September 11, 1683 is a very significant date in much of the Islamic world. That day, an invading army of more than 170,000 Islamic Turks used explosives to destroy large sections of the defensive walls protecting the city of Vienna, Austria and its 11,000 defenders. On that September 11, the Turks were about to capture the capital of the “Holy Roman Empire” and then march through Italy to capture Rome. This would have been the greatest victory for Islam since its conquest of Jerusalem from the Eastern Roman Empire in 637 and Constantinople in 1453. However, one day later, the Islamic world suffered a humiliating defeat. A Christian army of 65,000 Poles, Germans, and Austrians led by King Jan Sobieski of Poland attacked the Turkish army from behind and destroyed it. For more than 300 years, many in the Islamic World prayed and prepared to avenge what happened to them outside Vienna that September 12.
Rome was very important to Islam. The objective of the Christian Crusades was never to destroy Islam. Christians at no time in history ever had an interest in attacking Mecca, Medina, or any Islamic holy place. The objective of the Christian Crusades was always to protect Christians in Damascus and Jerusalem — centers of Christian life that had been conquered by followers of Muhammad 500 years before. Those Christians had been systematically persecuted, attacked, beaten, tortured, and murdered. Christian women were often raped.
However, the centers of Christianity (and Judaism) were always the main targets of the Mohammadians when they attacked and conquered Jewish and Christian areas of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. After conquering them, Muslims built a large mosque on the site of the old Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. They converted the largest churches of Spain into mosques.
However, the most important targets of Mohammadian invaders were the centers of Christianity in “Rome”. At the time, there were three “Romes”. One was Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. Constantinople had the largest church in the world, the Santa Sophia, (also Haggia Sophia or Holy Wisdom) Church. The second was the original Rome in Italy. This was once the capital of the Western Roman Empire, but still the home of the Pope and center of the Catholic Church. The third “Rome” was Vienna, Austria. That was the capital of the “Holy Roman Empire”. That Empire included most of what is now Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic.
Surah (Chapter) 30, Section 2 of the Koran, was said to be revealed to Mohammad around 637 AD. That was shortly after armies led by the Prophet Muhammad conquered the Eastern Roman Cities of Damascus and Jerusalem. That Section said, “The Roman Empire has been defeated in a land close by.” The next 14 sections of that Chapter explain that those “Romans” would be “brought to punishment” because they “rejected faith and falsely denied our signs”.
Muhammad’s “Believers” attacked and destroyed the Eastern Roman Empire on land and sea during the next thousand years. They conquered Jerusalem (Jewish/Christian Palestine) in 637, Alexandria (Egypt) in 646, all of the Roman provinces of North Africa (including the home of St. Augustine) in 711, and Spain and Portugal in 720. In 1453 Turkish or “Ottoman” Mohammadians conquered Constantinople. They immediately turned Santa Sophia (Holy Wisdom), the world’s largest church into a mosque. During the next two hundred years, they conquered much of Eastern Europe, including southern Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania.
In 1683, a Turkish army of some 170,000 Mohammadians attacked Austria. They hoped to capture the capital city of Vienna and them march south into Italy. There, they hoped to seize the original Rome, the last remaining center of Christianity.
The Turks surrounded Vienna in July. For two months, they repeatedly attacked it on all sides. There were heavy losses on both sides. There were hunger and disease within the city. The Turks also had slaves dig tunnels under the City’s walls. Then the Turks detonated explosives. On September 11, 1683, they blew up a large section of the city’s walls. This made the city helpless and defenseless. The Turks prepared to attack and overrun the city the following day, September 12. Because the City did not surrender as demanded at the beginning of the siege, Islamic law allowed the attackers to kill, rape, and steal as much as they wanted once inside the walls.
However, that attack on September 12 never happened. That is because that morning, Polish King Jan Sobieski and his relief army arrived. They attacked the Turks from behind with deadly cannon fire and cavalry charges. The Poles and other Christian forces then drove the Turks out of Austria and Hungary with heavy losses.
Christians and Jews celebrated this victory throughout Europe. The bakers of Vienna created a new bread in the shape of the stirrups used by the Polish cavalry. The German word for “stirrup” is “bagel”. The bakers of Vienna also created croissants (crescents) to mock the crescents on Turkish flags. The Turks also left large quantities of coffee behind when they retreated. Europeans developed a taste for coffee with their newly created bagels and croissants.
The humiliating defeat of September 12, 1683, was the beginning of more than 200 years of Muslim defeats and setbacks at the hands of European Christians. England, France, Spain, Austria, Poland, Serbia, and Russia all attacked and defeated Turkish (Ottoman) forces on land and sea. The Turks were driven out of most of Europe. France and Russia demanded and won rights to send soldiers to cities throughout the Mohammadian Ottoman Empire to protect Christian minorities there. During that same time, the British helped non-Muslim Sikhs and Hindus end Islamic domination of India.
This shook the faith of large numbers of Mohammadians from Morocco on the Atlantic Ocean to the west, to India and the East Indies by the Pacific in the East. They asked themselves and their leaders “How can this be?” and “What can we do?”. See “God’s Terrorists” (2006) by Charles Allen at Page 22.
