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The Byzantine Emperor not Spiteful

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict Criticizes Islam [in Regensburg]

Submitted by Frances (Canada), Sep 19, 2006 at 19:45

Benedict could not have chosen a more apt quotation to make his point. Manuel Palaeologos' comments in 1391 that Mohammed had brought only what was cruel and inhuman to the world were spoken from his own knowledge and pain.

Muslim armies, first Arab then Turk, had been attacking the Byzantine Empire for centuries. Early Arab attacks failed because of the defenders used "Greek fire", an early form of napalm, to repel the sea-borne invaders. But the attacks kept up. By Manuel's time most of the empire was lost. The hinterland was conquered, which had all but destroyed the economy.

It was Manuel's son, Constantine Paleaologos, who ruled over the capital of Constantinople in 1453 when the final push came. Sultan Mehmet massed his armies (perhaps 80,000 men to about 7,000 defenders) outside the walls of Constantinople and demanded his conversion to Islam and the surrender of the city. Constantine, hopelessly outnumbered and out-gunned, refused. The invaders breached the formidable city walls and entered the city, and filled the streets with blood for days. They burst into churches, such as Hagia Sophia, killing the worshippers. Hagia Sophia and most of the other churches were turned into mosques and their frescoes plastered over. Constantine disappeared.

Fast forward. Al-Qaeda has called upon Bush to convert to Islam. They are also openly declared that their goal is to destroy our economy. Does anyone doubt what these people have in store for us?

Submitting....

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