Guest essay by Marshall Foster
What hope is there for lasting peace between America and radical Islam? For 1,400 years, the Christian West has been forced to defend itself against the attacks of a militant version of Islam that is dedicated to world conquest. Understanding the history of this struggle is crucial to avoiding a potential worldwide holocaust.
The army of Islam first invaded the Holy Land, which had been Christian for 300 years, taking Jerusalem in 638 A.D. They then demanded that the Christians submit to their god or die. Since their Jihad began, hundreds of battles have been fought through the centuries.
By the 8th century, the armies of Islam had plundered and killed throughout North Africa and its thriving Christian civilizations. They sacked Alexandria, Egypt, burning the world’s greatest library. Their armies of destruction pillaged through Spain and into France. But at the Battle of Tours, in France, in 732 A.D., Charles Martel, against all odds, defeated 80,000 Muslim warriors. This victory temporarily halted Islam’s attempt to destroy Christianity in Europe. Three centuries later, the Crusades (1095 -1192) were largely a failed attempt to regain control of Jerusalem and the holy places of Christianity and Judaism from the Muslims.
By the 14th century, the Islamic Ottoman Turks had become the central power of the Muslim world and labored for centuries to prepare armies to destroy Christian Europe. They finally plundered the
1,000-year-old Christian city of Constantinople in 1453. In one day, Muslims slaughtered tens of thousands of Christians, and turned the largest church in the world, Saint Sophia, into a mosque.
By the early 16th century, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent spent his life training over 150,000 Turks to invade and destroy Christianity in Europe. In 1529 the Turks were providentially turned back at the gates of Vienna by an incredibly rare September snowstorm, 4,000 Swiss cavalry and a plague that devastated the Muslim army.
September 11th has become a day of infamy for Islam. On September 11, 1565 and September 11, 1638, two critical defeats stopped the Muslim invaders from destroying Christian Europe. First, in 1565, Suleiman the Magnificent and his army were on the verge of tiling Europe by way of Italy. Rome stood helpless. But one obstacle stood in the way. Malta, a little rocky island at the door of Rome, was being held by 700 Knights of Malta and 9,000 citizen soldiers. Two hundred warships unloaded 50,000 Muslim warriors on the island of Malta. But on September 11, 1565 after nine months of fierce fighting, the badly beaten army of Suleiman was forced to retreat, never to take Rome.
Then again, this time on September 11, 1638, 138,000 Ottoman Turks were routed as they once again besieged Vienna, Austria. The people of Vienna were facing eminent starvation and defeat. On September 11, 1638, a Polish king, Jan Sobieski, surprised the huge Ottoman army as he led 38,000 men on horseback with 16-foot spears in one of the largest cavalry charges in history. Again, the Christian world was saved, the cathedrals of Europe were not burned or turned into mosques and Christendom continued its cultural ascendency as Islamic power subsided.
Over the next several centuries, various nations were forced to face Islamic barbarity. Even the newly formed United States was forced to go to war in the Mediterranean against the brutal Islamic Barbary Pirates to protect American ships and sailors from enslavement. The Ottomans lost much of their military power over time yet their brutality and oppression never changed. In 1915, more than 1.5 million Armenian Christians were slaughtered by the Turks in an attempt to extinguish the oldest Christian civilization in history. This Armenian genocide is a reminder that the religion of Islam is a religion of the sword, a religion of forced submission. The word Islam itself means submission-not peace, as is often claimed.
For most of Islamic history, Muslim rule led to mass poverty for the majority of their people. After WWII, however, as Western companies discovered oil in the Middle East, they infused trillions of dollars into the hands of Muslims leaders. Today with enormous wealth and Western weapons of warfare, radical Islam has become more emboldened than ever to attempt the forced submission of people to their god in America and beyond.
Consider the following insights offered by Christian leaders who each faced the terror of radical Islam during their lifetime:
President Teddy Roosevelt said that those under the attacks of radical Islam must fight and win or face the extinction of Christianity: “Wherever they [Muslims] have had complete sway, wherever the Christians have been unable to resist them by the sword, Christianity has ultimately disappeared.”
Martin Luther, facing an invading army of Turks in 1529, said that the battle cannot be won unless we as Christians repent of “our numberless sins and ingratitude” which have caused God to allow these invaders to attack us. He said,” [Christians] must begin with repentance, and we must reform our lives, or we shall fight in vain.”
The lasting solution to the problem of war with Islam was set forth by John Calvin, as his generation of believers was facing extinction at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. He said, “Until the church finds the heart and the will to care for those lost souls bound in Islam with the hope of the Gospel we shall always be at peril.”
Today, contrary to popular opinion, Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world, not Islam. Christianity is the only religion with a global reach and is expanding its outreach peacefully, not by forced submission. A century ago, less than 10% of Africa was Christian. Today 50% of Africa is Christian-over 360 million believers, ending Muslim hegemony over the continent. In China after WWII, there were few believers; today there are over 100 million Christians. Thousands of Chinese Christians have committed their lives to be missionaries to the Muslim world. Bestselling author Joel Rosenberg says that more Muslims have been converted to Christ over the last decade than at any other time in human history.
May we as Christians rededicate ourselves to the fulfillment of the Great Commission, especially to reach “the lost souls bound in Islam.”
From the World History Institute Journal, July 2016 Issue, Dr. Marshall Foster, President. The World History Institute Journal is published monthly. The Institute embraces the providential view of history, which observes history as a purposeful saga under the direction of a loving Creator. This historical perspective has been the dominant view of Western Civilization from the time of Augustine in the 4th century A.D. to the present day.
Compelling speaker and writer, Dr. Marshall Foster has kept the forefront of teaching God’s Providential, overcoming and victorious history for decades.
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© 2016 Used by permission