Historian Diane Moczar pulls back the curtain on one of the most important acts in the drama of Muslim aggression against the West: the 500-year-long siege of Europe by the Ottoman Turks. Tracing the rise of the Turkish people from wandering Asian tribe to mighty pan-continental empire, Islam at the Gates chronicles the heroes and villains, the battles and atrocities, the tragic errors and timely miracles, that marked the Ottomans incursions from Europes borders to the very heart of Christendom; and then, by the grace of God, their eventual repulsion and final defeat. Solid history and dramatic narrative make Islam at the Gates a moving look at Europes long struggle against the Turks. But the authors shrewd Catholic outlook also makes it an edifying one. Had these events unfolded just a little differently, Christian civilization might have been conquered by the sword of Allah. If we fail to learn the lessons of history, Dr. Moczar warns, the West may yet fall.
Islam At The Gates: How Christendom Defeated the Ottoman Turks
3 thoughts on “Islam At The Gates: How Christendom Defeated the Ottoman Turks”
I am also a history major at the University of Texas, at Brownsville, having just finished John Julius Norwich’s “A Short History of Byzantium”, I find Miss Moczar’s vilification of Orthodoxy rather crude and frivolous. The fall of the Eastern Empire is not due to incursions by the Ottoman Turks but rather the incessant pillage, rape, and murder of Orthodox Christians in essentially every Crusade Roman Catholics undertook while every Byzantine emperor, or basileus, was forced an angry glare from his citizens for brown nosing the Romans.
There is a reason the Greek Byzantines used to say “Better the Sultan’s turban than the Cardinal’s hat”. Historically, Orthodoxy had a better modus operandi under the Turks than the Latin hosts; until Islamic law of dhimmitude was re-established.
Furthermore, it is sad that being only 33 pages in I have very little good to say about this book. If I may quote the matter of St. Peter Thomas…
“Opinion seems divided on whether that makes him a martyr, but anyway he is a saint and one whom the emperor must have sorely missed.”
Not to seem rude but this sentence sounds formulated by a 16 year old valley girl who hasn’t written a paper for school since her Freshman year. Not only is the content biased, leaving out delicate information of the well-known misdeeds of the Romans, the grammar is abhorrent. I am not putting much intellectual effort into this review and I still propose it a more valid document.
On a fair note, Diane Moczar does have some insightful general information to what was happening at the time but it is best to take everything she wrote with a grain of sand
Rating: 2 / 5
Historian and author of: Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know, writes an eye opening account of how the Catholic church saved Europe from being swept away by Islamic invasion. European history taught in our schools, and portrayed in Hollywood show the church as cruel, murderers, that held crusades for the sole purpose conquering and destroying foreign lands.
Islam at the Gates, does not rewrite history but, provides the chronology of events and little known facts of the atrocities committed by Islam, during the Dark and Early Middle Ages, such as:
Destruction of places of worship–
The book also shows us the heros of our faith: Pope St. Gregory VII, Pope Urban IV, and Pope Urban V.
Each attempted to rally Europe to take up arms and defend, Eastern and Western Europe, against Islamic attacks. Despite the lack of response from European national leaders and monarchs of that age, these Popes possessed the courage to become the true protectors of the people and Christian faith.
Even as Islam stood at the very gate, ready to conquer and convert the continent to the Islamic religion and culture. These great men lead our church and the nations of Europe to victory, and safety. Because of the Catholic church, and the brave men that rallied behind the banner of the church in battle, Christianity survived, and lives on today.
After reading this book you will come to appreciate the history, leadership, and divine purpose of the Catholic church as defender of the Body of Christ and teacher of all the truths of Christianity.
Rating: 5 / 5
Miss Moczar chronicles the centuries-long duel between Islam and Christianity with both a fair amount of detail, and yet great simplicity. The obvious Catholic angle that she takes in writing this does not take away from this. In fact, I think it adds to the richness in reading it.
First off, I’m a history major. There are far too many history books out there where the author clearly has no moral compass whatsoever. To these post-moralist historians, there are no such things as good and bad guys. And frankly, not only does it make for dull reading, it’s flat out wrong.
Moczar on the other hand makes clear the atrocities committed by the Ottoman Empire against those it conquered. She details the heroes and villains alike, and even a few turncoats.
I never fully comprehended just how close Western Civilization came to falling to the Muslims at so many different points in history. If it wasn’t for the heroism of many a stubborn Christian, and the sheer incompetence and bungling of several Ottoman leaders, we might all very well be praying towards Mecca five times a day.
Now before you all dismiss me as just another ultra-Catholic, I should point out that I am, in fact not religious at all. I’m an agnostic. That being said, I do recognize the threat that the West has been under before, and the one it continues to be under from Islamic radicals to this day.
Islam is truly at the gates once more, no matter how much the multi-cultural, tolerant types would try to convince us otherwise. Most of Europe does not have the cajones to stand up against Islamic radicalism, leaving the United States along with only a few other nations to stand up against the next wave of terror from Islam.
Rating: 5 / 5