Defenders of the West

ON THIS DAY in 1683, the king of Poland, John III Sobieski led a cavalry charge that broke a two-month siege, saving Vienna, and probably all of Western Europe, from the army of the Ottoman Empire. Had Vienna fallen, the history of the last 350 years would be very different.

John Sobieski is just one of the Christian leaders who stood against Islamic armies over the last 1,400 years. Those we’ve heard of have usually had their reputations smeared by modern (and postmodern) revisionists who tend to frame conflict between the West and Islam as a struggle between the colonialist European (read: white) patriarchy and oppressed people of color.

Author and historian Raymond Ibrahim ( joins us to talk about his new book, Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam. The book features eight men who fought back against Muslim aggression. Some you’ve heard of, like El Cid, Richard the Lionheart, and Vlad Tepes (“the Impaler”), and some you probably haven’t. Raymond explains why he chose his subjects, why he drew so heavily on primary sources in the book, and what lessons we need to learn from their example.

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