Christian ‘Urbanization’ must confront militant Islam

The leaders of the Crusades were men of property and wealth who had much to lose if they and their soldiers were overrun by attacking Muslims.

"Sobieski at Vienna," a painting by Julius Kossak, depicts Polish King John Sobieski confronting the Islamic Army of the Ottoman Empire in the successful allied defense of Vienna. (Public domain image via Wikipedia)

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 24, 2017 – Australian author and historian Hal Colebatch has been quoted referring to Pope Francis as the “current ‘flibbertigibbet Pope,'” and for good reason. Like so many of his Western contemporaries, the new pontiff has taken refuge in denying the existence of Islamic terrorism.

Given current global tensions, especially in the Middle East and Europe, it is an especially dangerous time to express such sentiments.

A far better approach to Islamism than the one being taken by Francis is that of Pope Urban II (1088-1099) who headed the Catholic Church during the First Crusade in 1096. Urban II heeded the warnings from Muslims and recognized the threat posed by the  widespread apathetic reaction among the many faithful who failed to grasp these signals.

As Andrew Urban of “The Spectator Australia” recently noted, the world that Urban II lived in a thousand years ago was vastly different than that the one inhabited by Pope Francis in the 21st century. The common denominator, however, remains the existing threat posed by Islam.

Andrew Urban reminds us, though many continue to deny it, that the Crusades were not conflicts of aggression as they are so often characterized today, but genuinely defensive wars instead. The Crusades were actually an attempt to halt Islamic expansion and the steady loss of Christian lands as radical Islamists began to encroach upon the territory of Christian Europe itself.

The confusion swirling about the Crusades today lies largely in the fact that Christians in that earlier day and age were every bit as barbaric as their Muslim enemies. Crusaders frequently abused the pope’s wishes, leading to excessive violence and retribution rather than focusing on the primary task of liberating Christians in Jerusalem.

The truth is that the Crusades were little more than a blip on the Islamic radar. Muslims know it, but more often than not they use the Crusades and the Inquisition as examples of Christian aggression, propagandizing the issue to the benefit of their own cause by brainwashing the historically uninformed.

In truth, the death of Muhammad in 632 was the beginning of massive Islamic expansion outward from the Middle East. In less than a hundred years, Spain was controlled by Muslims, a fact that always escapes the notice of virtually every Islamic apologist.

For the next 7 centuries, Spain remained under Muslim rule until the year Columbus sailed in 1492 to seek a new route to India. (Note that Columbus’ exploits are only a time- reference here. His exploits didn’t play a role in ridding Spain of Muslim domination.)

Within a century following Muhammad’s death, Charles Martel defeated the Muslims at the Battle of Tours in 732. Today we know the area encompassing this region as France. Martel’s victory saved Western Europe from a massive Muslim expansion. But, as Andrew Urban points out, “today Angela Merkel waves them through.”

Martel was later nicknamed “The Hammer” and praised as the champion of Christianity. Such historical facts are either lost or fail to be challenged in debates between the religions.

There were other Christian victories that were turning points as well, such as the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and the 1683 Battle of Vienna. The primary outcome of both was that Eastern Europeans fought back the aggressive Muslim armies of the Ottoman Empire to turn back the Islamic tide and preserve European lands and their Christian heritage.

One of the great myths about the Crusades over the centuries is that the Crusaders were a hot-headed band of youthful fighters going off to war much the same as radicalized youngsters might do today by joining ISIS as a glamorous adventure.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The leaders of the Crusades were men of property and wealth who had much to lose if they and their soldiers were overrun by attacking  Muslims. Yet, there was little to gain individually by going into battle, other than rescuing Christians already forced to live under forced Islamic rule.

Despite continuing European resistance, by four centuries after Muhammad’s death, two-thirds of Christian lands had fallen under Islamic rule. It was Pope Urban who finally recognized this existential threat and mobilized the armies to combat the Muslim jihadists. Urban died before victory was achieved and before Jerusalem was recaptured during the first and only genuinely successful Crusade.

Over the past 1400 years since its birth, the “religion of peace” has been responsible for a staggering 270 million deaths according to the most conservative estimates.

Statistics show that in 2015 alone, there were 452 recorded suicide bombings. Of that number, only two were carried out by non-Muslims.

One of the problems encouraging the increasing tide of Islamic influence in Europe and the United States today is that the pervasive and short-sighted enforced secularization of the West allowing Western democracies to risk being overcome by the ever-increasing growth and birth rates of Islamic immigrants who concurrently refuse to assimilate into those countries that, until now, have been heedlessly taking them in. In the meantime, the declining birth rates of indiginous European nationals have reached the point of no return.

Unfortunately, we are living in a 21st-century filled with short-sighted, appeasing Neville Chamberlains. They ignore the fact that the problem of anti-Western Islamic jihad will not go away if countries simply ignore it. Since the birth of Islam, there has never been an era where the West and Christianity have not been under Islamic threat. Fourteen centuries should be enough of a track record to convince even the most cynical of analysts of this continuing threat and draw the conclusion that enough is enough.

Pope Francis does his worldwide congregation a major disservice by largely ignoring the Islamic threat, despite his charitable intentions. Over 1300 years of history prove that it is time for full-fledged, contemporary “Urban renewal” that will honestly confront the scourge of Islam.

About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.

Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

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