http://ahmedkrausen.com: It is said that the French Revolution is the most defining turning point of Europe, whose consequences are yet to have fully unfolded. However, what is often ignored is the Muslim role in the Napoleonic wars. Here is one small piece of the puzzle, a Tartar grave in Saxony, Germany.
This is from a Muslim graveyard at Kleinbeucha, near Leipzig in East Germany. The grave is of an officer named Yusuf, son of Mustafa, who died in 1813. Yusuf appears to have been a Lithuanian-Polish Tartar. It may also be recalled that large parts of Eastern Europe at that time, still had sizable Muslim populations. Please see link for images and further details.
Poland’s Lipka Tatars: A Model For Muslims In Europe?
BIALYSTOK, Poland — The darkish tint in Bronislaw Talkowski’s otherwise rosy cheeks provides just a slight hint that his ancestral roots may reach back further to the east.
Talkowski is a Lipka Tatar. Unlike other minorities in this Central European, overwhelmingly Catholic country, that fact has never precluded him from being considered a Pole.
Members of this Muslim community, whose ancestors first arrived in Poland six centuries ago, say their experience here can provide a blueprint for newly arriving Muslim immigrants. But they warn that assimilation comes with its own inherent risks in a community that now numbers only in the thousands.
As Talkowski tells it, the Tatars did “a service” to Poland and the state paid his community back.
The first Tatars arrived in northeastern Europe in the 14th century. The Turkic settlers, called “Lipka,” after the Crimean word for Lithuania, had honed their military skills during Genghis Khan’s Eurasian conquests and committed early on to serving the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In return, they were given noble status and allowed to flourish in the lands that today make up Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus.
Until 1939, Poland enlisted special Tatar military units, known for their loyalty, to defend against encroaching armies.
Talkowski, chairman of the Muslim parish of Kruszyniany, a small village 60 kilometers from Bialystok, uses an anecdote about the visit of Britain’s Prince Charles to explain Tatar loyalty to their adopted country.
Talkowski says: “when Prince Charles visited Kruszyniany he asked our guide, who was accompanying him on his visit, ‘why did the Tatars fight their brothers in Vienna?’ The answer was simple — we don’t fight our brothers, we fight the occupier.”