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Charles Martel: Christ meets Thor.
Charles Martel, known as 'The Hammer,' smites a Muslim warrior during the Battle of Tours in 732.
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By PAUL AKERS
N A SUSTAINED, century-long rampage that would have wowed Rommel, the Prophet Mohammed and his successors beginning in A.D. 629 conquered not only Arabia, Persia, Syria, Egypt, and North Africa, but also branded the crescent of Islam on lands formerly within the fold of a Christian Roman Empire then in ruins. In 709, Arab horsemen and their allies crossed the Strait of Gibraltar. Four short years later, Spain belonged to the Empire of the Prophet.
In the summer of 732, the centennial of Mohammed's death, this veteran Islamic juggernaut, at least 80,000 strong with the skilled and popular general Abd er Rahman at its head, passed over the Pyrenees Mountains into what is now France to begin the conquest of "the Great Land"--Christian Europe. After that would come the subjugation of whatever new worlds lay across the oceans.
Probably, Mr. Reader, you did not yesterday wash five times, face Mecca, sink to your knees, and pray to Allah. Most likely, Ms. Reader, you did not cover yourself with a burka before venturing out to shop. Probably neither
For freedom from all of these obligations, you might spare a minute sometime today, and every October, to say a silent "thank you" to a gang of half-savage Germans and especially to their leader, Charles "The Hammer" Martel.
When the Muslim horde thundered out of the Pyrenees, hardly breaking stride to slaughter one small army of river-crossing defenders, it was Martel and his wild Frankish troops who stood waiting for them just outside the shrine-city of Tours.
Abd er Rahman must have smirked. With irresistible fury, he and his predecessors for a century had rolled up one opposition force after another on three continents, suffering no serious setbacks. His cavalry, the very size and splendor of which robbed brave men of their hearts before the order to charge ever sounded, was battle-tested and motivated by god and gold: Riches filled the Abbey of St. Martin of Tours, then the holiest site in Christendom.'Dreadful brotherhood'
The poet Robert Southey in "Roderick" described the intruders as "a dreadful brotherhood