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Christian Crusades - muslim perspectives

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Hoov, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    Perspectives and Religion in the Crusades

    From Austin Cline,
    Your Guide to Agnosticism / Atheism.
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    (Continued from Page 3)
    View of the Crusades from Today


    The meaning of the Crusades for politics and society today cannot be understood simply by looking at the violence, the persecutions, or the economic changes they wrought. However important those things may have been at the time, the meaning of the Crusades for people today is determined not so much by what actually happened as it is by what people believe happened and the stories they tell each other about the past.

    Both Christian and Muslim communities continue to look back upon the Crusades as a time when devout believers went to war in order to defend their faith. Muslims are seen as defenders of a religion that relied upon force and violence to propagate itself, and Turks even today are viewed through the lens of the threat the Ottomans posed to Europe. Christians are seen as defenders of both a crusading religion and imperialism, and thus any western incursion into the Middle East is regarded as simply a continuation of the medieval crusading spirit. zSB(3,3)Sponsored Links

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    If Muslims were to be concerned solely with conflicts they lost, they would be looking at the record of European colonialism throughout the Middle East and beyond. There is certainly a great deal there to complain about and there are good arguments that problems today are in part a legacy of European colonial borders and practices.

    European colonialism completely reversed a legacy of self-rule and conquest which had existed since the time of Muhammad. Instead of being the equals of, if not superior to, the Christian West, they came to be ruled and dominated by the Christian West. This was a significant blow to Muslims' sense of autonomy and identity, a blow which they are continuing to deal with.

    Colonialism is not alone, though, as a target of Muslims' anger - the Crusades are treated as the defining paradigm for relations between Islam and Christianity. European colonialism is almost always treated not as a separate event from the Crusades but instead a continuation of them in a new form - just as is the creation of the state of Israel.

    How else can one comprehend the fact that today the Crusades are used as a rallying cry among Muslims in the Middle East? Any privations or oppression currently experienced by Muslims are depicted as simply a continuation of the invasions originally launched to conquer the region. It is curious that this would be the case because, after all, the Crusades were a spectacular failure. The land conquered was relatively small and not held for very long, and the only permanent losses suffered was the Iberian peninsula, a region originally European and Christian anyway.

    Today, though, the Crusades continue to be a sensitive issue as though Islam had lost, and sometimes current problems are actually attributed to the effects of the Crusades. Yet Muslims suffered no long-term effects from the Crusades, and in fact Muslim forces rebounded to capture Constantinople and move further into Europe than Christians moved into the Middle East. The Crusades were not simply a Muslim victory but, over time, proved Muslim superiority in terms of tactics, numbers, and the ability to unify against an external threat.

    Although the Crusades generally tend to be viewed through the lens of humiliation, one bright spot in the whole affair is the figure of Saladin: the dashing military leader who united the Muslims into an effective fighting force that essentially drove out the Christian invaders. Even today Arab Muslims revere Saladin and say that another Saladin is needed to get rid of the current invaders — in Israel. Jews today are regarded by many as modern-day Crusaders, Europeans or descendants of Europeans holding much of the same land that made up the original Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. It is hoped that their “kingdom” will soon be eliminated as well. When promoting the war against terrorism, President George W. Bush originally described it as a "crusade," something he was forced to back off from immediately because it only reinforced Muslims' perception that the "war on terrorism" was merely a mask for a new Western "war on Islam." Any attempt by western powers to interfere with Arab or Muslim affairs is viewed through the twin lenses of Christian Crusades and European colonialism. That, more than anything, is the contemporary legacy of the Crusades and one which will continue to afflict relations between Islam and Christianity for a long time to come.
  2. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    I think this article sums up what i was trying to say in the other thread. and note the reference to Bush in the final paragraph.
  3. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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  4. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    yes. im aware of that, i posted the article. is it irrelevant because an atheist posted it ?
  5. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    The relevance is that his anti Christian stance will affect his takes on the entire situation .....

    That is the same as a Nazi writing about antisemitism.

    Or a preacher writing a book about atheist.

    Could you honestly tell me that you would take seriously a Book about the dangers of Atheism, that was written by a Baptist preacher?

    I don't think so.
  6. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    Wow! They can't let go of something that happened hundreds of years ago? Someone also may want to tell the Muslims and the writer that the U.S. didn't exist during the crusades and were not part of the European colonialism of the Middle East.
  7. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    A muslim perspective from a non-Muslim. An aetheist, which is fine, yet one who takes a pro and con tact in a struggle he doesn't believe in, rendering him not objective, but highly subjective.

