From the training and armament of Taliban forces to fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan, to Desert Storm and the present war in Iraq, the United States military has played an active part in the Arab-Muslim world during the last thirty years. Some of that involvement has had unforeseen consequences (for instance, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were both originally aided by the U. S. for their resistance to Communist attack). For those who know their history, however, these consequences have not been surprising.
George Grant wrote The Blood of the Moon during George H.W. Bush's administration; consequently, many of his then-contemporary illustrations and examples seem out-of-date and irrelevant. Because the book pre-dates the 9/11 attack and the downfall of Saddam Hussein, many current concerns are not addressed. However, a careful reading will reveal the timeliness of the book and its message—one that is possibly more relevant now than it was twenty years ago.
Grant traces the Middle East crisis back to its earliest roots, outlining its Biblical and historical foundations. By doing so, he points out the futility of attempting to solve the problem by outside help or force. The Arabs have always been fighting, he says, because God put their forefather Ishmael under a curse because of his attitude toward Isaac, who was God's elect. The conflict in the Middle East is not primarily military or economic, but spiritual and idealistic; until (and we don't mean unless) God turns the hearts of the Muslim nations to Himself, they will continue to fight each other and the rest of the world.
It's been 20 years since the first Gulf War, but little has changed. Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden have been ousted, but their followers haven't ended the chaos and destruction. The United States continues to view itself as a liberator and defender of freedom, completely ignoring the millennia-long history of violence in the Middle East and replacing any biblical hope of spiritual redemption with a humanistic confidence in the power of democracy. Muslim radicals continue to pursue Ji'had (holy war) against the "infidels" (non-Muslims). Neither side is willing (or able) to see the other's point of view.
This book was originally written as a sort of "current events" primer on the Middle East, but its present degree of relevance is actually quite frightening. Since parts of it are out-of-date, we offer this book hoping it may shed some much-needed, balanced light on a difficult contemporary issue.
The quotation of the Koran from which Grant takes his title is not in any of the standard translations, at least not under the citation he offers (9:112). Interestingly, all the other Koran citations in the book appear to be accurate. The misquote may be due to a corrupted translation or a non-standard text; we don't believe this "mistake" warrants a dismissal of Grant's entire message. !—
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