We should all raise a glass this day and cheer the memory of Charles Martel, de facto ruler by the time of his death in 741 AD of the realms of Austrasia, Neustria and Burgundy. A great military leader, progenitor of heavy cavalry and the concept of chivalry, he founded what became known as the Carolingian Empire.

He has many claims to fame but this day we should thank our lucky stars that he was a fine general and leader of men, for his great victory in the summer of 732 AD at the Battle of Tours is generally accounted as the moment when the expansion of Islam into Western Europe was halted. Thereafter, though the final expulsion of Islam from Western Europe would take another seven hundred years, the Umayyad Caliphate was at first contained and then gradually driven back over time into the hinterland of the Iberian Peninsular.

Had he failed at Tours, many believe that Islam would have had a clear run at ruling over all of Western Europe and that most of the former Roman Empire’s provinces would have fallen like so many ripe plums into the hands of the Caliphate.

There will be some who will point to the great erudition of Islam at this time and its fine artistic achievements and suggest that Islam was not such a bad thing. The problem is that Islam has since that time essentially remained stuck in an eighth century mindset.

Charles de Steuben’s Bataille de Poitiers, en octobre 732,
painted between 1834 and 1837

How else can one account for a religion which so dominates the law of a country that a woman teacher, dedicated to the cause of teaching children, can, for having permitted one of her charges to name a teddy bear ‘Mohammed’, be dragged from her home and charged with offences which may lead to her being lashed and imprisoned? Even now some hotheads are calling for this unfortunate woman to be executed.

There may well be a kernel of decency in this religion, though it is really rather difficult to discern it. But in its outwards manifestations, its beheadings, amputations, floggings, treatment of non-believers and apostates, its attitude to women, this religion must be accounted one of mediaeval barbarity.

Our multiculturalists cosy up to it and fawn over it instead of standing up to it. They become aerated at any manifestation of ‘fascism’ (which to them is pretty well anything they do not like) yet when a truly nasty bunch heaves into view, they kow-tow. Faced with a group of people who as plain as a pikestaff do not share our English and Western values, these apologists indulge in mealy-mouthed appeasement.

These appeasers and the appeased pose a significant threat to our way of life. Time, some may think, for a stand to be taken and for it to be explained, forcefully if necessary, that they must embrace our values or take theirs elsewhere.