What were the Christian Crusades?

By Imaginary Sky Daddy

I’ve been coming to this site for roughly a year now. I’m a fellow ex, and since I let go of the mind cult, I am more happy than I couldn’t have imagined while being a jebus freak. Anyway, I came across this essay on the Crusades from a Christian’s standpoint. I hope that you will have an interest in it, and I look forward to reading the great defending comments that the great people of this site can offer. Thanks for creating this wonderful website that hurting and lonely people that have come to their senses can come to for comfort by others who have their same views, Dave.

Question: "What were the Christian crusades?"

Answer: The crusades are among the most frequent objections to the Christian faith. Some Islamic terrorists even claim that their terrorist attacks are revenge for what Christians did in the crusades. So, what were the crusades and why are they viewed as such a big problem for the Christian faith?

First of all, the crusades should not be referred to as the "Christian crusades." Most of the people involved in the crusades were not truly Christians...even though they claimed to be. The Name of Christ was abused, misused, and blasphemed by the actions of many of the crusaders. Secondly, the crusades took place from approximately 1095 to 1230 A.D. That was between 775 and 910 years ago. Should the unbiblical and un-Christ-like actions of supposed Christians 1000 years ago still be held against Christians today?

Third, not that this is an adequate excuse, but Christianity is not the only religion with a violent past. In actuality, the crusades were responses to Muslim invasions on what was once land occupied primarily by Christians. From approximately 200 A.D. to approximately 900 A.D. the land of Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, etc. was inhabited primarily by Christians. Once Islam began to spread and become powerful, Muslims invaded these lands and brutally oppressed, enslaved, deported, and even murdered the Christians living in those lands. In response, the Roman Catholic Church and "Christian" kings / emperors from Europe ordered the crusades to reclaim the land the Muslims had taken. The actions that many so-called Christians took in the crusades were still deplorable. There is no Biblical justification for conquering lands, murdering civilians, and destroying cities in the Name of Jesus Christ. At the same time, Islam is not a religion that can speak from a position of innocence in these matters.

For a good, historical, and balanced summary of the various crusades, please read the following article - http://www.theopedia.com/Crusades.

To summarize briefly, the crusades were attempts by "Christians" in the 10th through 12th centuries A.D. to reclaim land in the Middle East that had been conquered by Muslims / Arabs. The crusades were brutal and evil. Many people were forced to "convert" to Christianity. If they refused, they were put to death. This is blatantly unbiblical...and perhaps that is the best summary of the issue. The idea of conquering a land through war and violence in the Name of Christ is completely unbiblical. The crusades may have been done by so-called Christians...but many of the actions that took place in the crusades were completely antithetical to everything the Christian faith should stand for.

How can we respond when, as a result of the crusades, the Christian faith is attacked by atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and those of other religions? We can respond in the following ways: (1) Do you want to be held accountable for the actions of people who lived 900+ years ago? (2) Do you want to be held accountable for the actions of everyone who claims to represent your faith? Trying to blame all of Christianity for the crusades is analogous to blaming all Muslims for Islamic terrorism.

Recommended Resource: Christianity Through the Centuries by Earle Cairns.


Anonymous said...

The fact remains that Christianity was the cause for the crusades. The church leaders, who should have known better, completely failed to stop them. In fact, did they even try?

As for Islam: I contend that without Christianity, Islam would never have existed.

Perhaps the worst aspect of religion is that it gives people an excuse to murder other people AND STILL FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES.

Anonymous said...

Sky Daddy,

Interesting approach. And you are right, people today should not be held accountable for things that happened many hundreds of years ago.

But, there is a famous saying. "Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."

We have famous tele-evangalist calling out for the murder of a fellow human. We have priests committing all kinds of bad acts and the church doing their best, not to fix it but rather to cover it up.

We now have religious people saying that America should become a christian nation and run our government that way.

And the first thing we would need to do is ---- wait for it - - - - go on another crusade. Maybe a nuclear one this time because, many religious people just cant wait for the end of the world so that they can go to a better place where they will get what they deserve. :-( ANd likely they will, there will be nothing there for them. ????

So, ready to nuke a few islam terrorists?? IN the name of God, of course!!!

Anonymous said...

taken from http://www.load-islam.com/artical_det.php?artical_id=413§ion=indepth&subsection=Islamic%20history :

All praise is due to Allah, and Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon His Final Messenger, his pure family, his noble Companions, and all those who follow them with righteousness until the Day of Judgment.

The historical distortion perpetrated on historical thinking by Thomas F. Madden is not a new fallacious concept introduced by contemporary Christian revisionists but has been prevalent since the emergence of Islam on world stage. For many centuries, the Christian historians and orientalists directly promulgated lies and fabrications about Islam in order to instil prejudice against the Muslims. And yet in the modern age, Christian fundamentalist historians still continue to carry the flag and propagate indirectly their revisionist theories regarding Islam. A summarised article of Thomas F. Madden's book entitled A Concise History of the Crusades has been published attempting to debunk the old-aged “misconceptions” of the Crusades. He chronologically discusses the major events of the initial Crusade until the 5th Crusade. I will Insha’Allah (God-willing) address the deceptive methods riddled in his article. He writes:

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.

