Battle of Tours
1268 years ago today, a Frankish and Burgundian army under Charles Martel “the Hammer”, Mayor of the the Palace of Austrasia, defeated and turned back an Islamic army from Spain. The battle was decisive in that it stemmed the tide of Islamic conquest in the West that had conquered virtually all of Spain in less than a decade. Tours demonstrated that if the rest of Europe was to be conquered, it would take unending war against Christians who would never stop fighting against the followers of the prophet. Europe would remain under siege from Islam for almost a thousand years, but Charles Martel and his men had scored the first decisive Christian victory in the long war which would ultimately turn back the first Islamic attempt to conquer Europe.
by Joe Hargrave
One of the memes – the unconscious, uncritical, lazy thoughts that spreads from person to person like a virus – that has been particularly virulent during this ground-zero mosque controversy is that Christians have no standing to criticize the violence of Islam, given a supposedly violent Christian history. And no one event is more often invoked as an example of Christian hypocrisy than the so-called “Crusades” (so-called, because no one who fought in them called them that).
The latest and most appalling example appears in the NY Times, courtesy of a Nicholas D. Kristof. Among the many absurdities one can find in this column, including definitive claims as to the intentions and desires of Osama bin Laden, Kristof writes,
Remember also that historically, some of the most shocking brutality in the region was justified by the Bible, not the Koran. Crusaders massacred so many men, women and children in parts of Jerusalem that a Christian chronicler, Fulcher of Chartres, described an area ankle-deep in blood. While burning Jews alive, the crusaders sang, “Christ, We Adore Thee.”
What could be more logical, more pertinent, more relevant, than to invoke thousand-year old wartime excesses as proof that Christians have no grounds to criticize Islam?