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Remembering the Battle of Tours

by Mark Tapson

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…Some contemporary historians downplay the magnitude of the Muslim threat, claiming that Abd-ar-Rahman’s force was only a raiding party. They minimize the significance of the battle’s outcome, too; at least one historian even claims that Europe would have been better off if Islam had conquered it. But Hanson notes that “most of the renowned historians of the 18th and 19th centuries… saw Poitiers as a landmark battle that signaled the high-water mark of Islamic advance into Europe.” Edward Creasey included it among his The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World. Many believe that if Charles – whom the Pope afterward dubbed Martel, or “the Hammer” – had not stopped Abd-ar-Rahman at Tours, there would have been nothing to prevent Europe from ultimately becoming Islamic. Edward Gibbon called Charles “the savior of Christendom” and wrote in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776 that if not for Charles’ victory, “perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford.”

If only Gibbon could see Oxford now. Not only is the interpretation of the Koran taught there, but Islam thrives in Oxford, thanks partly to the patronage of dhimmi Prince Charles. In his essay “Islam in Oxford,” faux moderate Muslim scholar Muqtadar Khan writes smugly that “Gibbon would have been surprised to learn the lesson that military defeats do not stop the advance of civilizations and the globalization of Islam is unimpeded by the material and military weaknesses of the Muslim world.”

Apart from his dubious suggestion that Islam has anything to do with the advance of civilization, Khan is right. Today the Islamic invasion of Europe and the rest of the West is of the demographic, not military, sort. The continent faces an immigration crisis from at least one generation of young Muslims, many of whom not only are willfully unassimilated, but who are waging cultural and physical aggression against their hosts, establishing parallel communities ruled by sharia and “no-go” zones of violence toward infidels. “Nothing can stop the spread of Islam,” insists Islamic apologist Reza Aslan. “There are those who would try, but it simply will not happen. Absolutely nothing can stop the spread of Islam.”

But Charles Martel begged to differ in 732. The tide was turned back then, and if necessary it can be turned back again, by new Martels. The conflict is different now – it’s far from being as straightforward and elemental as two armies facing off – and so those new Martels won’t necessarily be soldiers. They will also be culture warriors and activists and ordinary citizens willing to put themselves on the front lines against this new incursion. We need “free citizens willing to fight for their own freedom and the values of their civilization” – as Charles Martel and his warriors once were.

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