Europe is very synonymous with one religion; namely, Christianity. Other beliefs have also left their mark on the continent. Whether it’s atheism or Judaism, Europe has a rich history of several faiths. One such religion not usually attributed to Europe is Islam. With millions of Muslims now in the region, this essay looks at the history of Islam in Europe.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th Century CE, Europe plunged into the Dark Ages. They would not see the same level of advancement again until the Renaissance, centuries later. This miedeval period was marked by the emergence of the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic Church. The first Holy Roman Emperor was known as Charlamange, and he was crowned Emperor in CE 800. Another such period was also happening, at the same time.
The Islamic Golden Age was marked by great scientific, medical and cultural advancements. Muslims built the first hospitals. They also lived in an empire spanning three continents. Tariq Ibn Zaid was a Moorish conquerer that began Islam’s venture into Europe. He crossed the straight of Gibraltar in 711 CE and the rest, as they say, is history.
Muslims began building cities. One such famed city is Cordoba, which is one of the three capitals of the Islamic Empire (alongside Baghdad and Damascus). Muslims actually went as far as modern day France. This was until they were moved down across the Pyrenees mountains (separating modern day France and Spain) by Charles the Hammer. He was, coincidentally, the father of Charlamange.
Thus, this brings about the end of the first part of the history of Islam in Europe. It all started with Tariq Ibn Zaid crossing into Europe. He could have gone further too, if it were not for Charles the Hammer. There are millions of Muslims in Europe today. It is important to understand that Europe is home to many faiths, to curb the threats of intolerance, hate and ignorance.