Islam’s Negative Influence on Pre-Modern European Behavior


As a sort of counterbalance to purportedly noble Muslims, premodern Christians are in this regard regularly presented as the epitome of hypocrisy, intolerance, and greed. Commonly leading the pack are Vlad the Impaler, Ivan "the Terrible," and Tomas Torquemada. In reality, however, these three men-and the culture they lived in-were significantly influenced by Islam; all three were surrounded by and fought against Muslims their entire lives. This inconvenient fact is rarely cited.

It is a staple for Middle East Studies, and by extension media and "experts" of all sorts, to present Western influence-from the crusades to colonialism-as fundamentally responsible for the Islamic world's modern day problems. As such, surely exploring the question from a vice-versa standpoint is warranted.

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