THE CRUSADES Crusaders vs. jihadists Posted: May 1, 2004 1:00 a.m. Eastern at http://jihadwatch.org By Robert Spencer
The University of the Incarnate Word, a Christian school in San Antonio, Texas, has scrapped its nickname, "Crusaders," and the accompanying mascot. The university's website has a long and involved explanation for the change, encompassing the history of the Crusades and more. This history, rather predictably, doesn't mention the 450 years of jihad that had overwhelmed Christian lands in the Middle East and North Africa before any Crusade was contemplated.
But ultimately the Crusader name goes down the memory hole at Incarnate Word in an effort to be "culturally and spiritually sensitive" and to avoid litigation.
The site explains: "One of the main reasons for the change, besides the desire to be more culturally and spiritually sensitive, is to avert the potential for future litigation for discrimination and/or harassment. The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division has repeatedly ruled that harassment is itself discrimination. Numerous federal and state rulings have cited the 'Hostile Public Accommodations Environment' Harassment Law relative to American Indian mascots and nicknames. The Public Accommodations Law is a civil-rights law requiring officials to refrain from offending anyone based on race, religion gender or sexual orientation."
Certainly UIW has every reason to avoid litigation, but it's ironic that they are scrapping the "Crusader" name in an effort to be sensitive at a time when the historical enemies of the Crusaders, the warriors of jihad (mujahedeen), are pressing forward aggressively all over the world — with little concern for the sensitivities of their historical and present-day non-Muslim victims. THE CRUSADES
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), by Robert Spencer (Regnery, 233 pp.
A final "Myth" Spencer endeavors to explode is the legacy of the Crusades. While not gainsaying Christian excesses and brutality, the story, he asserts, is far from one-sided. It is just that, consistent with today's victimology leitmotif, only one side gets told anymore.
The comprehensive narrative, Spencer insists, stretches back for 450 years before the supposed eleventh century start of the Crusades — back to the conquest of Jerusalem in 638. "The sword spread Islam" and ultimately repressed the formerly predominant non-Muslim populations that are tiny minorities in what are now Islamic countries. The Crusades, Spencer relates, were largely defensive struggles to protect threatened Christians. He does not dispute that the political agenda of recapturing what had been eastern Christendom loomed large, but he does contend that the legends of forced conversions, insatiable looting, and mindless atrocities are largely overblown.
ISLAM AND WHY THE CRUSADES?
While Spencer does not declare that anyone adhering to Islam is a terrorist waiting to happen, he clearly believes it is a perilous belief system. Make no mistake: This is a disturbing account. And most disturbing is that the truly arresting passages are not the author's contentions and deductions. They are the actual words of Islamic scripture and the accounts of several revered events in Islamic tradition.
The story by which Islam achieves hegemony over much the world and the loyalty of millions of worshippers, very nearly extending its dominion throughout Europe, is a story of military conquest. Mohammed, deemed the final Messenger of Allah — superseding the prophets of the Judeo-Christian tradition, a group in which Muslims include Jesus — was a warrior, in addition to wearing the hats of poet, philosopher, and economist, among others.
The Koran, Spencer argues, does not teach tolerance and peace. At best, he explains, there are isolated sections which urge Muslims to leave unbelievers alone in their errant ways, and which counsel that forced conversion is forbidden. But these must be considered in context with other verses, such as those directing that Mohammed "make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them," and that the faithful "slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them," and so on.
— from a review of the book by Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. http://www.nationalreview.com/mccarthy/mccarthy200604280624.asp
* * * THE CRUSADERS OF YORE, THE MOSLEM-DUBBED "CRUSADERS" OF TODAY, AND "THE CRUSADER-IN-CHIEF"
Incubating Orator extends an
"Invitation to Islam"
On 2 September 2006 a video called "Invitation to Islam" featuring Adam Gadahn with a brief appearance also by Ayman al-Zawahiri. In the video, Gadahn stated "If the Zionist crusader missionaries of hate and counter-Islam consultants like Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, Michael Scheuer, Steven Emerson, and yes, even the crusader-in-chief George W. Bush were to abandon their unbelief and repent and enter into the light of Islam and turn their swords against the enemies of God, it would be accepted of them and they would be our brothers in Islam." *[**]http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/3CEAF7CA-B984-4E18-A1D2-2691D4A761E9.htm _____________________________ *Spencer responded with an article in Frontpage Magazine ("My Invitation From al-Qaeda", September 6, 2006) in which he publicly rejected Gadahn's offer and responded with his own counter-offer:
I invite you [Gadahn] to accept the Bill of Rights, and enter into the brotherhood of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. My invitation does not focus on my religion, although I invite you to that also, but rather on a framework within which people of differing faiths can live in peace, harmony, and mutual respect – provided that none of the groups involved cherishes supremacist ambitions to subjugate the others.
Return from the Crusade by Karl Friedrich Lessing
* Islam spread far from its birthplace in the modern nation of Saudi Arabia. By AD1095, Muslim territory included land where Jesus Christ lived. Christians warriors of the era believed Christians, not Muslims, should control their holy lands.
* The Crusades were a series of wars initiated by Christians to win back their holy lands from Muslims.
* The Crusaders were ultimately unable to reclaim their holy lands, but the wars had another effect: Western Europeans had left their homes to fight in a distant war. The stories of the returning Crusaders encouraged their countrymen to look beyond their own villages for the first time. http://www.mrdowling.com/606islam.html
The Turks and the First Crusade
The modern nation of Turkey is named for its Turkish inhabitants, but the Turks were not originally from Turkey. The Turks were nomadic people from Central Asia. Many Turks remain in that area, in fact, there is a nation in Central Asia known as Turkmenistan (“land of the Turks”).
One Turkish tribe, the Seljuks, began moving into the Anatolian peninsula, or what we now call Turkey. These Turks were Muslims, and a Christian emperor, Alexius I, controlled the peninsula. Alexius appealed to the Pope to help him rid Anatolia of “the unbelievers.”
Pope Urban II received Alexius’s call for assistance, but decided to use that call to advance a more ambitious plan. Jerusalem, on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the modern nation of Israel, is considered holy land to Christians, Jews and Muslims, but in 1095, the city was controlled by Muslims. The message from Alexius presented Urban with an opportunity to retake the holy lands from the Muslims. The pope called for a “War of the Cross,” or Crusade, to retake the holy lands from the unbelievers.
Pope Urban persuaded the knights of Europe to join the Crusades
* Urban appealed to the knight's religious convictions
* Urban said Muslim Turks were robbing and torturing Christian pilgrims journeying to the holy land.
