Thread: The Crusades
View Single Post
Old 12-01-2005, 09:48 AM
MMMMMM MMMMMM is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,103
Default Re: The Crusades

I saw several episodes of the Cross and the Crescent on TV. The Crusades were indeed overdone and contained many atrocities.

The historical context that led to the crusades, however, should not be forgotten: Muslim armies forcibly speading Islam over ever-growing swathes of forcibly conquered lands. Islam was subjugating the infidels by force in a very aggressive manner over centuries. Islam had a long history of violent conquest and of gaining land through war, and subsequently subjugating all non-Muslims in those regions.

The first Crusade was, in my opinion, a good idea in order to drive the aggressive, supremacist, religio-fascist, bent-on-conquering foe back from whence they came. My view is that once that was accomplished to a significant degree, as it was in the First Crusade, the latter crusades had far less justification. Of course some of the atrocities were indeed horrible (not saying two wrongs make a right, but Islamic armies committed horrid atrocities too).

[excerpt]"Islam originated in Arabia in the seventh century. At that time Egypt, Libya, and all of North Africa were Christian, and had been so for hundreds of years. So were Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Asia Minor. But then Muhammad and his Muslim armies arose out of the desert, and -- as most modern textbooks would put it -- these lands became Muslim. But in fact the transition was cataclysmic. Muslims won these lands by conquest and, in obedience to the words of the Koran and the Prophet, put to the sword the infidels therein who refused to submit to the new Islamic regime. Those who remained alive lived in humiliating second-class status.

Clinton may be right that Muslims still seethe about the sack of Jerusalem, but he and they are strangely silent about similar behavior on the Muslim side. In those days, invading armies were considered to be entitled to sack cities that resisted them. On May 29, 1453, Constantinople, the jewel of Christendom, finally fell to an overwhelming Muslim force after weeks of resistance by a small band of valiant Greeks. According to the great historian of the Crusades Steven Runciman, 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 first Crusade was called because Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land were being molested by Muslims and prevented from reaching the holy places. Some were killed. "The Crusade," noted the historian Bernard Lewis, "was a delayed response to the jihad, the holy war for Islam, and its purpose was to recover by war what had been lost by war -- to free the holy places of Christendom and open them once again, without impediment, to Christian pilgrimage."
[end excerpt]

So you see there are two sides to nearly everything, and there were reasons for the First Crusade.
Reply With Quote