Here, Thomas F. Madden asserts and attempts to justify that medieval Christians were defending themselves from the Muslim “aggression”. Furthermore, he also allegedly states that Islam was born in a war giving the reader the impression that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the early Muslim community provoked the war between the Arab pagans and the Muslims. This is far from the truth. Prophet Muhammad peacefully proclaimed the Message of the One True God and gained many followers. These early Muslims consisted of sons and brothers of the richest men in Makkah and also included slaves and the poor. As a result of their firm belief in Allah (God in Arabic), they were subjected to persecution. The Quraish (Arab tribe) restricted the people from buying or selling anything to the Muslims. They imposed economic and social boycott on them. They even prohibited Makkans from entering into marriages with them. Since Makkah was the land of the trade, the early Muslims couldn’t endure this hardship. Consequently, the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) send the Muslims to Abyssinia where a just Christian king ruled. The Quraish soon discovered the place that they emigrated to and thus send one of their tribesmen to the court of Najashi in order to ask the king to hand over the Muslims. Ja’far, who was one of the Muslims, was permitted to refute the accusations of the Quraish. He said:

"O King of Abyssinia! We worshipped idols in the past and let our lives be consumed by fun and sport. To inflict cruelty upon the weak and the poor was our pastime. We were wrapped in abysmal darkness when Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)" bin Abdullah was born among us. He led us to righteousness and instructed us to shun idolatry. He called us to Allah Almighty. He showed us to be merciful and told us to abstain from evil and shelter the weak and poor".

"O King, we were a people steeped in ignorance, worshipping idols, eating un-sacrificed carrion, committing abominations, and harming the weak without reason until Allah sent us a Messenger from out of our midst, one whose lineage we knew well. His veracity, worthiness of trust and his integrity was also known to us. He called us unto Allah, that we should testify to His Oneness and worship Him and renounce what we and our fathers had worshipped in the way of stones and idols; and he commanded us to speak truly, to fulfil our promises, to respect the ties of kinship and the rights of our neighbours, and to refrain from crimes and from bloodshed. So we worship Allah alone, setting naught beside Him, counting as forbidden what He hath forbidden and as licit what He hath allowed. Our people turned against us, and have persecuted us to make us forsake our religion and revert from the worship of Allah to the worship of idols.

"We believed him, but O King! these, who have come to arrest us are idol-worshippers. They worship idols of stone and wood, inflict barbarism upon the weak. These people have persecuted, pelted and injured our Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)".

The above quote indisputably proves that the early Muslims where rather peaceful servants of God who only promoted peace and only defended themselves from the pagan aggressions. Thomas F. Madden then further claims that the expansion of Islam was only achieved through the use of the sword. Not only was this myth prevalent in the Frankish Europe, but it is still prevalent in the present age in the minds of many Christians. The well known author, James Michener, writes:

No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam. The West has widely believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts this idea, and the Qur’an is explicit in the support of the freedom of conscience.[1]

This misconception is also addressed by K. S. Ramakrishna Rao who writes:

My problem to write this monograph is easier, because we are not generally fed now on that (distorted) kind of history and much time need not be spent on pointing out our misrepresentations of Islam. The theory of Islam and sword, for instance, is not heard now in any quarter worth the name. The principle of Islam that “there is no compulsion in religion” is well known.[2]

And Lawrence E. Browne who states:

Incidentally these well-established facts dispose of the idea so widely fostered in Christian writings that the Muslims, wherever they went, forced people to accept Islam at the point of the sword.[3]

Professor Arnold Thomas addresses this widely-held belief in one of his books. He writes:

To give any account of these campaigns is beyond the scope of the present work, but it is important to show that Muhammad, when he found himself at the head of a band of armed followers, was not transformed at once, as some would have us believe, from a peaceful preacher into a fanatic, sword in hand, forcing his religion on whomsoever he could.[4]

The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity states:

Christianity has largely misunderstood the nature of Islamic militancy. The fiction that Islam was preached by the sword and Christianity by the lamb and the dove appeared early in Christian writings and still exercises a powerful influence upon the popular perception of Islam. Christian polemicists were quick to contrast the idealized life of Christ with that of Muhammad and his followers, ‘who ceased not to go forth in battle and rapine, to smite with the sword, to seize the little ones, and ravish wives and maidens’.[5]

So in the light of the above mentioned evidence, was the mean of the Muslim expansion always the sword? Ira Zepp Jr, who is another Non-Muslim author, answers the aforementioned question:

It is unfortunate that Islam has been stereotyped as the 'religion of the sword' or that Islam was 'spread by the sword.' The historical reality is that the expansion of Islam was usually by persuasion and not by military power. In any case, Islam cannot be forced on anyone; if profession of the shahadah [i.e. the declaration of Islam] is forced on someone, it is not true Islam.[6]

Thomas F. Madden further writes:

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.

