From Publishers Weekly
In this epic examination, celebrated historian Gilbert (the six-volume biography of Winston Churchill) explores the evolution of Judaism and Islam through a lens of Middle Eastern stability. Islam upholds some of Judaism's practices, like strict dietary laws, circumcision, and multiple prayers daily, and followers of both religions have historically banded together during holy wars in opposition to Christianity. Yet early relations between Jews and Muslims were often precarious, and the treatment Jews received was often dependent on the manner in which the Islamic leader at the time interpreted "the two extremes of protection and intolerance," a conflict that Gilbert believes "has defined the Muslim-Jewish relationship to this day." Indeed, under the rule of the second Caliph, Jews volunteered as soldiers and guides and offered provisions for their Muslim allies, whereas under the eighth Caliph, Jews and Christians were equally segregated and oppressed. With a comprehensive yet accessible approach, Gilbert scrutinizes the roles that Muslims and Jews have played and continue to play in the Middle East, and the impact of this on the world, unearthing the ongoing struggles these religions have faced over their 1400 years of shared history.
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"This is a book for those who want on their shelf, ready to hand, the facts on the Jews in Muslim lands, from the days of Mohammad himself, a vivid chapter as related here, to the Arab-Israel conflict of the present day. With Sir Martin Gilbert's excellent maps and clear readable prose, this saga is both a reliable source and a pleasure to read."
— Herman Wouk
"In this epic examination, celebrated historian Gilbert (the six-volume biography of Winston Churchill) explores the evolution of Judaism and Islam. . . . .with a comprehensive yet accessible approach."
— Publishers Weekly
"Sir Martin Gilbert's In Ishmael's House
, perhaps for the first time, makes accessible to a mass readership the neglected history of Jews in Muslim lands, from Afghanistan to Morocco."
— The JC.com
"[This book's] account of the slow-burning tragedy of the extinction of Jewish communities in the Arab world is moving and important. It should be read."
— The Independent