Why Eastern Europeans Fear Islam: The Siege of Vienna, 1683
Around July 15, 1683, the largest Islamic army ever to invade European territory - which is saying much considering that countless invasions preceded it since the eighth century - came and surrounded Vienna, then the heart of the Holy Roman Empire and long-time nemesis of Islam.
It is this history of
Islamic aggression -- beginning in the fourteenth century when Muslims first
established a foothold in Eastern Europe (Thrace), and into the twentieth
century when the Ottoman sultanate finally collapsed -- that informs Eastern
European views on Islam. As one Pole, echoing the words of
"A religious war between Christianity and Islam is once again underway in Europe, just
like in the past."