During the 1720’s, two young Islamic “talibs” (students) came up with a response. Both attended a leading Islamic academy in Medina, a city in what is now Saudi Arabia. Both were especially troubled by this rapid decline of Islam. Both were determined to do something about it. One was Muhammad Wahhab. He lived in a nearby desert town in Arabia. The other, Shah Waliullah had traveled from Delhi, in Hindustan, India to perform his “hajj” or pilgrimage. Waliullah then stayed in Medina for 14 months to study Islamic law. Both of them studied together and had the same teachers. They almost certainly knew each other and shared ideas with each other.
When they finished their studies, both became charismatic preachers and writers. Both soon had large followings. They taught a radical new doctrine which they called “ad Dawa lil Tawhid” or “The Call to Unity”. Many respected Islamic scholars rejected this doctrine. They denounced it has a heresy or cult. They called it the Wahabi or Wahabee heresy, cult, or doctrine after Muhammad Wahhab. It included these basic features:
- Islam is one “unified” religion, that allows only one true interpretation. It is based on one leader’s interpretation of only two books, the Koran and the “Hadith”. The “Hadith” is a book by Muhammad’s companions telling what the Prophet Mohammad said and did during his lifetime. Muhammad constantly attacked and robbed his neighbors. He was quick to use murder, theft, and deception against anyone he claimed to be his enemy.
- All true Believers in Muhammad must swear absolute loyalty to the “unified” or “Tawhid” religious leader.
- There must be armed and violent “j” (holy war) against all unbelievers, apostates (anyone who seeks to convert to another religion), blasphemers (anyone who suggests Muhammad may have been mistaken or would say or do something different if he were alive today).
- Anyone who submits to this “tawhid” (unity) enjoys the protection of Allah, the companionship of fellow believers. He also enjoys immediate forgiveness of all sins and entry into paradise if killed while fighting for the Prophet. Source: See “God’s Terrorists” (2006) by Charles Allen at Page 50-51.
Muhammad Wahhab immediately made enemies preaching this violent and intolerant doctrine. Wahhab led mobs in tearing down popular local shrines, tombs, and monuments. He sentenced a popular local woman to death for having a sexual affair, and then actively participated in stoning her to death. Local leaders accused him of heresy, and some planned to kill him. In 1744, Wahhab fled to a remote town where he won the support of a local warlord named Muhammad Ibn Saud. Wahhab and Saud then formed a powerful partnership. Wahhab became the Mullah, or religious leader of the area. Saud became the Emir, or military leader. Wahhab declared “jihad” or “holy war” against any tribe in Arabia that did not submit to his doctrine of “Unity” and who did not accept Saud as military leader. That meant that any of Saud’s fighters who killed, plundered and raped people in non-compliant tribes were serving Allah. If they lived, these Saudi fighters became rich. If they died fighting, they went straight to Paradise. For them, it was win-win. Under Islamic law, one fifth of everything stolen was to be given to Saud, the Emir. Saud shared all of his gains with Wahhab, his partner. Wahhab also used his contacts throughout the Islamic world to purchase the most modern rifles. He personally taught Saud’s fighters how to use them. Muhammad Wahhab married one of Saud’s daughters. Their children from the Wahhab and Saudi families continued to marry each other for the next 300 years. Those families have remained partners ever since. Their descendants rule Saudi Arabia to this day. Osama Bin Ladin, at all times a Saudi citizen, embraced and preached the “Unity” doctrine of the Saud’s and Wahhabs.
Shah Waliullah returned to Delhi, India, in 1730. Waliullah embraced the same doctrine as Wahab. Almost immediately, he declared Holy War against the Hindu rulers of the region. When the British became a strong force in the area,Waliullah backed down. However, his sons and their sons taught the Wahhab doctrine of “unity” in seminaries and madrassas throughout India. At that time, “India” included what are now known as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. By the 1800s, most of India was controlled by the British.
During the next two hundred years, students of the schools and doctrines set up by Shah Waliullah and his sons and followers made the Wahabi “Unity” doctrine dominant in what is now India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Because the “Tawhid” or “Unity” doctrine of Wahhab demanded constant “holy war” or “j” against all Hindus, Sikhs, and Christians, there were constant wars, rebellions, murders, rapes, and robberies by Wahabis against everyone else. The deadliest of those rebellions took place in 1827, 1830-1831, 1853, 1857. and 1897-1898. In 1857, thousands of unarmed Christian men, women, and children, as well as captured British soldiers, were specifically targeted and murdered.
The British crushed each of these rebellions. After the 1857 rebellion, they identified and executed many “Wahabi” leaders. They put others into prisons and prison colonies for many years. Wahabi leaders in and around Delhi who managed to avoid capture or punishment set up the now well-established seminary (Darul Uloom) in Deoband, India, just north of Delhi. That Deoband seminary was established in 1866. The Deoband seminary supplies teachers and administrators to roughly 30,000 madrassas around the world.
