Today was the anniversary of one of the most vicious conquests in history—the fall of Constantinople (and the Byzantine Empire) to the Ottomans on May 29, 1453.

On this day in 1453, the conquerers were extraordinarily brutal. Historian Steven Runciman notes that the Muslim soldiers “slew everyone that they met in the streets, men, women, and children without discrimination. The blood ran in rivers down the steep streets from the heights of Petra toward the Golden Horn. But soon the lust for slaughter was assuaged. The soldiers realized that captives and precious objects would bring them greater profit.” (The Fall of Constantinople 1453, Cambridge University Press, 1965, p. 145.)

What’s incredible about this, if you ask me, is the Muslim double-standard. One of the central arguments of the Palestinian side of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is that Palestinians who left (willingly, mostly) during the foundation of modern Israel should have a ‘right of return’ to come back to the property they abandoned in the 1950s. Okay; I’m willing to entertain that notion. But then the Christians descended from those who left the Byzantine Empire when it fell to Muslim invaders in 1453 have a ‘right of return’ too. Turnabout is fair play, right.

Read more about this history, and its modern context, via this informative entry at Jihad Watch.