Chapter 9

Temujin - Genghis Khan (1162-1227)

As the "Franks" lost ground in the Middle East, a whirlwind came off the steppes of Central Asia to invade the Empire of China. This was Temujin, the Genghis Khan, who, after taking his lavish booty out of China, swept into Bukhara and Samarkand, his Mongol hordes paralyzing all opposition by their cruelty.

"These Tatars," wrote Ibn-al-Ahtir, the Persian historian at the time, "have done things utterly unparalleled in ancient or modern times. Coming from China, they penetrated in less than a year in Iraq and Armenia. May God send a defender to the Muslins, for never since the Prophet have they suffered such disasters." Added this historian, "In the Muslim countries devastated by Genghis Khan, not one in a thousand of the inhabitants survived ... If from now until the Day of Resurrection, nothing hindered the natural increase of the population, it could never reach one-tenth of its density before the Mongol conquest." Thus yet another invasion added its component into the Eastern melting pot.

The Mongol invasion set into motion the destruction of any remaining Muslim solidarity. Mamlooks, Seljuqs, Circassians, Kurds, Turks, Mongols, Turkmans, Persians, Kerts, Berbers and Moors, established petty dynasties, each to last a few years, fall, regain favor, and disappear again before a new conqueror.