Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Dar al-harb
The Dar al-harb is a wonky translation for the Arabic term House of War The true form would be more like Dar harb. However I added the “al” because I wanted a three syllable name.  The Dar al-harb in The Djinn Jihad was based primarily on the Hashshashin or “Users of hashish”. They were a radical religious and political sect of Shia Islam.  It is rumored or speculated that they are called users of hashish  because they used the drug in their initiation ritual and other religious ceremonies using its properties, a little stage management and  a super dose of political and religious rhetoric and dogma to help induct and brain wash the members of the group the first leader of this group had such a drug induced hold on the minds of his men Marco Polo reports the stories of “The Old Man of the Mountain” about this phenomena. The term Hashashashin is where we get our modern word Assassin.

The group seemed to first pop up just before the Peasants Crusade and the First Crusade probably around 1080-1085, However some trace it as far back as the 1050s. The whole thing seems to have started with a Nizari holy man named Hassan i Sabbah who started gathering a group of followers around him and using his popularity he created the Order of Assassins to gain power,  exercise political will and then also to exact bloody revenge. The order would battle other Muslim groups and with the beginning of the crusades they would war with the European crusaders. This is a point I cannot state enough that these guys fought with everyone, not just Christians.

They used all sorts of tactics in engaging an enemy. They stand on a battlefield and wage all out war. They could used covert agents using poisons and other hidden methods. The last kind would be like a political invasion, where they would subtly move into the land of their enemies a few people or family at a time integrating into the culture, infrastructure and political machinery of the village until they simple run the land. It finally took the Mongols in the 13th century to finally wipe the order out and decimate their political power.

In the graphic novel The Djinn Jihad The Dar al-harb history would pan out a lot like this, except they would have survived and integrated into middle east armies in WW1 and WW2 and spear heading the War  on Terror in modern times.

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