Where did Islam come from?
|Where did Islam come from?Part 9(Letter to Charlene Law - continued)
The Arab era of the Crusades ended with the fading of the Fatimid
Caliphate and a new force, already mentioned, the Turks became the
driving force in Islam. Until the 20th century, the terms Turk and
Muslim were pretty much interchangeable.
After the Crusades,
Christianity had its own divisions. The eastern Christian Roman Empire
which we usually call the Byzantine Empire shrank away under the
onslaughts of the Turkish Muslim invaders until it was just a few
sections of Greece, some Greek islands and the enclave immediately
surrounding Constantinople and its massive walls. In 1453
Constantinople finally became part of Dar al Islam.
Turkish Muslims had succeeded where the Arab Muslims had failed. The
Turkish Muslim invaders swept through the Balkans into Austria and Dar
al Islam embraced what today are Greece, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria,
Serbia, Croatia, Albania, Macedonia and the rest of the former
Yugoslavia, Crete, Cyprus, Rhodes and many of the other Mediterranean
islands were all part of the Islamic Empire. Vienna stood alone as the
gateway to the final Muslim conquest of Europe.
Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent laid siege to Vienna, the weather
turned, the Austrians and their few allies held fast and the Turks had
to retreat. One hundred fifty years of intermittent war ensued and the
Turkish Sultan amassed a great fleet and army for the invasion of Italy
and the final conquest of Rome, weakened by the Reformation. Luther had
said that life under the Muslims would be easier for Protestants than
life under the Pope.
The fleet was gathered just across the
narrow Adriatic in the Gulf of Corinth, at Lepanto. On October 7, 1571
a meager force of Christians had gathered, led by Don Juan of
Austria. They sailed to what seemed certain doom, the picture of
Our lady of Guadalupe placed prominently on Don Juan’s flagship. The
wind turned, the Muslim fleet defeated, and the sea power of Dar al
Islam was broken and to this day the Islamic world is not a naval
Vienna was once again put under siege by the
Muslim invaders in 1683. On September 11, 1683. September 11th....
where have I heard that date? The Islamic Empire in Europe reached its
high water mark. There were two battles happening simultaneously.
Armies of Turks were trying to tunnel under the walls, but it is said
that the bakers of Vienna, the first ones up in the morning heard the
sound of scraping under their shops and realized that they were being
tunneled under! The tunnelers were defeated, Meanwhile above ground,
King Jan Sobieski and the Polish army came to the relief of the
Christians, and on September 12, routed the Turkish armies, which began
the steady retreat of Dar al Islam in the Christian west, at least
until our own times.
Dar al Islam has never
been so extensive as it was on Sep. 11, 1683. Every time you eat a
croissant, French for crescent, you may be eating a commemoration of
the great battle of Vienna, one of the many times Poland saved
Christianity, because as the old story goes the bakers made crescent
rolls to give thanks for the defeat of the Turks whose battle flag bore
the crescent moon of Islam. The steady retreat of the (Muslim Turkish)
Ottoman Empire continued until it vanished like a soap bubble in 1922,
having already lost most of its European possessions.
myth says that the Crusades were a failure. All that killing for
nothing, and there certainly was killing, and mismanagement and
excesses on the part of the Christians. What did it accomplish?
accomplished plenty. In the year 1000 it was a foregone conclusion on
the part of Christian and Muslim alike that Christianity was over. The
heartlands of Christianity, Egypt, Syria, North Africa were all lost to
Christendom. Muslims had invaded the heart of Christendom and they
wouldn’t and they won’t stop. Ever. The Crusades stopped the steady
drumbeat of Muslim invasion and took back at least some of the lands
stolen by the armies of Islam. The Muslim invader is nothing if not
persistent. The initiative was lost by the Arab founders of Islam, but
was picked up the Turks who lost it in turn.
Ayatollahs of Iran and the Wahabi sheiks of our Saudi Arabian allies
seem ready to try again. We like to think that the world has changed.
In the unending war between the House of Islam and the rest of the
world nothing has changed and we are wishful; fools if we believe
things are better now.
We slaughtered them. They
slaughtered us. Nothing much here to be proud of for Christians, but it
is sheer stupidity to believe that Islam was the victim and Christendom
the aggressor. Clearly Christians in their attempts to defend
themselves did not always live up to the tenets of their faith. In this
there is nothing to be proud of.
thing is that while one side failed on occasion to live up to
expectations, one side was true to its founder in the midst of conquest
Next week: more slaughter.
To be continued......
Here To Ask The Reverend Know-It-All A Question
Where did Islam come from?