Truth about Crusades; They Roasted Babies and Raped Nuns-And That Was Just the Christians:as George Bush Launches His 'Crusade against Terrorism', What Can We Learn from This Most Terrible Period in History?
O'Casey, Sean, Daily Mail (London)
Byline: JOHN CASEY
PRESIDENT BUSH has called his war against terrorism 'a crusade'. That is a word we like to use in the West because it suggests a righteous fight, a battle for good against evil.
But 'crusade' has a very different and ominous meaning in the Arab and Moslem world. There, they take it literally as referring to the warfare Christendom conducted against the Moslems from the 11th to the 15th century.
To Christians, Crusades were chivalrous, high-minded battles inspired by the highest of ideals - the recovery of the land of Christ's birth for his followers.
In Moslem memory, the Crusaders were a collection of rude, licentious barbarians, moved by bloodlust and greed, who erupted into the centre of civilised Moslem order and attempted to impose European power on the Middle East through a puppet state centred on Jerusalem.
These opposite interpretations of the Crusades eerily resemble the disputes between the Arab world and the West about Western interference in the Middle East since World War I and the establishment of the state of Israel after World War II.
Behind the Crusades lies the memory of the Christian lands lost to the Moslems by force of arms. Before the rise of Islam, North Africa, Syria, Palestine and Egypt were great Christian countries.
However, the greatest beacon of faith in the Christian east was Constantinople (now Istanbul), a surviving Greek section of the Roman Empire, ruled by Emperors who were accepted as God's representatives on earth.
Constantinople was an incredibly wealthy and sophisticated city, the centre of commerce, art and scholarship which ruled the Christian east.
Then, suddenly, in the seventh century, this world began to implode. The tribes of Arabia - who had previously played no role in history - were …
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Publication information: Article title: Truth about Crusades; They Roasted Babies and Raped Nuns-And That Was Just the Christians:as George Bush Launches His 'Crusade against Terrorism', What Can We Learn from This Most Terrible Period in History?. Contributors: O'Casey, Sean - Author. Newspaper title: Daily Mail (London). Publication date: September 22, 2001. Page number: 12. © 2007 Daily Mail. COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.
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