Sunday, February 8, 2009

Islam and the Crusades: A Warped Perspective

Not long ago, a Muslim named Muhammad posted a comment about the invasion of Palestine by the Crusaders. He said:

I think you need to review YOUR history, the Crusaders invaded Palestine and did much of the same as the Zionists are doing, killing everyone, including their own. You as a Christian, should thank God for the likes of Saladin, may Allah have mercy upon him, who saved and conquered Palestine for the three Religions.

While Christians are certainly ashamed about many of the events that occurred during the Crusades, we have to be honest about the facts. (We should also point out that, while Christians are ashamed by many of the things done in the name of Jesus, we rarely see Muslims complaining about the atrocities committed by their leaders during the same time period. Indeed, Muhammad tells us that we should "thank God for the likes of Saladin.") The simple fact is that the Crusades were launched because Muslims were attacking Europe. European leaders, concerned about Muslim invasions of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, decided to take the battle to the Middle East. They therefore rounded up a European army (many of them pagans) and attacked the Muslim empire.

It only seems fair to provide a brief timeline. I've taken the dates and material from historian Paul Crawford's "A Deadly Give and Take."

638--Jerusalem surrenders to a Muslim army. Muslims soon begin construction of a mosque on the Temple Mount. The leader of Jerusalem wept as he said: "Truly this is the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet."

640s--Egypt and Armenia fall to Islam.

655--Muslims win a naval battle with the Byzantines; Muslims almost capture the Byzantine emperor.

711-712--Muslims invade Spain and kill the king. After the collapse of the Spanish army, Muslims begin sending raiding parties into France.

717--In the East, Muslims besiege Constantinople, the Byzantine capital.

732--The Muslim invasion of France is stopped at the Battle of Tours (though Muslims would continue raiding France for a long period).

800s--Muslims launch invasions of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica (south-central Europe). Muslims establish pirate havens along the coast of Italy and France.

846--Muslims attack the outer areas of Rome.

1009--An unorthodox Muslim leader named Hakim (a vicious persecutor of Christians and Jews) orders the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Many Jews and Christians flee persecution.

1071--A Byzantine army is defeated by invading Muslims. In the years to come, Byzantine emperors send numerous appeals to Rome for help.

1091--Muslim leaders expel all Christian priests from the Holy Land.

1095--Christians and non-Christians in Europe begin preparing for the First Crusade.

1099--Crusaders take Jerusalem.

How do Muslims portray these events? The Muslim version of history goes something like this: "Muslims were just sitting around in the Middle East, minding their own business, living in peace with everyone, when a bunch of evil Christians decided to go on a killing spree." Of course, the invading European army committed all kinds of atrocities during the Crusades, as did the Muslim army. But we have to face the facts. The Crusades only happened because Europeans wanted to protect themselves from the invading Muslim armies. Like it or not, the Crusades did help stop the Muslim invasion of Europe.

We should take note of the Muslim view of the Crusades. As we've seen repeatedly on this blog, no one has a right to defend themselves against Muslims. If Muslims attack the caravans of the Meccans and start killing people, the Meccans should do nothing to defend themselves. If Muslims bomb Israel, the Israelis are supposed to take the bombings patiently, without retaliation. If Muslims invade Europe, the West should let it happen without lifting a finger to defend itself.

Of course, when Islam is attacked or insulted in any way, different rules apply. If people leave Islam, they must be killed. If someone draws a cartoon or makes a movie about Islam, he must die. If Israel does anything against any Muslim in the world, all Jews must die.

Strange beliefs.

13 comments:

Nabeel Qureshi said...

But Professor Wood! **Insert half-baked quip by some random Muslim about turning the other cheek**

...I hope people are beginning to see the double standards employed by Muslim apologists.

Muhammad said...

"The simple fact is that the Crusades were launched because Muslims were attacking Europe. European leaders, concerned about Muslim invasions of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, decided to take the battle to the Middle East. They therefore rounded up a European army (many of them pagans) and attacked the Muslim empire."

Your simple fact is a mere fallacy; it's a well known fact that the Crusades were launched to retake Jerusalem from the Muslims, who had previously taken it in 1074. Not because the Muslims were attacking Europeans.

Why is the last date mentioned is 1099, when that is when the first Crusade was initiated, aren't we talking about the Crusades here! What does the conquest of 'Umar of Jerusalem have to do with anything,?

However, since you make a mention of it, it should be known that when the Patriarch wanted to sign the pact with the Caliph 'Umar, 'Umar was not present in the Sham area at that time, as the Caliphate was located in Madinah, the Muslims wanted to end the siege as soon as possible.

To quickly end it, they appointed Khalid bin al-Walid to go out to sign the pact in the place of 'Umar, as he was similar is appearance to him. Why did you not mention that?

As for the Byzantine collapse, it should be mentioned that at the battle of Bosra, the Byzantine General, Romanus, became Muslim on his own decision.

"640s--Egypt and Armenia fall to Islam."
Egypt did not fall, it was given to Amr bin al-Aas, by the Christians themselves, who were persecuted under Byzantine rule.

