"Jihad," the Muslim holy war against Christians and others, has raged for 1,300 years with bloody conquests in Europe dating from campaigns to convert the infidels in the 7th century to today's random acts of terrorism in the name of Allah. Yet this huge unrecorded "hole" in European history has been censored and stifled by political and literary authorities who have feared reprisals from angry Muslims trying to hide a legacy of brutality vastly more bloody and six times longer in duration than the atrocities of the crusades. This is the engrossing factual account of the immense and little-known Islamic military invasions of Europe, and the major players who led them, beginning around 650 CE. The Islamic Arabs (and later the Moors) occupied a number of the Mediterranean Islands, and invaded Spain and Portugal in 711 CE, and ruled over much of the Iberian peninsula for the next 800 years. France was attacked and invaded, as was Italy, and the European coasts all the way to Ireland and Iceland. The Muslims swept over the Balkans, besieged Vienna, and were intermittent masters of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary into the 19th century, destroying the Byzantines and conquering Constantinople (turning it into Istanbul). Ambitious and unrelenting, the Muslims also sought to conquer Austria and Russia.
The Islamic State, known as ISIS, exploded into the public eye in 2014 with startling speed and shocking brutality. It has captured the imagination of the global jihadist movement, attracting recruits in unprecedented numbers and wreaking bloody destruction with a sadistic glee that has alienated even the hardcore terrorists of its parent organization, al Qaeda. Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger, two of America's leading experts on terrorism, dissect the new model for violent extremism that ISIS has leveraged into an empire of death in Iraq and Syria, and an international network that is rapidly expanding in the Middle East, North Africa and around the world. ISIS: The State of Terror traces the ideological innovations that the group deploys to recruit unprecedented numbers of Westerners, the composition of its infamous snuff videos, and the technological tools it exploits on social media to broadcast its atrocities, and its recruiting pitch to the world, including its success at attracting thousands of Western adherents. The authors examine ISIS's predatory abuse of women and children and its use of horror to manipulate world leaders and its own adherents as it builds its twisted society. The authors offer a much-needed perspective on how world leaders should prioritize and respond to ISIS's deliberate and insidious provocations.