* The war offered knights a chance for glory and wealth. * Urban suggested the knights fight Muslims instead of continuing to fight one another.
The Real History of the Crusades By Thomas F. Madden
With the possible exception of Umberto Eco, medieval scholars are not used to getting much media attention. We tend to be a quiet lot (except during the annual bacchanalia we call the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, of all places), poring over musty chronicles and writing dull yet meticulous studies that few will read. Imagine, then, my surprise when within days of the September 11 attacks, the Middle Ages suddenly became relevant.
As a Crusade historian, I found the tranquil solitude of the ivory tower shattered by journalists, editors, and talk-show hosts on tight deadlines eager to get the real scoop. What were the Crusades?, they asked. When were they? Just how insensitive was President George W. Bush for using the word "crusade" in his remarks? With a few of my callers I had the distinct impression that they already knew the answers to their questions, or at least thought they did. What they really wanted was an expert to say it all back to them. For example, I was frequently asked to comment on the fact that the Islamic world has a just grievance against the West. Doesn’t the present violence, they persisted, have its roots in the Crusades’ brutal and unprovoked attacks against a sophisticated and tolerant Muslim world? In other words, aren’t the Crusades really to blame?
Osama bin Laden certainly thinks so. In his various video performances, he never fails to describe the American war against terrorism as a new Crusade against Islam. Ex-president Bill Clinton has also fingered the Crusades as the root cause of the present conflict. In a speech at Georgetown University, he recounted (and embellished) a massacre of Jews after the Crusader conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 and informed his audience that the episode was still bitterly remembered in the Middle East. (Why Islamist terrorists should be upset about the killing of Jews was not explained.) Clinton took a beating on the nation’s editorial pages for wanting so much to blame the United States that he was willing to reach back to the Middle Ages. Yet no one disputed the ex-president’s fundamental premise.
Well, almost no one. Many historians had been trying to set the record straight on the Crusades long before Clinton discovered them. They are not revisionists, like the American historians who manufactured the Enola Gay exhibit, but mainstream scholars offering the fruit of several decades of very careful, very serious scholarship. For them, this is a "teaching moment," an opportunity to explain the Crusades while people are actually listening. It won’t last long, so here goes.
Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common. The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general. A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins. For variations on this theme, one need not look far. See, for example, Steven Runciman’s famous three-volume epic, History of the Crusades, or the BBC/A&E documentary, The Crusades, hosted by Terry Jones. Both are terrible history yet wonderfully entertaining.
So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.
Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity—and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion—has no abode. Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth. As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.
With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed’s death. They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt—once the most heavily Christian areas in the world—quickly succumbed. By the eighth century, Muslim armies had conquered all of Christian North Africa and Spain. In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece. In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of western Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East.
That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.
Pope Urban II called upon the knights of Christendom to push back the conquests of Islam at the Council of Clermont in 1095. The response was tremendous. Many thousands of warriors took the vow of the cross and prepared for war. Why did they do it? The answer to that question has been badly misunderstood. In the wake of the Enlightenment, it was usually asserted that Crusaders were merely lacklands and ne’er-do-wells who took advantage of an opportunity to rob and pillage in a faraway land. The Crusaders’ expressed sentiments of piety, self-sacrifice, and love for God were obviously not to be taken seriously. They were only a front for darker designs.
During the past two decades, computer-assisted charter studies have demolished that contrivance. Scholars have discovered that crusading knights were generally wealthy men with plenty of their own land in Europe. Nevertheless, they willingly gave up everything to undertake the holy mission. Crusading was not cheap. Even wealthy lords could easily impoverish themselves and their families by joining a Crusade. They did so not because they expected material wealth (which many of them had already) but because they hoped to store up treasure where rust and moth could not corrupt. They were keenly aware of their sinfulness and eager to undertake the hardships of the Crusade as a penitential act of charity and love. Europe is littered with thousands of medieval charters attesting to these sentiments, charters in which these men still speak to us today if we will listen. Of course, they were not opposed to capturing booty if it could be had. But the truth is that the Crusades were notoriously bad for plunder. A few people got rich, but the vast majority returned with nothing.
* * *
Urban II gave the Crusaders two goals, both of which would remain central to the eastern Crusades for centuries. The first was to rescue the Christians of the East. As his successor, Pope Innocent III, later wrote:
How does a man love according to divine precept his neighbor as himself when, knowing that his Christian brothers in faith and in name are held by the perfidious Muslims in strict confinement and weighed down by the yoke of heaviest servitude, he does not devote himself to the task of freeing them? ...Is it by chance that you do not know that many thousands of Christians are bound in slavery and imprisoned by the Muslims, tortured with innumerable torments?
"Crusading," Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith has rightly argued, was understood as an "an act of love"—in this case, the love of one’s neighbor. The Crusade was seen as an errand of mercy to right a terrible wrong. As Pope Innocent III wrote to the Knights Templar, "You carry out in deeds the words of the Gospel, ‘Greater love than this hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends.’"
The second goal was the liberation of Jerusalem and the other places made holy by the life of Christ. The word crusade is modern. Medieval Crusaders saw themselves as pilgrims, performing acts of righteousness on their way to the Holy Sepulcher. The Crusade indulgence they received was canonically related to the pilgrimage indulgence. This goal was frequently described in feudal terms. When calling the Fifth Crusade in 1215, Innocent III wrote:
Consider most dear sons, consider carefully that if any temporal king was thrown out of his domain and perhaps captured, would he not, when he was restored to his pristine liberty and the time had come for dispensing justice look on his vassals as unfaithful and traitors...unless they had committed not only their property but also their persons to the task of freeing him? ...And similarly will not Jesus Christ, the king of kings and lord of lords, whose servant you cannot deny being, who joined your soul to your body, who redeemed you with the Precious Blood...condemn you for the vice of ingratitude and the crime of infidelity if you neglect to help Him?
The reconquest of Jerusalem, therefore, was not colonialism but an act of restoration and an open declaration of one’s love of God. Medieval men knew, of course, that God had the power to restore Jerusalem Himself—indeed, He had the power to restore the whole world to His rule. Yet as St. Bernard of Clairvaux preached, His refusal to do so was a blessing to His people:
Again I say, consider the Almighty’s goodness and pay heed to His plans of mercy. He puts Himself under obligation to you, or rather feigns to do so, that He can help you to satisfy your obligations toward Himself.... I call blessed the generation that can seize an opportunity of such rich indulgence as this.
