal collision between two forms of oppression, one rooted in the ancient slave trade, the other in modern "coolie" capitalism. He reveals the complex interactions between anti-slavery humanitarianism, British hostility to embryonic Arab nationalism, "war on terror" moral panics, and Islamist revolt. Far from being an enduring remnant of the medieval past, or an essential expression of Muslim identity, Faulkner argues that "Holy War" was a reactionary response to the violence of modern imperialism.

Neil Faulkner is the editor of Military History Matters and codirector of the Great Arab Revolt Project. He is the author of fifteen books, including Lawrence of Arabia's War and A Radical History of the World.