Yes, it was a long time ago. 444 years to the day. A jihadist invasion of Europe was stopped in its tracks in a head-on contest of wills. The battle lasted a mere four hours. The weaponry of battle was primitive, but the Islamists were totally defeated, and retreated into obscurity. You would think that Europe would remember the day they were saved from an Islamic act of war. But to do this requires the discernment to tell the difference between peace and war, and between historical revisionism and history.
Consider historic fact. The year of the confrontation was 1571. It had been little more than a century since the rape of Constantinople by Muslim jihadists. That armed victory emboldened the Mohammedans in their quest for world domination. They now expected all of Europe to fall in the same way: through weak resistance. At Constantinople they met soft Christians who did not recognize the militant nature of Islam until it was too late to resist with greater force.
In the spring of 1453, as the walls of Constantinople were finally overwhelmed by force, Muslim commander Mehmet II granted his fighters three full days to celebrate victory in the tradition of Mohammad: beheading surviving men, raping girls and women, stealing all they could carry, followed by genocidal slaughter of any women not fit for the slave trade.
Then the Muslim world regrouped for a jubilant westward European invasion. It began by terror attacks on Mediterranean villages. Grotesque murders were staged publicly for grisly theatrical effect. Details of the terror spread northward as was intended. Gang rapes were followed by the kidnapping of entire villages for the growing slave markets. Fair- skinned European girls brought big prices in Africa and Arabia. Europe trembled with dread.
The Islamic invasion plan continued with the building of a massive jihadist navy and the taking of more and more Christian slaves to power the oars of their warships. Kidnapped Christian boys who were too small for the oars were trained and programmed to be brutal frontline storm-troopers who would kill their Christian parents for Allah in the first wave attacks into continental Europe.
In the spring of 1571 the Muslims assaulted every fort on the Adriatic shore, capturing the island of Cyprus, and then treacherously murdering the Greek and Italian defenders who surrendered in good faith. Any surviving Christians on the island were evaluated for the slave trade. The young were marched off, the old beheaded.
It was at this point that European leaders stirred themselves and found the resolve to join forces and resist the coming assault. They formed a memorable defensive coalition to keep Muslims out of Europe. However, this memorable and world-changing act has been clouded-over with disinformation about Islamic history. Perhaps the coalition was a welcoming committee. After all, why would Europe do anything but welcome the gentle people of a religion of peace?
This European coalition was all-volunteer, and they agreed to a military command structure. John of Austria led Spanish, French, German, Italian, Genoan, Venetian, Maltese and Portuguese soldiers and sailors. Private businessmen joined in to construct a navy that could go head-to-head with the invaders. An additional 43,000 Europeans volunteered to be oarsmen for the Christian war-ships. That preceding sentence bears repetition. The European fleet was not launched as a welcoming pageant. The ships were war ships. 43,000 civilians volunteered to go into battle as rowers, just to make sure the war ships reached the place of confrontation.
It was an impressive show of European unity because there was a clearly stated and shared objective mission: stop the invasion, and let the Muslim world know that Europe intends to remain Christian. But the Muslims were just as determined to overthrow Christendom. They would gladly die in their war of world conquest, ongoing and unchanged since the days of Muhammad.
The European coalition set sail on October 7th. As the Muslim navy hove into view near Corinth, it became evident that the Christians were outnumbered by more than 40 ships, and by thousands of bloodthirsty jihadists. But there was no turning back for the Christian navy. They didn’t blink; they refused to flinch, and the gunfight was over in four hours.
This battle, known as Lepanto, may be the most significant naval fight in history. The Muslims lost. They lost so decisively they have never mounted the courage to try any further organized naval invasion.
Here are the numbers: At least 50 Muslim ships were sunk, 137 captured, and 20,000 of their jihadists were killed or captured. The Christians lost only 17 ships, and they rescued 12,000 Christian slaves from the Muslim galleys.
Today Europe seems to be paralyzed by the stupor of historic ignorance. Europe needs to be reminded that she has been through this before. The gang rapes, the beheadings, the hate speech, the treachery, the angry intimidation of all who are not Muslim – all this should evoke a memory. But if the memory is not there, the lessons of history are, for all who would take time to study them. The outcome of Lepanto holds a pertinent lesson for Europe which should start a unified discussion about this fact of history: the most determined Muslim jihadists rethink their determination when they are met and defeated by a united, confident adversary.
Yes, after Lepanto the jihadists built another navy, but they were too afraid to sail it toward a united Europe. Those war ships rotted away. Could it be that Islam reformed itself and entered a new, more peaceful phase?
Take a closer look at the historical record. Islam cannot change. Muslims who hesitate or deviate from Mohammed’s global mandate are executed as apostates. Islam only appears strong or weak, militant or peaceful, in relation to the resistance met in armed jihad or immigration jihad (Hijrah).
After Lepanto, Europe was strong. Islam was relatively quiescent. But war against the infidels of the West continued. There were ongoing lone-wolf attacks by Muslim pirates across the Mediterranean and even as far north as Ireland. The slave trade was robust and lucrative, as weak Americans discovered on becoming a nation in the late 18th century. Islam had not changed, it was only testing the resolve of Christian nations in the 18th and then 19th centuries. And in the 1780s, Islam discovered America to be weak. America was weak. She had just completed an all-out war that bankrupted her. She had no navy. Little gunpowder. The surviving soldiers had returned to their farms. This invited Islamic bullying of the lethal variety.
American merchant ships, their crews and passengers came under the direct attack of Muslim pirates. Many were kidnapped, killed or humiliated in African prisons. These religious pirates immediately seized opportunity for fresh booty in ships and slaves and possible protection money which might be paid by a weakened or gullible, American president with no navy.
The U.S. Ambassadors to France, Thomas Jefferson, and Britain, John Adams, were ordered to do what they could to make peace. In May 1786, Jefferson and Adams met in London with the resident Muslim ambassador from Tripoli, Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja. Jefferson and Adams wanted to know why peaceful Americans, who had never been at war with Islam, were being killed, tortured, enslaved, kidnapped, raped and humiliated. Jefferson and Adams put Adja’s answer the United States Congressional Record:
“That it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every [Muslim] who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
For 12 centuries, the historic record has repeated the truth about Islam. Islam does not change in character or mission. Islam is proud to be the unchanging foe of every non-Muslim civilization. Islam has the same confidence in jihad. Islam is the same deadly enemy waging a war of annihilation. The Mohammedan mission is still to completely erase Christendom and Christian Civilization from history. Islam will succeed if the West fails to resist with the same strength of conviction it once possessed.