Almond, an associate professor and Islamic specialist at Georgia State University, 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's examples prove his point; he cites Muslim and Christian sharing of languages, cultures and lifestyles throughout Europe, the use of Muslim-style florals and geometric design in European church architecture of the 13th century and, of perhaps the utmost significance, leaders who sought the aid of Muslim armies when their country was being invaded. Reports during the Crimean War testified to cooperation and even warmth between Christian and Muslim soldiers. Muslims were also on both sides in the battle for Constantinople in 1453. Even the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683 has been overdramatized to create or emphasize a "clash of civilizations" paradigm. 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. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Two Faiths, One Banner: When Muslims Marched with Christians across Europe's Battlegroundsby Ian Almond
When, in our turbulent day, we hear of a “clash of civilizations,” it’s easy to imagine an unbridgeable chasm between the Islamic world and Christendom stretching back through time. Two Faiths, One Banner shows how in Europe, Muslims and Christians were often comrades-in-arms, repeatedly forming alliances to wage war against their own faiths/i>… See more details below
When, in our turbulent day, we hear of a “clash of civilizations,” it’s easy to imagine an unbridgeable chasm between the Islamic world and Christendom stretching back through time. Two Faiths, One Banner shows how in Europe, Muslims and Christians were often comrades-in-arms, repeatedly forming alliances to wage war against their own faiths and peoples. This bold book reveals how the idea of a “Christian Europe” long opposed by a “Muslim non-Europe” grossly misrepresents the facts of a rich, complex, and—above all—shared history.
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