About 15 to 20 years later, during the 1870’s and 1880’s, leaders of that same 1857 rebellion who had been arrested and imprisoned, formed an organization when they were released. They called it “Jamaat Ahl i Hadith” (Party of Muhammad’s Tradition). That organization set up thousands of schools (madrassas) throughout what is now India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. To avoid problems with British authorities, they denied that they were teaching the doctrines of Wahhab. However, they were teaching that those doctrines using a different label, “Salafi”. “Salafi” means “forebearers” and refers to the companions of Muhammad who wrote the “Hadith”, or sayings and actions of Muhammad shortly after his death.
Virtually all of the Islamic schools or madrassas in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh today teach the “Tawhid” or “Unity” doctrines of Wahab. Virtually all of the teachers in these schools were taught in the Darul Uloom in Deoband or in a school run by Jamaat Ahl i Hadith.
During these rebellions students of these Wahabi or “Unity” schools often travelled to the remote mountain area of India previously known as the “tribal areas” of the “Northwest Frontier”. There, they received weapons, ammunition, food, supplies, and cash from Wahabi supporters all over what is now India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. There, practiced, trained, and stored weapons, ammunition, and other supplies without being seen or stopped by British government officials in India or Pakistan. Today that area is by the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is where Osama Bin Laden lived from 1998 until he was killed in 2011. It is also where the Taliban began in the 1990’s. “Taliban” is the Persian, Pashto, Urdu word for “talibs” or “students” or “seekers of knowledge”.
In 1988, top Wahabi Arab leaders met in Pakistan to form a new organization to serve as a “vanguard” for jihad. They called it “Al-Qaeda” (The Base). Its founders included Abdullah Azzam, an Arab from Jordan, Osama bin Laden, an Arab from Saudi Arabia, and Muhammad Atef and Ayman al-Zawahiri, Arabs from Egypt.
They recruited and trained Mullah Omar who founded and led the Taliban organization that took over most of Afghanistan in 1996. “Taliban” is the Urdu and Persian word for “students”.
America sent soldiers to Afghanistan in October of 2001. Their mission was to overthrow the Taliban and to capture Osama Bin Ladin. Bin Ladin, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, was the mastermind of the 9/1/2001 attacks that murdered 3,000 Americans. America relied on Saudi Arabia and Pakistan for advice in achieving both missions. After one month, Osama Bin Ladin disappeared from Afghanistan. Our military leaders told us they had no idea where or how to find him. One month later, U.S. forces surrounded the Afghanistan city of Kunduz. Thousands of high level Taliban, Al Qaida, and Pakistan officials were trapped in that City. For some unknown reason, American forces delayed entering the city. Most of the Taliban, Al Qaida, and Pakistan officials were allowed to fly out of the city to safe havens in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Critics called this “Kunduz Airlift” the “Airlift of Evil”. Click here for Wikipedia link. Kunduz airlift – Wikipedia
John Walker Lind, an American who was one of 300 to 500 “foreign fighters” with the Taliban was captured in Kunduz. While being questioned, Lind took part in a rebellion that caused the death of CIA officer Johnny “Mike” Spann. Ten years later, our military learned that Osama Bin Laden had been living in a comfortable suburban house in Abbotabad in Pakistan. This was about a seven hour drive away from Osama bin Ladin’s original hideout in Tora Bora, Afghanistan.
In 2003, the leaders of the three largest schools teaching the Wahabi doctrine in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and India led a rally supporting the Taliban in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The three schools are the Wahabi school of Saudi Arabia, the Deoband school of India set up in 1868, and the Jamaat Ahl i Hadith” schools set up in what is now India and Pakistan during the 1870’s and 1880’s. That rally was held 138 kilometers or 86 miles away from the town of Abbotabad where Osama Bin Ladin had been living during the previous two years. Google indicates that the two towns are connected by a modern motorway and that it takes 2 hours and 12 minutes to drive from one town to the other.
These Taliban are very proud of their achievements during the past 25 years. They believe that after 338 years, Wahabi (Unity) followers have redeemed Islam by avenging the defeat of the Turks at Vienna on September 12, 1683. They believe that America is the new “Rome” and that they are well on their way to destroying us. They know that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are still under Wahabi “Unity” control. Now, much of India, together with Pakistan, and Afghanistan are also under Wahabi control. They know that already destroyed the British Empire which stood in their way in India 200 years. They think that Osama Bin Ladin is the greatest Islamic leader next to Muhammad himself. In their eyes, Bin Ladin is even greater than Saladin, the Islamic leader who expelled the Crusaders from Jerusalem in 1187.
It was Osama Bin Ladin who attacked America from his base in Afghanistan, and forced us to attack him where his “students” or “Taliban” were strongest, and where America was weakest. He knew that although America had air power, we could never win in Afghanistan because the country is surrounded by our enemies in Iran and Pakistan. After spending billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and wasting 20 years, America suffered a defeat just as humiliating as the defeat suffered by the Turks in 1683. Just as the Turks never again threatened Christian Europe, the Wahabi leaders in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are convinced that America will never threaten them again. In their minds, after more than 300 years of struggle, Islam is right back where it was on September 11, 1683.
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