“England’s Forgotten Muslim History” – The New York Times

Isolated from Europe, Elizabeth I turned to the Islamic world.

This is only one story among many in the complex relationship between Europe and Islam. It is also a reminder of a time when it was the Islamic World was a beacon of toleration in contrast to intolerant Europe.

To read the full story go to: England’s Forgotten Muslim History – The New York Times

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“Hungary: Unearthing Suleiman the Magnificent’s tomb” – News from Al Jazeera

“Small Hungarian town hopes discovery of Ottoman sultan’s tomb will bring much needed visitors and revival.”

This is really exciting!! And maybe just maybe it could help turn around Hungarian-Turkish/Muslim relations!! (Doubtful as long as Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Oban continues to stoke the flames of nationalism and Islamophobia!)

Source: Hungary: Unearthing Suleiman the Magnificent’s tomb – News from Al Jazeera

Why are the Sephardic Jews Who Fled Intolerant Spain in the 15th Century Now Considering Returning?

In 1492 the Jews of Spain were given the choice of converting to Christianity or leaving. Many fled to the Ottoman Empire, where they were welcomed by the Sultan Bayezid II. At the time it was the Muslim world that was tolerant in contrast to Catholic Europe. Now the tables have turned. While the Sephardic Jews in Turkey are not under the same threat they faced in 15th century Spain, they are concerned in the face of a rising antisemitism.  According to The New York Times, “[m]any Turks put the blame for the rise in anti-Jewish feelings on the actions of the Israeli government, particularly the killing of civilians during the Gaza war.” This is unfortunate. If anyone should be against generalizing from particular members of a group to the whole, it should be Muslims. It is a mistake to blame the Sephardic Jews in Turkey for what the Israeli government has done. The Israeli government does not represent all Jews or even all Israelis. Many Israelis disagree with the rhetoric and actions of the Israeli government. Similarly, it is a mistake to blame all Muslims for the actions of a few. This type of generalizing has been responsible for so much human suffering throughout human history. Will we ever learn?!

Sephardic Jews Feel Bigotry’s Sting in Turkey and a Pull Back to Spain – NYTimes.com.

Sultan Bayazid II welcomes Jews expelled from Spain

Sultan Bayazid II welcomes Jews expelled from Spain

              Sephardic migration

Lessons From History: “A War to End Jihad” – NYTimes.com

Examining the history of the Ottoman Empire, Eugene Rogan concludes:  “With the fall of the Ottomans after the First World War, the Arab world entered a century of conflict. Caught between foreign domination and the rival appeals of nationalism and Islamism, the Middle East has yet to emerge from the shadow of jihad. But perhaps there is a caution in this narrative. In a striking parallel to events a century ago, the threat of far-reaching jihad — most recently in the name of the Islamic State — continues to play on the minds of Western leaders. But it does so far beyond any evidence of wide appeal among a vast majority of the globe’s Muslims. So Western leaders can learn from the experience of a century ago. When they overreact to the threat of religious war, they concede power to the very enemies they seek to overcome, with consequences impossible to predict.” Read the entire article here:

A War to End Jihad – NYTimes.com.

The Ottoman Empire

The Goals of the Islamic State: Hijrah, al-Haramayn and Hegemony |History News Network

A historian of Islamic history, Timothy R. Furnish, explains the goals of ISIS:

“Long-term, ISIS—as many breathlessly have reported—aspires to not just ruling all the Islamic portions of the Middle East, Europe and South/Central Asia, but Rome and points further west, including the United States.  This may be a hookah-dream, but considering that the ideology—if not quite all the brutal activity—of ISIS has solid grounding in Salafism, both its Wahhabi and Deobandi (South Asian) versions, it’s something that should be taken seriously by non-Muslims.

It is the medium-term goals of ISIS that should most concern us.  I submit that these primarily are two-fold:  1) to goad us—that is, the United States—into inserting ground troops into, particularly, Syria, as a means of fulfilling the hadith about the great apocalyptic battle  near Dabiq; and 2) to take over Saudi Arabia, or at least to cause such regional instability that Riyadh’s regime fractures, and ISIS Toyotas ride triumphantly into al-Haramayn, the “two holy places” of Mecca and Medina.” Read his entire article at:

History News Network | The Goals of the Islamic State: Hijrah, al-Haramayn and Hegemony.

Sultan Murad IV (seventeenth century) and al Baghadadi

Sultan Murad IV (seventeenth century) and al Baghadadi