Thomas here conceals the status of Byzantine Empire and the corruption that was predominately during that period. The Muslims never introduced the expansion for the sake of grabbing lands but they conquered the other nations so that they could free the oppressed inhabitants of the Byzantine Empire and exterminate the ignorance and promote free-thinking. And once they conquered these nations, they never imposed their beliefs on the inhabitants since it contradicts the principle of Islam that there is no compulsion in religion. Edward Gibbon who is regarded by many as the best contemporary historian comments on the Islamic expansion by describing it as:

one of the most memorable revolutions which has impressed a new and lasting character on the nations of the globe.[7]

Dr. Lebon stated:

"The early Muslim conquests might have blurred their common sense and made them commit the sorts of oppression which conquerors usually commit, and thus ill-treat the subdued and compel them to embrace the Faith they wanted to spread all over the globe. Had they done so, all nations, which were still not under their control, might have turned against them, and they might have suffered what had befallen the Crusaders in their conquest of Syria lately. However, the early Caliphs, who enjoyed a rare ingenuity which was unavailable to the propagandists of new faiths, realized that laws and religion cannot be imposed by force. Hence they were remarkably kind in the way they treated the peoples ofSyria, Egypt, Spain and every other country they subdued, leaving them to practise their laws and regulations and beliefs and imposing only a small Jizya in return for their protection and keeping peace among them. In truth, nations have never known merciful and tolerant conquerors like the Muslims."[8]

He further adds,

"The mercy and tolerance of the conquerors were among the reasons for the spread of their conquests and for the nations' adoptions of their Faith and regulations and language, which became deeply rooted, resisted all sorts of attack and remained even after the disappearance of the Arabs' control on the world stage, though historians deny the fact. Egypt is the most evident proof of this. It adopted what the Arabs had brought over, and reserved it. Conquerors before the Arabs -- the Persians, Greeks and Byzantines -- could not overthrow the ancient Pharaoh civilization and impose what they had brought instead.[9]

This is also evidently in the statement of Count de Castri. He writes:

"The spread of Islam and the submission to its authority seem to have another reason in the continents of Asia and North Africa. It was the despotism of Constantinople which exercised extreme tyranny, and the injustice of rulers was too much for people to bear...[10]

So thus, it was due the abundance of good in medieval Christendom that opened the doors of Islamic Expansion. This also resulted to a mass conversion to Islam under no coercion

Professors Thomas Arnold again comments that:

"This misinterpretation of the Muslim wars of conquest has arisen from the assumption that wars waged for the extension of Muslim domination over the lands of the unbelievers implied that the aim in view was their conversion."[11]

One example to note is the conquest of Spain. In 711 CE, an oppressed Christian chief named Julian went to Musa ibn Nusair, the governor of North Africa, with a plea for help against the tyrannical Christian Visigoth ruler of Spain, Roderick. Musa responded by sending the young general Tariq bin Ziyad with an army of 7000 troops, burned their fleets, and defeated the 30,000 Visigoths. One of his remarkable speech was after burning his fleet -- "The sea is behind you, and the enemy is ahead of you, and you have no escape but the truth and patience." A new atmosphere of toleration began for the Jews. The Muslims had few men and needed help in every city they conquered to maintain their rule. The Jews helped the Muslims because they represented an opportunity to free themselves from the Visigoths. The Christians and Jews were liberated in Al-Andalusia. The Syrians welcomed the Muslims as their liberators since they liberated from their religious trouble and also relieved them of the burdensome taxes that that were placed on their backs. They praised the Muslims by announcing publically, “Praise be to God, who delivered us from the unjust Byzantines and put us under the rule of the Muslims”. A great amount of them converted to the Islamic faith. This liberation goes in accordance with the Quranic verse:

And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? Men, women, and children, whose cry is: 'Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Yourside one who will protect; and raise for us from Your side one who will help!') (An-Nisaa' 4:75).

The First Crusade

The First Crusade was launched by Pope Urban II by announcing that Muslim forces were taking over Christian nations. He further prepared the Christians to bring back the lands under the Christian by retaliate a Crusade against the Muslims. The Pope attempted to deceive the masses that they were fighting for a good cause but only a handful responded to his call whilst joined the ranks to pillage and plunder, or to escape their feudal lords. Professor of History, Joel T. Rosenthal, contributed an article at Encarta Encyclopaedia stating:

They knew little about the Byzantine Empire or its religion, Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Few Crusaders understood or had much sympathy for the Eastern Orthodox religion, which did not recognize the pope, used the Greek language rather than Latin, and had very different forms of art and architecture. They knew even less about Islam or Muslim life. For some the First Crusade became an excuse to unleash savage attacks in the name of Christianity on Jewish communities along the Rhine.[12]

But Thomas negates this significant detail and persists on praising the so-called chivalry knights which reveals his psychological mechanism, namely denial to affirm the true nature of the crusaders.

