An historical failure and its meaning to Muslims. Why it should mean something to us too.

We Americans are so history ignorant. It’s pathetic how little most of us know about our own history, let alone any world history.

July 14, 1683 is an important date, if you’re an Austrian. It was the day the Ottoman Turks began what is known as the Siege of Vienna. For twenty years leading up to this date, a period of peace had existed between the Turks and the Europeans. The Hapsburgs (who were in control of Austria) apparently paid no attention to the road building and stockpiling of canons and ammunition that the Turks were doing along strategic points leading up to Vienna during this period of no war.

Finally ready to strike, the Turks marched through eastern Europe and on July 14, 1683, Kara Mustafa, the Ottoman demanded that Vienna surrender. The Viennese leader, who was up on current events, knew that when the Turks arrived at a small town south of Vienna, demanding that the citizens surrender and they did, the Islamic conquerors killed every inhabitant they could track down. A similar fate didn’t appeal to this Hapsburg leader. Needless to say, he resisted and refused.

Battle of Vienna

It was quite an interesting 2 month siege. The Viennese cleared out a huge swath of plains that would make it easy to attack the offending Turks, so the Turks dug lines of trenches to protect themselves from the city defenders. When it was determined that their 300 canons weren’t effective against the walls of the city, the Turks began tunneling into the city and blowing it up from within. The battle of Vienna is also famous for the largest cavalry charge in history.

But the most famous thing about this and the reason we should be interested is that on September 11, 1683, the defeat of the Ottomans and their expansion into Europe was stymied.

September 11, 1683 was a date of failure to Muslims. . . until 2001. And if things go as the developers are planning, the groundbreaking of their victory mosque, also known as the Cordoba House or ground zero mosque, will occur on September 11, 2011.

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4 responses to “An historical failure and its meaning to Muslims. Why it should mean something to us too.

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