Book review by Lucine Kasbarian

Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam

Authored by Raymond Ibrahim

(Bombadier Books, 2022)

Defenders of the West chronicles the lives of eight great Crusaders who defended Christians against Islamic extermination, savagery, occupation and slavery.  These heroes demonstrated great courage on the battlefield and a fierce devotion to their Christian faith. Academic/author Raymond Ibrahim, an expert in Islamic history and doctrine, spotlights Duke Godfrey of Bouillon, France; El Cid (Roderick Diaz of Spain); King Richard the Lionheart of England; St. Ferdinand of Spain; St. Louis of France; John Hunyadi of Wallachia; Skanderbeg, the Albanian Braveheart; and Vlad III Dracula, the Lord Impaler of Romania. The valor of these Christian ironmen who met toe to toe with such warmongers defies belief.

Written in an engaging style using accessible language, these remarkable, factual incidents leave the readers on the edge of their seats. Raymond Ibrahim conducted an impressive amount of research from first-hand sources to not only furnish biographies, but present what was going on historically, politically, culturally, and socially to give the reader a fuller understanding of what was at stake. Ibrahim devotes particular attention to the upbringing of each protagonist to provide further insight into what shaped his character. Defenders of the West bring to life the daring and dynamic exploits of kings and knights who have either been misrepresented in modern history books — through ignoring and even contradicting what primary sources (Muslim and Christian) have said about the times — or by eliminating these exploits from official narratives altogether. 

Audiences may recognize the names El Cid, Richard the Lionheart, St. Louis, and Vlad the Impaler (who was not a vampire like the fictional Count Dracula created by Bram Stoker). In the last century, these individuals have been subjected to discrediting campaigns in films, books, and even protests (think St. Louis, Missouri). The rest have mostly slipped into oblivion due to a blind-eye treatment, thus making the case for why these eight giants richly deserve to be exhumed and reanimated from the dustbin of history.

What further sets the book apart is that it sets the record straight about the Crusades – widely maligned by certain interest groups and lobbies as being inspired by greed, xenophobia, racism, colonialism, and a penchant for violence, humiliation, and conquest. (That false assertion actually describes the mission of the Jihadists.) Using copious eyewitness testimonies, Ibrahimbacks the thesis that the Crusades —  which sought to restore lands that were Christian before Jihadists invaded and forcibly Islamized them — were a defensive response and a form of resistance against Islamic attacks on Christendom. Defenders of the West also shows a continuum of Jihadist behavior beginning in ancient times, which is sure to open the eyes of those who view and even excuse the atrocities of the 1915 Turkish Genocide of indigenous Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks as a singular event mired in the circumstances of the times. By allowing the primary sources to speak for themselves, the author gives the opportunity to readers to compare the moral values held by the Jihadists to those held by the Crusaders in order to draw their own conclusions.

Once read, these stirring, heartbreaking and fantastic tales are not easily forgotten. Rather than elaborate on the incredible and often terrifying exploits, suffice it to say that these monarchs and military leaders learned from history and bitter experience that only by fighting fire with fire could they hope to establish peace and protect fellow Christians.  

This book is perfect for anyone who is fascinated by the power of knighthood and wishes to witness how far some Christians were willing to go to secure their rights to live and worship in freedom and dignity.

Ibrahim concludes by evaluating what is taking place now, including the mainstream media suppression of the global war on Christians. If we ignore his cautionary words, we do so at our own peril. Today, powerful nations employ erroneous “both-siderism” in what they think will placate Jihadists while civilians are physically and spiritually devoured as peace offerings to their oppressors. A decline in morality, virtue, and discipline in the 21st century means that it will be difficult to imagine the courage of these eight great heroes appearing again in the modern day.

Raymond Ibrahim was born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents who were born and raised in the Middle East. He is the author of several books about Islam and can be found at: www.raymondibrahim.com

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This article originally appeared in The American Thinker.

When Christendom learned to fight fire with fire – American Thinker

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