He then cites quotations of another revisionist named Jonathan Riley-Smith who is known for his islamophobic works. Riley-Smith argues that “crusading” was understood as “an act of love” but according to the ‘The Catholic Encyclopedia’, the crusading was understood as:

wars undertaken in pursuance of a vow, and directed against infidels, i.e. against Mohammedans, pagans, heretics, or those under the ban of excommunication.[13]

Thomas also concealed the speech by Pope Urban II who started the first Crusade by calling for colonization of the Muslim world:

For you must hasten to carry aid to your brethren dwelling in the East, who need your help, which they have often asked. For the Turks, a Persian people, have attacked them I exhort you with earnest prayer - not I, but God - that, as heralds of Christ, you urge men by frequent exhortation, men of all ranks, knights as well as foot soldiers, rich as well as poor, to hasten to exterminate this vile race from the lands of your brethren Christ commands it. And if those who set out thither should lose their lives on the way by land, or in crossing the sea, or in fighting the pagans, their sins shall be remitted. Oh what a disgrace, if a race so despised, base, and the instrument of demons, should so overcome a people endowed with faith in the all-powerful God, and resplendent with the name of Christ. Let those who have been accustomed to make private war against the faithful carry on to a successful issue a war against the infidels. Let those who for a long time have been robbers now become soldiers of Christ. Let those who fought against brothers and relatives now fight against these barbarians. Let them zealously undertake the journey under the guidance of the Lord.[14]

Compare this with the claim of Thomas who asserted:

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.

It is quite an essential detail to leave out the genocide preached by Pope Urban II. Especially if it discredits the whole argument that the Crusades were acts of righteousness. When these “righteous” Crusaders arrived at Jerusalem, they had no mercy on the inhabitants, whether Muslims, Jews or their Christian brethren. Philip Schaff writes:

The scenes of carnage which followed belong to the many dark pages of Jerusalem's history and showed how, in the quality of mercy, the crusading knight was far below the ideal of Christian perfection. The streets were choked with the bodies of the slain. The Jews were burnt with their synagogues.... As if to enhance the spectacle of pitiless barbarity, Saracen (i.e. Muslims) prisoners were forced to clear the streets of the dead bodies and blood to save the city from pestilence. "They wept and transported the dead bodies out of Jerusalem," is the heartless statement of Robert the Monk. ... "They cut down with the sword," said William [archbishop] of Tyre, "every one whom they found in Jerusalem, and spared no one. The victors were covered with blood from head to foot." In the next breath, speaking of the devotion of the Crusaders, the archbishop adds, "It was a most affecting sight which filled the heart with holy joy to see the people tread the holy places in the fervor of an excellent devotion."[15]

This horrendous description automatically refutes the claim that most Muslims were spared. They did not stop at the Muslims but advanced further by exterminating the Jews and the Orient Christians who lived peacefully under the Muslim rule. They took the Muslim women as captives and raped them. Philip Schaff further writes:

The illegitimate offspring of the Crusaders by Moslem women, called pullani, were a degenerate race, marked by avarice, faithlessness, and debauchery.[16]

In Daimbert's comments in the Official Summary of the 1st Crusade, he notes that many crusaders boasted how they rode in the blood of their enemies, whether they were children or women:

And, if you desire to know what was done about the enemy whom we found there, know that in the portico of Solomon and his Temple, our men rode in the blood of the Saracens (i.e. Muslims) up to the knees of the horses.[17]

One witness observed:

...there [in front of Solomon's temple] was such a carnage that our people were wading ankle-deep in the blood of our foes, and after that "happily and crying for joy" our people marched to our Saviour's tomb, to honour it and to pay off our debt of gratitude.

In the words of The Archbishop of Tyre, he wrote:

It was impossible to look upon the vast numbers of the slain without horror; everywhere lay fragments of human bodies, and the very ground was covered with the blood of the slain. It was not alone the spectacle of headless bodies and mutilated limbs strewn in all directions that roused the horror of all who looked upon them. Still more dreadful was it to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head to foot, an ominous sight which brought terror to all who met them. It is reported that within the Temple enclosure alone about ten thousand infidels perished.[18]

Havoc was wreaked in the city. Philip Schaff notes:

The Christian occupation of Palestine did not bring with it a reign of peace. The kingdom was torn by the bitter intrigues of barons and ecclesiastics, while it was being constantly threatened from without. The inner strife was the chief source of weakness.[19]

Encyclopaedia of Britannica states:

The great Muslim sanctuaries became Christian churches, and in 1149 the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as it exists today was consecrated. Muslims and Jews were barred from living in the city.[20]

So thus in the light of the above cited evidence, Muslims and Jews were barred from living in the city. Their intolerant policies alienated the local populace. One of the sons of Islam recaptured Jerusalem and announcing that the Jews are allowed to return and live peacefully under the rule of the Muslims. The German-Jewish historian of the Nineteenth Century, Heinrich Graetz stated that the Sultan, opened the whole kingdom to the persecuted Jews, so they came to it, seeking security and finding justice.[21] The Spanish poet Yehuda al-Harizi, who was in Jerusalem in 1207 CE, described the significance for the Jews of the recovery of Jerusalem by Saladin :

