It happened today - July 4, 2016

Would you just stop it? I know history is messy and a lot of people have gone about hitting one another with swords, shooting one another, looting and all that stuff. But there comes a point where it indicates dangerous obsession.

I’m thinking here of the Ottoman siege of Belgrade, which was then Hungarian and called “Nándorfehérvár” and no I don’t know how to pronounce it, starting on July 4, 1456. And it stands out for me first because the Turks had only taken Constantinople three years earlier. Perhaps it was an important target. Perhaps they had some sort of reasonable ground for attacking it. But the fact that they went essentially “Right, one Christian kingdom down, where’s the next?” and went right after Hungary suggests what?

Exactly. A relentless determination to conquer the whole world and a kind of knotted-up defensiveness about “provocations” that always justified attacking neighbours.

Now the siege actually failed. A major counterattack by veteran Ottoman opponent John Hunyadi the “Voivode of Transylvania” drove off Mehmed II and his armies and bought more than half a century before the onslaught resumed. But it did, leading ultimately to the Gates of Vienna.

Muslims all bent out of shape about the Crusades, which were after all a counterattack against the conquest of Christian lands by Muslims rather than a spontaneous assault, should give some thought to why there are still celebrations in Hungary on July 22 and what exactly Mehmed II was doing attacking what is now Belgrade just three years after seizing what was then Constantinople.

Too much of that could get you a reputation.