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Sunday, May 5, 2013

History revisited part 1 Otranto

Otranto and amnesia 

There is a part of Europe that hasn't forgotten what the Muslims are able of even if the event took place a very very long time ago.   Lets be thankful to the comments made by Damian Thompson  on his blog about the forthcoming canonization of 800 slain Christians by the Pope next week.

Italy has plenty of historical links to both the ottomans and the Saracens as well.  There are numerous forts, watchtowers that bore witness to the menace of "pirate" raids.   In fact, all around the Mediterranean countries, you will examples of coastal watchtowers, built since the early Middle Ages to watch for, warn and raise the alarm of imminent razzias, by the ottomans and North African pirates. The main purpose of the razzias was to capture slaves for the Islamic slaves markets, plunder and terrorize coastal inhabitants.   Otranto was an exception to this rule in that the Ottomans wanted to capture Rome.

To read full article HERE

The cathedral of Otranto in southern Italy is decorated with the skulls of 800 Christian townsfolk beheaded by Ottoman soldiers in 1480. A week tomorrow, on Sunday May 12, they will become the skulls of saints, as Pope Francis canonises all of them. In doing so, he will instantly break the record for the pope who has created the most saints. I wonder how he feels about that. Benedict XVI announced the planned canonisations just minutes before dropping the bombshell of his own resignation. You could view it as a parting gift to his successor. Or a booby trap.
The 800 men of Otranto — whose names are lost, except for that of Antonio Primaldo, an old tailor — were rounded up and killed because they refused to convert to Islam. In 2007, Pope Benedict recognised them as martyrs “killed out of hatred for the faith”. That is no exaggeration. Earlier, the Archbishop of Otranto had been cut to pieces with a scimitar…
But the murders really happened, and their significance is immense. The Turks had been sent by Mohammed II, who captured the “second Rome” of Constantinople and planned to do the same to the first. His fleet landed in Otranto, Italy’s easternmost city, and laid siege. The citizens held out for two weeks, allowing the King of Naples to muster his forces. Rome did not fall.
All of this took place because of the indifference of the political leaders of Europe to the Ottoman menace,” wrote the conservative Italian senator Alfredo Mantovano in an article about the martyrdoms in 2007. You can guess where his argument was heading. “In Otranto, no one displayed rainbow pacifist flags, nor invoked international resolutions… Today Europe is under attack, not by an institutionally organised Muslim phalanx but by a patchwork of non-governmental organisations of fundamentalist Muslims.”

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