“Je Suis Charles Martel”

I noticed this at American Catholic:

The slogan Je Suis Charles Martel is beginning to make its way around Saint Blogs.  Here is some information on the grandfather of Charlemagne who stopped the advance of Islam into what became France in 732 at the battle of Tours.

I think we have to look realisitically at what is going on in the world in regard to Islam.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Sandy says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence, Father! My belief is that Islam has not changed it’s goal since the Crusades. The radicals will not stop their attempt to make the whole world Muslim, living under Sharia law. That should be obvious, but some humans are so blind.

  2. jfk03 says:

    Et je suis Jan Sobieski!

  3. albizzi says:

    Islam is a chastisement to the apostate chirstendom.
    One has to consider that Islam had become almost nothing by the beginning of the XXth century.
    What made it so powerful in less than one century? The OIL, the money of OIL, OUR money. Intentionally God placed the biggest oilfields in muslim countries.
    Without hoping any help of God since they have dismissed Him long ago, the West’s rich and proud countries have now to fight a more powerful Islam than it was by the times of Charles Martel . In the same time they are fueling that religion with their money and they cannot stop doing it.

  4. Iacobus M says:

    Et je suis Don Juan de Austria!

  5. Neal says:

    “Intentionally God placed the biggest oilfields in muslim countries.”

    Venezuela and Canada rank 1st and 3rd for proven reserves.

  6. SKAY says:

    Notre Dame will now have an Islamic endowed professorship.


    Will they have to cover any Christian symbols like they did when President Obama spoke in order
    not to “offend”?

  7. LeGrandDerangement says:

    Read the article. “Islamic faith” is an oxymoron. It’s not a faith – it’s a militarized cult with territorial expansion its only goal.

  8. jameeka says:

    Who would be the new Charles Martel?

  9. Cavaliere says:

    After Mohammed’s death the merchant class that had been suppressed saw the possibility of using the militant Puritanism of Islam as a means of fruitful expansion. Thus the caliph Omar, a friend of Mohammed’s, declared. “It behooves us to devour the Christians and our sons the bed our their descendants, so long as any of them remain on the earth.” From the Church in the Dark Ages by H. Daniel-Rops. Coupled with this was the internal situation of the new state after Mohammed’s death with two opposing factions seeking to define the true Islam. In order to maintain peace the caliphs saw the best way to do this was to launch ceaseless military expeditions. In 634 the war of conquest began and has been going ever since.

  10. arrowsmith says:


    What is wrong with studying a religion other than Christianity at a Catholic university? St. Thomas Aquinas would not have objected considering he spent his university days studying Islamic thinkers. Notre Dame has some problems this is not one of them.

    Also, Georgetown was the school that covered images when the president spoke.

  11. juergensen says:

    We need a Pope Urban III.

  12. juergensen says:

    British historian Paul Johnson, in the October 15, 2001 issue of “National Review”:

    “It is widely said that Islamic terrorists are wholly unorthodox in their belief that their religion sanctions what they do, and promises the immediate reward of heaven to what we call ‘suicide bombers’ but they insist are martyrs to the faith. This line is bolstered by the assertion that Islam is essentially a religion of peace and that the very word ‘Islam’ means ‘peace.’ Alas, not so. Islam means ‘submission,’ a very different matter, and one of the functions of Islam, in its more militant aspect, is to obtain that submission from all, if necessary by force.

    Islam is an imperialist religion, more so than Christianity has ever been, and in contrast to Judaism. The Koran, Sura 5, verse 85, describes the inevitable enmity between Moslems and non-Moslems: ‘Strongest among men in enmity to the Believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans.’ Sura 9, verse 5, adds: ‘Then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them. And seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them, in every strategem [of war].’ Then nations, however mighty, the Koran insists, must be fought ‘until they embrace Islam.'”

  13. PA mom says:

    A more thorough knowledge of history would do our country a lot of good.

    Gov Jindal gave an unusually honest speech on this topic in London on Monday.


    “You cannot remedy a problem if you will not name it and define it.”

    “(Sharia) is not just different than our law, it’s not just a cultural difference, it is oppression and it is wrong. It subjugates women and treats them as property, and it is antithetical to valuing all of human life equally. It is the very definition of oppression. We must stop pretending otherwise.”

