"Better Turk than Papist"
There is a poorly understood aspect of European history which has possible ramifications for today. Historically, the spread of Islam into Europe was checked by a Catholic alliance, while Protestantism collaborated with, and to some extent even admired, Islam.
The two decisive military defeats for the Ottomans were at Lepanto (1571) and at Vienna (1683). In neither case was there any material christian protestant support for sprawling Catholic alliances attempting to defend Europe. In at least one of these cases, Lutheran and Calvinist elements fought alongside Islamic forces attempting to conquer Europe.
Protestant William I of Orange sent ambassadors to Sultan Suleiman from 1566, seeking cooperation against Spain. John Sigismund Zápolya was a unitarian Transylvanian ruler who collaborated with Sultan Suleiman attacking the atholic Habsburgs in the 1560s and 70s. It is thought that Selim II attacked the Spanish fleet at Tunis in 1574 in response to Dutch entreaties. The loss of Tunis is the reason that North Africa is Muslim rather than Christian today. Protestant Queen Elizabeth refused to assist Spain/Genoa/Venice in defeating Islam, as did the French.
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass . . .
Imre Thököly de Késmárk was a Hungarian Lutheran protestant leader in the late 1600s. His forces fought on the side of Suleiman the Magnificent side at the Battle of Vienna. These were annihilated along with those of the Muslim hoardes when the winged hussars of Catholic King Sobieski of Poland lifted the siege and saved Catholic Vienna and Europe.
It may be thought that collaboration between protestantism and Islam was merely a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. However, there were powerful ideological affinities between Islam and Lutheranism. Of course, Luther and, particularly, Calvin were bitterly critical of Islam because it does not accept the divinity of Jesus. (Then again, they were bitterly critical of everyone else too.) Nevertheless Luther admired the simplicity and devout nature of Islam. The successor of Suleiman the Magnificent, Murad III, wrote to Lutherans in Flanders and Spain in 1574:
Are there ramifications from this short history lesson for today? In the light of history, it must be noteworthy, surely, that it was a Lutheran European leader who opened the floodgates to Islam in Europe.As you, for your part, do not worship idols, you have banished the idols and portraits and “bells” from churches, and declared your faith by stating that God Almighty is one and Holy Jesus is His Prophet and Servant, and now, with heart and soul, are seeking and desirous of the true faith; but the faithless one they call Papa does not recognize his Creator as One, ascribing divinity to Holy Jesus (upon him be peace!), and worshiping idols and pictures which he has made with his own hands, thus casting doubt upon the oneness of God and instigating how many servants to that path of error”