Skip to comments.Modern Aftermath of the Crusades
Posted on 07/03/2007 4:41:27 PM PDT by khnyny
Robert Spencer on the Battles Still Being Waged
WASHINGTON, D.C., 11 MARCH 2006 (ZENIT) The Crusades may be causing more devastation today than they ever did in the three centuries when most of them were fought, according to one expert.
Robert Spencer, author of "Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)" (Regnery), claims that the damage is not in terms of lives lost and property destroyed but is a more subtle destruction.
Spencer shared with ZENIT how false ideas about the Crusades are being used by extremists to foment hostility to the West today.
Q: The Crusades are often portrayed as a militarily offensive venture. Were they?
Spencer: No. Pope Urban II, who called for the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont in 1095, was calling for a defensive action one that was long overdue.
As he explained, he was calling the Crusade because without any defensive action, "the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked" by the Turks and other Muslim forces.
"For, as most of you have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have conquered the territory of Romania [the Greek empire] as far west as the shore of the Mediterranean and the Hellespont, which is called the Arm of St. George," Pope Urban II said in his address. "They have occupied more and more of the lands of those Christians, and have overcome them in seven battles. They have killed and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the empire.
"If you permit them to continue thus for a while with impunity, the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked by them."
(Excerpt) Read more at ewtn.com ...
Thank you for posting this.
Most crusaders left their families and took this perilous journey for the noblest of intentions.
When after the capture of Jerusalem in 1099, Raymond of Toulouse was offered to be crowned the King of Jerusalem, he declined, saying, “I refused to accept a crown of gold in the place where my Savior wore a crown of thorns.”
It’s sad to see how much political correctness and multiculturalism has distorted our understanding of history.
God is love. That is all we need to know anyway.
On the other hand Antinominalism/Antinomianism is an heresy of the worst sort.
If we always act with love and compassion then we have little need for forgiveness anyway since we are in accord with God’s will.
I agree that those who think they can get free of their karma simply by believing in something or other are in for a surprise, whether it is one who chooses a deathbed conversion to Christ or one who chooses the path of the Shaheed. Both will discover that God is Love and since we are his progeny and heirs, we have to face up to our mistakes before taking up our place at His side. When we cause harm or are unkind to others we are actually harming and being unkind to God and ourselves, since we are the same thing. I am you, you are me, we are one with God.
Very interesting stuff. Yes, a lot of people don’t know that Charles Martel saved Europe. The Moors were eventually driven out of Spain too, but that’s another story.:)
I find that much of “Christian history” ends up getting a rather bad rap in our public school system and in popular culture. I once heard a lecture regarding the Spanish Inquisition which was almost the exact opposite of what is presently being taught.
Thanks for the story on Raymond of Toulouse, what a beautiful sentiment.
The “Crusades” that really matter to modern Muslims were those since the French Revolution, since Napoleon landed in Egypt in an attempt to establish French control in the region. By 1930, the Christian Powers were in the ascendent everywhere in the Middle East and in the Med. Only Turkey and Iran maintained their independence, and this by modernizing their society.
All of this has been rolled back as a result of World War II and the collapse of the European Empires. Ironically, American anti-colonialism contributed to this and our attempt to fill the void, especially after the Suez debacle, was been imperfect. The Europeans socialists accuse us of imperialism, not recongizing that it is precisely our dislike of imperialism that has weakened us. We blame ourselves for the inability of the Muslim nations to develop a growing economy or a rational poltical order, despite the huge returns the Middle has received from its near monopoly of the oil supply.
Yes, it seems to be Spain all over again.
IMHO, the invention of the combustible engine and the almost simultaneous discovery of oil in the Middle East and N. Africa changed the geopolitical landscape. Both World War I and World War II devastated and weakened Europe and in effect, destabilized the Western world.
Some argue that the Allies access to oil in WWI was the decisive factor for Allied victory.:
“The decisive difference between the allied forces of England, France and the United States and those of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Turkey was thus not so much tactics or even leadership but oil supply. In addition to Anglo-Persianwhich by 1916 was supplying one-fifth of the British Navy’s needsthe Allies had at their disposal the giant networks of Royal Dutch/Shell and Standard Oil of New Jersey. The Germans were less fortunate. When the Allies destroyed the oil facilities in Romania in November 1916, and then prevented Russia’s Baku fields from falling into German hands in August 1918, the war was unsustainable.”
