11 September marks a most strategic date in history. This week marks the 450th anniversary of a most dramatic defeat of Islamic Jihad against Europe. Face by a new threat of Islamic invasions, Europe needs to learn afresh the lessons of the Great Siege of Malta.
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The Turkish Threat
In 1565 Islam was threatening all of Europe. The Ottoman Turkish Empire had conquered the entire Middle East, sacking the greatest city in the world at that time, Constantinople (now renamed Istanbul), massacring the Christian population. In 1526, the Turks had unsuccessfully besieged Vienna, in the very heart of Europe.
Slave Raids on Europe
Muslim slave raiders were depopulating whole villages, attacking coastal towns of Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, England, Wales and Ireland and even seizing white slaves from as far away as Iceland. Ultimately over 1.1 million Christian Europeans were kidnapped and enslaved by Muslim pirates between 1500 and 1800.