It is often assumed that the central goal of the Crusades was forced conversion of the Muslim world. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the perspective of medieval Christians, Muslims were the enemies of Christ and His Church. It was the Crusaders’ task to defeat and defend against them. That was all. Muslims who lived in Crusader-won territories were generally allowed to retain their property and livelihood, and always their religion. Indeed, throughout the history of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, Muslim inhabitants far outnumbered the Catholics. It was not until the 13th century that the Franciscans began conversion efforts among Muslims. But these were mostly unsuccessful and finally abandoned. In any case, such efforts were by peaceful persuasion, not the threat of violence.
The Crusades were wars, so it would be a mistake to characterize them as nothing but piety and good intentions. Like all warfare, the violence was brutal (although not as brutal as modern wars). There were mishaps, blunders, and crimes. These are usually well-remembered today. During the early days of the First Crusade in 1095, a ragtag band of Crusaders led by Count Emicho of Leiningen made its way down the Rhine, robbing and murdering all the Jews they could find. Without success, the local bishops attempted to stop the carnage. In the eyes of these warriors, the Jews, like the Muslims, were the enemies of Christ. Plundering and killing them, then, was no vice. Indeed, they believed it was a righteous deed, since the Jews’ money could be used to fund the Crusade to Jerusalem. But they were wrong, and the Church strongly condemned the anti-Jewish attacks.
Fifty years later, when the Second Crusade was gearing up, St. Bernard frequently preached that the Jews were not to be persecuted:
Ask anyone who knows the Sacred Scriptures what he finds foretold of the Jews in the Psalm. "Not for their destruction do I pray," it says. The Jews are for us the living words of Scripture, for they remind us always of what our Lord suffered.... Under Christian princes they endure a hard captivity, but "they only wait for the time of their deliverance."
Nevertheless, a fellow Cistercian monk named Radulf stirred up people against the Rhineland Jews, despite numerous letters from Bernard demanding that he stop. At last Bernard was forced to travel to Germany himself, where he caught up with Radulf, sent him back to his convent, and ended the massacres.
It is often said that the roots of the Holocaust can be seen in these medieval pogroms. That may be. But if so, those roots are far deeper and more widespread than the Crusades. Jews perished during the Crusades, but the purpose of the Crusades was not to kill Jews. Quite the contrary: Popes, bishops, and preachers made it clear that the Jews of Europe were to be left unmolested. In a modern war, we call tragic deaths like these "collateral damage." Even with smart technologies, the United States has killed far more innocents in our wars than the Crusaders ever could. But no one would seriously argue that the purpose of American wars is to kill women and children.
By any reckoning, the First Crusade was a long shot. There was no leader, no chain of command, no supply lines, no detailed strategy. It was simply thousands of warriors marching deep into enemy territory, committed to a common cause. Many of them died, either in battle or through disease or starvation. It was a rough campaign, one that seemed always on the brink of disaster. Yet it was miraculously successful. By 1098, the Crusaders had restored Nicaea and Antioch to Christian rule. In July 1099, they conquered Jerusalem and began to build a Christian state in Palestine. The joy in Europe was unbridled. It seemed that the tide of history, which had lifted the Muslims to such heights, was now turning.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04543c.htm The Crusades were expeditions undertaken, in fulfilment of a solemn vow, to deliver the Holy Places from Mohammedan tyranny.
The origin of the word may be traced to the cross made of cloth and worn as a badge on the outer garment of those who took part in these enterprises. Medieval writers use the terms crux (pro cruce transmarina, Charter of 1284, cited by Du Cange s.v. crux), croisement (Joinville), croiserie (Monstrelet), etc. Since the Middle Ages the meaning of the word crusade has been extended to include all wars undertaken in pursuance of a vow, and directed against infidels, i.e. against Mohammedans, pagans, heretics, or those under the ban of excommunication. The wars waged by the Spaniards against the Moors constituted a continual crusade from the eleventh to the sixteenth century; in the north of Europe crusades were organized against the Prussians and Lithuanians; the extermination of the Albigensian heresy was due to a crusade, and, in the thirteenth century the popes preached crusades against John Lackland and Frederick II. But modern literature has abused the word by applying it to all wars of a religious character, as, for instance, the expedition of Heraclius against the Persians in the seventh century and the conquest of Saxony by Charlemagne.
The idea of the crusade corresponds to a political conception which was realized in Christendom only from the eleventh to the fifteenth century; this supposes a union of all peoples and sovereigns under the direction of the popes. All crusades were announced by preaching. After pronouncing a solemn vow, each warrior received a cross from the hands of the pope or his legates, and was thenceforth considered a soldier of the Church. Crusaders were also granted indulgences and temporal privileges, such as exemption from civil jurisdiction, inviolability of persons or lands, etc. Of all these wars undertaken in the name of Christendom, the most important were the Eastern Crusades, which are the only ones treated in this article. DIVISION
It has been customary to describe the Crusades as eight in number:
* the first, 1095-1101; * the second, headed by Louis VII, 1145-47; * the third, conducted by Philip Augustus and Richard Coeur-de-Lion, 1188-92; * the fourth, during which Constantinople was taken, 1204; * the fifth, which included the conquest of Damietta, 1217; * the sixth, in which Frederick II took part (1228-29); also Thibaud de Champagne and Richard of Cornwall (1239); * the seventh, led by St. Louis, 1249-52; * the eighth, also under St. Louis, 1270.
This division is arbitrary and excludes many important expeditions, among them those of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In reality the Crusades continued until the end of the seventeenth century, the crusade of Lepanto occurring in 1571, that of Hungary in 1664, and the crusade of the Duke of Burgundy to Candia, in 1669. A more scientific division is based on the history of the Christian settlements in the East; therefore the subject will be considered in the following order:
I. Origin of the Crusades; II. Foundation of Christian states in the East; III. First destruction of the Christian states (1144-87); IV. Attempts to restore the Christian states and the crusade against Saint-Jean d'Acre (1192-98); V. The crusade against Constantinople (1204); VI. The thirteenth-century crusades (1217-52); VII. Final loss of the Christian colonies of the East (1254-91); VIII. The fourteenth-century crusade and the Ottoman invasion; IX. The crusade in the fifteenth century; X. Modifications and survival of the idea of the crusade. ORIGIN OF THE CRUSADES
The origin of the Crusades is directly traceable to the moral and political condition of Western Christendom in the eleventh century. At that time Europe was divided into numerous states whose sovereigns were absorbed in tedious and petty territorial disputes while the emperor, in theory the temporal head of Christendom, was wasting his strength in the quarrel over Investitures. The popes alone had maintained a just estimate of Christian unity; they realized to what extent the interests of Europe were threatened by the Byzantine Empire and the Mohammedan tribes, and they alone had a foreign policy whose traditions were formed under Leo IX and Gregory VII. The reform effected in the Church and the papacy through the influence of the monks of Cluny had increased the prestige of the Roman pontiff in the eyes of all Christian nations; hence none but the pope could inaugurate the international movement that culminated in the Crusades. But despite his eminent authority the pope could never have persuaded the Western peoples to arm themselves for the conquest of the Holy Land had not the immemorial relations between Syria and the West favoured his design. Europeans listened to the voice of Urban II because their own inclination and historic traditions impelled them towards the Holy Sepulchre.