Changing demographics such as population and the declining birth rate in Western nations has played a role too in the decline of Western influence in certain parts of the world.
Agreed. I would add that socialist anti-colonialism is now the prevalent belief among European elites and has been since about 1960. A few days ago I rented “The Battle of Algiers,” a 1965 film that won all kinds of awards and what we would call a docudrama about the French effort to suppress the FLN revolt in Algeria. Afterwards, I read an historical account of the War of Independence in Algeria (1954-1962). The film was mainly confined to the years 1956-57, but they got even this wrong historically. I think it gives a good insight into present European thinking about the Muslim world. The Algerian struggle was characterized by as much by religious fanaticism as nationalism, but nowhere does the film make show anything except religious piety. The idea that French government might be superior to that of the revolutionaries, was totally excluded.
KiloEcho4 reminds us that today, October 7th  is the 434th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto. In the fall of 1571 an alliance of Christian nations assembled off the coast of Greece [Gulf of Patras/Corinth] and defeated the Turks [the last muslim empire].
One thing historically provable: the clash between Islam and the West (Christianity and Judaism) is the LONGEST STANDING CONFLICT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!
What we are seeing today is only the advancing wave from a ripple that began over 1400 years ago. The Middle East is surely at the heart of the struggle, and Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are without doubt the biggest symbols and prize for each side. Capture Jerusalem and possession of the Temple Mount is like capturing the battle flag or standard on the battlefield. It symbolizes the tide of the battle and the eventual promise of victory.
And I believe that we must also see things in this larger historical context because the enemy certainly does, and to ignore history is only to deceive ourselves. Remember Lepanto!
The Great Islamic Jihad had been going on for centuries as of 1571 and 1683.
In 1967 and 1979 and 1982 and 2001 it had been going on for more than a millenium. And so it continues to this day.
Two comments from me.
An "alliance" of Christian nations is no longer possible. There aren't any.
The alliance of the umma never disappeared. If anything, it has grown.
We can consider this a secular war, the enemy does not.
We have rules of war. The enemy does not.
What is the likely conclusion?
"We don't want to be like them" is the eternal mindless reply to proposed overwhelming violent response.
When the choices are "become like them" (in war), or fade into history through "death by a thousand cuts", metaphorically speaking, the question becomes beyond silly.
Those pesky unintended consequences, again.
The importance of oil at the turn of the century, and its subsequent importance was also the poison that created almost all of the imponderable problems today, including the Middle East "crises", and the impossible position that Israel finds herself in.
Let's look at Israel for starters. The following site is the clearest and most concise example as I've ever seen, for a summary of how Israel's indefensible borders came to be:
The US, attempting to fill the geopolitical vacuum after WW1 botched things royally. We alienated Europe, simply by being superior. We did not physically create an empire, but the popularity of our culture pissed everybody off. As did our success technologically and financially.
We pressured Great Britain into giving up the Suez Canal, we gave away the Panama Canal, and we have been pressuring Israel, since 1947 to play nice with the most inept, destructive and primitive culture on earth.
In the long term, islam has been more destructive to culture and history than all previous barbarian empires, as well as Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. And they have been allowed to do their thing many many times longer, repeatedly.
What is the fundamental cause of all this irrationality? Oil.
In retrospect, the sandmaggots were given a gift by the West which has enriched a few corrupt families beyond the dreams of avarice, and accomplished little else; either to benefit their own people or for humanity.
In a "perfect world" The West should have simply said, "we made a mistake", take back the oil fields and send them off to their traditional wanderings.
Why didn't we? Peer pressure.
The desire to be seen as "good and noble", by other countries who would stab their own mothers in the back to get the cultural upper hand.
Did I mention I do not fear islam, but hold it in as low a regard as is possible?
Just to remember that Lepanto was an improbable Christian victory. Not only was Christianity divided by the Reformation, but —as Chesterton’s poem so beautifully tells us— England and France were hostile to Phillip II, Christianity’s chief leader. Furthermre, Phillip II was ambivalent about his degree of commitment to our cause. Venice was in decline, having been greatly reduced by the Turkish advance. The pope was a political innocent , with no sense of “realpolitik.” Yet, despite all this, we won. The king came through in the pinch, and so did the Venetians. The pope was a saint who stormed heaven on the days leading to the battle, and the Christian fleet was led by a great captain, the ablest commander ever produced by the House of Hapsburg, So, in the end, we won, and not only won but decisively. God rules in the affairs of men.