Sacking Taranto. Again.

The coat of arms of Taranto On August 15 of 927 the Saracens sacked Taranto. Again. It’s a real nasty habit.

The first time they showed up, in 840, they turned it into a slave depot as well as a base for raiding, destroying and enslaving. After it was recaptured in 880, the Saracens came back in 882 and grabbed it again. Finally chased off, they returned in 927 and destroyed it, enslaving all the survivors. It was rebuilt. So they attacked it again in 977.

Taranto is in Italy. What were the Saracens even doing there, and so soon after Mohammed? Same thing they were doing in Tours in 732, I guess.

There’s this whiny Islamist narrative about how theirs is a religion of peace but the “Crusaders” keep attacking them so they have to kill them wherever they live in self-defence. And I do not deny that Christians have perpetrated many atrocities over the centuries. Indeed, when two Byzantine generals retook Taranto in 880 they um enslaved the original inhabitants. But these attacks on Taranto, as with the conquest of Spain and the attack on France, and indeed the violent seizure of Jerusalem and other Christian and Jewish holy places, happened centuries before the First Crusade which was, after all, a counterattack by any rational measure.

As indeed, by any rational measure, vicious unprovoked attacks from the Islamic world on the Christian one are far more common than the reverse. Even when European powers colonized the Middle East in the 19th and early 20th centuries, they neither enslaved the inhabitants nor sought to forcibly convert them. And it is Christians who are under siege in the Muslim world today, not Muslims in the (post-)Christian West.

So why is there no demand for a historical apology for the incessant aggression and massive enslavement by Muslim rulers and armies virtually from the moment the Koran appeared, no offer of or request for reparations, no discussion of this astonishing record of belligerence?

It does appear to be something of a habit, after all. And not an attractive one.