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What the History Channel Leaves Out With the Crusades (News/Vanity)
Mid-day.com ^ | November 7, 2005 | Prasad Patil

Posted on 11/07/2005 7:55:59 AM PST by Wuli

“It will help people to understand why the world is the way it is today,” said Richard Bradley, founder of Lion Television, which has produced The Crusades: Crescent and The Cross — a documentary series that will premiere in 130 countries on The History channel on November 13 and 14.

The Crusades: Crescent and The Cross unfurls two centuries of war about two cultures impassioned by belief. The series will be an epic of human drama against the back drop of the holy.

It was a collision of two great faiths and of two of the the world’s most enduring and powerful religions. These religions fought for nearly two decades seeking control over what each claimed as the rightful holy lands of their people.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: christianity; crescentandcross; crusades; cultureclash; hc; historychannel; islam; leftistrevisionism; trop
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"One of those two regions, Levant, the area encompassing modern-day Israel and parts of Lebanon, Syria and Turkey fell under the siege of Christian soldiers in 1096 AD."

"Galvanized by People Urban II, waves of Christian warriors fought their way from Europe to the Holy Land intent on wrestling it away from Arab occupiers."

"What did drive the thousands of crusaders to travel from Western Europe to Central Asia in the quest of unknown? Dr Jonathan Phillips, a senior lecturer at University of London and one of the world’s leading authorities on many aspects of crusading history, said, “They must be brave or mad or highly motivated or greedy or may be all of them."

The above paragraphs highlight the constant historical revisionism of most discussion of the crusades. The story always opens just before the crusades begin. It takes that snap shot in time as though you can dismiss everything that set the stage for the crusades and then judge what happened next.

And what happened before the crusades?

A dominant Christianity with a minority of Jews and various pagan sects held eastern and western branches of the former Roman empire, stretching all of western Europe, most of central Europe, through most of Anatolia (now Turkey), down through Damascus, Jerusalem and across norther Africa in a polyglot and cosmopolitan mixture of culutures and ethnic groups, for over 500 years.

Beginning almost immediately upon the death of Mohammed, the entire known world of "western civilization" is besieged, by Arab armies marching on a jihad to conquer the known world.

In 632 A.D. Mohammed dies. Within a year Arab Muslims are attacking Persia (Iran) and Muslim armies have taken the cities of Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria.

By 644 A.D. Muslim armies conquer the eastern edge of the Christian Byzantine Empire - from the Levant (Lebanon) down through Syria and Palestine, and solidified their control across all of Mesopotamia (Iraq), the southern half of Persia as far as the Zagros Mountains, south to the Persian Gulf, across all of Arabia and north Africa as far west as Libya. Although it took a decade, it was a blitzkrieg by conventional history of the day.

By 661 A.D. the Islamic Jihad has spread Muslim control north from the Levant to the Taurus Mountains in Armenia, and east throughout all of Persia to the Caucasus across the southern rim of the Caspian Sea, and as far as the western edge of India.

By 750 A.D. the Muslim armies control what they had not previously held across all of northern Africa and they have conquered and hold the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal.

In the short span of 120 years, the Muslim Jihad has carved an Empire by the sword out of the Eastern reaches of Christendom, across the entire Middle East, throughout Arabia and north Africa and up into western Christian lands in Iberia.

It is nearly two hundred years later, 931 A.D. before armies of the Christian Byzantine Empire begin the re-conquest of Syria and twenty years more before John I Tzimisces retakes Syria and Palestine, restoring part of the eastern limits of Christian control, but only briefly. Meanwhile, the Byzantines have been defending their northern borders from various central European tribes and ethnic groups while also in the midst of disputes with the Holy Roman Empire in Rome.

By 1055 A.D., Muslims under the Seljuk Turks retake Syria and Palestine and by 1071 A.D., they capture all of Asia Minor from the Christian Byzantines.

By the time of the crusades, after nearly three hundred years of constant warfare, Muslims succeeded in conquering most all of the eastern half of the Byzantine Empire (Orthodox Christianity) and were threatening the western Empire (Holy Roman Empire) of central and western Europe as well.

