Saturday, August 05, 2006

The History Of
The Christian Explusion
Of Muslim Invaders



Over at Galliawatch, Tiberge is pondering the history of the Christian struggles against Muslims invaders:


A reader named Anonymous stated that he saw nothing wrong with a church becoming a brothel or a bicycle garage, since it didn't affect the architecture. I decided to take him seriously and wrote my (inadequate no doubt) reply.


Here's the reply Tiberge wrote:

Christianity is one of the major foundations of Western culture. No one is obligated to be a Christian. No Christian is obligated to attend church. But the art, architecture, music, literature and value system of the West have, until recent times, always been impregnated with Christianity. Handel would not have composed "Messiah", Leonardo would not have painted "The Last Supper", these churches in France would never have been built, without the profound Christian feelings that are clearly absent from today's western world.

It is impossible to ignore the impact of Christianity even if it is not the only factor in French culture. There is certainly a secular tradition as well, which, by the way, would not exist except in contrast to the religious.

The purpose of this website is to present, in translation, information from France that traces the rise of Islam, the decay of French culture and education, and the abandonment of the former value systems that built the European nations. One of these is unavoidably Christianity.

If Europe today had a strong Christian identity, Islam would not be the powerful and malevolent force that it is. Europe has always had difficulty mustering the will to fight Islam, but the battles that it did win, such as Lepanto, were won because of a belief in the superiority of Christianity and the nations that were built and that flourished under its influence.

Lastly, your notion that a brothel housed inside a former parish church is just as worthy architecturally as a church used as a church is missing the point of architecture. Architecture is a reflection of the essence of whatever activity takes place within its walls. Municipal buildings, national monuments, museums, religious structures, educational edifices cannot be turned into whore-houses without making a complete mockery of the architect, his clients and architecture itself. It is making a mockery as well of the very human feelings that lived, studied and worshipped in these buildings.

By your theory, the Metropolitan Museum of Art would be just as magnificent as a giant brothel. No way.


Tiberge is right, Europe would not be having the trouble it is having with Islam if Europe had a profound belief in the Christian religion of its heritage. For better or worse (and I believe it is for better) Christianity presents a worldview by which human beings are able to make moral judgements. The postmodern European worldview teaches that there is no intellectually accessible moral standards by which we can find our way in the world.

While it is true that Europe is a champion of human rights, we see over and over again that Europe is almost completely incapable of acting on that sense of rights. Consider Sudan or Rwanda. In both cases Europe dithered and refused to take action while genocides went on.

It is not that Europe lacks any sense of right and wrong. Certainly the modern understanding of human rights is, itself, a reflection of a moral sense. But, Europe does lack a confidence in its moral judgements.

I believe this a reflection of the fact that without a belief in God, there is no foundation for a belief in absolute right and wrong. Without a belief in God it is very easy for a person, or group of people to throw their hands up in the air, when the going get tough, and say, "Well, who am I to judge?"

Yes, who are we to judge? That seems to be the message of the whole Bible, when you get right down to it. Judgement is God's. Vengeance is God's. Human beings can study the Word of God from here to the end, but they will only see through a glass darkly. God made us upright but we seek out many devices.

In short, wee can't trust ourselves, and we are only too aware of that fact.

However, if we believe in God, if we believe in an absolute moral standard to which we are held, then we go forth in fear and trembling lest we, seeing through that dark glass, should make a mistake, but, we go forth knowing that we must make a choice to act, because not to act is itself a sin. And, it is a sin for which we will be held accountable.

See, when it comes down to it, that is the difference between the religious man, and the non-religious man, that is the difference between a Bible-believing culture, and one which does not believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Having said all that, let us look at how a Bible-believing culture reacts when confronted with a Muslim invasion. Let us look at the Battle of Poitiers:


The Battle of Tours (
October 10, 732), often called Battle of Poitiers and also called in Arabic بلاط الشهداء (Balaat Alshuhada'a) The Court of Martyrs was fought near the city of Tours, France, by Frankish forces under Austrasian Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel and a massive invading Muslim army led by Emir `Abdul Raħmān al Ghāfiqī, Governor-general of Al-Andalus. The Franks defeated the Islamic army and Emir Abd er Rahman was killed. Charles earned the nickname Martel ("The Hammer") for the merciless way he hammered his opponents during this victory, and went on to repulse later Muslim invasions, driving Muslim forces back to the port of Narbonne. Edward Gibbon said of the Muslim invasions and Charles Martel "in the public danger, he was summoned by the voice of his country."