"711-712--Muslims invade Spain and kill the king. After the collapse of the Spanish army, Muslims begin sending raiding parties into France."

What you fail to mention (like usual) is that Muslims allowed the Christians and Jews to live in peace, unlike the rulers who were before them, who persecuted Christians, and Jews in particular.

"The Crusades only happened because Europeans wanted to protect themselves from the invading Muslim armies."

That is false, the Crusades, as I already said, was to take Jerusalem back from the Muslims.

"As we've seen repeatedly on this blog, no one has a right to defend themselves against Muslims."

Wow! Is this coming from Mr. Consistency Detector? The fact is what you espoused so many times, no one is allowed to defend against Christians and Jews. Our times show this, if you can't see it you are either blind, or obstinate.

"If Muslims attack the caravans of the Meccans and start killing people, the Meccans should do nothing to defend themselves."

Haha, Wow, David. You have really outdone yourself.
So then, if Meccans throw Prophet Muhammad and his Companions out of Makkah, torching his companions to the point that Ibn al-Aratt was burnt so bad that he had scars until his death on his back, Muslims, after being persecuted, decide to do something back, since Makkans were by no means stopping their aggression, so when they do something back, they are condemned?

Why, is it because they are Muslims, or just that you find a closer relation to the polytheists of Makkah? I mean since you are a polytheist as well, who worships three different people.

In my previous comment, on the blog, I showed the verses, "Given permission to fight has been given to those who have been persecuted."

"If Muslims bomb Israel, the Israelis are supposed to take the bombings patiently, without retaliation. If Muslims invade Europe, the West should let it happen without lifting a finger to defend itself."

Think, why do the Muslims bomb Tel Aviv? What is the original reason? Are Palestinians not allowed to defend themselves?
I am not defending anyone, or condoning anyone, for bombing anyone else, just showing an example of your Consistency Detector that needs new batteries.

"If people leave Islam, they must be killed. "

Wow, just wow.
David, does this ring a bell:

"If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying: Let us go and worship other gods, do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people." Deuteronomy 13: 6-9
And,

"And has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones." Deuteronomy 17:3-5"

If a city apostates, the whole town is to be annihilated:

"12 ...the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; 14 Then shalt thou inquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; 15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. 16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again. 17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers; 18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.(Deuteronomy)"

And,

"The Byzantine Emperor Justinian I instituted the punishment of death for apostasy in the Corpus Juris Civilis (Body of Civil Law), directed towards Jews, Samaritans, Manich├Žans, and other heretics (10 c., "De pag.", I, 11). This legal statute formed the basis of Western European law for several centuries."

"If someone draws a cartoon or makes a movie about Islam, he must die."

Wrong, Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said that the one who insults the Messenger is to be killed, in the Islamic State, but since there is none, this is not practiced. Just to be accurate, the ruling also applies to anyone who insults any Prophet, not just Prophet Muhammad.
Compared to the Bible, if someone merely says to his brother, "You fool", he is doomed to Hell for eternity:
"But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire. Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison" (Matthew 5:21-22)"

"If Israel does anything against any Muslim in the world, all Jews must die."
That is a lie. You have no proof that Muslims believe that, its just another false accusation against Muslims that you have no proof for, then again, what do you care, authentic or not? I will start quoting the Gospel of Barnabas whenever you quote a weak Hadith, just to be fair, and we'll see how you react. I predict it will be something like, "Look at these Muslims, I bring them from the most early source, Ibn Is-haq, and they bring the Gospel of Barnabas, they are insincere!"

"Strange beliefs."

Yes, Christianity does have strange beliefs indeed.
By the way, has anyone told you that Ibn Is-haq is not the earliest source about Prophet Muhammad? If not, then I will be the first, but what do you care? I am sure you will still say, "The earliest depiction of Prophet Muhammad."

To Allah go all the complaints.

Regards, Muhammad

Ari said...

David! You have it wrong!

My favourite quote of the week:

"The history of the crusades is filled with the mercilessness of the crusaders and the kind-heartedness of the Muslims. The Muslims were massacred everywhere the crusaders arrived, while the Christians were treated kindly by the Muslims."

Source: http://www.albalagh.net/kids/history/crusades.shtml

(A Muslim referenced this as accurate history to me the other day)

Muhammad said...

Ari,

If you read a single page of the history of the Crusades, you would realize that Saladin was the most just general in that whole period.

When one of the Crusader Generals was ill, he had been poisoned, Saladin himself dressed as a priest, in robes, so he would not be seen, and went to perform medical procedures on the man so he would not die.
As compared to the Christian invasion of the Holy Land.

Notice a fact here, the claim is that the Crusaders wanted to retake the Holy Land from the Muslims.
If that was true, why then did they go into Jerusalem, killing Muslims, Jews, AND Christians?
No doubt the fact that they wanted the Holy Land from the Muslims played a part, but one has to see that it was just racial prejudice on the Crusader side, to an extent as most the Christians who lived in that time in Jerusalem were, in fact, Arabs.

One should also see that many Christian Arabs fought alongside Saladin, as they saw the heartless massacring of innocents from all three religions, as well as they saw the hidden reasons for the invasion.

