Muslims love talking about the Crusades… and Christians love apologizing for them. To hear both parties tell the story, one would believe that Muslims were just peacefully minding their own business in lands that were legitimately Muslim, when Christian armies decided to wage holy war and “kill millions.”
Every part of this myth is a lie. By the rules that Muslims claim for themselves, the Crusades were perfectly justified, and the excesses (though beneath Christian standards) pale in comparison with the historical treatment of conquered populations at the hands of Muslims.
Here are some quick facts…
The first Crusade began in 1095… 460 years after the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies, 457 years after Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies, 453 years after Egypt was taken by Muslim armies, 443 after Muslims first plundered Italy, 427 years after Muslim armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople, 380 years after Spain was conquered by Muslim armies, 363 years after France was first attacked by Muslim armies, 249 years after Rome itself was sacked by a Muslim army, and only after centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions of Christians.
By the time the Crusades finally began, Muslim armies had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.
Europe had been harassed by Muslims since the first few years following Muhammad’s death. As early as 652, Muhammad’s followers launched raids on the island of Sicily, waging a full-scale occupation 200 years later that lasted well over two centuries and was punctuated by massacres, such as that at the town of Castrogiovanni, in which 8,000 Christians were put to death. In 1084, ten years before the first crusade, Muslims staged another devastating Sicilian raid, burning churches in Reggio, enslaving monks and raping an abbey of nuns before carrying them into captivity.
In theory, the Crusades were provoked by the harassment of Christian pilgrims from Europe to the Holy Land, in which many were kidnapped, molested, forcibly converted to Islam or even killed. (Compare this to Islam’s justification for slaughter on the basis of Muslims being denied access to the Meccan pilgrimage in Muhammad’s time).
The Crusaders only invaded lands that were Christian. They never attacked Saudi Arabia or sacked Mecca as the Muslims had done (and continued doing) to Italy and Constantinople.
The period of Crusader “occupation” (of its own former land) was stretched over less than two centuries. The Muslim occupation is in its 1,372nd year.
The period of Crusader “aggression” compresses to about 20 years of actual military campaign, much of which was spent on organization and travel. (They were from 1098-1099, 1146-1148, 1188-1192, 1201-1204, 1218-1221, 1228-1229, and 1248-1250). By comparison, the Muslim Jihad against the island of Sicily alone lasted 75 grinding years.
Unlike Jihad, the Crusades were never justified on the basis of New Testament teachings. This is why they are an anomaly, the punctuation of fourteen centuries of relentless Jihad that began long before the Crusades and continued well after they were over.
The greatest crime of the Crusaders was the sacking of Jerusalem, in which 30,000 people were said to have been massacred. This number is dwarfed by the number of Jihad victims, from India to Constantinople and Narbonne, but Muslims have never apologized for their crimes and never will.
What is called ’sin and excess’ by other religions, is what Islam refers to as the will of Allah.
This article is from the heroic and disturbing blog: The Religion of Peace (we fondly endorse…)
Mr. Burke offers the following questions:
1. Where are the churches mentioned in the book of Revelations? What happened to those Christian communities? What could have possibly obliterated them?
2. The Middle East was the incubator of Christianity giving us the Apostles Creed and most of the church fathers whose writings helped define Christian orthodoxy. How did those lands and regions become almost wholly Muslim? What happened to all the Christians; all the churches and institutions?