Holy War is a searing and clear-eyed five-part series on the ideologies and tactics which drive the global Jihad movement. This primer proves particularly insightful and crucial today as the world faces the continued threat of terror acts inspired and carried out by ISIS.
The roots of this troubling conflict, dating back to the 7th century, are explored in the first chapter subtitled The Sword of the Prophet. As the popularity of the Islamic faith began its ascent, it posed a perceived threat to the widely embedded doctrines of Christianity. The resulting showdown between the Moors and the Christians was a violent one, and set the stage for an ongoing conflict which continues to define global politics and unrest to this day.
As chronicled in Crusade to Jerusalem, the Christian led Holy War against Muslims continued into the 11th century as a bloody battle raged for control of the sacred religious site. Many hundreds of thousands across all faiths were slaughtered.
The Islamic Ottoman Empire inspired tremendous fear throughout Europe, and their successful campaign to overtake large regions of the continent met a critical turning point in September of 1683 as Christian alliance forces worked to thwart an overthrow of Vienna. This skirmish, which is billed as the last Holy War fought on European soil, is portrayed in the third chapter titled The Turks at the Gates of Vienna.
The Kaisers Jihad takes us back to the outbreak of World War I, as British archaeologist T. E. Lawrence fought alongside Arab troops to defeat an insurgency by the Ottoman Empire. Their efforts were coordinated in concert with British interests and strategies during the war.
The final chapter titled Terror and Faith outlines the birth of the modern-day Jihad movement, the key crescendo of which occurred on September 11, 2001 with the World Trade Center attacks. Viewers are provided insights into the rise of Osama Bin Laden, and what his eventual death has meant to the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism throughout the globe.
A gorgeously produced 5-part documentary series which is as instructive as it is ambitious, Holy War could not be more urgent and relevant viewing.