Charles Martel was a Dark Age European general. How many are vaguely familiar with the name Charles “The Hammer” Martel? Perhaps many, but who knows how and why he is famous and why was he nicknamed “The Hammer?” Follow along and learn and perhaps shed a little European self-loathing and guilt.
Charles Martel was a Frankish king – the Franks morphed into the nation of France as we now know it. Martel became known as “The Hammer” for, as Wikipedia so well states it “He is perhaps best remembered for winning the Battle of Tours in 732, in which he defeated an invading Muslim army and halted northward Islamic expansion in western Europe.” (my emphasis) He is also the grandfather of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor.
Today I came across a work that discussed the concept of European hegemony as the Renaissance powers spread their influence across the globe. Of course in bringing their influence to distant lands they damaged the native cultures of those lands, so the author fairly pointed out. And don’t forget about slavery – them evil Europeans always enslaving someone.
Not to deny, excuse or make light of such events from Man’s history, but I think, in light of the tone of the work I am citing, it is important to address that White Europeans are not the only peoples to have set off to conquer new lands.
In so doing they raped the lands and native populations in their conquests. The damage done by colonial empires is well documented. But all too often some individuals cite colonialism as a crime exclusively of Westerners against the rest of the world. But were it only so.
I emphasized the portion of the Wiki quote for good reason – 732 was a long time ago – about 300 years after the fall of the Rome. But then it was not Western Europeans committing any aggression. It was a non-western society engaged in invading and enslaving a western neighbor. Why does it seem whenever the fickle finger of fate points to blame for long ago transgressions, that finger is seemingly always pointed at Europeans?
Maybe a short history lesson: After Rome fell Europe was a wasteland in terms of society and leadership. These were indeed the Dark Ages. European societies had not morphed into nation states at this point. They were not even “societies” as we consider them. Europe was full of wandering bands of of varying “ethnicity.” Vandals, Goths, Visigoths, Franks, Saxons, even Celts. These were ethnic societies, but not in any way nationalities.
Opposing the Dark Age European were the sophisticated Muslim societies. Muslim’s were far more advanced in terms of culture and learning then were Dark Age Europeans. And Muslims used this ability to coalesce into waring empires bent on what? Conquest. Conquest of what? Europe and Africa.
Muslims were heavily engaged in conquest of Europe as well as Africa. Why does no one ever talk of these facts? Why when it’s all about destruction of a “victim” society is it always Europeans the ones doing it? The Muslims swept out of the Middle East and conquered North & East Africa. They then moved north into Spain.
Only Charles The Hammer’s superior generalship defeated the Muslims at Tours, in what is now France. Charles’ victory sent the Muslims back south across the Pyrenees – they never again managed to so seriously threaten the whole of Western Europe.
Will the reader be surprised to learn that it took another 760 years, from 732 and the Battle of Tours, until 1492, when Muslims were finally ousted from Europe – the lands they invaded? Anyone surprised by that? Maybe because since Muslim hegemony does not defame Westerners, it is not taught in our schools.
Now, in no way do these acts by ancient Muslim peoples relieve any guilt for the acts of Western Europeans in the Age of Enlightenment. But in fairness, if discussion is undertaken condemning and lamenting colonialism – successful or merely attempted and beaten back – fairness demands mention of all the parties who put forth such efforts.
Europeans were no different, for better or worse, then were any other society. I confess to tiring of always hearing about how evil the Europeans were. A good 300 years before the First Crusade, it was Muslims occupying Europe and enslaving Europeans and Africans. Do Europeans get any credit and props for their victimhood?
Lastly, before any goes all racist on me, I am part native American as well, so not only were my predecessors the aggressors, but they were also the victims. I am pointing out factual history that is so often overlooked. Seemingly the overlooking is almost intentional by the education system.
Whatever groups are now the popular aggrieved, they are never shown with their warts uncovered, but it seems at every turn, if White Europeans have a wart anywhere, someone is driving to the hoop to point it out. Fair enough – the events of European colonialism are factual and well documented. Much evil was visited upon natives and others exploited by Europeans for the sake of power, riches and self-aggrandizement.
But long before Europeans were powerful enough to exploit or extend hegemony over anyone, it would be fair to recall Europeans were victims. And in this instance the aggressors were one of the favorite groups now seen as sympathetic, thus sort of infallible – Muslims.
So, lemme ask ya – do ya think Abdul in Damascus, Ahmed in Afghanistan, or Mohammad in Iran goes around feeling guilty because his grandpa 600 times removed was in Western Europe killing people all for the sake of conquest? Did little Usama’s teacher tell him he was a rich on the backs of others and should feel plenty guilty for the stuff his long dead Grand Dad did? Bet not.
Yet my kids had to go to school to learn all about European colonialism, genocide and slavery. It’s almost as if some set out to install the prerequisite amount of self-loathing; the needed quantity of guilt; the proper amount of indoctrination, and lo and behold the result is one who thinks all the other parties are the victims, and even worse, that it is we or our antecedents who are always the cause of the misery. Nothing could be farther from the truth..