As history shows, both past and present, the Crusades did not begin, and were not the cause of the clash of cultures, between Islam and the west, nor did they end it.

Yet, the frequent telling of the story of the crusades never begins with the Arab military conquest of Christian dominated lands. The story always begins after those facts, when, after hundreds of years of the advance of militant Islam, the west begins to respond in a real concerted way.

Oh, the west was supposed to "turn the other cheek" some more, is what the historians want to say.

It is the worst and most long running and prevalent case of historical denial that western intellectuals have ever committed against their own culture.

They also deny that what the Islam armies and scholars brought to Europe came from Europe - the revival of Greek and Persian science that Arab scholars rediscovered. Yet, it was an intellectual revival that was dying again within Islam by the time of the crusades.

While much is made of the "religious" sentiments of the Crusaders, religion does not comprise the central differences. The central differences are from the well spring of very different values and value systems which time and history brought to dominate the two cultures. And, Islam is antithetical to core western values, no less today that it was in 1096.

The clash of western civilization and Islam did not begin with the crusades and any attempt to accurately depict that clash by beginning with the crusades fails, in all historical respects. The affect is no less than the presentation of a lie, for by the year 1096 over half the story has been left out.

1 posted on 11/07/2005 7:56:00 AM PST by Wuli
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To: Wuli

Great! It is a series? I watched about one minute of it. Plot summary: BAD BAD Christians kill everyone who is not an infidel. See, the Christians are even worse."


2 posted on 11/07/2005 7:57:28 AM PST by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: Wuli

I had the history channel on in background all day and you had to watch all day to put 1,000's of years of history together.

The moors, the huns the 400, 300, 200 BC. It was a pretty amazing day watching it off and on and you really needed it before the Cross/Crusades came on.

We only rec'd one hour here - more tonight.


3 posted on 11/07/2005 8:00:43 AM PST by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
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To: Wuli

Thank you for the post. I hope you have advised the otherwise fairly good History Channel people.


4 posted on 11/07/2005 8:01:18 AM PST by Obadiah ( Deuteronomy 6:5)
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To: Wuli

That show was crap last night. It told only of the Christians and the deceit that was used to lure them into battle. There was precious little about the Muslims at all. They sounded like the perfect little people.

This is just another Hit Piece on the USA guised as history.


5 posted on 11/07/2005 8:02:57 AM PST by JustAnotherOkie
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To: Wuli

You are absolutely correct, but it's worth noting that the Islamic conquest would never have succeeded were it not for the Byzantine Orthodox imperial persecution of the Monophysite Christian heretics..


6 posted on 11/07/2005 8:03:48 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: Wuli

Right on! Outside of the Arabian Peninsula (and not all of that in the beginning), every scrap of "muslim" territory was gained at the point of the sword. To say otherwise is to accept the Islamofascist view that "Islam" predates both Judaism and Christianity, and that the entire world was "Islamic" before it was perverted by Jews and Christians.


7 posted on 11/07/2005 8:06:05 AM PST by pawdoggie
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To: JustAnotherOkie

How does something that happened well before the advent of the USA become a hit piece on the USA?

Christianity in Europe during the Crusades does not equal the USA.


8 posted on 11/07/2005 8:06:49 AM PST by dmz
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To: edcoil

The moors, the huns the 400, 300, 200 BC.
 

 

I thought they were the "Moops"...


9 posted on 11/07/2005 8:07:22 AM PST by Fintan (I'm planting my tagline bulbs for the spring.)
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To: Wuli

"They also deny that what the Islam armies and scholars brought to Europe came from Europe - the revival of Greek and Persian science that Arab scholars rediscovered."


How could Persian "science" have originally come from Europe?


