Skip to comments.The Pro-Islamic West: Born 500 Years Ago
Posted on 11/01/2017 5:41:00 AM PDT by SJackson
Revisiting one of the unintended consequences of the Protestant Reformation.
Five-hundred years ago yesterday, on October 31, 1517, a Catholic monk named Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of a German church, thereby launching what would come to be known as the Protestant Reformation. Whatever else can be said of him, Luther unwittingly initiated something else that is often overlooked. The Reformation produced one logical if unexpected result, explains European historian Franco Cardini: a definite boost to the positive evaluation of Islam, and therefore to the birth and development of an often conventional and mannered pro-Islamic stance in the West.
Thus, although Luther maintained the traditional Christian view of Islamdenouncing the Koran as a cursed, shameful, desperate book filled with dreadful abominationshe condemned the concept of crusading, which had been essential for the survival of some European Christians, such as those of Spain: since its conquest by Islam in the eighth century, the Iberian Peninsula had faced wave after wave of Islamic incursions emanating from North Africa (especially at the hands of the Almoravids and the Almohads, whose jihadi zeal and barbarous means far surpassed anything ISIS can come up with).
Nor was Luther merely against crusading over there (e.g., to liberate the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, etc.). In 1517, the same year that he nailed his theses, historys greatest jihadi empirethat of the Ottoman Turksabsorbed the vast domains of the Mameluke sultanate in the Middle East and North Africa and, having already conquered much of the Balkans, prepared to renew the jihad into the heart of Europe. Against this, Luther originally preached passivitygoing so far as to say that, although the Muslim sultan rages most intensely by murdering Christians in the body he, after all, does nothing by this but fill heaven with saints. When the Turks marched to and besieged the walls of Vienna in 1529, rebellious Lutheran soldiers were heard to cry out that the Unbaptized Turk (meaning the sultan) was preferable to the Baptized Turk.
By portraying the Catholic pope as more of an Antichrist figure than Europes hitherto traditional Antichrist figure, the Turkish sultanan office held by Muslim leaders who had been responsible for the slaughter and enslavement of hundreds of thousands of Christians in the name of jihadmen such as Luther and John Calvin, who held that Islamic prophet Muhammad and the Pope were the two horns of Antichrist, ushered in a sort of relativism that prevails to this day in the West; one which instinctively cites (often distorted) episodes from Catholic history to relativize and minimize ongoing Muslim atrocities.
To be sure, the Catholic Church responded with its own invective and frequently tried to discredit Protestant doctrine by likening it to IslamMuhammad was an early Protestant and the Protestants were latter day Saracens, explains Bernard Lewis. Cardini elaborates:
The Reformation generated more vehement and coherent arguments between Christians, the ultimate effect of which was to favour the Muslims. It became customary amongst Catholics and Protestants for each to censure the vices of the others religion and to emphasize that the infidel [Muslims] exemplified the corresponding virtue, which naturally would have been much better suited to the Christians . In fact the arguments between Catholics and Protestants frequently led to a competition as to which of the two could hurt the adversary more by heaping praise upon the infidel.
All the while, Muslims sat back and laughedto the exasperation of sensible men such as Erasmus: While we have been endlessly fighting among ourselves, argued the Renaissance humanist, the Turks have vastly extended their empire or, rather, their reign of terror. Incidentally, of Luthers contention that those who make war on the Turks rebel against God, who is punishing our sins [Catholicism] through them [the Muslims], Erasmus countered that if it is not lawful to resist the Turks, because God is punishing the sins of his people through them, it is no more lawful to call in a doctor during illness, because God also sends diseases to purge his people of their sins.
Be that as it may, what began with Luther was bequeathed to subsequent Protestant leaders. This was only expected; as the early Protestants and Muslims had the same common enemyCatholic Christendom, particularly in the guise of the Holy Roman Empirethe principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend came into dramatic play. By 1535, It was one of the bitterest truths, writes historian Roger Crowley, that the Catholic King [Charles V] would spend more time, money, and energy fighting the French and the Protestants than he ever devoted to the war with [Sultan] Suleiman (Little wonder many Islamic conquests of European territory occurred under the Magnificent Ones reign.) Similarly, Queen Elizabeth I of England made common cause with the Muslim Barbary pirateswho eventually enslaved some 1.3 million Europeans, including not a few from Ireland and Icelandagainst Catholic Spain, prompting that nations papal nuncio to lament that there is no evil that is not devised by that woman, who, it is perfectly plain, succored Mulocco [Abd al-Malek] with arms, and especially with artillery.
