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Two Faiths, One Banner: When Muslims Marched with Christians across Europe's Battlegrounds Paperback – August 15, 2011
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Almond draws on a multitude of sources to create an alternate history of interactions between Christians and Muslims in Europe over 800 years, boldly concentrating on "unity and collaboration instead of friction and division." His approach shows how Muslims were a vital and regular part of Europe and its true history, not the European history he believes is being "airbrushed" to exclude Jews and Muslims...Almond chastises those who promote stereotypes--such as the Terrible Turks--and suggests that the goal of such government and media-propagated mythologizing is to use Muslims to distract from problems within modern-day society and governance. (Publishers Weekly 2009-03-09)
Top Customer Reviews
Its like reading that the Germans and French did not fight against each other during World War II but instead formed an alliance. The proof would be the the existence of "33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne".
The book is a waste of time and pen. The publisher has make a grave error in judgement. The author is senile and a megaphone for the failed multiculturalism.
The author is British and presents a very European point of view from the far left-wing, and indeed he has published in the left-wing UK journal "Radical Philosophy." There is a substantial amount of "British Empire Syndrome" visible here, and evidently the author fell in love with Turkey, its people and Islam during his six years in Turkey. One is reminded of Lawrence of Arabia but without the heroics and literary skill.
The case in Chapter 4, where Protestant Hungarians fought with the Ottoman army in the siege of Vienna in 1683, is perhaps the worst bit of scholarship I have read. There is no mention of the recently concluded Thirty Years War that pitted Catholic Austria (the Habsburg Empire/Holy Roman Empire) against the Protestants (it was much more complex than that, but for the moment, that will do since the Protestants were heavily persecuted and decimated in that war by the Habsburgs) and the effects of that war. The Protestants in Czechoslovakia were eliminated and the Hungarian Protestants, Calvinists, Lutherans and Unitarians, were isolated and further persecuted by Leopold.Read more ›
For this reason, Mr. Almond invites his audience to (re)discover through his selection of five military conflicts that Christians and Muslims occasionally fought on the same side against people of their own faith for one or more of the following reasons (pp. 218-219):
A. There were times when impeding invasions or assaults brought together communities which otherwise felt little sympathy for one another. For example, Christians made up more than 50% of the `Ottoman' army marching against the Hapsburgs during the siege of Vienna in 1683 C.E. This observation becomes `understandable' when readers consider two facts: 1) Hungary's Protestants resented the colonial attitude of the Catholic Hapsburgs. Furthermore, the lot of Hungarian peasantry was that of serfs whose living conditions were atrocious (pp. 144-147; 175).
B. Another related reason is the hatred of a common enemy. In the second half of the 11th century C.E., two of the steadiest coalitions arose between on one hand, the Christian kingdom of Leon-Castile and Muslim Zaragoza, and on the other hand, the Christian kingdoms of Aragon and Catalonia and Muslim Lerida.Read more ›
The Ottomans were experts at this, pressing Armenians and Greeks and other colonized East European Christians into service to fight Catholics and other Orthodox Christians.
This book is simply not as advertised. There was no collaboration between Muslims and Christians against fellow Muslims. The 'alliance' simply went one way, the collaboration went one way.
Seth J. Frantzman