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Another essay
Published on February 6, 2006 By Dynosoar In Europe
What were the causes of the crusades, and how were they viewed from the Muslim perspective?

From my reading and viewing I have come to the conclusion that the crusades were initially nothing more than desperate Europeans seeking fortune and lands in the Middle East. The leaders of the early crusades were not pious Christians, they were opportunists who were fortunate enough to have a Pope, eager to reassert the power of the Catholic Church, foment religious fervor in the general population.

The first crusade was characterized by the wholesale destruction of everything in the path of the Europeans, to include the Christians, Jews, and Muslims of the region. Streets running with blood, “Francs” pillaging villages and cities, and their leaders assuming reign over the conquered. Not exactly a holy pilgrimage.

Timing for the first crusade could not have been better. Europe had been devastated by disease, drought, and famine, there was little to tax, and less to pay taxes with. The riches of the Holy Lands lay in control of heathen, non –Christians, who at the same time in history, were bickering among each other and had become complacent. The ummah was fractious, and could not mount a concerted defense. It was with all of this in mind that Pope Urban decided the time was right to reassert the power of the Catholic Church. Preaching horror stories of pilgrims beheaded, holy shrines defiled, and barbarians preying on defenseless Christians, the church motivated commoner and Knight to “take up the cross”.

Subsequent Crusades over the next 400 years served little purpose other than economic or political gain, until the forays had motivated the ummah to unite and defend itself, summarily ousting the Europeans from the region, and instilling a deep hatred for anything or anyone from “The West”.

As indicated in the History Channel mini series, “The Cross and the Crescent”, stories of the heroic deeds of various Muslims in battle are retold to this day. Saladin is as big a hero of Islam as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln are in the USA. Unfortunately, these historic battles occurred in a region where revenge is still an acceptable form of justice, and oral history keeps those perceived injustices alive and fresh in the collective memory of the ummah.

Just what is that collective Islamic memory of the Crusades? Christians from the west came and slaughtered men, women, and children indiscriminately. Those that remained alive were either enslaved or forced from their lands. They destroyed holy shrines, tolerated no other religions, and possibly worse than any other deed, they constantly broke their treaties, bargains and promises. That lack of honor and trust is the crux of modern day hatred for all things western.

It is through this lens of mistrust that all western intervention is seen today. It is this lens that fundamentalist use to focus attention on the Infidels, to paint western civilization as evil, and to rationalize their terrorism.

on Feb 06, 2006
Bunp to the forum
on Feb 06, 2006
Well, it does prove one thing.  They are living in the past.  They may enjoy it there, but that will not get them back their caliphate.
on Feb 06, 2006
The last crusade was in 1270. Almost ONE THOUSAND YEARS AGO! And it wasnt spanned over four hundred years, it was less than two hundred. Its high time they made the leap into the 14th century.
on Feb 12, 2006
Its high time they made the leap into the 14th century.

I hope not. Didn't you study history in school? The Black Death stalked Europe and Central Asia in the 14th century. The last thing we need is another plague destroying economic systems and tearing apart the social order.
on Feb 14, 2006
I don't think there is much moral ground for Muslims to stand on in terms of the Crusades, considering the conquering, killing, and destruction of cultures they undertook when they went further East into Hindu territory. Sure, they condemn our historical actions, but there are folks to their East that have the same beef with them.
on Feb 15, 2006
Its high time they made the leap into the 14th century.

that's pretty much the way i felt about the serbs
on May 01, 2006
I like what you do, continue this way.