A panoramic, provocative account of the clash between British imperialism and Arab jihadism in Africa between 1870 and 1920 "An epic account of the British Empire's activities in Africa and the Middle East. . . . An important, indeed tremendous, contribution."--John Newsinger, author of The Blood Never Dried: A People's History of the British Empire
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.