From the end of the fifth century there had been no break in their intercourse with the Orient. In the early Christian period colonies of Syrians had introduced the religious ideas, art, and culture of the East into the large cities of Gaul and Italy. The Western Christians in turn journeyed in large numbers to Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, either to visit the Holy Places or to follow the ascetic life among the monks of the Thebaid or Sinai. There is still extant the itinerary of a pilgrimage from Bordeaux to Jerusalem, dated 333; in 385 St. Jerome and St. Paula founded the first Latin monasteries at Bethlehem. Even the Barbarian invasion did not seem to dampen the ardour for pilgrimages to the East. The Itinerary of St. Silvia (Etheria) shows the organization of these expeditions, which were directed by clerics and escorted by armed troops. In the year 600, St. Gregory the Great had a hospice erected in Jerusalem for the accommodation of pilgrims, sent alms to the monks of Mount Sinai ("Vita Gregorii" in "Acta SS.", March 11, 132), and, although the deplorable condition of Eastern Christendom after the Arab invasion rendered this intercourse more difficult, it did not by any means cease.
As early as the eighth century Anglo-Saxons underwent the greatest hardships to visit Jerusalem. The journey of St. Willibald, Bishop of Eichstädt, took seven years (722-29) and furnishes an idea of the varied and severe trials to which pilgrims were subject (Itiner. Latina, 1, 241-283). After their conquest of the West, the Carolingians endeavoured to improve the condition of the Latins settled in the East; in 762 Pepin the Short entered into negotiations with the Caliph of Bagdad. In Rome, on 30 November, 800, the very day on which Leo III invoked the arbitration of Charlemagne, ambassadors from Haroun al-Raschid delivered to the King of the Franks the keys of the Holy Sepulchre, the banner of Jersualem, and some precious relics (Einhard, "Annales", ad an. 800, in "Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script.", I, 187); this was an acknowledgment of the Frankish protectorate over the Christians of Jerusalem. That churches and monasteries were built at Charlemagne's expense is attested by a sort of a census of the monasteries of Jerusalem dated 808 ("Commemoratio de Casis Dei" in "Itiner. Hieros.", I, 209). In 870, at the time of the pilgrimage of Bernard the Monk (Itiner. Hierosol., I, 314), these institutions were still very prosperous, and it has been abundantly proved that alms were sent regularly from the West to the Holy Land. In the tenth century, just when the political and social order of Europe was most troubled, knights, bishops, and abbots, actuated by devotion and a taste for adventure, were wont to visit Jerusalem and pray at the Holy Sepulchre without being molested by the Mohammedans. Suddenly, in 1009, Hakem, the Fatimite Caliph of Egypt, in a fit of madness ordered the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre and all the Christian establishments in Jerusalem. For years thereafter Christians were cruelly persecuted. (See the recital of an eyewitness, Iahja of Antioch, in Schlumberger's "Epopée byzantine", II, 442.) In 1027 the Frankish protectorate was overthrown and replaced by that of the Byzantine emperors, to whose diplomacy was due the reconstruction of the Holy Sepulchre. The Christian quarter was even surrounded by a wall, and some Amalfi merchants, vassals of the Greek emperors, built hospices in Jerusalem for pilgrims, e.g. the Hospital of St. John, cradle of the Order of Hospitallers.
Instead of diminishing, the enthusiasm of Western Christians for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem seemed rather to increase during the eleventh century. Not only princes, bishops, and knights, but even men and women of the humbler classes undertook the holy journey (Radulphus Glaber, IV, vi). Whole armies of pilgrims traversed Europe, and in the valley of the Danube hospices were established where they could replenish their provisions. In 1026 Richard, Abbot of Saint-Vannes, led 700 pilgrims into Palestine at the expense of Richard II, Duke of Normandy. In 1065 over 12,000 Germans who had crossed Europe under the command of Günther, Bishop of Bamberg, while on their way through Palestine had to seek shelter in a ruined fortress, where they defended themselves against a troop of Bedouins (Lambert of Hersfeld, in "Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script.", V, 168). Thus it is evident that at the close of the eleventh century the route to Palestine was familiar enough to Western Christians who looked upon the Holy Sepulchre as the most venerable of relics and were ready to brave any peril in order to visit it. The memory of Charlemagne's protectorate still lived, and a trace of it is to be found in the medieval legend of this emperor's journey to Palestine (Gaston Paris in "Romania", 1880, p. 23).
The rise of the Seljukian Turks, however, compromised the safety of pilgrims and even threatened the independence of the Byzantine Empire and of all Christendom. In 1070 Jerusalem was taken, and in 1071 Diogenes, the Greek emperor, was defeated and made captive at Mantzikert. Asia Minor and all of Syria became the prey of the Turks. Antioch succumbed in 1084, and by 1092 not one of the great metropolitan sees of Asia remained in the possession of the Christians. Although separated from the communion of Rome since the schism of Michael Cærularius (1054), the emperors of Constantinople implored the assistance of the popes; in 1073 letters were exchanged on the subject between Michael VII and Gregory VII. The pope seriously contemplated leading a force of 50,000 men to the East in order to re-establish Christian unity, repulse the Turks, and rescue the Holy Sepulchre. But the idea of the crusade constituted only a part of this magnificent plan. (The letters of Gregory VII are in P.L., CXLVIII, 300, 325, 329, 386; cf. Riant's critical discussion in Archives de l'Orient Latin, I, 56.) The conflict over the Investitures in 1076 compelled the pope to abandon his projects; the Emperors Nicephorus Botaniates and Alexius Comnenus were unfavourable to a religious union with Rome; finally war broke out between the Byzantine Empire and the Normans of the Two Sicilies.
