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  1. A New Look at the Crusades With H. C. Felder www.GivingAnAnswer.org

  2. Road Map • Introduction • Traditional View • Historical View • Evaluation of Views • Summary

  3. Road Map • Introduction

  4. Introduction • What were the Crusades? • That depends on the perspective of the teller • There is a traditional politically correct, yet historically inaccurate view • There is a politically incorrect, yet historically accurate view • This presentation will present both views and make the case for the politically incorrect, yet historically accurate view • Covers only the first Crusades

  5. Road Map • Introduction • Traditional View

  6. Traditional View Background Example of Christian intolerance “On the eve of the second Christian millennium, the Crusaders massacred some thirty thousand Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem, turning the thriving Islamic holy city into a stinking charnel house. For at least five months the valleys and ditches around the city were filled with putrefying corpses,

  7. Traditional View Background Example of Christian intolerance which were too numerous for the small number of Crusaders who remained behind after the expedition to clear away, and a stench hung over Jerusalem, where the three religions of Abraham had been able to coexist in relative harmony under Islamic rule for nearly five hundred years.” (Armstrong, 2005)

  8. Traditional View Background “The Crusaders marched across Europe to the Middle East. Once there, they pillaged and murdered Muslim and Jewish men, women and children indiscriminately, and forced the survivors to convert to Christianity….They were the setting for the world's first mass killings, and are a blot on the history of the Catholic Church, Europe and Western civilization.” (Spencer, 2005)

  9. Traditional View Motivations Church Power grab Christianity “rallied an increasingly dissident society against perceived enemies, instigating attacks upon Muslims, Eastern Orthodox Christians and Jews” (Ellerbe,1995) “In the roughly 200 years of crusades, thousands, if not millions, were killed.” (Ellerbe,1995)

  10. Traditional View Motivations Forced Muslim Conversion “Far from gaining converts to the Roman Catholic Church, the crusades spread a bitter animosity that still lingers today” (Ellerbee, 68)

  11. Traditional View Legacy Reason for current relations between Middle East and the West “Indeed, in the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with three hundred Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple mound…I can tell you that that story is still being told today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it.” (Bill Clinton)

  12. Traditional View Legacy Blamed for 9/11 “When Osama bin-Laden issued his Declaration of Jihad on February 23, 1998, he did so against the “Jews and Crusaders” (Madden, 2005)

  13. Traditional View Legacy Taught Muslims to be Warlike The BBC/A&E documentary The Crusades (1995) hosted by Terry Jones claims that the Islamic world was a place of complete peace before the crusaders arrived and taught the Muslims to be warlike (Madden 2005)

  14. Road Map • Introduction • Traditional View • Historical View

  15. Historical View Background Rise of Muhammad and Islam Lived from 570-632 A.D. “That Islam sees the world as an open-ended conflict between the Land of Peace (Dar al-Islam) and the Land of War (Dar al-Harb) is the most important legacy of Muhammad” (Trifkovic, 51,2002)

  16. Historical View

  17. Historical View King Alexius I Comnenus Pope Gregory VII

  18. Historical View Nature of the Crusades Pope Urban II responded to the call and set August 15, 1096, as the departure date for the armies of the crusades (Madden, 13)

  19. Historical View

  20. Historical View • Nature of the Crusades • “By the standards of the time, adhered to by both Christians and Muslims, the crusaders would have been justified in putting the entire population of Jerusalem to the sword…It is true that many of the inhabitants, both Muslims and Jews were killed in the fray. Yet many were also allowed to purchase their freedom or were simply expelled from the city. Later stories of the streets of Jerusalem coursing with knee-high rivers of blood were never meant to be taken seriously. Medieval people know such a thing to be an impossibility. Modern people, unfortunately, often do not.” (Madden, 2005)