  14. tzabiega says:

    Since I am a Pole, I will say instead Je Suis Jan Sobieski or in Polish Jestem Jan Sobieski. There is a great Italian movie (but in English) with Murray Abraham as Capuchin Father Marco D’Aviano entitled “The Day of the Siege” which can be purchased through Amazon. It shows the stark reality of aggressive Islam wanting to take over Europe by first trying to capture Vienna in 1683 and then planning to conquer Rome and Paris. However, to me Islam is like Nazism while the radical secularism as represented by Charlie Hebdo is Bolshevism. In the first half of the 20th century the West fought one and ignored the other and we paid for it. So we need to be aware of the danger of Islam, but it is the radical secularism which is more likely to destroy our Christian culture, if it hasn’t done so already.

  15. williamjm says:

    We here in Tennessee had, a while ago, a representative who wished to outlaw certain forms of Islamic law. I laughed at the time. It appears to me now that we need more of those type. Certain aspects of Southern culture are hard on me ( various foods, twangy accent), but were are still a Christian culture, for the most part. Not to mention proudly Islamophobic and homophobic. Perhaps it will be the South who will lead the fight against Islam. And what’s that saying we have down here?

  16. lmgilbert says:

    Perhaps the Lord is saying to Europe, “Disenchanted with Christianity? Here, have a little Islam.”

    It is not hard though, is it, to understand the virulent hatred of the West on the part of Muslims. They don’t want their sons and daughters corrupted. That their daughters would conduct themselves immodestly, fall into ” a relationship,” have a child out of wedlock as so many of our young women are doing is an utter horror to them. It should be. That their sons or daughters would enter into same sex relationships is an unspeakable possibility they will do all to avoid. Certainly we have earned their contempt and and practically done all in our power to cultivate their militancy.

    We don’t need either a Charles Martel or a Jan Sobieski, then, to stop Islam in its tracks and to overthrow it for that matter. All that the West needs to do is to repent and submit to Jesus Christ, His commandments, His disciplines, His inspirations. That in itself would be an impregnable defense. Something close to that together with Charles Martel and Jan Sobieski was sufficient in the past, but absent faith in God and holiness of life we have no defense against either Islam or Secularism all “Charles Martels” and “Jan Sobieskis” notwithstanding.

    A slogan more to the point, then, is “Je suis repenti” or better, “Je suis Marie-Madeleine.”

  17. Prayerful says:

    The only interaction with Islam should be to work towards defeating it. The founder was a pervert and a marauder, and sometime crooked merchant, who took a pinch of Nestorianism, a dash of Judaism and the local moon cult to create his ideology of war and death. Islam is Peace, but the peace of the grave for anyone who tried to oppose it, not a peace of moderation, fair dealing and friendliness.

  18. pannw says:

    williamjm says: And what’s that saying we have down here?

    Roll, Tide!!??? Oh, wait, do you mean that bit about rising? Like a tide… :)

    Well, as a fellow Tennessean, I must admit to a bit of concern and surprise at the very large number of Islamic refugees the state has taken in. When elementary schools start trying to ban pork products, as someone from a Brentwood school did a couple years ago, and a Tyson plant decides to cancel Labor Day in favor of some Islamic religious day, you know your culture is coming under siege, even if those things did result in immediate outcry that nipped them in the bud. I also read about a couple of refugees in Kentucky who were found to be actual jihadists who had attacked US troops in Iraq. Frankly, I think the current administration is in cahoots with the UN and pulling a Trojan Horse invasion on us without the need for a horse. Sadly, it would seem one of the most active groups in arranging it is Catholic Charities. And no, I don’t think I need any tinfoil at all. Even ABC News has reported that dozens of jihadists may have been allowed in. And that is legally, with no mention of the porous border.

    We are in trouble. God help us.

  19. Gail F says:

    You will all enjoy this piece from the satiric site “The People’s Cube,” which has in its comments a very nice “Je Suis Charlie Martel” sign you can copy and print. Unlike many parodies, it is funny all the way through. Here is the beginning, so you know what it’s like:

    “Diane Feinstein’s recently released report on controversial CIA interrogation practices indicts, not only the Bush administration, but also all previous administrations going back to the controversial leader of the Franks, Charles Martel, and his victory over the moderate Muslim community at Tours in 732 AD, which can only be described as a gross law enforcement misconduct and hate crime.