10 posted on 11/07/2005 8:10:51 AM PST by USConstitutionBuff
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To: USConstitutionBuff

via Alexander the Great, I presume


11 posted on 11/07/2005 8:12:56 AM PST by joylyn
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To: Wuli

The History Channel's "The Crusades" special should have at least included one
caption...
"We would have produced a special about how the Muslims took over the
Middle East and parts of Europe. But it would be 'Rated XXX' for gore and violence.
Hence, we're going to show you the nasty 'Rated X' things those awful Christians
did during the Crusades.
Besides, we know the lives of our staff at The History Channel would be at risk
if we aired a realistic representation of the Jihad that started in the 600s
and has yet to run its' course."


12 posted on 11/07/2005 8:12:57 AM PST by VOA
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To: USConstitutionBuff

I don't recall much of any "science" originating in Persia (which doesn't mean none did), but in any event Persia was conquered by Alexander the Great and the elite of the Hellenistic Seleucid and Parthian empires that followed were Greeks. Once the Sassanid Persians took over in around 226 CE they undertook the eradication of Greek cultural influence.


13 posted on 11/07/2005 8:18:48 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: Wuli

They should've saved production costs...and just set up a webcam in France.


14 posted on 11/07/2005 8:19:16 AM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Wuli
And for the real story, read this:

The New Concise History of the Crusades, Revised Edition (Hardcover) by Thomas F. Madden

 

15 posted on 11/07/2005 8:24:13 AM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: JustAnotherOkie
This is just another Hit Piece on the USA guised as history

Didnt realize that the USA fought in the Crusades.

16 posted on 11/07/2005 8:25:21 AM PST by Dave S
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To: Dave S

Of course they did not...But it appeared to me anyway that they were correlating what is going on now to what happened in the 10th century.

The explained nothing of the Muslim philosphy and mindset but went into great detail as to how corrupt the Christians were.


17 posted on 11/07/2005 8:28:34 AM PST by JustAnotherOkie
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To: dmz

Of course they did not...But it appeared to me anyway that they were correlating what is going on now to what happened in the 10th century.

The explained nothing of the Muslim philosphy and mindset but went into great detail as to how corrupt the Christians were.


18 posted on 11/07/2005 8:29:13 AM PST by JustAnotherOkie
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To: Wuli

The episode last night seemed fascinated by the alleged cannibalism committed by the crusaders after the fall of Marat. It's a nice, grisly page to highlight, but it does little to balance the tale, since the Turks committed their share of atrocities as well, and the rule of warfare in those days was somewhat less ... civil ... than today's.


19 posted on 11/07/2005 8:29:40 AM PST by IronJack
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To: Wuli
Great Job on your History.
Can you continue on with the Knights Templars and their influence on secret societies of the present day?
20 posted on 11/07/2005 8:30:03 AM PST by pro610 (Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. Praise Jesus Christ!)
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To: Wuli
A dominant Christianity with a minority of Jews and various pagan sects held eastern and western branches of the former Roman empire,

This is just about sects - everybody tells lies about sects - isn't it time to move on?

21 posted on 11/07/2005 8:31:52 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Wuli
The real point of course is not who started what and who ate who, but who is still fretting about 1000 year old history and who is trying to force their will on the other side? The very fact that Muslims still obsess about the Crusades today, while baning other religions and beheading the infidels shows where the problem lies.
22 posted on 11/07/2005 8:40:48 AM PST by SoCal Pubbie
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To: JustAnotherOkie

You do know that the Crusades weren't a US affair, don't you?


23 posted on 11/07/2005 8:43:15 AM PST by lugsoul
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To: Wuli

Just more propaganda from the Revisionist History Channnel...one reason I NEVER watch.


24 posted on 11/07/2005 8:43:23 AM PST by who knows what evil? (New England...the Sodom and Gomorrah of the 21st Century, and they're proud of it!)
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To: VOA

Bang on as a general disclaimer as to the accuracy and OBJECTIVIVITY in their presentation.

Propaganda is a wonderful tool isn't it even if it is by the HISTORY channel. Denial of the Halocaust is nextweek.


