Trouble between Islam and the West is nothing new. Many people do not realize that Muslim Armies once invaded Western Europe. The Battle of Tours, fought on October 10, 732 was arguably one of the most decisive battles in all of Western history.
A Muslim army, in a crusading search for land and the end of Christianity, after the conquest of Syria, Egypt, and North Africa, began to invade Western Europe under the leadership of Abd-er Rahman, governor of Spain. Abd-er Rahman led an infantry of 60,000 to 400,000 soldiers across the Western Pyrenees and toward the Loire River, but they were met just outside the city of Tours by Charles Martel, known as the Hammer, and the Frankish Army.
Martel gathered his forces directly in the path of the oncoming Moslem army and prepared to defend themselves by using a phalanx style of combat. The invading Moslems rushed forward, relying on the slashing tactics and overwhelming number of horsemen who had brought them victories in the past. However, the French Army, composed of foot soldiers armed only with swords, shields, axes, javelins, and daggers, was well trained. Despite the effectiveness of the Moslem army in previous battles, the terrain caused them a disadvantage. Their strength was their cavalry, armed with large swords and lances, which along with their baggage mules, limited their mobility. The French army withstood the ferocious attack. It was one of the rare times in the Middle Ages when infantry held its ground against a mounted attack. The battle ended when the French captured and killed Abd-er Rahman. The Muslim army withdrew overnight and even though Martel expected a surprise retaliation, there was none. For the Muslims, the death of their leader caused a sharp setback and they retreated back across the Pyrenees, never to return again.
Not only did this prove to be an extremely decisive battle for the Christians, but the Battle of Tours is considered the high-water mark of the Muslim invasion of Western Europe.