I have been doing some research on Luther and the Reformation and the Rise of Islam.  I have been rather disparaging about our societies lack of knowledge about history and culture in general, and about religion in particular.  I am finding that Luther himself and the Reformers had to scramble to learn about the Islamic belief system because there was a general ignorance about Mohammed and the Ottoman Turks.  ” Many strange ideas about Muhammad circulated including the belief that he became a cardinal in the Catholic Church, then lost a papal election, and as a result sought revenge on Christianity. Another legend was that he was a magician who destroyed the Eastern Church.”  Adam Francisco writes that “the image of Islam throughout most of western Europe prior to and during the crusading period was severely distorted if not completely fictitious.”   Things hadn’t changed by Luther’s time and to his credit he pushed hard to get a copy of the Quran and have it translated into German so people could read it for themselves.

He has an interesting take here…………

” (The Turk)..Lays waste to the Christian faith and our dear Lord Jesus Christ. For although some praise the Turk’s government because he allows everyone to believe what he will so long as he remains the temporal lord, yet this reputation is not true, for he does not allow Christians to come together in public, and no one can openly confess Christ or preach or teach against Mohammed. What kind of freedom of belief is it when no one is allowed to preach or confess Christ, and yet our salvation depends on that confession? (LW 46:175)