The Battle of Tours (10 October 732) took place between the cities of Poitiers and Tours, in north-central France, close to the border between the Frankish kingdom and then-independent Aquitaine. It pitted Frankish and Burgundian forces under Charles Martel against a much larger army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by 'Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi.
Surprisingly, the Franks were victorious. 'Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi was killed, and Charles began to extend his authority and begin uniting a European kingdom that would withstand the challenge of Islamic military forces to the present day.
Some saw this as divine judgment in favor of Charles, nicknamed Martellus ("The Hammer"). Later , Charles Martel would be praised as the champion of Christianity, seeing the battle as the decisive turning point against the powerful Islamic empire.
The Battle of Tours came after two decades of Umayyad conquests in Europe beginning with the invasion of the Christian Kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula in 711 and seemingly unstoppable military expeditions into Gaul (the former province of the Roman Empire). The Islamic army had reached as far northward as Aquitaine, Burgundy, and Bordeaux. Charles's victory came when Muslim rule was overrunning the old Roman and Persian Empires.
Charles surprised the Islamic forces who did not expect to find a large and well organized enemy. For a full week they skirmished awaiting the arrival of the full Umayyad forces. It gave Charles Martel time to organize and concentrate his forces for the battle plan. Perhaps the most decisive maneuver was Charles raid on the Umayyad base camp threatening the bounty the army had accumulated in previous battles. Charles so rattled the Umayyad forces that they left their tents standing and ran with whatever loot they could carry.
The army retreated over the Pyrenees. In 735 another forey by the Islamic forces was repelled by Charles, putting an end to any of the Muslim hopes beyond the Iberian peninsula. Charles’ grandson, Charlemagne, became the first Christian ruler of a mostly united Christian Europe.
Now here we are some thirteen centuries later, after Luther himself had wrote against the invading Muslim armies of the Turkish advance, and after terrorism has spilled over into the cities of Europe and the United States. Here we are after a priest was murdered in his own parish church by an enemy more devious than the multinational, multilingual Ottoman empire and even more brutal. Where are the voices of Luther in our day to rally us to organize together against our common enemy? Where is the next Charles Martel who will face down the armies seeking to build a new caliphate more by terrorism than open conquest? Where are those who both recognize and acknowledge that this is no mere threat to religion, though it is certainly that, but also a threat to the West as a whole and to freedom itself?