It was Pope Urban II who took up the plans of Gregory VII and gave them more definite shape. A letter from Alexius Comnenus to Robert, Count of Flanders, recorded by the chroniclers, Guibert de Nogent ("Historiens Occidentaux des Croisades", ed. by the Académie des Inscriptions, IV, 13l) and Hugues de Fleury (in "Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script.", IX, 392), seems to imply that the crusade was instigated by the Byzantine emperor, but this has been proved false (Chalandon, Essai sur le règne d'Alexis Comnène, appendix), Alexius having merely sought to enroll five hundred Flemish knights in the imperial army (Anna Comnena, Alexiad., VII, iv). The honour of initiating the crusade has also been attributed to Peter the Hermit, a recluse of Picardy, who, after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and a vision in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, went to Urban II and was commissioned by him to preach the crusade. However, though eyewitnesses of the crusade mention his preaching, they do not ascribe to him the all-important rôle assigned him later by various chroniclers, e.g. Albert of Aix and especially William of Tyre. (See Hagenmeyer, Peter der Eremite Leipzig, 1879.) The idea of the crusade is chiefly attributed to Pope Urban II (1095), and the motives that actuated him are clearly set forth by his contemporaries: "On beholding the enormous injury that all, clergy or people, brought upon the Christian Faith . . . at the news that the Rumanian provinces had been taken from the Christians by the Turks, moved with compassion and impelled by the love of God, he crossed the mountains and descended into Gaul" (Foucher de Chartres, I, in "Histoire des Crois.", III, 321). Of course it is possible that in order to swell his forces, Alexius Comnenus solicited assistance in the West; however, it was not he but the pope who agitated the great movement which filled the Greeks with anxiety and terror. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04543c.htm More at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04543c.htm
# Attacks on the Jews
* Albert of Aix and Ekkehard of Aura: Emico and the Slaughter of the Rhineland Jews. * [Geary 28.2] Solomon Bar Simson: Account of First Crusade, copyrighted * Soloman bar Samson: The Crusaders in Mainz, 1096, written in mid 12th century. The horrific attacks on Rhineland Jewry.
Emico and the Slaughter of the Rhineland Jews
Albert of Aix
At the beginning of summer in the same year in which Peter, and Gottschalk, after collecting an army, had set out, there assembled in like fashion a large and innumerable host of Christians from diverse kingdoms and lands; namely, from the realms of France, England, Flanders, and Lorraine. . . . I know n whether by a judgment of the Lord, or by some error of mind;, they rose in a spirit of cruelty against the Jewish people scattered throughout these cities and slaughtered them without mercy, especially in the Kingdom of Lorraine, asserting it to be the beginning of their expedition and their duty against the enemies of the Christian faith. This slaughter of Jews was done first by citizens of Cologne. These suddenly fell upon a small band of Jews and severely wounded and killed many; they destroyed the houses and synagogues of the Jews and divided among themselves a very large, amount of money. When the Jews saw this cruelty, about two hundred in the silence of the night began flight by boat to Neuss. The pilgrims and crusaders discovered them, and after taking away all their possessions, inflicted on them similar slaughter, leaving not even one alive.
Not long after this, they started upon their journey, as they had vowed, and arrived in a great multitude at the city of Mainz. There Count Emico, a nobleman, a very mighty man in this region, was awaiting, with a large band of Teutons, the arrival of the pilgrims who were coming thither from diverse lands by the King's highway.
The Jews of this city, knowing of the slaughter of their brethren, and that they themselves could not escape the hands of so many, fled in hope of safety to Bishop Rothard. They put an infinite treasure in his guard and trust, having much faith in his protection, because he was Bishop of the city. Then that excellent Bishop of the city cautiously set aside the incredible amcunt of money received from them. He placed the Jews in the very spacious hall of his own house, away from the sight of Count Emico and his followers, that they might remain safe and sound in a very secure and strong place.
But Emico and the rest of his band held a council and, after sunrise, attacked the Jews in the hall with arrows and lances. Breaking the bolts and doors, they killed the Jews, about seven hundred in number, who in vain resisted the force and attack of so many thousands. They killed the women, also, and with their swords pierced tender children of whatever age and sex. The Jews, seeing that their Christian enemies were attacking them and their children, and that they were sparing no age, likewise fell upon one another, brother, children, wives, and sisters, and thus they perished at each other's hands. Horrible to say, mothers cut the throats of nursing children with knives and stabbed others, preferring them to perish thus by their own hands rather than to be killed by the weapons of the uncircumcised.
From this cruel slaughter of the Jews a few escaped; and a few because of fear, rather than because of love of the Christian faith, were baptized. With very great spoils taken from these people, Count Emico, Clarebold, Thomas, and all that intolerable company of men and women then continued on their way to Jerusalem, directing their course towards the Kingdom of Hungary, where passage along the royal highway was usually not denied the pilgrims. But on arriving at Wieselburg, the fortress of the King, which the rivers Danube and Leytha protect with marshes, the bridge and gate of the fortress were found closed by command of the King of Hungary, for great fear had entered all the Hungarians because of the slaughter which had happened to their brethren. . . .
But while almost everything had turned out favorably for the Christians, and while they had penetrated the walls with great openings, by some chance or misfortune, I know not what, such great fear entered the whole army that they turned in flight, just as sheep are scattered and alarmed when wolves rush upon them. And seeking a refuge here and there, they forgot thei companions. . . .
Emico and some of his followers continued in their flight along the way by which they had come. Thomas, Clarebold, and several of their men escaped in flight toward Carinthia and Italy. So the hand of the Lord is believed to have been against the pilgrim who had sinned by excessive impurity and fornication, and who had slaughtered the exiled Jews through greed of money, rather than for the sake of God's justice, although the Jews were opposed to Christ. The Lord is a just judge and orders no one unwillingly, or under compulsion, to come under the yoke of the Catholic faith.
There was another detestable crime in this assemblage of wayfaring people, who were foolish and insanely fickle. That the crime was hateful to the Lord and incredible to the faithful is not to be doubted. They asserted that a certain goose was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that a she goat was not less filled by the same Spirit. These they made their guides on this holy journey to Jerusalem; these they worshipped excessively; and most of the people following them, like beasts, believed with their whole minds that this was the true course. May the hearts of the faithful be free from the thought that the Lord Jesus wished the Sepulchre of His most sacred body to be visited by brutish and insensate animals, or that He wished these to become the guides of Christian souls, which by the price of His own blood He deigned to redeem from the filth of idols! . . .
