Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dangerous History

Unless I'm very gravely mistaken, during the course of his broadcast 'After Rome: Holy War and Conquest' last night, Boris Johnson equated The Martyrs of Cordoba with the September 11 attackers.
This is very dangerous history; by no stretch of the imagination are the two groups comparable.
The Battle of Poitiers also received an interesting spin, with the exotic Myriam Soria Audebert advising that the battle was not won by Charles Martel, but lost by the Muslims because they had gone further than they could naturally go.
This brought back to mind Norman Davies's analysis of the battle from 'Europe: A History' -
"The Battle of Poitiers in 732 may well have been exaggerated by Christian apologists; the Arabs may have been obliged to retreat through over-extended lines of communication. "
Earlier in the book, Davies describes Jesus as an 'itinerant preacher', while giving Mohammed the benefit of the doubt that he had been addressed by God (page 251).
Perhaps the truth of Poitiers will never be known; and perhaps it's better to leave undisturbed an event which propagandists for either side might be more than willing to turn to their own purposes.


Blogger Paulinus said...

Well whatever they were doing at Poitiers, I am sure the Mohammedan armies were not on a Multicultural Factfinding Tour.

01 December, 2008 14:18  

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