The fiery death of Jordanian Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh has horrified – perhaps galvanized — the world in a way the ongoing slaughter of thousands in Africa by ISIS terrorists has not.
The ISIS murderers and terrorists no doubt hope their enemies will surrender in fear, but the history of expansionist Islam tells a different story.
When the island of Cyprus fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1570, the princes of Europe were busy fighting amongst themselves over the broken bones of Christendom. Taking of advantage of their inattention, the Ottoman Turks were eager to conquer the western territory and destroy European control of the Mediterranean.
The island of Cyprus was easily conquered, its churches torched, and its elderly systematically beheaded, while able-bodied men, women, and children were taken into slavery. The Venetian fortress on the island held out for weeks, but reinforcements never arrived and they were forced to surrender.
All 350 soldiers were beheaded and their heads displayed in a pile. The worst atrocity was reserved for the elderly commander, Marco Antonio Bragadin. His nose and ears were cut off and, while bleeding profusely, he was forced to wear a dog collar and walk on all fours around the fortress battlements with heavy loads of dirt on his back.
Bragadin was then hoisted up in a cage so all could see his broken, bleeding body. After other tortures, he was slowly skinned alive as people watched in horror. His stuffed remains were sent to Constantinople as a trophy for the sultan.
Instead of cowering in fear, Pope Pius V called for prayer and action. The great kings and princes of France, England, and Germany failed to respond, but Don John of Austria, half brother to Philip II of Spain, along with the leaders of Venice, Portugal, Genoa, Malta, and the Papal States rose to the challenge.
The result was the famous Battle of Lepanto, fought on October 7, 1571, after which the momentum of Islamic aggression began to recede, ending at last at the Battle of Vienna on September 11, 1683.
There is nothing new under the sun. That ISIS envisions a restored caliphate and feels fully justified to use violence to accomplish that goal should be taken as a certain fact, one that will not go away until ISIS has been eradicated completely.
The question is this: Will the horrific death of Lt. al-Kaseasbeh be our call to action, as Cyprus was centuries earlier? Will we muster the courage and perseverance to respond as Don John and the other Christian leaders of Europe once did? And, if so, who will be our new Don John? Leadership will not be supplied by the United States, as signaled by Obama’s cowering inaction in the face of Muslim power.
As we watch Jordan’s aggressive response, lead by King Abdullah II, to the ISIS burning of Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh, perhaps the leader we need will not be a Christian at all. The King has vowed to pursue ISIS until his military runs “out of fuel and bullets.”
Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!
Yes I can’t get the image out of my mind either. It is truly horrible and when I pray it keeps coming up. If we do not respond now, in the end we will have to in order to protect ourselves. It is a pity that as a species we have not learned other ways to deal with our differences.