Happy Columbus Day! Now, I know that’s going to upset some folks who want to rename this Indigenous People’s Day. But I for one am very appreciative for the endeavor upon which Genoan Christopher Columbus embarked upon in 1492.It’s time for a little trek through history because Columbus’ achievement is relevant to where we are today.
To understand his achievement, we need to put the whole episode into context.After Mohammad’s conquest of Mecca circa 628 AD, his strategic objective went beyond what we know as the Arabian peninsula. Upon his death, that vision was still maintained by what would be known as the Umayyad Caliphate. It was under this Caliphate that Islam violently expanded across North Africa, after which the North African Berbers, Moors, and the Islamic armies turned their sights across the Mediterranean towards the Iberian Peninsula and Europe.
The Islamic conquest of what is now Spain and Portugal began in 711 and lasted fully until 718 when the conquered land was renamed Al Andalusia — something which modern Islamo-fascists and jihadists use today. Between 728 and 732 AD, the Islamic armies sought to expand their reach beyond Spain into what is now France.
It was in 721 AD at the Battle of Toulouse where a victorious Christian army led by Duke Odo of Aquitaine over an Umayyad Islamic army checked the spread of Umayyad control. And 11 years later in 732 AD at the Battle of Tours it was Charles “The Hammer” Martel who gave the Umayyad caliphate a serious setback in its objective of conquering Europe from the east.It also signaled the beginning of Islamic rule in the Iberian peninsula and what became known as the “Reconquista.” It took some 781 years for the Spanish to break the stranglehold of the Islamic occupation, but it finally came with the combined strength of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille in 1492 — with the fall of Grenada — check out one of Charleston Heston’s great movies, “El Cid,” to gather an understanding of the conflicts on the Iberian peninsula at the time.
However, something happened before the success of Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain — Constantinople fell in 1453 to the Ottoman Turks and signaled a huge defeat for what had been known as the center of the Eastern Roman Catholic empire. It was the fulfillment of the letter which Mohammad had sent to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius way back around 628 AD.
Most importantly, it cut off the eastward trade route to the Indies and China, critical for European commerce. Subsequently there would be two major engagements that were successful in checking the Islamic conquest of Europe: one was the naval battle of Lepanto in 1571 and the other was the Battle of Vienna in 1683 — of course Europe today still remains under siege from Islamo-fascism and jihadism.So the man from Genoa, Christopher Columbus, stepped forward not only to challenge the belief that the world was flat, but to find a westward route by sea to the Indies and China. With the defeat of the Islamic armies, Columbus believed he could find favor with Ferdinand and Isabella, and indeed Isabella took a liking and supported Columbus’ endeavor. So we can thank Islamic conquest for inspiring Columbus to find a new trade route west.
Many condemn Columbus for his endeavor because of the clash of civilizations, which brought disease and death to the indigenous peoples of the New World. As well, with a completely warranted fear of the spread of Islam, the Spanish had adopted Roman Catholicism as a state-sponsored religion and hoped to spread it to the New World in order to counter Islam.
Another horrific residual effect from the Islamic conquest of over 780 years was the Spanish Inquisition, which had abhorrent effects on the Jewish community, which had fled the Middle East and the Holy Land because of Islamic conquest.This is why we don’t have a state-sponsored religion in America, but we do have a Judeo-Christian faith heritage, and the freedom to practice.
The Jewish diaspora began under Roman Emperor Hadrian around 135 AD after the unsuccessful Bar Kokhba revolt where upon victory, Hadrian renamed Judea as Palaestinia, andJerusalem became known as the Roman province of Aeolia Capitolina. Of course after Mohammed’s rise, a thriving Jewish community was driven from the Middle East as well — so we now know who are the real occupiers forcing people from their traditional homelands.
But, today we celebrate and remember this Italian explorer who realized the world needed a new trade route because of Islamic conquest — and just so you know, the Umayyad caliphate was followed by the Abbasid caliphate. And here we are today, some 1400 years later, still confronting Islamic conquest by violence, displacement of other indigenous religions by Islam, and the establishment of a caliphate.
We thank Christopher Columbus, but now the world needs another Charles Martel.