    “Citing inside information from medieval Latin and Arabic sources, the report prepared by Feinstein’s staffers details a shocking degree of intolerance and Islamophobia on the part of Charles Martel’s administration and the army of Franks, who countered the peaceful expansion of moderate Muslims into Europe via Spain with such violent hatred that historians suspect could only be explained by racist motives.”

    I think my favorite part is a “quote” from Barack Obama saying he only learned about the Battle of Tours when he saw it on The History Channel.


  20. Rachel K says:

    I have to agree with you, pannw, that we are in trouble!
    My mind keeps being drawn back to CS Lewis and “The Last Battle” which is of course the final book in the Narnia series. Those of you who are familiar with it will recall that it is all about the final spread of the religion of Tash (Islam) which then brings about the end of time.
    We would do well to re-read and study this book, I think Lewis was prohetic and perhaps also drew on the writings of Hilaire Belloc? ( I am thinking of Belloc’s “The Great Heresies”).
    Lewis was not shy of describing the sheer cruelty of the religion of Tash, nor of its adherents. Of course, Islam is really a heresy, a distortion of Christianity (wasn’t Muhammed a Christian originally?) which keeps some of its truths but mixes them with other ideas.
    My understanding from Belloc’s writing is that Islam is conquering religion which aims for materially warring with and gaining the world and will not stop until that is achieved. Scary!

  21. SKAY says:

    My apologies arrowsmith-it was Georgetown who covered the symbol behind Obama when he gave his speech there. In spite of his well known pro abortion stand, Notre Dame saw fit to honor him with an honorary law degree when he gave a speech there.

    Before 9/11 and the recent beheadings and slaughter of Christians by Muslims in the name of Allah I would have agreed with your view of Islamic studies. .
    Considering how political correctness in our institutions of higher learning is so pervasive these days, I do wonder if the truth about what Islam is will actually be taught.
    The donor has some family ties to Islam.

    The Dean of the Keough School of Global Affairs at Notre Dame had an interesting comment about the endwoment-
    “Appleby called the gift “transformative,” adding: “As one of the leading interpreters of religion, Notre Dame has now positioned itself to bring to Islam the level of respect, scrutiny and engagement we typically afford to Christianity.”

    “I think we have to look realisitically at what is going on in the world in regard to Islam.”
    I agree, Father.

  22. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    An interesting, relevant post on vulgar Latin verb and a Romance descendant:


    The earliest account of Mohammed committed to writing (‘account’ as distinct from Koran texts) is an Arminian history attributed to a bishop and believed to be based, in part, on eye-witness acounts, and probably written before A.D. 661:


    SKAY quotes, “As one of the leading interpreters of religion, Notre Dame has now positioned itself to bring to Islam the level of respect, scrutiny and engagement we typically afford to Christianity.”

    Jeanne Smits recently quoted:

    “But Charlie’s own solicitor admitted the fact, when Charlie Hebdo was unsuccessfully prosecuted by Islamic associations for having published the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. They were asking to be ‘treated on an equal footing’ with other religions in France: mainly Catholicism. Lawyer Richard Malka said that was the last thing they should do. ‘Do you want to be treated equally? Really, don’t ask for too much, we’re going to give it you! Do you really want to be treated equally? How can you seriously be asking for that? What I can tell you is that even at Charlie Hebdo, they wouldn’t dare to do a tenth of that against Mohammed. No one in this country would dare to do a tenth of that against the Prophet Mohammed!’ ”


    With respect to lmgilbert’s second paragraph: sic et non. Lately some women who describe themselves as Muslims have gone to serve as prostitutes as an aid to fighters in Syria, while not so very much longer ago others have facilitated men in raping women to get them to be agreeable to becoming sui-/homicide bombers, and fairly recently some young men who describe themselves as Muslims have gained ‘expert’ endorsement for allowing themselves to be sodomized the more easily to conceal bombs within their bodies, while others have sodomitically raped yet others to blackmail them into becoming combatants. Of course very many others who describe themselves as Muslims would be horrified to learn and contemplate this, but it would all seem to be part of struggles and disagreements internal to the group describing themselves as distinctly faithful Muslims.

