Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The French and their bedfellows

I've blogged before about my dismay that the French have for a long time made it clear that they are hitching their wagon to the Islamic star (something most recently made apparent with the extraordinary hospitality they extended to Arafat). It's scarcely surprising, given that the Muslims among them are beginning to make up one of the largest cohesive voting blocks in France. What did surprise me, though, was to learn that this is not the first time the French have looked to the Muslims. While reading a fascinating biography about Catherine de Medici (see my sidebar link), I came across the following information (at p. 64) regarding a 1542 battle during one of France's endless wars to try to gain control over parts of Italy.

Perhaps the most curious French allies in this war were the Turks led by the infidel corsair Barbarossa, who had become admiral-in-chief of the Turkish navy. The Turks brought their fleet to help the French take Nice. Unsuccessful, the fleet wintered at Toulon where they availed themselves of the locals when they ran short of slaves to man their galleys. It iwas not the first, or the last, time that the Crescent of Islam flew alongside the Most Christian King's own banner, and the frequent Franco-Turkish alliances scandalised much of Europe over the years.
"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes, 1:9.