In 1683, when the Turks came again for Viennaenslaving and eventually slaughtering some 30,000 Christians in the processtheir chief non-Muslim allies were two Protestant counts: the Lutheran Hungarian, Imre Thokoly, and the Calvinist Transylvanian, Prince Apafi. In fact, the Muslim pretext for marching onto Vienna was to provide military aid to Thokoly, who was then in rebellion against the Austrian Empire. Telling fellow Muslim commanders that they ought to take advantage of the disorders of the Christians by the siege of the place [Vienna], the conquest of which would assure that of all Hungary, and open em a passage to the greatest victories, Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa mobilized arguably the largest Muslim army ever to invade Europe. Before setting off to the relief of Vienna, and cognizant of Thokolys mischievous role, the Polish king, John Sobieski, wrote to the latter that if he burnt one straw in the territories of his allies, or in his own, he would go and burn him and all his family in his house.
That the Protestant Reformation unwittingly benefited Islam should not be interpreted as an attack on the Reformation or a defense of Catholicism. Nor does it say anything about the theological merits, or truths, of either. (I am, for the record, neither Protestant nor Catholic, and dont have a horse in the race, as it were.) Rather, the point here is that the actions of fallible men, of both religious persuasions, had unforeseen consequences. And, if the historic rifts within Christendombeginning at Chalcedon in 451, when Orthodoxy (not Catholicism or Protestantism) broke apartalways worked to Islams advantage, it should come as no surprise that the greatest of all Christian sunderings also had the greatest impact.
In short, The Reformation produced one logical if unexpected result: a definite boost to the positive evaluation of Islam, and therefore to the birth and development of an often conventional and mannered pro-Islamic stance. This mannered and pro-Islamic stance persists and continues to haunt the West to this day. After all, its not for nothing that naïve and favorable views of Islamto say nothing of passive responses to Muslim aggression and an all-consuming fear of being seen as crusading against Islamare especially ingrained in and compromise the security of historically Protestant nations, including the U.K., Scandinavia, Germany, Australia, and the U.S.
Of course, that these views have less to do with anything intrinsic to Protestant theology and more to do with a number of historic forces that have culminated into a sort of uncritical or mindless tolerance for anything and everything in the Westincluding unabashed Islamic terrorismis evident in one ironic fact: today it is the Catholic popea role traditionally filled by Islams greatest and most vociferous opponentswho exhibits an unparalleled determination to empower Muslims and whitewash the image of Islam.
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The Reformation was a return to Biblical truth, and exposed massive corruption in the Catholic Church. It is not to blame for the evils of Islam. Islam is to blame for the evils of Islam.
Constantinople fell in 1453. The East was lost to Christianity at that point and the Ottoman Turks were a unified and dominant force. Crusading was no longer an option. The rift between Catholics and Protestants was not really a significant factor, I think. It was simple reality.
I think it is a reach to imply that the West became “pro-Islam” because of Luther.
>>That the Protestant Reformation unwittingly benefited Islam should not be interpreted as an attack on the Reformation or a defense of Catholicism. Nor does it say anything about the theological merits, or truths, of either.
But the Reformation is ONLY about the theological truths. Luther wanted to have a conversation with the Roman Church about them. They chose to split by excommunication, persecution, execution.
I disagree. The Pope has the sole source of Christian writing means of production was very much in line with islam.
It is because the church obsessed on Protestants and found more kinship in kalifatic theocratic politics that islam came back in resurgence.
In any case, we see today Pope Francis veiled attack on US protestant representative government in the manner of his entitled demands for 80 million a year worth of subsidies to house illegals and islamic terrorists who have no intention on honoring representation but screwing us. And these subsidies making America a Catholic theocracy must be paid by dhimmited protestants.
Luther did not criticize the opposition to islam and freeing the Middle East from heathens, but the globalist entitled Catholic-militaro industrial complex of the days which aimed to tax people to impose the church’s opinion making in militarized schools. The French revolution promise of funding and caring for the Church was also welcomed by many catholics.
