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Join Gab (@StFerdinandIII) Western Civilisation was and is superior to anything Islam has developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Raising the alarm about the fascism called Submission since 2000.  

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

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Book Review: Defenders of the Faith, by James Reston Jr.

Christianity and Islam Battle for the Soul of Europe 1520-1536

by Ferdinand III


 Highly recommended.

Reston's book is an entertaining description of the critical 16 year period in which the Moslem empire of the Ottoman's came very close to conquering Vienna and central Europe. Suleiman II [Solomon], boasted that the green and white flag of Muhammad would flutter from the banks of the Rhine and be planted along the Indus. He fancied himself as Reston states, to be the incarnation of Alexander the Great, who in Moslem theology was a follower of Islam and a Moslem warrior. The massed Moslem attack on the core of central Europe at Vienna in 1529 and again in 1532 at the bastions of Guns and Regiersberg failed, and failed dramatically. If the Moslems had taken Vienna in 1529, the Moslem Jihad invasion of 1532 would have been launched deep into southern Germany instead of into central Austria. It is only 300 miles from Vienna to the heartland valleys of the German Rhine:

The first siege of Vienna thus ended in humiliation for the Turks....The Janissaries [Christian slaves welded from the age of 7 into the 'new soldiers'] were the last to pack up, and they ended their stay at Vienna with horrendous atrocity, tying together a large number of their prisoners, including women, children, and elders, and throwing them into the flames of their burning camp.” [p. 287]

Under proposed UN hate-speech 'laws', the above passage might be designated as 'hurtful to Moslems'. One of the book's strengths is that Reston does not ignore the suffering that any state, city, village or family were suffer under either a Moslem attack, or domination. He does state – implausibly if you look at the actual historical record – that the Balkan peoples did fairly well under Ottoman rule. Roads were built, bridges constructed, social peace enforced and some sort of stability instituted. I doubt that many Serb, Croat or Slav historians would agree that the Ottoman destruction of Slav-Christian civilisation from 1389 until the 19th century was an epoch of progress and positive change. Millions were killed or forcibly converted to Islam. As Paul Fregosi's excellent work proves in Hungary alone, from 1520 to 1683, half of the Christian population was killed or enslaved. Yes there might have been social 'peace' under Moslem rule but at the cost of 3 million souls.

The spoils of war were the warrior's reward on earth for his struggle in the highest duty against the infidel, just as paradise was to be his reward in heaven. In the Koran, plunder belonged to Allah, not to the individual. It was Allah's gift, and one fifth of it, the 'holy one fifth', was supposed to be given for charity and to the poor. 'Eat ye the spoils of war', runs the Koranic verse, 'for they are lawful and pure.' With this, the conscience of the plunderer was relieved.” [p.234]

Jihad is the 6th duty of Islam. Reston saying so in print will send cultural Marxists and Moslems into a frenzy.

The entire thread of story-telling is informative, extremely well-written and for the hobby-historian, well researched and highly accessible. Upon completion of this book the reader feels a need to understand more about the events and characters of the early 16th century intimated by Reston. Luther, Charles V, Suleiman II, his pasha Ibrahim, Henry VIII, Francis I, Admiral Doria, Red Beard the Moslem corsair, Cortes in Mexico, Villier the great leader of the Hospitallers at Rhodes and precursor to the inestimable Jean de La Valette.....The early 16th century certainly is an interesting era.

In Reston's capable hands Europe comes across as a complex saga, a world of competing states, princes, emperors, and papal ambitions. The Pope allied with Francis I of France against Spain. Spain and England in league against France. The French supporting the spread of Ottoman power and Islamic predations in North Africa and beyond. The Pope back in league with Spain against France. Spain annihilating French ambition to conquer Italy at Pavia in 1525 – one of the most decisive battles in that entire century. The Spanish-Imperial mob army in 1526 completely destroying Rome and plundering its riches in a devastation rarely equalled in European history. Luther and Lutheranism dividing Christianity in two, weakening Europe at the very moment when the Turkish threat was at its highest. Indeed Reston paints a picture of a self-absorbed, internally squabbling Europe beset in many cases by petty rulers such as Francis I of France, or lightning-rod revolutionaries such as Luther, and many others who were either oblivious of the Moslem threat or could care less. In a frenzied madness Luther pronounced that an Islamified Europe would be 'Gods' punishment visited upon Europeans for their disavowal of 'true scripture'. As Pope Leo wrote to both Charles V the Hapsburg ruler of Spain and Austria and to the reptilian Francis I:

We take into consideration the dangers now threatening Christendom from the Turk, and are of the opinion that the greater dangers should be first addressed. If we protect and defend the interests of our faith, even at the loss of our worldly advantage, instead of meeting the evils of Christendom with indifference, the Lord will be our helper.”

The call to unity fell on deaf ears. Never did the Kings of France, Spain, England or the petty Duchies of Germany unite to help defend the Austrian-Hungarian lands of Europe from the Turks. The combined power of Christendom would have overwhelmed the Turkish Moslems. At Vienna in 1529 the Turks had a little fewer than 100.000 men. A greater and well equipped army could have been sent out from Germany alone, if the Lutherans and Catholics had settled their differences and recognized that Turkish rule over central Europe would not aid the advance of Christian civilisation. After the close call at Vienna in 1529 even Luther recognized that a Moslem Europe would wipe out the 'true Gospel' and would not benefit civilisation.

If you go to war against the Turks you can be sure that you are not fighting flesh and blood, ie. against men, because the army of the Turks is actually the army of the devil.”

Moslem Jihad and holy war could only be turned back, by the same. Thus would Charles V become the saviour in many ways, of Europe. Certainly Christianity in-toto saved Europe.

Reston's case that these critical 15 years decided the fate of Europe is a pretty good one. The Turks came very close to taking Vienna in 1529. They would try again of course in 1683. Vienna in 1529 was a far different city than in 1683. In 1529 it was smaller, with poorer defensive works, thinner walls and fewer battlements and towers. Against 75.000 Turkish regulars a mere 7.000 or so won a decisive victory – aided by the weather and the coming of winter. 1529 is rarely celebrated in European annals as a signal event. It should be. Without the garrison at Vienna, ably led, fired by their faith, imbued with a self-confidence that Europeans do not have today, the entire central core of Christendom might well have been Islamified. The UN and sundry cultural Marxists and Western self-loathers rejoice at the thought. The rest of us can only shudder and give thanks that what appeared to be a certain Turkish victory, was turned instead into a decisive disaster for the Moslem Jihad.  


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