Skip to comments.The Crescent and the Cross – A First Encounter
Posted on 01/15/2013 6:28:12 AM PST by obsnob
Within the space of 500 years, southeast Europe has undergone two paradigmatic shifts. First, from Christian independence to Islamic subjugation (a gradual process which consumed two centuries) and then, in the 19th century, from self-determination through religious affiliation to nationalism. The Christians of the Balkan were easy prey. They were dispirited peasantry, fragmented, prone to internecine backstabbing and oppressive regimes. The new Ottoman rulers treated both people and land as their property. They enslaved some of their prisoners of war (under the infamous pencik clause), exiled thousands and confiscated their lands and liquidated the secular political elites in Thrace, Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania. The resulting vacuum of leadership was filled by the Church. Thus, paradoxically, it was Islam and its excesses that made the Church the undisputed shepherd of the peoples of the Balkan, a position it did not enjoy before. The new rulers did not encourage conversions to their faith for fear of reducing their tax base non-Moslem zimmis (the Qurans People of the Book) paid special (and heavy) taxes to the treasury and often had to bribe corrupt officials to survive.
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Islam. What an effing nightmare. It’s a pity the crusaders didn’t have nukes.
“Islam. What an effing nightmare. Its a pity the crusaders didnt have nukes.”
If they had, they would first have used them against Jews - the infidel within.
They should have nuked each other.
I reject that wholeheartedly but we do need to be honest as inheritors of our Western traditions where Christianity was advanced through war and became political Christianity.
I became aware of the expansion of the Charlemagne empire. It came at the hand of the sword against his brother who controlled the German portion and with war against the Lombards - fellow Christians. But then Charlemagne set his sites on the Saxons. His goal was to spread his political and religious control over these pagan peoples. So in that way it seemed, at least with Charlemagne, that Christianity was spread by the sword.
In fact, the history of the crusades has sometimes been grossly maligned. But not just by those who want to make some sort of moral equivalence with Islam. Much misinformation and reformed history has come from those who purposely want to malign the Church.
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