Soft heads blaming this war (er, I’m sorry “oversees contingency operation”) on the “West’s oppression of Muslims going back to the First Crusade.” A tragic lie blindly repeated as fact and never challenged.

The truth of the matter is this war did not start with the First Crusade (1100 AD), it began with a forgotten crusade…actually, a forgotten jihad may be more appropriate.  Muslim Moors invading Europe through Spain in the 700s, were well on their way to conquering all of Europe.  Those Europeans who capitulated, were granted assimilation into the Moorish culture.  Those who stood in the way were crushed.  Then, in one of the most pivotal moments in history (think Thermopylae pivotal), they were met by a French noble, Charles “The Hammer” Martel, on the battlefield at Tours in central France. The last of the well organized armies facing the Moors, if Martel’s army failed the Muslim advance would sweep through Europe without significant challenge.  The French would eventually win the day with the Moors retreating and eventually settling for control of the Iberian peninsula. Eventually, they would abandon the continent entirely. It wasn’t until 350 years after the invasion, a newly confident Europe began the first of its own crusades.

Charles the Hammer at the Battle of Tours

What caused the aggressive expansion of Islam? No, it was not a reaction to imperialistic Christianity. Nobody from Europe committed any sort of atrocity on an Islamic people or city. Nobody was conquered, no nation subjugated. Instead, an empire simply died. Nature abhors a vacuum. And the power vacuum left in Northern Africa by Rome was soon filled by the emerging Muslim religion. Unlike Christianity, which is a spiritual movement, early Islam was the perfect marriage of wealth, politics, and war all committed to the glory of Allah. And his glory set the world on fire.

Islamic “Empire” after the Battle of Tours
Don’t get me wrong, history has shown it was the Caliphates and the Moors that kept the flame of civilization lit during the dark centuries following the Roman Empire. While Europe toiled, medicine, astronomy, science, math, philosophy, exploration all flourished in the Muslim world. I find it ironic how the roles are now reversed.

There. That feels better.