August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 54-56
Ekkehard of Aura
Just at that time, there appeared a certain soldier, Emico, Count of the lands around the Rhine, a man long of very ill repute on account of his tyrannical mode of life. Called by divine revelation, like another Saul, as he maintained, to the practice of religion of this kind, he usurped to himself the command of almost twelve thousand cross bearers. As they were led through the cities of the Rhine and the Main and also the Danube, they either utterly destroyed the execrable race of the Jews wherever they found them (being even in this matter zealously devoted to the Christian religion) or forced them into the bosom of the Church. When their forces, already increased by a. great number of men and women, reached the boundary of Pannonia, they were prevented by well fortified garrisons from entering that kingdom, which is surrounded partly by swamps and partly by woods. For rumor had reached and forewarned the ears of King Coloman; a rumor that, to the minds of the Teutons, there was no difference between killing pagans and Hungarians. And so, for six weeks they besieged the fortress Wieselburg and suffered many hardships there; yet, during this very time, they were in the throes of a most foolish civil quarrel over which one of them should be King of Pannonia. Moreover, while engaged in the final assault, although the walls had already been broken through, and the citizens were fleeing, and the army of the besieged were setting fire to their own town, yet, through the wonderful providence of Almighty God, the army of pilgrims, though victorious, fled. And they left behind them all their equipment, for no one carried away any reward except his wretched life.
And thus the men of our race, zealous, doubtless, for God, though not according to the knowledge of God, began to persecute other Christians while yet upon the expedition which Christ had provided for freeing Christians. They were kept from fraternal bloodshed only by divine mercy; and the Hungarians, also were freed. This is the reason why some of the more guileless brethren, ignorant of the matter, and too hasty in their judgement were scandalized and concluded that the whole expedition was vain and foolish.
August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 53-54 http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1096jews.html
THE CRUSADES (Some More Commentary)
The Crusades, always about those Crusades! If this is the Islamaniac excuse for what they do today then by that logic we should still be firebombing Tokyo because of Pearl Harbor. These idiots really need to get a life and improve their own countries rather than trying destroy everyone elses. Posted by: ISLAMSFORLOSERS http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/013223.php#more Fom http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/013223.php#more (Spencer: the Guardian of Islamic Extremism) [He's not the Guardian--the "Guardian" is a newspaper in the UK ]
“Our Islamophobia,” intones [Karen] Armstrong, “dates back to the time of the Crusades, and is entwined with our chronic anti-semitism.” Armstrong, like Bill Clinton, who in a similar vein explained 9/11 as part of the debt “we are still paying” to the Islamic world for the Crusades, never mentions that centuries of jihad aggression and imperialism that preceded and provoked the Crusades. After the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 632, Muslim armies swept out of Arabia and, under the banner of jihad, conquered the lands that now form the heart of the Islamic world. In the Holy Land, the conquest of Jerusalem in 638 stood at the beginning of centuries of Muslim aggression; Christians in the Holy Land faced an escalating spiral of persecution. A few examples: early in the eighth century sixty Christian pilgrims from Amorium were crucified; around the same time the Muslim governor of Caesaria seized a group of pilgrims from Iconium and had them all executed as spies — except for a small number who converted to Islam. Muslims demanded money from pilgrims, threatening to ransack the Church of the Resurrection if they didn’t pay. Later in the eighth century, a Muslim ruler banned displays of the cross in Jerusalem. He also increased the special poll tax (jizya) that Christians had to pay (Muslims were exempt) as ordained by Qur’an 9:29, and forbade Christians to engage in religious instruction of their own children and fellow-believers. Brutal subordination and violence became the rule of the day for Christians in the Holy Land. In 772, the caliph al-Mansur ordered Christians and Jews in Jerusalem to be stamped on their hands with a distinctive symbol. Conversions to Christianity were dealt with particularly harshly. In 789, Muslims beheaded a monk who had converted from Islam and plundered the Bethlehem monastery of St. Theodosius, killing many more monks. Other monasteries in the region suffered the same fate. Early in the ninth century the persecutions grew so severe that large numbers of Christians fled for Constantinople and other Christian cities. Fresh persecutions in 923 saw more churches destroyed, and in 937, Muslims went on a rampage in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, plundering and destroying the Church of Calvary and the Church of the Resurrection.
After a period of Byzantine resurgence, in 1004, the sixth Fatimid Caliph, Abu ‘Ali al-Mansur al-Hakim (985-1021) turned violently against the faith of his Christian mother and uncles (two of whom were Patriarchs) and ordered the destruction of churches, the burning of crosses, and the seizure of church property. He moved against the Jews with similar ferocity. 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, al-Hakim gave his most spectacular anti-Christian order: he commanded that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem be destroyed, along with several other churches (including the Church of the Resurrection). The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, rebuilt by the Byzantines in the seventh century after the Persians burned an earlier version, marks the traditional site of Christ’s burial. Bizarrely, the church had served as the model for the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Caliph al-Hakim commanded that the tomb inside be cut down to the bedrock. He ordered Christians to wear heavy crosses around their necks (and Jews heavy blocks of wood in the shape of a calf). He piled on other humiliating decrees, culminating in the order that they accept Islam or leave his dominions.
The erratic caliph ultimately relaxed his persecution and even returned much of the property he had seized from the Church. Some of al-Hakim’s changed attitude probably came from his increasingly tenuous connection to Islamic orthodoxy. In 1021, he disappeared under mysterious circumstances; some of his followers proclaimed him divine and founded a sect based on this mystery and other esoteric teachings of a Muslim cleric, Muhammad ibn Isma’il al-Darazi (after whom the Druze sect is named). Thanks to al-Hakim’s change of policy, which continued after his death, in 1027 the Byzantines were allowed to rebuild the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Nevertheless, Christians were in a precarious position and pilgrims remained under threat. In 1056, the Muslims expelled three hundred Christians from Jerusalem and forbade European Christians from entering the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. When the fierce and fanatical Seljuk Turks swept down from Central Asia, they enforced a new Islamic rigor making life increasingly difficult for both native Christians and pilgrims (whose pilgrimages they blocked). After they crushed the Byzantines at Manzikert in 1071 and took the Byzantine Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes prisoner, all of Asia Minor was open to them — and their advance was virtually unstoppable. In 1076, they conquered Syria; in 1077, Jerusalem. The Seljuk Emir Atsiz bin Uwaq promised not to harm the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but once his men had entered the city, they murdered 3,000 people. The same year the Seljuks established the sultanate of Rum (Rome, referring to the New Rome, Constantinople) in Nicaea, perilously close to Constantinople itself; from here they continued to threaten the Byzantines and harass the Christians all over their new domains.
