Peter Webb, Imagining the Arabs: Arab Identity and the Rise of Islam


Peter Webb’s Imagining the Arabs re-examines the relationship between the advent of Islam and the emergence of the Arabs. Turning much received wisdom on its head, he argues that there was no homogenous Arab people that lived in pre-Islamic Arabia to whom Muhammad delivered his message. Rather, he argues, Arabness was a product of a post-conquest environment, in which the conquerors emphasized language and descent as a means of excluding new converts from claiming the massive resources of the new caliphate.
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