25 posted on 11/07/2005 8:51:18 AM PST by jackson29
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To: VOA

ROME on HBO is better


26 posted on 11/07/2005 8:53:01 AM PST by avile
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To: SittinYonder

History Channel Crusades ping


27 posted on 11/07/2005 8:59:32 AM PST by eyespysomething
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To: who knows what evil?

The Crusades were Bush's fault.


28 posted on 11/07/2005 9:08:49 AM PST by JusPasenThru (http://giinthesky.blogspot.com)
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To: lugsoul

See my other replies.

The USA came hundreds of years later. The same principals still apply however. When you paint the Muslims as hero's and the Christians as villians you feed the propaganda machine.

They are just too PC to discuss the Muslim philosphy, political structure, and goals in any detail. I'm sure there is plenty of blame to go around but it is not presented that way at all.


29 posted on 11/07/2005 9:33:01 AM PST by JustAnotherOkie
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To: pro610
The Saint of the Day

Blessed Urban II, July 29

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Biographical selection: Urban II, Pope from 1088 to 1099, defended the liberty of the Catholic Church continuing the work of St. Gregory VII. He called the First Crusade. The principal aim of the Council of Clermont was to discuss this Crusade.


Urban II preaches the Crusade at the Council of Clermont.

The people were eager for the announced expedition and finally the Pope attended to their impatient requests. He sat upon the throne that had been prepared specially for that occasion. At his side was Peter the Hermit. Below him was an enormous multitude: Cardinals, Abbots, priests, monks, knights and the people.

After the speech of Peter, who described what he had seen in Jerusalem, Urban II addressed the crowd with these words:

Go, brothers, go with hope to the fight against the enemies of God, who for so long have dominated Syria, Armenia and the countries of Asia Minor. They have already committed many outrages: they have taken the Sepulcher of Christ and the marvelous monuments of our Faith; they have forbidden pilgrims to set foot in a city whose worth only Christians can truly appreciate. Are these facts not sufficient to upset the serenity of your faces?

Go and show your worth! Go, soldiers, and your fame will spread over the entire world. Do not fear to lose the Kingdom of God because of the tribulation brought by war. If you will fall prisoner to the enemy, face the worse torments for your Faith and you will save your souls at the same moment you will lose your bodies. Do not hesitate, most dear brethren, to offer your lives for the good of your neighbor. Do not hesitate to go because of love for your family, your country, or your riches, since man owes his love principally to God. You will have the greatest happiness one can have in his life, which is to see the places where Our Lord spoke the language of men.

To these words the faithful answered unanimously: “Deus vult" [God wills it!]

Urban II added:

Such a cry would not be unanimous if it were not inspired by the Holy Ghost. Let this be, then, your war-cry to announce the power of the God of Hosts.

And whosoever will undertake this journey shall carry on him the form of the cross. Let you, then, bear the cross upon your sword or your breast, on your weapons and standards. Let it be for you either the sign of victory or the palm of martyrdom, and also the symbol to unify the dispersed children of Israel. It will continuously remind you that Jesus Christ died for you and that for Him you should die.

The date of the Crusade was fixed for August 15, Feast of the Annunciation.

Comments of Prof. Plinio:

You see the great beauty of this scene.

First, you have a saint on the See of Peter. What a wonderful thing! The light in the candelabrum to illuminate all the peoples, the focal point irradiating virtue, a saint sitting in the cathedra whence truth and good should be taught.

He was addressing the ranks of warriors of Our Lord and Our Lady to lead them to the fight against their enemies. This man, like an Angel, was filled with zeal for the Holy Places. He could not tolerate that infidels should possess the Holy Land.

Why couldn’t he bear this? Because of the offense to the glory of God it represented. Those places are the places par excellence where true worship should be offered to God.

Second, he had called for a council to assemble for this reason. It was the Council of Clermont, a city in France. The scene permits us a glimpse – in small proportion – of all the beauty of the Catholic Church.

You have the Pope, Blessed Urban II, who commanded as head over the council; then you have the conciliar Fathers surrounding the Pope, all moved by an authentic zeal for the glory of God – an attitude similar to Angels surrounding God.

