CultureHistoryReligion

When a Christian king and a Muslim caliph united against their common foes

Despite the official holy war between Islam and Christendom, Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid and Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne exchanged lavish gifts, including an elephant named Abu al-Abbas, and built a largely forgotten alliance. This reveals how Christians and Muslims can simultaneously be foes and friends and how sharing a religion is no guarantee of peace, just as belonging to different faiths is no assurance of war.

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