Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries
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"Jihad," the Muslim holy war against Christians and others, has raged for 1,300 years with bloody conquests in Europe dating from campaigns to convert the infidels in the 7th century to today's random acts of terrorism in the name of Allah. Yet this huge unrecorded "hole" in European history has been censored and stifled by political and literary authorities who have feared reprisals from angry Muslims trying to hide a legacy of brutality vastly more bloody and six times longer in duration than the atrocities of the crusades.
This is the engrossing factual account of the immense and little-known Islamic military invasions of Europe, and the major players who led them, beginning around 650 CE. The Islamic Arabs (and later the Moors) occupied a number of the Mediterranean Islands, and invaded Spain and Portugal in 711 CE, and ruled over much of the Iberian peninsula for the next 800 years. France was attacked and invaded, as was Italy, and the European coasts all the way to Ireland and Iceland. The Muslims swept over the Balkans, besieged Vienna, and were intermittent masters of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary into the 19th century, destroying the Byzantines and conquering Constantinople (turning it into Istanbul). Ambitious and unrelenting, the Muslims also sought to conquer Austria and Russia.
concerned with the inroads of Islam into Europe. The Genoese were among Alfonso XI's allies at the siege, as was a Catalan fleet from Barcelona and King Philippe III of Navarre, who came down with an army to aid the Spaniards, as did some valorous English knights, among them the earls of Derby and Salisbury. The capture of the Atlantic port of Algeciras by the Spaniards, more than any other action, by virtually blocking Moroccan entry into Europe, should have brought to an end the huge support
Muhammad received a fifth of the proceeds, establishing a historical precedent that has continued down the centuries under the caliphs and the sultans, who always received a fifth of all the booty captured by their pirates and their warriors in treasure, money, women, and slaves. The next attack on a caravan was much more devastating to the Meccans and culminated in a pitched battle at nearby Badr involving hundreds of warriors shouting, "Allah is. great," armed with swords, spears, and bows and
face down so that Allah could not recognize him. Perhaps Abu Sufyan also found a good hiding place for himself, for Allah didn't kill him either. On the contrary, he became richer then ever. Soon afterward, in 625, the year after Badr, he raised and sent a large army to Medina in search of revenge and victory. They had the greatest soldier of the Arab world as deputy commander of the Meccan army, Khalid ibn al-Walid, Khalid for short, later to be known as "the Sword of God." Khalid was one of the
miles north of Medina, confident of victory and perhaps awaiting the reinforcement of 3,500 invisible (except to him) fighting angels whose presence at Badr had given him victory. This time there was dissent in the Muslim ranks and three hundred Medi- nese decided to go home before the battle started, leaving the cause of Allah to another day. Gabriel and his angels also failed to turn up. Undaunted, the Muslims took the offensive and Ali, Muhammad's son-inlaw, led the first charge against the
least a little if we want to place the European Jihad in its proper historical perspective. The Ali/Muawiya quarrel is one of the essential landmarks of early Muslim history, and it finally resulted in two major Islamic developments: one was the first invasion of Europe, the other was the birth of the powerful Shiite faction within Islam. It would not be wrong in fact to say that Muawiya is the man who deprived Muhammad's descen dants of what they considered their hereditary right to the