    Rachel K: I am not convinced that these ‘eastern elements’ of The Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle can be simply equated with Islam, though what seems to be deluded Calormene abuse of ‘monotheism’ has its parallels in Islamic history. (Interestingly, Lewis wrote to a young correspondent some 63 years ago, on 22 January 1952, about ‘Aslan’: “I found the name in the notes to Lane’s Arabian Nights: it is Turkish for lion. […] And of course I meant the Lion of Judah.”)

  23. Maltese says:

    I’m a Traditionalist Catholic with the distinction of having his best friend having been born in Afghanistan. My buddy, B., and I grew up in Ann Arbor, MI. We didn’t think about race or religion. We got into fights as youth, and, mostly, he defended me. We grew up, and both went to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. To this day we are best friends. I’m ardently Catholic, he is more agnostic. But we both love each other, like brothers.

    At least in Muslim lands they haven’t aborted 48,00,000 babies like we have, here in the “enlightened” west. World-wide, abortions are in the hundreds of millions, and, of course, we believe a man can marry a man. We claim to be so “enlightened”, but are we? History, and hindsight will tell.

  24. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    I think we have to look realisitically at what is going on in the world in regard to Islam.

    I can’t agree more with you, Padre.

    If anything, I think we in the West are still trying to look at the death-cult of islam through rose-colored glasses.

    Read the following:

    “He had their hands and feet cut off, ordered nails which were heated and passed over their eyes, and they were left in a rocky land to die slowly. Anas said that they asked for water, and nobody provided them with water till they died.” Source: Bukhari 4.02.261

    That was what muhammed did to those who surrendered.

    We need ex-muslims in this fight, not dead muslims.

  25. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Maltese writes, “At least in Muslim lands they haven’t aborted 48,00,000 babies like we have”. I know that, for instance SPUC (of which I was an active member when I lived in the UK) has a “Muslim Division” and the search term “Islam” yields a good number of interesting (-looking) posts on their site (I have not read them all, yet), but what do ‘we’ know about (the range of) abortion practice (and promotion) “in Muslim lands” and among Muslims? How many babies have “they” aborted?

    I was surprised to find hints of pro-abortion opinion among Bosnian Muslims (in some sense ‘westernized’, but very consciously Muslim, too), in talking to some of them. And, for a different sort of historical anecdotal evidence, the Dutch scholar, Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, went to live in Mecca as a Muslim to do research, where he cherrfully acquired an Abyssinian sex-slave and was relieved, when he had impregnated her, that she knew where in Mecca to go get an abortion – which sounds (at that time) as common as it was (on a certain level) secretive. At the time, the Meccans were fearing the Wahhabis while rejoicing in the slaughter of Muslims who resisted Mohammed Achmed in the Sudan. Was that openly-secret abortion culture characteristic of some sort of ‘bad old days’, or does it have its current analogues “in Muslim lands” and among Muslims even more widely?

  26. pannw says:

    Maltese, I don’t need history or hindsight to know that we are certainly NOT enlightened. I think it is pretty clear that what we are is Romans 1, and while thinking ourselves wise (enlightened) we have become fools. I don’t think we could fit Saint Paul’s warning any better if he had written it yesterday about us. I also believe radical Islam will be (is) at least part of the means for our chastisement that, sadly, we deserve (as a civilization). 50+ million murdered babies…May God have mercy on us.

    Rachel K, I love The Last Battle, though The Horse and His Boy is still my favorite of the Narnia series. I am also very fond of Lewis’ That Hideous Strength. I would definitely agree that the Narnia series has obvious parallels with the fight against Islamic jihad, as does Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. While Lewis wrote specifically of the Last Battle, or end of the world, Tolkien, who did not love allegory, may have been influenced by approved Catholic prophecy on the Minor Chastisement and Great Monarch. After reading Trial, Tribulation, and Triumph, and then watching the movies again, the parallels to those prophecies seemed obvious, right down to the title of the last book, The Return of the King. I did not know that St. John Vianney had prophesied like that. Anyway, I think it is highly likely that both authors had a battle with Islam in mind in their works. I can’t help but recall King Théoden when he wonders how any can stand against such ‘reckless hate’. If that doesn’t describe the radical Islamists I don’t know who it describes. Of course, the forced abortions in China show a horrific disregard for the sanctity of life too and that reminds me of not only the wicked men that join with the orcs, but also of the book, The Lord of the World.