God aroused the spirit of the prince of the Ishmaelites [Saladin], a prudent and courageous man, who came with his entire army, besieged Jerusalem, took it and had it proclaimed throughout the country that he would receive and accept the entire race of Ephraim, wherever they came from. And so we came from all comers of the world to take up residence here. We now live here in the shadow of peace.[22]

The British Historian Karen Armstrong said regarding the capture of Jerusalem:

On 2 October 1187 Saladin and his army entered Jerusalem as conquerors and for the next 800 years Jerusalem would remain a Muslim city... Saladin kept his word, and conquered the city according to the highest Islamic ideals. He did not take revenge for the 1099 massacre, as the Koran advised (16:127), and now that hostilities had ceased he ended the killing (2:193-194). Not a single Christian was killed and there was no plunder. The ransoms were deliberately very low...[23]

P.H. Newby stated:

The Crusades were fascinated by a Muslim leader who possessed virtues they assumed were Christian. To them to his Muslim contemporaries and to us, it still remains remarkable that in times as harsh and bloody as these a man of great power should have been so little corrupted by it."[24]

The Second Crusade

The second crusade was initiated by Bernard of Clairvaux in direct reply to the Seljuk Muslims who liberated the the town of Edessa. Bernard of Clairvaux declared in launching the Second Crusade, “The Christian glorifies in the death of a pagan, because thereby Christ himself is glorified”. [25]

The Seljuk Muslims saved the whole Islamic domains from total extinction in regard to the wholesale slaughter propagated by the crusaders of populations in Maarat Al-Numan, Antioch and Jerusalem. When they (i.e. Crusaders) conquered the town of Tanis in the Nile delta, they literally slaughtered the inhabitants who happened to be the Coptic Christians. Even their brethren couldn’t escape their spree of murder and rapine. More atrocities were commited against the Jews in Mainz, Worms, Cologne, Speyer and Strasburg. The collapse of the second Crusade caused a deep dismay. They attempted to attack Damascus but due the lack of trust between their allies, it failed dramatically. Their wholesale atrocities continues to prove why the Crusades are noted as one of the most egregious wars

The Third Crusade

Before the advent of the third Crusade, Jerusalem was liberated by Saladin who restored peace to the Holy Land and allowing the persecuted Jews to return. Richard and Philip besieged the Muslim city Acre and the city surrendered in 1191. Richard imprisoned the Muslim soldiers alongside with their wives and children and announced a prisoner exchange. A failure of communications in the negotiations resulted in Richard ordering the executions of 3000 Muslim soldiers and their wives and children in front of Saladin and his army. This ferocious act committed by Richard reveals how below the Christian rulers were in comparison with the ideal Christian character.

The Spanish Inquisition

Thomas once again conceals the Spanish Inquisition which primary target were the Jews and the Muslims. They were coercively, and insincerely, converted to Christianity. It does not come as a suprise since Christianity gained most of its followers through forced conversions. Compton's Concise Encyclopaedia states:

This was a quasi-ecclesiastical tribunal established in 1478 by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella primarily to examine converted Jews, and later converted Muslims, and punish those who were insincere in the conversion.... The Spanish Inquisition was much harsher than the medieval Inquisition and the death penalty was more often exacted, sometimes in mass autos-da-fe. It judged cases of bigamy, seduction, usury, and other crimes, and was active in Spain and her colonies. Estimates of its victims vary widely, ranging from less than 4,000 to more than 30,000 during its existence...[26]

Encyclopaedia Britannica, states:

The Inquisition's secret procedures, its eagerness to accept denunciations, its use of torture, the absence of counsel for the accused, the lack of any right to confront hostile witnesses, and the practice of confiscating the property of those who were condemned and sharing it between the Inquisition, the crown, and the accusers—all this inspired great terror, as indeed it was meant to do.[27]

The only sole reason why the Muslims surrendered peacefully was due the fact that the Christian officials made a binding treaty with the Muslims which is also known as the ‘treaty of 1492’. In that treaty, the Christian officials promised religious tolerance to the Muslims and the Jews. It was an attempt to win religious tolerance for all the Muslims and Jews left in Spain. Since the Muslims were no longer the rulers of Andalusia, they hoped at least that they would be permitted to worship their Lord, The One God, in the manner presented by the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). However, in 1499 CE, Ximenes initiated a campaign to coerce the Muslims of Southern Muslim Spain to Christianity. P. de Gayangos writes:

As a result of his endeavours, it is reported that on 8th December 1499 about three thousand Moors were baptized by him and a leading mosque in Granada was converted into a church. 'Converts' were encouraged to surrender their Islamic books, several thousands of which were destroyed by Ximenes in a public bonfire. A few rare books on medicine were kept aside for the University of Alcala.[28]

The Muslims were dragged through the streets of the Muslim quarter for rejecting to adopt the Christian faith. Consequently, the Muslim initiated a riot protesting that the treaty was not honoured. P. de Gayangos further writes:

