Although young Vlad and his brother were bartered off to the Turkish Sultan as part of a peace treaty signed by his father, Vlad himself was by no means a follower of Islam.
If anything, he fought hard against the Turks for most of his adult life, perhaps as a result of his bitterness from being held hostage by them during his childhood.
When Vlad was born in 1431, his family was Roman Catholic, but his father converted the family to Romanian Orthodox when he took the job of prince. His son Dracula converted back to Roman Catholicism sometime around 1476.
But even before that official point in his spiritual life, Vlad had already made his alliances clear. Vlad picked up that kicky little nickname Kaziklu Bey or “the Impaler” in 1462 when Pope Pius II ordered the heads of all European states to make war with the Ottomans under the lead of Mohammed II.
Not many heads of state heeded the papal command except for Vlad. He put thousands of men, women, and children to battle, but beat the 250,000-man Ottoman army with terror, not manpower.
Vlad impaled about 20,000 Turkish prisoners on long poles and lined them up along the stretch of road leading into the city, so that the Turks would see them as they marched toward it.
Legend has it that Mohammed II saw the gruesome sight and commented, “Is it worth it?”
He and his troops thought it wasn’t and fled.