After that, you have the multitude of the faithful filled with piety and enthusiasm, in whose eyes shone the spirit of fight and sacrifice. Whole families were present, the women and daughters were there to give the men – their sons, husbands, and brothers – their full support. They understood that to liberate the Sepulcher of Christ they should offer the sacrifice of their loved ones leaving for the Crusade.



Crusader knights take Antioch on the First Crusade.

Third, I ask you to consider the thinking of Pope Urban II: “The Holy Sepulcher is in the hands of the infidels. Catholics can not go there to duly venerate it because it is in the possession of the enemies of the Church.” Then he asked: “Who can maintain a serene face before such a crime?”

Today one sees many serene and tranquil faces in the street, people looking for the good life, enjoying themselves, ready to tell the latest joke. And even when some of these people have concerned faces, their concern is normally for their private interests. Who really cares about the cause of the Church?

In that time men were different. When the Pope challenged them, asking them if they would maintain their serenity or go to fight for the Church, they did not hesitate. They were true servants of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They had the Catholic Church alive in their souls. They were willing to give up the peaceful life, even though it was legitimate. They arose as one man to take the cross and place it on the hilt of their swords, on their standards and shields, and on their breasts, and they made up that invincible avalanche that went forward to regain the Sepulcher of Christ.

How different things were then from our times!


Above, The knights in the First Crusade liberated
the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Today's fight is even greater - to liberate the Holy Church from the progressivist usurpation.

Fourth, Blessed Urban II said something that should enthuse and encourage us to face our difficult situation today.

He affirmed that the unanimous voice of that multitude which called out its decision to take the cross and liberate the Holy Sepulcher proved that the Holy Ghost was acting there. He had the presupposition, therefore, that the Holy Ghost is present in heroic decisions of ensembles of peoples in Christendom.

Today, based on that same presupposition, we can ask for and hope that the Holy Ghost will come again to help Catholic warriors to liberate the Holy Church from the progressivist usurpation. The fight we are facing now in many senses is more important than the one to liberate the Holy Sepulcher. So, even if we are weak and sinners, we should ask Our Lady to obtain for us a new coming of the Holy Ghost, in a way similar to His descent on the multitudes at the time of the Crusades to prepare the people then for that fight.

We should ask her to obtain from Him the grace that we need to transform us into true Apostles of the Last Times, making us able to restore the Catholic Church in all her splendor and to install the Reign of Mary, as Our Lady predicted at Fatima.

30 posted on 11/07/2005 9:34:15 AM PST by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: Wuli

"It took me a long time to realize just how much a student of medieval history could gain from observing the Arab." General George S. Patton


31 posted on 11/07/2005 9:36:43 AM PST by Patriot Hooligan ("God have mercy on my enemies because I won't." General George S. Patton)
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To: Wuli

I watched the History Channel show "Shootout" all weekend.

I really liked it.

The Crusade show just didnt interest me.


32 posted on 11/07/2005 9:44:05 AM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: AntiGuv

Absolutely! If the Coptics had been treated right, they would have never surrendered Egypt to the muslims.


33 posted on 11/07/2005 9:45:27 AM PST by nuke rocketeer
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To: lugsoul
I do believe Okie answered the question.

(Even though I understood perfectly well what he was saying the first time. Basically, that by tearing down the West and portraying the Muslims as innocents in the documentary, this helps to effectively tear down the West's efforts today i.e. the US.)

34 posted on 11/07/2005 9:52:05 AM PST by Siena Dreaming
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To: JustAnotherOkie

I thought the most bias one of all hit it perfectly on the head when he said that Muslims hear stories of the Crusades and think of it as happening just yesterday. It's the explanation for why they keep trying to attack anything Western. They are still holding a grudge. I wouldn't be surprised if they were holding a grudge against the US because of the Babrbary Pirates.


35 posted on 11/07/2005 9:53:45 AM PST by HungarianGypsy
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To: HungarianGypsy

To top it off the things they complain about now are the acts and behaviour of Lib's.