    A couple of days ago, I read that Pope Francis had mentioned it again on his flight from the Philippines and some are wondering if he may be of the belief that Armageddon is imminent. I admit I have wondered if he might think that ever since I saw the look on his face as he stepped out onto the balcony after his election, and really wondered when I learned right here from Fr. Z. about his fondness for that book. In it, the war was in the east, if I remember correctly. I couldn’t tell if it was the Far East or middle, and I imagine there will be all sorts involved in the great battle, anyway, just like in LotR. I don’t know if these books are prophetic or their authors were just learned men who could see clearly the world and knew Sacred Scripture well enough to read the signs. And I don’t know if we are about to find ourselves living them, and if so whether it is truly the final battle or the so called Minor Chastisement, but it sure does seem like the signs are lined up for one or the other. In any case, I’m glad I’ve read all of them, as I think even fiction gives us insight.

    YoungLatinMassGuy…like I said, if that isn’t reckless hate, I don’t know what is. Truly, I try not to fear, but they are scary.

    May the Holy Spirit strengthen me and all of us.

  27. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Felicitations on this Feast of the Grandson of Charles Martel, St. Charlemagne, where and how that may be observed! (I am not clear on ‘how’ if you are not ‘where’, though…)

    Worth listening to, and reading (and praying) along with, on YouTube (loaded by “Sacraloorgan”) are:

    Karlsamt Frankfurt – Antwortgesang – Karlssequenz – 29.01.2011

    (the ‘Frankfurtization’ of the sequence for Aachen, “Urbs Aquensis”, about which the German Wikipedia has an interesting article – including a link to this YouTube item!)


    Karlsamt Frankfurt – Laudes imperiales – Kaiserlaudes – 29.01.2011

    (though the presence together of Archbishop Zollitsch and the subsequently character-assassinated Bishop Tebartz van Elst in the service make me realize how imprecise my sense of the German ‘ecclesiastical landscape’ is).

  28. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    pannw writes, “I would definitely agree that the Narnia series has obvious parallels with the fight against Islamic jihad, as does Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings” and “I think it is highly likely that both authors had a battle with Islam in mind in their works”, which seem to be two distinct things, but may be distinct ‘accents’ on the same ‘matter’.

    I don’t have so much of a sense of that, on the deepest levels, with respect toTolkiens’s Letters, The Silmarillion, and as much of the History of Middle-Earth stuff as I’ve read, though it would be interesting to see a detailed case made for it.

    Similarly, with respect to Narnia (as I said above), though, viewed as a sort of ‘science fiction’, since the Narnian world begins later than Earth and is ‘permeable’ to incoming humans, it is possible that its history might have had an Islamic ‘injection’ which has its peculiar development over the Narnian centuries.

    What do you make of the ‘locals’ in the Holy Land section of The Lord of the World?

    I would heartily agree that, “In any case, I’m glad I’ve read all of them, as I think even fiction gives us insight.”

  29. gjp says:

    The mere mention of Charles Martel reminds me that though a little genealogy research, I was able to find out that he is my 40th great grandfather. Chances are, he is your Xth great grandfather as well.

    For the record, I am connected to Charles Martel because my 22nd great grandmother is Blanche of Artois, who is the granddaughter of King Louis VIII of France. Blanche’s father is the younger brother of St. Louis (also known as King Louis IX of France). This also ties my family tree to Bl. Charlemagne (38th great grandfather), as well as St. Margaret of Scotland (28th great grandmother).

    All of this is through the family tree of my dad’s mother. My dad’s father is connected to the older brother of two bishops: the Blanchet brothers who were the first bishop of Seattle and the first Archbishop of Portland.

    Genealogy is fascinating and I would encourage everyone to try it out.

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