Ximenes immediately denounced the uprising as a rebellion, and claimed that by this the Moors had forfeited all their rights under the terms of capitulation. They should therefore be given the choice between baptism and expulsion. The government agreed with his arguments, and Ximenes then began the mass baptism of the population of Granada, most of whom preferred this fate to the more hazardous one of deportation to Africa. The speed with which the baptisms were carried out meant that there was no time in which to instruct the Moors in the fundamentals of their new religion, so that inevitably most of the new converts became Christian only in name.[29]

Additionally, it has been estimated that at least 50,000 Muslims were forced to convert in the mass baptism of Granada by Ximenes. A small amount of Jews and Muslims were deported to North-Africa. The tolerance of the Muslims for the Jews never decreased, so they aided the Jews in the progress of the deportation. In spite of the circumstances, a new Golden Age flourished in North-Africa. In Andarax, mosques were blown up with gun-powder and at Belfique, all the Muslim men were put to the sword whilst the women were taken as slaves. The Muslim children were separated from their parents and handed over to the Church in order to be brought up as Catholics. The Arabic books including the Glorious Qur’an were collected and burnt. H. Kamen writes:

Since the majority of Muslims had been 'converted', the offer of emigration was an empty one, and the 'legal equality' granted by Ferdinand was but a mockery of the terms of the Treaty of Granada which he had so blatantly permitted to be broken. Behind the words of conciliation and peace, the general intention of the Church to eliminate the practice of Islam was unmistakable, and now that the Muslims of southern Andalusia, or the Moriscos as they were called, were within the jurisdiction of the Spanish Inquisition, the Inquisitors embarked on the task of detecting 'relapsed heretics' and secret Muslims. The communities of Muslims which had survived the suppression of the rebellion, or reformed after it, were repeatedly harassed by the Inquisitors.[30]

Thomas writes:

The ancient faith of Christianity, with its respect for women and antipathy toward slavery, not only survived but flourished.

On the contrary, Christianity advocated the support of slavery. The Encyclopaedia of Britannica states:

Judaic and Islamic canonical texts refer frequently to slavery and treat it as a natural condition that might befall anyone. But they view it as a condition that should be gotten over quickly. Islamic practice was based on the assumption that the outsider rapidly became an insider and consequently had to be manumitted after six years. New Testament Christianity, on the other hand, had no prescriptions that slaves be manumitted. Canon law sanctioned slavery. This was attributable at least partially to Christianity's primary focus on spiritual values and salvation after death rather than on temporal conditions and the present life. Under such a regime it mattered little whether someone was a slave or a free person while living on earth.[31]

In regard to how women are viewed in the Christian tradition, Dr. Sherif Abdel Azeem produced an authentic comparison of the treatment of women between the Christian and Islamic tradition.


It is quite clear that the nature of this article is based on wishful thinking rather than concrete evidence. A thorough analysis of every evidence pertained to the Crusades would conclude that the Crusades were a colonial venture motivated by greed, lack of opportunity in Frankish Europe and territorial expansion. Thomas attempts to justify the wholesale slaughter of millions of innocent people during the Crusades by basing his opinions on fictitious evidence. It is time for the Christian revisionist historians to step out of denial and acknowledge that Christians are not on a moral high ground. And Allah knows best!


[1] James Michener in ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,’ Reader’s Digest, May 1955, p. 68-70.
[2] Mohammed the Prophet of Islam, Riyadh 1989-p.4
[3] Lawrence W. Browne, The Prospects of Islam, London, 1944, p.14
[4] T.W. Arnold, The Spread of Islam in the World, p.34
[5] John McManners (Ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, Oxford University Press, 1992, p.174
[6] Ira Zepp Jr., A Muslim Primer (1992), Wakefield Editions, US, p. 134
[7] Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
[8] Dr. Gustav LeBon, Civilization of the Arabs, p.30
[9] Ibid, p.30
[10] Count de Castri, Islam: Impressions and Studies
[11] T.W. Arnold, The Spread of Islam in the World, p.52
[12] Joel T. Rosenthal, Encarta
[13] Catholic Encyclopaedia
[14] August C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eye Witnesses and Participants, (Gloucester, Massachusetts: Peter Smith, 1958)
[15] History of the Christian Church, by Philip Schaff, Volume V, Chapter 7
[16] Ibid
[17] In Krey, op. cit., 275.
[18] F. Turner, Beyond Geography (New York, 1980)
[19] History of the Christian Church, by Philip Schaff, Volume V, Chapter 7
[20] Encyclopaedia of Britannica
[21] Graetz in his Geschichte der Juden [History of the Jews], vol. 11, published in 1853
[22] F. E. Peters, Jerusalem, p. 363.
[23] Karen Armstrong, Holy War, p. 185
[24] Newby, P. H. Saladin in his Time, 1992. Dorset Press, New York.
[25] Haught, Holy Horrors: p26
[26] Compton's Concise Encyclopedia, Inquisition
[27] Encyclopædia Britannica
[28] P de Gayangos, "Muhammadan Dynasties in Spain," Vol. II.
[29] Ibid
[30] H. Kamen, "The Spanish Inquisition."
[31] Encyclopaedia Britannica

Roger O'Donnell said...