  21. Historical View Nature of the Crusades On August 11th, the crusaders took Ascalon and wiped out the entire Egyptian force, securing the Holy Land (Madden, 2005) At this point, most of the crusaders returned home Christians and Muslims lived side-by-side in peace for nearly 200 years (Madden, 2005)

  22. Historical View Nature of the Crusades In 1187, the great cities fell to the Muslim leader Saladin culminating with the fall of Jerusalem on October 2nd

  23. Historical View • Motivations • Turn back Muslim aggression • “Within a century, Arab Muslims had conquered Persia, Egypt, and Syria” (Madden, 2005) • When the Muslim forces originally exploded into Byzantine lands Christians were too fragmented to oppose Islam (Madden, 2005) • “The crusade, first and foremost, was a war against Muslims for the defense of the Christian faith” (Madden, 2005)

  24. Historical View • Motivations • Act of Mercy • The Christians of the East were suffering at the hands of the Turks (Madden, 2005) • In 1004, caliph Abu 'Ali al-Mansur al-Hakim (985-1021) ordered “the destruction of churches, the burning of crosses, and the seizure of church property...Over the next ten years, thirty thousand churches were destroyed, and untold numbers of Christians converted to Islam simply to save their lives. In 1009….he commanded that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem be destroyed, along with several other churches.” (Spencer, 2005)

  25. Historical View Motivations Jerusalem is the most holy city for Christianity “Jerusalem—the center of the world, the focus of God’s interventions in history and a relic, since its streets had been walked by Christ and its ground had soaked up Christ’s blood” (Riley-Smith, 6, 1987) Reclaiming Jerusalem

  26. Historical View Motivations “Knights were willing to make profound sacrifices for the crusade because it was in their nature to do so…By defending the church, they defended all that was good and true in the world. In short, most noblemen who joined the crusade did so from a simple and sincere love of god” (Madden, 2005) Personal

  27. Historical View • Motivations • Personal • “Each crusader took a pilgrim’s vow to reach the Holy Sepulcher. He was a pilgrim, first and foremost. The oath he swore was to God, not to the pope or to any other man” (Madden, 2005) • “A crusader received a remission from sins, just as would a pilgrim who traveled to a holy shrine” • “A crusader army was, in effect, a loosely organized mob of soldiers, clergy and servants, and followers heading in roughly the same direction for roughly the same purposes. Once launched, it could be controlled no more than the wind or the sea.”(Madden, 2005)

  28. Historical View • Motivations • Personal • “Approximately 150,000 people across Europe responded to Urban II's summons by donning the cross of the pilgrim. The vast majority of these where poor, and many were women and elderly (or both). "(Madden, 2005) • “What is clearest in the documentary record is that the vast majority of these knightly crusaders were not spare sons but instead the lords of their estates. It was not those with the least to lose who took up the cross, but rather those with the most." (Riley-Smith, 1987) • “The chief motivation was a genuine idealism” (Riley-Smith, 1987)

  29. Historical View • Motivations • Personal • Very few crusaders remained in the Holy Land once their vows were fulfilled (Madden, 2005) • “When the Crusaders were victorious and established kingdoms and principalities in the Middle East, they generally let the Muslims in their domains live in peace, practice their religion freely, build new mosques and schools, and maintain their own religious tribunals” (Spencer, 2005) • “The Crusaders’ sack of Jerusalem was a heinous crime—particularly in light of the religious and moral principles they professed to uphold. However, by the military standards of the day, it was not out of the ordinary” (Spencer, 2005)

  30. Historical View Legacy Has had the greatest impact on current views A historian who used Sir Walter Scott fictional work The Talisman published in 1825 as his guide Portrayed the crusaders and simpletons and barbarians Sir Steven Runciman’sHistory of the Crusades (1951-1954)

  31. Historical View • Legacy • The Muslim world was unaware of the crusades until recently • “As late as the seventeenth century the crusades remained virtually unknown to the Muslim world” (Madden, 2005) • “The ‘long memory’ of the crusades in the Muslim world is, in fact, a constructed memory—one in which the memory is much younger than the event itself” (Madden, 2005)