The Catholic church found itself thus negociating with muslims in the mid-East instead of welcoming a Protestant confederation the way the Swiss did it. The Swiss Neutrality and Calvin never invited islam, quite the opposite, They went up mountains as a defensive measure and to prevent European entanglements in globalist entitled dramas.
True, one could say the schism between the Catholic and the Orthodox were what created a vacuum for islam to thrive. Orthodoxy was the original church, after all, only preceded by the copts who to this day are still defending from islam without the Catholic Pope lifting a finger.
* the Pope as the sole source of Christian writing means of production are in line with Kalifatic islam.
That’s the birth of relativism religious and intellectual or philosophical .
St Peter the venerable Abbey of CLUNY in the 11th century accuratly stated that islam was a kind of arianism .....and a pretext for violence and aggressive expansion and robberies
Allah is not the God of Abraham.
Why did Constantinople get the works?
Historically it was ostensibly Catholic France that shortly after the fall of Constantinople embraced the Ottoman empire. It even allowed the Turkish fleet to winter in French ports. France shamelessly pursued mercantile and strategic advantages from the Ottomans fully aware what the Ottomans were doing to Christians in Turkey,the Balkans and Greece. The culmination of that embrace was when France stood idle when the Turks were at the gates of Vienna.
Author contends X promotes Y, because X was adamantly against Y _and_ was motivated to oppose Z who also was adamantly against Y? Huh?
This is a veiled & imputed instance of the misguided aphorism “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” - in this case, “the enemy (Islam) of my enemy (Catholicism) is my (Protestantism) friend” - no, they all hate each other.
That’s nobody’s business but the Turks.
I love FR!
Very true. Additionally, the author doesn't even articulate Luther's real view. The problem isn't fighting Islam, the problem is the church running a military campaign. The state bears the sword, not the church.
Yes, as I suspected.
It is the Catholic centralist rebellion against the original church which created a schism and a power vacuum.
On arriving in the imperial city in April 1054, Humbert launched into a vicious criticism of Cerularius and his supporters. But the patriarch ignored the papal legate, and an angry Humbert stalked into Hagia Sophia and placed on the altar the bull of excommunication. He returned to Rome convinced he had gained a victory for the Holy See.
Dramatic though they were, the events of 1054 were not recorded by the chroniclers of the time and were quickly forgotten. Negotiations between the pope and the Byzantine emperor continued, especially in the last two decades of the century, as the Byzantines sought aid against the invading Turks. In 1095, to provide such help, Pope Urban II proclaimed the Crusades; certainly there was no schism between the churches at that time. Despite episodes of tension and conflict, Eastern and Western Christians lived and worshiped together.
In the latter half of the twelfth century, however, friction between the groups increased, caused not so much by religious differences as by political and cultural ones. Violent anti-Latin riots erupted in Constantinople in 1182, and in 1204 Western knights brutally ravaged Constantinople itself. The tension accelerated, and by 1234, when Greek and Latin churchmen met to discuss their differences, it was obvious they represented different churches.
Underlying Causes of the Break
What caused the schism? It was not the excommunications of 1054; not differences in theology, discipline, or liturgy; not political or military conflicts. These may have disposed the churches to draw apart, as did prejudice, misunderstanding, arrogance, and plain stupidity. More fundamental, perhaps, was the way each church came to perceive itself.
The eleventh-century reform in the Western Church called for the strengthening of papal authority, which caused the church to become more autocratic and centralized. Basing his claims on his succession from St. Peter, the pope asserted his direct jurisdiction over the entire church, East as well as West.
The Byzantines, on the other hand, viewed their church in the context of the imperial system; their sources of law and unity were the ecumenical councils and the emperor, whom God had placed over all things, spiritual and temporal. They believed that the Eastern churches had always enjoyed autonomy of governance, and they rejected papal claims to absolute rule. But neither side was really listening to the other. [...]
Interesting article by Raymond Ibrahim. Thanks for posting.
Protestantism was Datand guft to Hod división heresy murder death despair the decline of Western Civilization we presently see, the destruction of Solidarity. Yeah Biblical Truth my ass.
What you said.
No, really, what did you say?
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