    The crusades a spectacular failure? Okaaay, let's pretend current history and the civilizational repercussions of them don't exist. The Muslims really only wanted what they have, their earlier conquests were just for show.

    :eek:

    He seems to ignore a certain aspect of history, particularly the Caliphate of the 7th and 8th century which saw a Muslim expansion, (not simply an autonomous or equal ideology, as the author tries to paint them as), into Europe. The crusades were a reaction to take back Christian lands.

    Of course, it is used to this day to politicize and rally the masses, just as patriotism and cry's for freedom are used on our side.

    ---------

    Exactly what we see, is also what we see today, in reaction to the United States victory in the Cold War. The winner is seen as an imperialist tyrant. All of it's actions in defense of itself are, after the dangers have passed of course, thoroughly scrutinized and criticized and marginalized to the nth degree.

    The loser gets the luxury of underdog, victim status, simply by virtue of losing.

    If there indeed exists a large cultural struggle, you can be sure Bush is merely a small part and not much in the way of a catalystic player to be hung for his role in the struggle.

    It's a mass movement of humanity, with flock-like thinking, to powerful for any individual or group of 'enlightened individuals' to stand against, any more than they can stop evolution. Influence? Yes. Stop? No.
  8. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Depending on the Crusade. I believe there were a few against heretic Christians (Albigensians in southern France) and in places like Germany and Finland as well that were never conquered by Muslims. I could be wrong.
  9. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    LOL, seriously ?? if he is an atheist than he has no allegiance to christians or muslims. furthermore he is not mentioning his stance but reporting only what is the perception of muslim nations, not whether they are even right or wrong, just what they think, feel and beleive and what has led up to their perceptions
  10. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    the point about Bush is that he doesnt care how his actions or statements rub people, Bush could care less that he is creating more antiamerican sentiment (and not just with the terrorist - with other peoples of the world as well). But that doesnt matter because the US is too powerful and important to worry about what others think.
  11. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    You're right. The later crusades are what generally gave the term 'Crusades' a bad name for Christianity.

    It's worth noting, in the context of today's Islam, that what was happening then, i.e., bad Christians, is what is happening today. Bad Muslims being victimized, deth threats issued for mere mention of dissent.

    Considering that they are acting very much like a civilization from century's ago, isn't probably that they're a large part of the problem?

    Would you coddle a grown man who acts like you did when you were 3?
  12. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Why should he? Do Islamists who burn effigies and flags and attack civilians care about the image project? No. Obviously they are allowed such behaviour, but God forbid an American President say something and it's cataclysmic.

    America is the focal point of the war on their side. Other countries, while helping, (kudos to Germany and the many others who do help) can afford to be less aggressive at the moment. America, being the most powerful as you've acknowledged has much more to lose.

    What others think is fine, it's how others act, most notably when they attack American civilian targets.
  13. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Not the Jewish massacres (!st Crusade - Cologne), the attacks on Constantinople and Zara (4th Crusade), and the petty infighting among the various factions throughout?
  14. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Language has a way of revealing a persons inner feelings and this guy isn't that crafty at it. He very much is declaring his stance, with his handling of it.
  15. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Their actions in war were as they very much were: atrocious. No doubt. The initial impetus for the Crusades were to retake lands from Muslims.

    The later Crusades you mentioned were based more on arrogance.
  16. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    Bush did a little more than just say something
  17. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    I'll grant you that but the attacks on German Jews can hardly be dismissed as the atrocities of war since there was no war or enemy being engaged at that particular time and place other than the Jews. Antisemitism fed by religious fanaticism run amok.

    Didn't the Crusaders also threaten to attack Constantinople, whom they were supposed to help, for various reasons during the First Crusade? I have the impression that the Emperor at the time regarded the Crusaders as little more than an unruly mob whom he couldn't wait to help get on their way.
  18. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    I noticed you ignored my question even after I answered yours

    It was

    Could you honestly tell me that you would take seriously a Book about the dangers of Atheism, that was written by a Baptist preacher?
  19. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    You're referring to Peter, who was in no part related to any official army and roused up his own small army. Causing trouble, first with local Jews, then moving on to Constantinople.

    The real army arrived in Constantinople after Peters mess was moved on and there were no hostilities. Just like today, there were instances of people behaving badly in the name of the cause. People have not changed much, have they?

    In regard to the initial topic, I'm not trying to legitimize the actions of an ancient civilization, I simply find the allusion to the Crusades as a reason for bad behaviour amongst Muslims a very empty one.
  20. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    Atheims isn't anti-Christian. If anything, an atheist writing on the actions between a Christian and a Muslim nation would act as a third party, not a Pro-Muslim.

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