One has to remember that Christian leaders were very different creatures to those today, who are good and pious men, un-worldly wise and holy. In those day, being a religious leader was a political position of some power. And of course, today, the Church doesn't have truck with money, as they did 900 years ago. Men of faith today as obviously they don't do such venal, terrible things.

Did that sound sarcastic? I do hope so...

Love and hugs,

Grandpa Harley

Roger O'Donnell said...

Oh, and Islam isn't any better :)

Love hugs and big wet kisses to the Prophet

Grandpa Harley

Anonymous said...

Yes, countries in which Islam holds sway are such havens of tolerance for non-Muslims.

Muslims in general are so tolerant of different views and civil liberties.

I remember a story of a 16-year old girl who was publically hanged because she had displayed improper behaviour. The man with whom she was accused of having inproper behaviour with was four times as old as she and was never punished in any way. The judge was condemned this girl to die has yet to answer for his judgment, but he most likely won´t, because he is a hero of the revolution.

This happened in Iran.

My personal conclusion is that Islam is as corrupt and rotten as Roman catholic Christianity. One protects people who rape little boys, the other protects people who murder young women.

Fuck all you religious people.

Anonymous said...

Please do further investigation before you write. Hi torically , during those times people preferred Muslims to rule rather than Christians majority of the time. Muslims were more tolerant than Christians. With Christians you were forced to convert or otherwise it would be death. Muslims would however just tax non - beleivers. LET'S not forget christians killing off whole races and invading numerous countries to spread the "word of god". All the while they strip the land of its riches and resources, rape its women, and kill and pillage these "heathens".Christians are against magic, but what was it Moses did before pharoah w/ his staff, and I could go and on.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading about the Crusades a lot lately. I loved the series the History Channel brought earlier this year. Christianity is all about denial of what they did because it points out the flaws of the ealier churches. I first two Crusades were about christianity and the third was just some pissed off soldiers trying to right a loss war in the Second Crusade.

I find it troubling how today's christians will say that those were not real christians. They say that to me when I tell them all the bad things christians do today. They love to pull tricks like that. This trick made me think recently when I was in NYC at a Muslim school guarding a muslim diplomat. Some woman agents with my got kicked out for not having their head covered. One female had a police hat who was with me. She is a big fundy. She calls me "anti" and I am sure it is to shut me up. She drops Jesus bombs all the time like that. Fundys want to shut us up or call us anti to demonize us. Any way, my revelation. The fundy made a comment about the all the muslim kids being future bombers. I told her they were not radicals and they were good people. They treated us well. She said something about this is America as to refer that everyone should be Christian in this country. I told her she was imperialistic in her beliefs. She was outraged at my comment, but I am a Sagatarius and had to tell the truth. I came to my revelation later realizing how Christians say all muslims are bad and they are all killers. I realized this is the same claim we (Some Athiests) make about Christians in that the religion could not be true because of some of their actions. Yet, they make a blanket statement that all muslims are bad because of the action of some radicals. Know what I mean?

About the crusades, it was about highjacking the present day as they have highjacked the past by making up a false history in the buy-bull. It's funny how fundy's today think they pre-date the Roman Catholics in their beliefs. The truth is they are a hybrid of the former. An evilution of lies, not to mention the highjacking of Judism and their traditions.

Christianity has changed over the last 1500 years and that makes it a lie. You can't say you have truth and it change, not have clarity, and be confusing.

Riley J.
"Faith is the number one tool used to make you the number fool."

Beware of the religous car salesman. They worship the Lord of Hords and King of Things.

Anonymous said...

Anon, you are right. Christianity went from presecuted to persecutor in a 100 years thanks to ST Constantine. Muslims took 600 or so years. Muslims seemed peaceful at the time. What do you guys think about the movie between heaven and earth?

Nvrgoingbk said...

"The idea of conquering a land through war and violence in the Name of Christ is completely unbiblical"

Huh? Did I read that correct? I almost choked on my breakfast-okay so there is no breakfast, but if there had been I would have choked on it.

The idea of conquering a land through war and violence is most certainly taught and embraced in the Bible, perhaps not in the name of Christ, but in the name of his Daddy, Yaweh. How many scriptures of rape, infanticide, genocide, animal sacrifice, etc. need to be read by Christians before they admit to their bloodthirsty God? Oh, I know, they don't read THOSE scriptures. They just read the fuzzy stuff like "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." or "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
or "For God so loved the world..."

And the Christian Crusades were not the only wars fought in the name of Christ. May we never forget the Spanish Inquisitions and the glorious white man who brought his religion from abroad and sought to convert the heathen American Indians with the same techniques as did the Jews upon the Canaanites, Hittites, Shit-tites...WHATEVR! And when the Christians aren't waging bloody war, they are torturing heretics, apostates, and 'witches',slaves or Iraquis. When they are doing none of the above, they're priests and leaders are commiting incest, perversion, adultery, and fruad. When they aren't doing any of those things, they are mercilessly planting the fear of judgment and Hell into eachother and all of us 'apostates' who dare to think differently.