The Christian Empire of Byzantium, which before Islam’s wars of conquest had ruled over a vast expanse including southern Italy, North Africa, the Middle East, and Arabia, was reduced to little more than Greece. It looked as if its death at the hands of the Seljuks was imminent. The Church of Constantinople considered the pope a schismatic and had squabbled with him for centuries, but the new Emperor Alexius I Comnenus (1081-1118), swallowed his pride and appealed for help. And that is how the First Crusade came about: it was a response to the Byzantine Emperor’s call for help. The Crusaders were responding to the emperor dialing 911. The Crusaders and the Crusades were not perfect, but this brief survey should establish that they were in no sense a gratuitous proto-colonial attack by the Christian West against a hitherto peaceful and benign Islamic world. On the contrary, they were a response to centuries of violence by Muslims against Christians – violence that made it perfectly understandable that the 12th century Abbot Peter the Venerable would reproach Muslims for “bestial cruelty.” Yet in Armstrong’s world Peter’s words were an early manifestation among Christians of an “entrenched loathing of Islam,” a loathing that evidently had no cause or justification beyond xenophobia and sheer prejudice. And, says Armstrong portentously, “this medieval cast of mind is still alive and well….Hatred of Islam is so ubiquitous and so deeply rooted in western culture that it brings together people who are usually at daggers drawn.” But this hatred, as far as Armstong is concerned, sprang only from the West’s own actions. Again like Clinton, she invokes the Crusaders’ sack of Jerusalem in 1099, explaining that “it is always difficult to forgive people we know we have wronged. Thenceforth Jews and Muslims became the shadow-self of Christendom, the mirror image of everything that we hoped we were not -- or feared that we were.”
This silly psychologizing ignores the fact that the sack of Jerusalem, while brutal and heinous, was nothing singular. One atrocity does not excuse another. But it does illustrate that the Crusaders’ behavior in Jerusalem was consistent with that of other armies of the period — since all states subscribed to the same notions of siege and resistance. In 1148, Muslim commander Nur ed-Din did not hesitated to order the killing of every Christian in Aleppo. In 1268, when the jihad forces of the Mamluk Sultan Baybars took Antioch from the Crusaders Baybars was annoyed to find that the Crusader ruler, Count Bohemond VI, had already left the city. So he wrote to Bohemond to make sure he knew what his men had done in Antioch: “You would have seen your knights prostrate beneath the horses’ hooves, your houses stormed by pillagers and ransacked by looters, your wealth weighed by the quintal, your women sold four at a time and bought for a dinar of your own money! You would have seen the crosses in your churches smashed, the pages of the false Testaments scattered, the Patriarchs’ tombs overturned.” Most notorious of all may be the jihadists’ entry into Constantinople on May 29, 1453, when they — like the Crusaders in Jerusalem in 1099 — finally broke through a prolonged resistance to their siege. Like the Crusaders, who violated the sanctuary of both synagogue and mosque, the jihadists raided monasteries and convents, emptying them of their inhabitants, and plundered private houses. They entered the Hagia Sophia, which for nearly a thousand years had been the grandest church in Christendom, killed the elderly and weak and led the rest off into slavery. The magnificent old church was turned into a mosque; hundreds of other churches in Constantinople and elsewhere suffered the same fate. Millions of Christians joined the wretched ranks of the dhimmis; others were enslaved, and many martyred.
Yet to Armstrong, acts of Islamic aggression were nothing more than “fearful fantasies created by Europeans.” Among these “fearful fantasies” she also mentions the anti-Semitic blood libel that circulated among Christians during the time of the Crusades – the charge that Jews killed Christian children and used their blood to make Passover matzo. But she of course makes no mention of the fact that the blood libel is alive and well today, not in the Christian or post-Christian world, but in the House of Islam. Syria in 2003 and Jordan in 2005 aired during Ramadan a viciously anti-Semitic TV series dramatizing the murder of a Christian child by wicked Jews, who then used the child’s blood in baking Passover matzo. The blood libel has also been spread recently on official Iranian TV. Why have Muslims taken up this ancient Christian slander? Armstrong doesn’t say.
Armstrong’s other charges are similarly wrongly focused and lacking in substance. She points out that “the Muslims who have objected so vociferously to the Pope’s denigration of Islam have accused him of ‘hypocrisy’, pointing out that the Catholic church is ill-placed to condemn violent jihad when it has itself been guilty of unholy violence in crusades, persecutions and inquisitions and, under Pope Pius XII, tacitly condoned the Nazi Holocaust.” Leaving aside Armstrong’s repetition of the by-now common slander of Pope Pius XII, which has been thoroughly refuted by Rabbi David Dalin in his book The Myth of Hitler’s Pope, no one is actually claiming that Muslims have or have ever had a monopoly on religious violence. What Armstrong does not acknowledge is that Islam is unique among the religions of the world in having a doctrine of religious imperialism. Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, tells his followers to call people to Islam, and if they refuse, to offer them second-class dhimmi status or war: “Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action….Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them….If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya [the tax on non-Muslims specified in Qur’an 9:29]. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them (Sahih Muslim 4294).”
Conversion, subjugation, or war: there is not and never has been a theological imperative of this kind in Christianity. Yet Armstrong alleges that “until the 20th century, Islam was a far more tolerant and peaceful faith than Christianity. The Qur’an strictly forbids any coercion in religion and regards all rightly guided religion as coming from God; and despite the western belief to the contrary, Muslims did not impose their faith by the sword.” It is true that forced conversion is forbidden by Islamic law, although the choice of conversion, subjugation or war contains a level of coercion that Westerners may find incompatible with the notion of free choice. Muslims did not impose conversion to Islam by the sword, but they made life so difficult for non-Muslims in their domains that conversion became their only path to a better life. Armstrong’s observation that “until the middle of the eighth century, Jews and Christians in the Muslim empire were actively discouraged from conversion to Islam, as, according to Qur’anic teaching, they had received authentic revelations of their own” is largely true, but for a reason she does not mention: converts no longer paid the tax, jizya, that was collected from the non-Muslim dhimmis. Too many converts would destroy the tax base.
But Armstrong has never had an overly strong attachment to accuracy. Daniel Pipes has noted about her book Islam: A Short History that “Armstrong goes out of her way to soften every hard edge, explain away every unpleasantness, and hide what she cannot otherwise account for.” An egregious example of this comes in her biography of Muhammad: according to Islamic traditions (hadith) reported by Bukhari, the hadith collection considered most reliable by Muslims, the Prophet of Islam married his favorite wife, Aisha, “when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old.” He was at this time in his early fifties. Embarrassed by this, many Islamic apologists claim – in the teeth of this evidence – that Aisha was actually older. Armstrong obligingly asserts that “Tabari says that she was so young that she stayed in her parents’ home and the marriage was consummated there later when she had reached puberty.” Unfortunately, her readers are unlikely to have volumes of Tabari on hand to check her assertion; contrary to Armstrong’s account, the Muslim historian quotes Aisha thusly: “The Messenger of God married me when I was seven; my marriage was consummated when I was nine.” Did Aisha go through puberty at nine, or was Armstrong covering up one of the more embarrassing aspects of Muhammad’s career?