  32. Historical View • Legacy • The Muslim world was unaware of the crusades until recently • “For the vast majority of Muslims in Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, Malaya, Afghanistan and India, they were remote border incidents. It was only in the twentieth century, when the West had become more powerful and threatening, that Muslim historians would become preoccupied by the medieval Crusades” (Armstrong, 2002)

  33. Historical View Legacy “When the Muslims finally united they dispatched the infidels and that was all. It is not the crusades, then that led to the attacks of September 11, but the artificial memory of the crusades constructed by modern colonial powers and passed down by Arab nationalists and Islamists.” (Madden, 2005) No Real Connection to 9/11

  34. Historical View Legacy “Slaughters did occur in the initial wave of the conquest: during the Muslim invasion of Syria in 634, thousands of Christians were massacred; in Mesopotamia between 635 and 642, monasteries were ransacked and the monks and villagers slain; in Egypt the towns…were put to the sword. The inhabitants of Cilicia were taken into captivity. In Armenia, the entire population of Euchaita was wiped out.” (Trifkovic, 2002) Muslims acted worse than Crusaders

  35. Historical View Legacy When the Muslim Ottoman Empire sought to suppress reforms of its Armenian subjects between 1894-96 “Estimates of Armenian victims murdered in this two-year period range up to 300,000, with associated destruction to livelihood and many thousands forcibly converted to Islam” (Riddell & Cotterell, 2003) Muslims acted worse than Crusaders

  36. Road Map • Introduction • Traditional View • Historical View • Evaluation of the Views

  37. Evaluation • The current conception of the crusades is based on modern prejudices that ignore recent scholarship • “Even before Runciman wrote his book, however, professional historians had begun to discard the projection of modern agendas onto the medieval crusades, seeking instead to understand the campaigns on their own terms and within their own context….However, hundreds of scholarly books and thousands of scholarly articles written have thus far failed to move popular perceptions of the crusades much beyond Runciman. “ (Madden, 2005)

  38. Evaluation • The historical perspective is based on recent scholarship • Thanks to the works of scholars like Jonathan Riley-Smith, who analyzed large quantities of documents relating to those who actually participated in the crusades, we have a very different picture of the Crusaders than the popularized version

  39. Road Map • Introduction • Traditional View • Historical View • Evaluation of Views • Summary

  40. Summary • The main purpose of the crusades was to turn back Muslim aggression • The majority of the people who participated where sincere Christians who volunteered out of a sense of duty to Christ • The current politically correct view of the Crusades in inaccurate and based on anti-Christian and anti-West bias

  41. Summary • There is no connection between the Crusades and hostilities between Islam and the West today except those invented by Muslims • The acts of the Crusaders where not at all out of line with the times and pales in comparison to acts committed by Muslim before and after the Crusades

  42. Bibliography • Armstrong, Karen. Islam: A Short History. Modern Library ed. New York: Modern Library, 2002. Kindle Electronic Edition. • Ellerbe, H. (1995). The dark side of Christian history. San Rafael, CA.: Morningstar Books. • Madden, Thomas F. The New Concise History of the Crusades. Updated ed. Lanham, Md.: National Book Network, 2005. • Riddell, Peter G., and Peter Cotterell. Islam in Context: Past, Present, and Future. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003. • Spencer, Robert. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades. Lanham, MD: National Book Network, 2005. Kindle Electronic Edition. • ———. The Truth about Muhammad: Founder of the World's most Intolerant Religion. Washington, DC: Regnery Pub., 2006. Kindle Electronic Edition. • Riley-Smith, J. (1987). The Crusades: A short history. New Haven: Yale University Press. • Trifkovic, Serge. The Sword of the Prophet: Islam: History, Theology, Impact on the World. Boston, Mass.: Regina Orthodox Press, 2002.

  43. The End