August 29, 2015 - admin

Volume 41, Issue 1: Western Societies and Islam

It is fair to say that the history of Europe, and by extension the United States, in relation to Islamic regions has been one characterized by violence and misunderstanding. By the end of the 8th century a vast empire from India to the east, spreading across the Middle East, North Africa and into Spain, consolidated Islamic rule. By the end of the 15th century Ottoman rule extended as far north as Hungary and across much of the Balkans. The response in Europe was over eight centuries of armed conflict, starting in the 8th century in a struggle to drive Islam out of the Spanish peninsula, which culminated in 1492, and almost simultaneously a long period of Crusades through the Middle East and Eastern Europe, beginning in the 11th century and lasting until the end of the 15th century. We do not need to revisit this troubled history to understand that what ensued has been an uneasy relationship between predominantly Christian Europe and the Muslim Middle East.

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