Wondering why 1389 is the monicker for our blog?
Today, we are batting against a rather stealthy jihad. When hijacked airplanes fly into American buildings, we feel the affects of jihad, but we let Muslim clerics explain it away as the work of “extremists.” When a terrorist in the Holy Land explodes a bomb killing himself and a number of people around him, we feel the affects of jihad, but we let the leftists explain that it is Israel’s fault for existing and we let them spout some historical revisionism that a “Palestinian” people are entitled to this land and have some sadistic right to act in this manner. When Islamic dictatorships take (or allow others to take) hostages, we feel the affects of jihad, but we quietly wait for their release. In Muslim countries, Islam and the political system become one and the same. They stone to death those accused of an impure act, behead hostages, persecute and slaughter Christians and Jews, and impose a horrible form of tyranny upon their people. Meanwhile, Islamic movements are hard at work infiltrating Western and non-Muslim societies, all too often aided and abetted by Western governments.
Throughout history, battles between jihadis and non-Muslims were not always so stealthy. Even though communications were slow and not always reliable, the non-Muslims knew the threat and understood what a bleak future lay ahead for those whom fell to Islamic conquest. Battles were fought with swords, arrows and the like. When the Muslims won, the vanquished suffered. When the Muslims lost, the victories peoples thanked God and prepared for the next Islamic attack.
Some of the victims reasoned, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” So, those of weak faith capitulated and converted. This was never an option for staunch Orthodox Christians, for whom Islam was a serious heresy and the work of Satan. If you look a modern map of the world’s religions, you will see that Islam seems to end where Orthodoxy begins and vice versa. You just don’t find too many Lutheran-Muslim borders, Methodist-Muslim borders, or even Roman Catholic-Muslim borders. Indeed, Roman Catholics and Protestants have fought Islam in past centuries; there are a number of locations where Islam clashed with non-Muslim forces that are famous to this day. Our esteemed blog colleagues at Gates of Vienna commemorate a location where Christian forces twice stopped Islamic terrorism. But it has always been Orthodox Christians who have most often fallen under the hammer of Islamic expansionism and have fought against Islam for their very survival.
We commemorate a battle fought in 1389 A.D. in Kosovo, the very cradle of Serbian civilization and culture. It was a classic clash between Islamic terrorism and Christianity, and it was a real bloodbath. Both Prince Lazar, the leader of the Christian forces, and Sultan Murad, the leader of the Islamic forces, were killed. All of the high-ranking officers among the Christian forces were killed, as were most of the Muslim leaders.
But who won the Battle of Kosovo? Ironically, the Christian people of the area, the Serbs, consider that they lost the battle! Historians are divided. Many consider it a draw. However, some who study the technicalities of military battles deem that the Christan forces won.
However, one thing is certain: with Sultan Murad dead, the Muslim plans to conquer Eastern Europe were set back for a while. It was 70 years before the Muslims conquered Serbia. By the time that Islamic forces reached Vienna, those Christian forces were ready to fend them off.
Had it not been for the Battle of Kosovo, in 1389 A.D., the Muslims might have captured Central and/or Eastern Europe in the 1400s. Who knows, with several Muslim bases of operation in Central and Eastern Europe, the Reformation may have seen “Protestants” rejecting the Trinity and inserting Allah instead; the Thirty Years’ War may have ended with the Muslims taking charge; and the French Revolution might have been an Islamic takeover.
Note that I referred to Prince Lazar’s forces as Christian. Historical sources tend to refer to his forces as “Serbian.” Many of the Christian forces were not Serbs, in that other kings had sent whole armies to help. However, don’t consider the Serbs “ethnocentric” for calling those troops Serbs. The Serbian people are very inclusive. More than one Serb has called me a fellow “Serb,” sometimes offering and explanation, sometimes not. In the Serbian mindset, a fellow Orthodox Christian, bearing arms against a common foe, would seem like such an equal that I cannot imagine them viewing him as anything less than a countryman.
No, the world might be a bit different today had Murad survived and won that battle back on June 15, 1389. [Note: the date is according to the Julian Calendar then in effect, and still used for liturgical purposes by the Serbian Orthodox Church.] Six centuries on, not much has really changed. The same types of Islamic extremists are fighting the same battle against us today, albeit with different tools, different weapons, different tactics.
In a sense, everyone is either a Jihadi (as much so as Murad’s Turkish terrorists) fighting to impose Sharia law on the world, a bystander who is are more ignorant that innocent, or a “Serb” fighting the forces of the evil of Islamic expansionism. Hence, we are the 1389 blog. And we invite all those who are concerned about Islamic extremism to become Serbs, at least, in spirit.
- Kosovo (online book by 1389 Blog team member William Dorich)
- What Happened in 1389? – 1389 Blog
- Lazar of Serbia – OrthodoxWiki
- Lazar of Serbia – Wikipedia
- The Battle of Kosovo (Projekat Rastko: Serbian Epic Poems)