Regards

Jeffrey Levine said...

Let's be truly honest here.

The Christians used the sword to force people to convert. The Muslims used the sword to force people to convert. The Christians came back to force the new Muslim convert to reconvert to Christianity.

The only religion minding its own business is the Jews. The Jews were happy to accept a convert, but refused to use force to conver anyone.

Seems to me the Jews deserve the most respect here.

DAN12345 said...

Jamie it seems like you havent a clue what you are writing,show me 1passage from the new test thats shows that you should use the sword to convert people?search all day you will not find it,we dont force anybody to convert in our religion!If people have done so they are against God!so dont take individuals actions against the religion,search the religion and see if its something the religion teaches before you attack Christianity because of individuals.The reason Jews dont convert people is because they are the chosen people by birth and blood in thier eyes and all other people are considered unclean.So dont attack Christianity.

DAN12345 said...

Sorry i meant jeffrey not jamie,sorry

David Wood said...

Jeffrey,

I think we can distinguish three different attitudes towards violence.

(1) Christians aren't allowed to fight for their religion at all. Any Christian who goes to war in the name of Jesus is acting contrary to Jesus' teachings.

(2) Jews were permitted to fight for the land God had given them. They weren't, however, to force people to convert through violence.

(3) Muslims are told to fight (quite literally) everyone, until people (a) convert to Islam, (b) submit to Islam and pay the Jizya, or (c) die.

(4) Atheists have no objective moral foundation, so anything is permissible for them.

Don't pretend we're all in the same boat here. We're not.

Dk said...

"(4) Atheists have no objective moral foundation, so anything is permissible for them."

Lets be honest, DAVID WOOD had no moral objective foundation as an Atheist and makes the non-sequitor of concluding all atheists are the same as he was.

He also offers a STRAWMAN, since Atheism doesn't even attempt to offer an objective morality, atheism means NON-BELIEF, to find out about Atheists who have moral values, study the world views offered by ALL Atheists.

The fact that a Professor of "Ethics" and "Philosphy" (from memory) has to lie about his former position is truely sad.

Ari said...

Muhammad,

If you had read my post independent of your default defensive bias, your response would not be so fallacious. The fact that you maintain the purity of the historically inaccurate statement I quoted shows that it is you that has never “read a single page of the history of the Crusades”.

I rather enjoyed how you brought forward the subjectively best example of the Muslims in regard to the Crusades and, conversely, the worst example of the ‘Christian’s’. Do you really agree that this is representative or even a firm basis for the statement, “The history of the crusades is filled with the mercilessness of the crusaders and the kind-heartedness of the Muslims”?

What about the events mentioned by David? Whether or not you consider them an outlier, should they not be considered? Or are you attempting some sort of justification in your personal historical revisionism?

Fernando said...

Ari asked Muhammid: «are you attempting some sort of justification in your personal historical revisionism?»...

yes he is... but not onlie... he's also showing muslim's profound disregard to the truthe when it is not in theyre benifit... as almoste allways...

The crusades were politequely lunched to protect Europe... the church got mingled in that process and asked those kings (many of them non-christians) to help to liberate the Holy Land from the horrendous ocupation by muslims who:

a) started to forbide the building of new churches;
b) forbade the recunstruction of the old ones;
c) implemented enourmous taxes to all christians;
d) forbade the pilgrimage to the Holy land;
e) were stealing christian childs to their parents to force them to bee muslims;
f) were rapping and killind christian women (and yeoung men)...

well... why the surprise? It's all still happening today...

forOHwon85 said...

To everyone on here, no one has any proof of what they said. No references were made, all that was said was opinionated "facts" without and cited proof. So technically, nothing here is fact.

Also, to the last comment, Christians also raped (not rapped), murdered and plundered during these Crusades.

"The inception of the Crusades ignited horrible attacks against the Jews, and even fellow Christians were not exempt from rape and plunder. Incredible atrocities befell the Muslim foes. Crusaders sawed open dead bodies in search of gold, sometimes cooking an eating the flesh-a delicacy they found "better than spiced peacock," as one chronicler chose to describe it." (Shelley, Bruce. "Church History in Plan Language" Pg. 189)

This is a Christian author who reveals the truth of the Crusaders "holy" acts.

Overall, Muslims and Christians failed at life during this time period. No one is in the right, both are in the wrong no matter what. Who started it? I guess you guys can debate that all you want, but in the end, both sides lost.

William Collins said...

In the end we have governments using their respective religions to wage war. The crusades were not solely about religion as portrayed by those that would seek to destroy the reputation of Christianity. Europe was under attack from a foreign power. They were being invaded by Muslems. They could either fight back or surrender. They chose to fight back. Part of their strategy was to rally people to not only defend their countries but to defend their faith in Christ. Both were under attack. The war breaks out and it is no surprise that a multitude of atrocities happen.....it is after all a war and people suffer and die. People of all faiths are sinners. In the end the Muslems were expelled from Europe and the Muslems kept their terrority as well. We should be careful to pursue the truth in all matters and not play the role of a lawyer that is only interested in the information that benefits his cause.