Religion: Encounter with Islam

"God fight them," wrote Mohammed in the holy Koran. "What liars they are." Mohammed meant Christians and Jews, whom he had expected to accept his new vision. When they did not respond, he took to the sword. Before the onslaught Eastern Christianity declined in numbers, vigor and territory. Within 80 years of Islam's birth, the mosque had replaced the church from Antioch to Carthage.

Christians have always been puzzled by the Moslem conquest, which took Islam to the Pyrenees and beyond them into France. The Cross had emerged triumphant from the blood bath of...

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