How the Dutch Handled Islamic Encroachment in the 1600s

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

IN 1622 THE DUTCH entered into a treaty with the pasha of Algiers in which payments to the pasha would “buy the peace” and Dutch merchant vessels would be allowed to pass in the Mediterranean unmolested. By 1624 the depredations of the Algerian corsairs on Dutch ships returned to the pre-treaty levels. The Algerians would capture the Dutch ships, seize their cargo as war booty and return to Algiers with the Dutch crews who would then be sold into slavery throughout the Islamic empire. All of which of course is sanctioned by the Islamic canon that enjoins jihad upon the non-Muslims wherever they may be encountered.

The Dutch leaders had their fill of the unprovoked jihad and so dispatched a squadron of warships under the command of Admiral Lambert Hendrickszoon (”Mooy Lambert”) to deal with the pasha. Admiral Lambert soon arrived at the mouth of the Algerian harbor with several Algerian corsairs in tow that he had captured along his way. He anchored his squadron in the harbor and sent word to the pasha that he demanded the immediate release of all Dutch citizens and return of their ships and cargo. If the pasha did not comply, the admiral would hang all of the Algerian officers and crewman in his possession. The pasha refused, believing that Lambert was bluffing. Lambert promptly turned his squadron out to sea with every one of the Algerian captives hanging from the spars as the Dutch squadron disappeared over the horizon.

The spectre horrified the Algerian populace and the city convulsed with wailing crowds and tumultuous clamor at the gates of the pasha’s palace. There was no time for the pasha and his officers to fully ponder the implications of the event as soon they beheld the return of Lambert’s squadron with a fresh collection of captured corsairs and their crews. Lambert again anchored in the harbor and repeated his demands with the same threat if they were not met. The pasha relented immediately, all the Dutch captives in the city were freed and their property restored. Admiral Lambert turned to sea and returned to Holland.

[From: "Dutch Jihad Diplomacy", McDonough Heritage Group,
http://www.mcdonough-heritage.com/?p=23]

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