The battle followed twenty years of
Muslim conquests in Europe, beginning with the invasion of the Visigoth Christian Kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula in 711 and progressing into the Frankish territories of Gaul, former provinces of the Roman Empire. Muslim military campaigns had reached northward into Aquitaine and Burgundy, including a major battle at Bordeaux and a raid on Autun. Martel's victory is believed by many historians to have stopped the northward advance of Islam from the Iberian peninsula, and is therefore also considered of macrohistorical importance in that it halted the Muslim conquests and preserved Christianity as the controlling faith in Europe during a period when Islam was overrunning the remains of the old Roman and Persian Empires.[1]

Varied estimates of the Frankish army defending
Gaul suggest Martel commanded between 15,000 and 75,000 infantry[3] in the first western standing army since the fall of Rome. They had been trained to fight in phalanxes in order to face the dreaded Muslim heavy cavalry. Between 60,000 and 400,000 men [4] [5], mostly Berber lighthorse cavalry supplemented by Muslim heavy cavalry were under Abd er Rahman, often fractured into raiding parties to plunder various Frankish centers. According to Arab accounts, in the six days before the battle, Abd er Rahman recalled his forces so they were all present for the battle. By both western and Arab historical accounts, the Muslim forces probably outnumbered the Franks significantly at the onset of the Battle, but how far is unknown.

In
732, the Arab advance force was proceeding north toward the River Loire having outpaced their supply train and a large part of their army. Essentially, having easily destroyed all resistance in that part of Gaul, the invading army had split off into several raiding parties, simply looting and destroying, while the main body advanced more slowly.

The Muslim heavy cavalry broke the Christian infantry in their first charge, and then slaughtered them at will as they broke and ran.

The invading force went on to devastate southern Gaul, preparing it for complete conquest. One of the major raiding parties advanced on Tours. A possible motive, according to the second continuator of
Fredegar, was the riches of the Abbey of Saint Martin of Tours, the most prestigious and holiest shrine in western Europe at the time. Upon hearing this, Austrasia's Mayor of the Palace, Charles Martel, collected his army (estimated at 15,000 to 75,000 veterans) and marched south, avoiding the old Roman roads and hoping to take the Muslims by surprise. Because he intended to use a phalanx, it was essential for him to choose the battlefield. His plan — to find a high wooded plain, form his men and force the Muslims to come to him — depended on the element of surprise.

From all accounts, the invading forces were caught entirely off guard to find a large force, well disposed and prepared for battle, with high ground, directly opposing their attack on Tours. Charles had achieved the total surprise he hoped for.


In one of the rare instances where medieval infantry stood up against cavalry charges, the disciplined Frankish soldiers withstood the assaults, though according to Arab sources, the Arab cavalry several times broke into the interior of the Frankish square.

"The Moslem horsemen dashed fierce and frequent forward against the battalions of the Franks, who resisted manfully, and many fell dead on either side."
[6]

Despite this, the Franks did not break. It appears that the years of year-round training that Charles had bought with Church funds, paid off. His hard-trained soldiery accomplished what was not thought possible at that time: unarmoured infantry withstood the fierce Muslim heavy cavalry. A translation of an Arab account of the battle from the Medieval Source Book says:


"And in the shock of the battle the men of the North seemed like a sea that cannot be moved. Firmly they stood, one close to another, forming as it were a bulwark of ice; and with great blows of their swords they hewed down the Arabs. Drawn up in a band around their chief, the people of the
Austrasians carried all before them. Their tireless hands drove their swords down to the breasts of the foe." [[6]]

Those Muslims who had broken into the square had tried to kill Martel, but his
liege men surrounded him and would not be broken. The battle was still in flux when Frankish histories claim that a rumor went through the Arab army that Frankish scouts threatened the booty that they had taken from Bordeaux. Some of the Muslim troops at once broke off the battle and returned to camp to secure their loot.

According to Muslim accounts of the battle, in the midst of the fighting on the second day, scouts from the Franks sent by Charles began to raid the camp and supply train (including slaves and other plunder).

Charles supposedly had sent scouts to cause chaos in the Muslim base camp, and free as many of the slaves as possible, hoping to draw off part of his foe. This succeeded beyond his wildest dreams as many of the Muslim Cavalry returned to their camp. To the rest of the Muslim army, this appeared to be a full-scale retreat, and soon it was one.


Both Western and Muslim histories agree that while trying to stop the retreat, Abd er Rahman became surrounded, which led to his death, and the Muslims then withdrew altogether to their camp. "All the host fled before the enemy," candidly wrote one Arab source, "and many died in the flight."


