I don't know how I came across it, but I did. Yahoo News apparently chooses a dozen or so news photos to represent each given week. These two - in The Week in Photos: Sept. 22-28 - grabbed my attention.
Of course we can't have a week without Muslims.
Indonesian Muslims pray on the eve of the the Muslim month of Ramadan at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta September 23, 2006. Muslims around the world congregate for special evening prayers called 'Tarawih' during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. REUTERS/Supri (INDONESIA)
I couldn't copy this photo from the slideshow, so I had to go find it elsewhere. I went to Yahoo News and searched the photos for "indonesian muslims pray ramadan jakarta sept 23." It surprised even cynical ol' BtB that the search obtained 71 results.
Just out of curiosity, I then searched for "israeli jews pray yom kippur."
We did not find results for "israeli jews pray yom kippur"... Try removing quotes from your search to get more results."israeli jews pray rosh hashanah"? zero, zilch, nada.
I digress. This is the picture I wanted you to see.
Red Star fans: A Red Star Belgrade fan cheers among other supporters holding banners with the year 1389, when the famous battle of Kosovo between Serbia and the Ottoman Empire took place, during the UEFA Cup first round second leg football match between Red Star and Slovan Liberec in Belgrade. (AFP/Andrej Isakovic)
I had the funniest feeling this would lead me to Something Muslim as well, and indeed it does. Herewith, your second history lesson of the day, courtesy of Wikipedia
The Battle of Kosovo ... was fought on St Vitus' Day (28 June) 1389 between Serbia and the Ottoman Empire. The battle is thought to have become a pivotal moment in the history of the Serbian people.Now, which ones are the Serbs?
The roots of the Serbian state date back to the 7th century and the House of Vlastimirović. A Serbian kingdom (centered around Duklja) was established in the 11th century. It lasted until the end of the 12th century.There it is again. So what happened? Back to Wikipedia:
The medieval Serbian state was re-formed in the Raška region in the 12th century by the Serbian Grand Župan Stefan Nemanja. In 1220, under Stefan the First Crowned, Serbia became a kingdom, and in 1346, Stefan Dušan established the Serbian Empire. The Empire was disintegrated and fell to the Ottoman Turks after the historic Battle of Kosovo in 1389....
The ruling Prince, Lazar of Serbia, marshalled a Christian coalition force made of Serbs from both the Serbian empire and from Bosnia. Ottoman Sultan Murad I also gathered a coalition of soldiers and volunteers from neighboring countries in Anatolia and Rumelia. The Ottomans heavily outnumbered the Serbs.Since we find the mosque-madrasa of Murad I listed under Islamic Architecture, we can reasonably assume that he was Muslim, even though it's really hard to find that spelled out anywhere.
So, what does all this have to do with a soccer match in September 2006? Judging from the fans, it has everything to do with it.
This tenth-grader's World History report - written in 1972 - may help to eliminate any remaining confusion:
What then is the importance of the Battle of Kosovo? It was a cultural defeat, a religious defeat. It became the symbol of Turkish power and Serbian defeat, not to be forgotten . . . revenge was always over the horizon. The grand Serbian culture, which flourished under Tzar's Dushan and Milutin, was only a memory, after Serbia's knights, armies and hopes died at the field of Kosovo....
...cultural and religious feelings and motives also played a part in the battle of Kosovo. "The Turkish system of occupying conquered countries with military colonies and carrying off the original inhabitants, excited a great national opposition in the year 1389." This policy which would destroy the culture and religion of Serbia as well as the state, enraged the people. They felt that "the Ottomans were alien barbarians with a lesser civilization and a religion totally different from that of the conquered." Both the Turks and Serbs were motivated by religious Ideals; the Turks for Islam, and the Serbs for Christianity.
....After the battle of Kosovo the Serbs did not deceive themselves, It was the death-knell to independence. It destroyed all that was done in the way of Statehood and freedoms since the eleventh century...
After the battle of Kosovo the Turks were tolerant of religion except...
Of the 3,000 different Church institutions half were destroyed or desecrated by the nineteenth century. "
We infidels have a lot of catching up to do in the Current-Events-As-Predicated-On-History Department and believe me, I don't like it any more than you do.