Ian Almond

 

On his book Two Faiths, One Banner: When Muslims Marched with Christians across Europe’s Battlegrounds

Cover Interview of April 28, 2009

In a nutshell

In many ways, Two Faiths, One Banner reveals how the history of Islam and the history of Europe are profoundly intertwined.  In an age obsessed with Muslim-Christian so-called civilizational conflict, this book shows five periods in the history of Europe where Muslim and Christian soldiers actually fought on the same side, in the same armies, for the same cause.

The timeline of the book is huge – it goes from eleventh century Spain to nineteenth century Russia.  There’s a map at the beginning of the book which shows the battlefields I refer to – where Muslims fought alongside Christians.  Those battlefields are all over Europe, in Spain, in Italy, in Hungary, even in Germany.  This, in a nutshell, is the aim: to demonstrate how the idea of a Christian Europe is simply a case of historical amnesia.  Around the Mediterranean, Muslims, Jews and Christians have been sharing languages, food and music for over twelve hundred years.