Yes, we beat them, and beat them, until they began to retreat, and then we slaughtered them while they were running away. That is how battles are won.

We will, once again, regain this Charles Martel spirit. There is no doubt about it. No matter how much we may disdain the works of our hands here in the West, we know in our hearts that we can not part with our culture. Everything we love is born of and sustained by our culture, all our freedoms, all our abilities, all our technology, all our enterainments, arts and sciences.

Finally, I will leave you with a portion of an essay I wrote called
"Why The Christian Church Must Take On The Battle For The Defense Of Western Civilization."


Both Judaism and Christianity teach that man, having been made in the Image of his Creator, also inherently possesses these attributes to some extent. Therefore, man is meant to be creative, he is meant to love matter, he is meant to be reasonable and analytical, he is meant to reshape his work, and even, the work of God's hands, using the gifts of reason and analysis, and more than anything, man is meant to be Free, as God, most indubitably, is Himself.

And, what's more, God wants man to have Freedom of choice. He wants man to come to Him of his own accord. When man sinned, God could have unmade the sin, and started over, but instead, God worked with the new reality man had created, and even promised to make something more glorious of it.

In other words, when God was confronted with man's sin, and He banished the sinners from the Garden of Eden, He did not make it His next step to take away man's Free Will, but instead, chose for man to retain Free Will, and He chose to remain a partner in man's creative endeavors.

Reading the rest of the Hebrew Bible, and the Gospels, and the Letters, it becomes apparent that God made this decision precisely because He wants man to be Free, otherwise, man would not be free to choose Him.In other words - and I can't stress enough how important this is -

The first principle of the Bible is that man needs to be Free, and this comes before anything else.

This is not at all a principle of Islam. In Islam, a good Muslim is to learn the Koran by heart, and to follow its rules by rote. He is not to be analytical, because his analysis can never add anything to that which Allah has already provided. The Koran, itself, is the final word of Allah to man. It is not to be amended or added to. It is to be followed only.Man's creativity is to be impeded. Music must not be made of anything more than chanting and drums. Art must not be representational. It is forbidden for a Muslim to depict the human form in a sculpture, for instance.

Man is to love the paradise Mohammed calls him towards. He is not to love the Earthly realm of matter. In fact, much of the material world is haram, to the extent that man is forbidden to even view the form of any female not his own wife.

In Islam, man is not forbidden to be generous to other men, so long as his fellow man is a Muslim. But, there is no reason to be generous to a non-Muslim. In fact, one is not to take a non-Muslim as a friend.

In Islam, compassion is not the central theme. Allah can not be said to be the equivalent of Love, as the Bible tells us Yahweh is. Allah is instead, probably, more easily called a god of justice, as defined by Allah. Or, is that justice defined by Mohammed. We can't be sure, because when it comes right down to it, the only person from whom we have learned of Allah, is the prophet himself. And, we shall never hear another new word about Allah from anyone else.

So, we see, the god of Islam is not anything like the God of the Bible. We delude ourselves if we think the two can be compared.What's more, we put ourselves in danger, and, we put our very ability to practice our religion in danger, if we accept the idea that God and Allah are the same. Because Allah does not accept divergence of opinion. It's Allah's way, or the highway. No other opinions, or ideas, or beliefs, are allowed. Free Speech, Freedom of Conscience, Democracy, these are all but the baubles and bangles of a decadent Western Civilization, as far as the most learned men of Islam are concerned. They all lead to disobedience, and sloth, and weakness, we are told. And most importantly, what we need to know is they all lead away from Allah.

Therefore, if we are to accept that Allah is the same as the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible, we are accepting that Allah is preeminent, and our God must be subservient. We are accepting, therefore, that we are no longer to be free, rational, and analytical beings. Therefore, we are accepting that we no longer can make our own choices, for Democracy, for Freedom of Conscience, or for our God Himself. If we accept such, we are condemning ourselves to the destruction of Western Civilization, and we are taking away the very duty of man himself, that is to express himself as a being made in the Image of God.

The Christian Church, in general, must come to understand these things. The most important endeavor the Christian Church can undertake, at this point in time, is to understand that the defense of Western Civilization is of utmost importance to the existence of Christianity. Without the protection Western Civilization provides to Freedom of Conscience, Freedom of Speech, and Democracy, Christianity itself would go into a dark age. Christians would be forced to worship underground, away from the light of day. Fewer people would hear the gospel preached, and therefore, fewer people would be free to make a choice to follow the God of the Bible.

The Christian Church must understand that Western Civilization and the Bible go hand in hand. The Christian Church must become warriors for Western Civilization.