The summer of 1565 was the high water mark of Sunni expansionism. Many in Europe who heard the news from Malta feared that civilization was about to be trampled into dust by the advancing Ottoman barbarians. Malta, it seemed was doomed and would become the main staging post for IS attacks against Italy and Spain and neither the Alps nor the Pyrenees would be adequate barriers to the continued advance of Koran-waving, death-or-glory zealots.
And there is another sad similarity between events today and 450 years ago. De Valette, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar and governor of the island, had sent repeated desperate pleas for aid to the European governments. All he had received was a token force of 600 men from Sicily. The major western powers were too involved in their own rivalries to be distracted by the fate of one small island. In distant England Queen Elizabeth warned of the potential danger to Christendom but she did not despatch one soldier or one silver penny to the relief of Malta.
Click here to read the rest of the article over on Derek's blog.