Bernard Lewis on Islam and Violence

A Critical Appraisal

  • SADIA TABASSUM Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Faculty of Shariah and Law, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Keywords: Bernard Lewis, jihad, Orientalism, violence, Islamic teachings.


Bernard Lewis (1916–2018) is deemed an authority in the Western academia on the Muslim world, particularly the Middle East. His work continues to influence the policymakers and the intelligentsia in the West as well as the ruling elites in the Muslim world. The present paper attempts to critically evaluate his views regarding the alleged relationship of Islam and violence. In his various books and articles, Lewis has tried to prove that the Islamic teachings on jihad envisage an all-out war by Muslims against all non-Muslims and that jihad is a tool of Muslim domination over the whole of the world. Moreover, he persistently tries to exonerate the United States of America and its allies of all the wrongs they have committed against Muslims. The work of Lewis provides intellectual basis for the political and economic exploitation of the Muslim world by the Western hegemonic powers.

How to Cite
TABASSUM, S. (2019). Bernard Lewis on Islam and Violence: A Critical Appraisal. ISLAMIC STUDIES, 58(1), 9-32. Retrieved from