Is religion responsible for the world's violence?

As conflicts rage within Nigeria, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan and on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, we are reminded of the late Samuel Huntington's observation about the world's "bloody borders."

BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor


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a co-author of the 2005 book Fighting Techniques of the Medieval World.

Martel at the Battle of Tours

Dexter B. Wakefield writes in An Islamic Europe: “A Muslim France? Historically, it nearly happened. But as a result of Martel’s fierce opposition, which ended Muslim advances and set the stage for centuries of war thereafter, Islam moved no farther into Europe. European schoolchildren learn about the Battle of Tours in much the same way that American students learn about Valley Forge and Gettysburg.”

William E. Watson wrote in 1993: “One can even say with a degree of certainty that the subsequent history of the West would have proceeded along vastly different currents had Abd ar-Rahman been victorious at Tours-Poitiers in 732.”

And here’s an irony: Given the example of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, Martel’s taking up arms contradicted everything that Christianity stands for.

Indeed, it set the stage for years of conflict and armed struggle — ignoring Jesus’ strong rebuke of Peter, telling him to put away his sword and, instead, to trust in God to provide a better way.

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