Lucius W. De Graaff, ‘European Islam – Threat and Challenge for the Reformed Churches in Europe’ (8 March 2007)

European Islam - Threat and Challenge for the Reformed Churches in Europe
Lecture given at the European Conference of the ICRC
Soest (NL) March 6, 2007
Lucius W. De Graaff

The call of the minaret in European history

At various moments in history Islam has tried to gain a foothold in Western Europe. I mention one or two of these moments. In 711 Spain to a large extent came under Islamic authority. From Spain the Muslims made an attempt to move up towards France. In 732 they were stopped in their advance by Charles Martel at Poitiers. Centuries later the Muslims make a new attempt. The Ottomans advance to Central Europe. The battle of Mohács in 1526 has become a household word for the Hungarians. In 1529 the Ottoman armies are lying before Vienna. However, they do not manage to push on. We take long steps through history and arrive at the year 1683. Again the Turkish Muslims are lying before Vienna. And again they do not succeed in pushing on. On the contrary. From that moment onwards Islam is going downhill in Europe. The Ottoman border in Europe is shifted further and further backwards . This development continues in the course of the next two centuries. It is especially Napoleon’s invasion into Egypt in 1798 that made the power of the west felt in the Ottoman empire.

Read the conference paper