36 posted on 11/07/2005 10:02:38 AM PST by JustAnotherOkie
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To: Wuli

[[It was a collision of two great faiths and of two of the the world’s most enduring and powerful religions.]]

Doesnt he mean one great faith and a death cult?


37 posted on 11/07/2005 10:05:30 AM PST by Buffettfan
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To: Wuli

The History Channel seems to be producing more entertainment at the expense of accuracy these days. Too bad...I am running out of quality tv programming. Even TCM is starting to show movies from the 1970s.


38 posted on 11/07/2005 10:10:12 AM PST by Kokojmudd (Outsource the 9th Circuit Court to Walmart for better customer service!)
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To: bboop

I have a Greek Orthodox friend who has nothing good to say about the Crusaders and their motives.


39 posted on 11/07/2005 10:12:59 AM PST by kms61
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To: AntiGuv

And the wars with Persia. Both the Greeks and the Persians were worn out from a generation of fighting.


40 posted on 11/07/2005 10:22:08 AM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: JustAnotherOkie

The problem is they KNOW little about the Muslim faith.


41 posted on 11/07/2005 10:23:11 AM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: JustAnotherOkie

'O People, Strike at their necks!'


42 posted on 11/07/2005 10:24:42 AM PST by Great Caesars Ghost (The Fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the Stars, but in ourselves..)
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To: SoCal Pubbie

The Crusades, in fact, made little impression on the Muslims. It was not until the 19th Century when they fell under Christian domination that they began to bring up the Crusades.


43 posted on 11/07/2005 10:25:35 AM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: RobbyS

That's very true, but even with the depletion of the Byzantine imperial forces, the local Syrian and Egyptian militias should've been more than adequate to fend off the Muslims if they were inclined to do so. Even if they failed, the conquered territories would've been impossible to administer if they resisted, and such resistance would've made a Byzantine reconquest inevitable very soon afterward.

The problem was that the Muslims treated the Coptic and Syriac Christians better than the Byzantine authorities had in a long while. The rest is history!


44 posted on 11/07/2005 10:26:05 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: AntiGuv

For a long time the Copts and Syrians thought of the Muslims as just another Christian sect. And for a long time the Arabs kept themselves apart from the "infidels." Cairo began as an Arab camp.


45 posted on 11/07/2005 10:29:32 AM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: IronJack

Heh heh. I want to post this picture, but it's probably not allowed. MSN.com has a photo and a headline entitled 'Haute Couture Hijab.' I'm sure you all want to see it.


46 posted on 11/07/2005 10:30:34 AM PST by Great Caesars Ghost (The Fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the Stars, but in ourselves..)
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To: avile
ROME on HBO is better

HEeeeeee hee hee! You can't just go around killing people's slaves, it's not polite! Besides, it was MY slave!"

47 posted on 11/07/2005 10:32:30 AM PST by Great Caesars Ghost (The Fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the Stars, but in ourselves..)
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To: Wuli

I also hope you notified the History Channel, thanks so much for the history.


48 posted on 11/07/2005 10:37:08 AM PST by yoe
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To: dmz; eyespysomething
How does something that happened well before the advent of the USA become a hit piece on the USA?

That's what I was wondering when the episode last night concluded with a dig at President Bush.

49 posted on 11/07/2005 10:37:09 AM PST by SittinYonder (Flea, feather, bird, egg, nest, twig, branch, limb, tree, and the bog down in the valley - o.)
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To: HungarianGypsy

Just like Shelby Steele who was still angry at Whites the other night because of Andrew Jackson. Without new slights to form new grievances, you have to go back until you find something you can really sink your teeth into.

BTW, Steele has a new book entitled "What Whites Owe Blacks and what Blacks Owe Whites." The answer to the first part is Respect, Opportunity, and and End to Racism. The answer to what Blacks owe Whites? Nothing.

And now back to the topic at hand, sorry for the misdirection, but the refusal to let go reminded me of American Blacks.


50 posted on 11/07/2005 10:38:10 AM PST by Great Caesars Ghost (The Fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the Stars, but in ourselves..)
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