As far as 'loving' and 'peaceful' Muslims are concerned: Are women having their breasts cut off in Sudan so their babies will starve in an attempt at converting the heathens "peaceful" to you Mr. 'I'll pray five times a day on my prayer mat in the direction of Mecca and make at least a once in a lifetime pilgramage there so that I can HOPE to earn entry into Heaven where I will spend eternity with Allah, a bunch of gihad martyrs, and 72 virgins who will fan my balls forever and ever and ever.' If you, Anonymous, are a woman, than what's in it for female Muslims anyway? What promises does your God offer a faithful female Muslim? Oh, I know, you'll finally get to trade those ghastly sheets you wear since your legs and neck, and in some cases even your hands and face, won't be a temptation any longer in paradise. I mean, shit, what Muslim is going to want an old used up bat when he's got 72 virgins tickling his wee-wee?

Here's my point: All you religious fundies SUCK! All religions that seeks to control the minds of others with the threat of torture, be it here on earth or in some future abyss of fire, should be banished to a remote island to fight amongst themselves. See, then we horrible, immoral Athiests will have rid the world of these fucks without having had to shed a drop of fundie blood. The blood will be on their own hands as we all know an island inhabited with a bunch of fundies would soon become desolate.

BTW, did any of you watch the South Park episode last night on Athiests? It was hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Islami Fundy (Piss be upon yr stinking fuckwart Prophet).
U won't be selling any of yr shit here mate.(even at a very discounted price!lmfao) We all know that NONE of yr women will be going to to Allah's heaven ( cos they lower than goat turd }. As for u arsewipes, you've covered all the angles, what with virgins for the straight fucks and scrubbed,shiny little boys for the bent fags,one giant eternal orgy for all, ancestors included. Yeah !! I've had a looksie at what yr disgusting kacky koran says. Now run along and wipe yr arse with yr right hand.

Anonymous said...

Much of what is written here about the Crusades is inaccurate and, if you are interested in a balanced narrative of them, I would recommend Sir Steven Runciman's three volume work on the subject, which is certainly the most authoritative account of the crusades available. It is available in paperback. It would also lay to rest a number of myths about the Crusades. One, for example which is repeated here, is the Christian credentials of many who went on the Crusades. It is quite clear that many went out of piety and for the salvation of their souls. An underlying reason for the Crusades was to enable Western pilgrims to visit the Holy Land. It was also obviously an opportunity for landless Frankish noblemen. Also one of the problems that faced the Crusaders after the initial and unexpected success of the First Crusade was the lack of sufficient men to hold on to territory gained. This was because so many of its military leaders returned home after the conquest of Jerusalem. They clearly did not engage in this for material gain: quite the contrary.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, AFI. I've been looking for an in-depth treatment of the Crusades, and could not decide among the many titles available. You helped me make the choice. Looks like an excellent book.

Anonymous said...

Ok, you atheists who want to equate xians of today with the xians (not) of the crusades...I'll go along with that.
Then don't cry foul when xians say we atheists are no different than Stalin, Mao tse Tung, Pol Pot, and Kim Jong Il.
I've got to give the xians props for the way they stepped in down in NO after Katrina. They're still there, helping out. I didn't see many of us there.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of secular relief groups helping out in New Orleans and all over the world for that matter.

In the U.S. most of these non-religious groups are being discriminated against by the Bush administration whose official FEMA list exclusively favors funding only faith based relief groups.

Check out this article:

A list of secular and non-sectarian relief groups:

Secular Humanist Aid Relief Effort

There are many other International Private Reliefs Organizations that have no religious affiliation due to political/social implications.

Anonymous said...

I don't think too many regulars on this site care much about the crusades.(I could be wrong).

What's being done in the name of christ/religion right now is bad enough.
(Let's deal with the present atrocities and hideous acts fundamentalism is perpetrating on the innocent people of earth).

Anonymous said...

If the people who fought in the crusades weren't real christians then why did jehovah let them conduct the crusades in christ's name?

It really seems as though god didn't think this whole "christianity" thing through. I mean, you have to accept christ through god's grace in order to be saved, but anybody weirdo-psychopathic-mouthbreather can claim to be a true, saved christian which makes all christians look like weirdo-psychopathic-mouthbreathers which makes it hard for anyone (who isn't already brainwashed or mentally/emotionally/spiritually deficient) to want to accept it.

God should have come up with some way that would allow everyone to tell who the true christians were - like a big, glowing fish right in the center of their forehead. Or, even better, what if these people would actually be able to do miracles, like heal people and walk on water?

(Say, doesn't the bible say something lke that? (hee hee)

Anonymous said...

I think that if the crusades were done by people that were not real christians is the arguement then I am going to have to say that the people that may have been real christains that were recruited to fight were stupid. And if they were stupid and only listened to the priest then does this not then also reflect the way in which the christians of today will also put ont he blinders and follow today's priests. I mean do they not call the believers the flock and are they not likend to sheep and if so then does the flock think for itself or do they just follow there leaders. We all know the answer to this question. And since the answer is yes more should be done to do away with religion before we find a christian leader with his finger ont he button of a nuke. Oh, No to late!

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