The time for such disingenuousness is over, as is the time, if there ever were time, for the unseemly self-recrimination to which Armstrong is calling the West. The Muslim rage against the Pope’s call to eschew religious violence reveals an Islamic world in deep denial, as irrational as it is unable to take responsibility for its own actions. And in this it has Karen Armstrong and other Leftist haters of Western civilization and culture as willing accomplices.
ENDNOTES:  Bill Clinton, “Remarks as delivered by President William Jefferson Clinton, Georgetown University, November 7, 2001.” Georgetown University Office of Protocol and Events, www.georgetown.edu.  Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine 634-1099, Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 473-476. To his credit, Caliph al-Muqtadir did respond to the 923 persecutions by ordering the church rebuilt.  Gil, A History of Palestine 634-1099, p. 376.  Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades, Volume I, (Cambridge University Press, 1951), pp. 35-6; Carole Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives, (Routledge, 2000), pp. 16-17; Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Crusades: A Short History (Yale University Press, 1987), p. 44.  Bernard Lewis, The Assassins, (Basic Books, 1967), p. 33.  Runciman, A History of the Crusades, Volume I, p. 36.  Runciman, A History of the Crusades, Volume I, p. 49.  Gil, A History of Palestine 634-1099, p. 412.  Thomas F. Madden, The New Concise History of the Crusades by (Rowan & Littlefield, 2005), pp. 181-182.  Steven Runciman, The Fall of Constantinople 1453, Cambridge University Press, 1965, pp. 145ff.  Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, Harper San Francisco, 1992, p. 157.  Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari, The History of al-Tabari, Volume VII, The Foundation of the Community, M. V. McDonald, translator, State University of New York Press, 1987, p. 7. Posted by Robert at September 21, 2006 11:10 AM Print this entry Email this entry Comments
Why are Imazighen (Berber people) included in "Islamic Danger in History?
Today, much of world lumps the Imazighen ("Berbers") with the "Arabs"--Arabic speaking people--of North Africa.
But Berbers are not Arabs, though they may speak Arabic and be Moslem.
The Bebers figure more in the history of North Africa than the Arabs who are relative latecomers and, although the Arabs imposed Islam on the native populations, many Berbers consider them and their arabized deputies to be stifling the native culture that they conquered and are still trying to destroy.
África amazighe (no se encuentra) amazighe sobre el continente africano "Más cerca del Continente. [leer +]
-------------------- SPECIAL NOTICE!
KADDAFI DECLARES WAR AGAINST IMAZIGHEN FROM MOROCCO : After oppressing and terrorizing the Amazigh population of Libya, the Libyan regime is planning to hold a conference in Rabat next summer whose purpose is to confirm the Arab origin of Amazigh populations of North Arica, and thus legitimizing the denial of their existence as a distinct people having its specific own language, culture, history and civilization. Theme of the conference: The Arab Origin of North African Populations .... [ Lire la suite ] Date : 2009-04-02 18:57:00 -------------------- Les Arabes vus par Iben Khaldoune..Précurseur de la sociologie moderne, Ibn Khaldoun est une référence incontournable dans le domaine de la réflexion sur l'histoire sociale des peuples et civilisations méditerranéennes. En réponse aux arabo-staliniens et aux arabo-intégristes, qui érigent les arabes et leurs "civilisation " en modèle "universaliste ", nous publions un extrait d' "AI Muqaddima" d'Ibn Khaldoun qui parle, justement de cette civilisation arabe et des arabes. Notre objectif est de lutter contre l'amnésie et permettre à nos lecteurs de se faire leur propre opinion. Ce serait ainsi que les arabistes seront invités à davantage de modestie et de relativisme, à se remettre en question et à se situer "objectivement" dans le concert des civilisations. ... Ibn Khaldoun écrite sur les arabes :" En raison de leur nature sauvage, les arabes sont des pillards et des destructeurs. Ils pillent tout ce qu'ils trouvent sans combattre ou sans s'exposer. Puis ils se replient sur leurs pâturages au désert...."... Lire la suite
African Tribes - Berber People __ "Berbers have lived in Africa since the earliest recorded time. References date back to 3000 BC. There are many scattered tribes of Berber across Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt." An overview of these people. - From africaguide.com - http://www.africaguide.com/culture/tribes/berber.htm
The Amazigh Revival in Morocco __ "After years of repression, the Amazigh movement in Morocco is now going through a very active and decisive stage in the struggle for the recognition of the Moroccan Amazigh identity. More Imazighen are getting organized and involved in their local communities in order to denounce the marginalization of the Amazigh culture and language." You may want to read all of this important story. - From Wafin: Moroccan Connections in America - http://www.wafin.com/driss.phtml
Berbers __ "Berbers are making up a clear majority of the population of North Africa in terms of race and in terms of identity, a considerable minority. The difference between race and identity here is central to understand what being Berber is all about. The influx of Arabs to North Africa, has been far too small up through history to, defend the large numbers of people now claiming to be Arabs. And the influx of other peoples to North Africa has not been of any size since the Vandals in the 5th century." - illustrated - From LexicOrient - http://i-cias.com/e.o/berbers.htm
Berber People __ "These people call themselves Amazigh. "Berber is a name that has been given them by others and which they themselves do not use. Amazigh history in North Africa is extensive and diverse. Their ancient ancestors settled in the area just inland of the Medeterranean Sea to the east of Egypt. Many early Roman, Greek, and Phoenician colonial accounts mention a group of people collectively known as Berbers living in northern Africa." You will find material related to history, culture, political structure and more. - From University of Iowa - http://www.uiowa.edu/~africart/toc/people/Berber.html
Berber __ "Berbers have lived in Africa since the earliest recorded time. References date back to 3000 BC. There are many scattered tribes of Berber across Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Forty percent of the Moroccan population is Berber, 30% live in Algeria, and 1% in Tunisia." An overview. - From Minnesota State University - http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/oldworld/africa/berber.html
Moroccan Gateway: the Berbers __ "...there are substantial Berber populations in Morocco and Algeria, plus smaller numbers in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. In Morocco, about 40% acknowledge a Berber identity, though many more have Berber ancestry." A brief overview of culture, language and history. - From Moroccan Gateway - http://www.al-bab.com/arab/background/berber.htm