Sunday, December 04, 2005


The Crusades (Non-PC Version)

Recently, the History Channel ran a two part series about the Crusades. As far as I could tell, it was about as accurate as describing open heart surgery by starting with, “The masked man drugged his victim before slicing him open with a razor sharp knife”. Information crucial to understanding the Crusades was ignored and there was so much politically correct spin I almost became dizzy watching it. I want to make it clear that I am not condoning the brutality exhibited by the Crusaders. I also want to make it clear that broadcasting a one-sided history of the Crusades, as I believe was presented by the History Channel, is a disservice to the public.

First and foremost was the almost complete disregard for the manner in which Islam spread as compared to the manner in which Christianity had spread throughout the same region. Christianity dispersed throughout the Middle East and Europe by peaceful means through the establishment of churches and eventually “conquered” the Roman Empire without lifting a sword! Islam was spread through military gain. There were no Islamic missionaries only Islamic warriors, including Mohammed. The tidal wave of Islamic conquest rolled over the Middle East, North Africa and both the southeastern and southwestern regions of Europe. Charles Martel’s human wall of mail-clad Frankish infantry finally stopped the advance into France in 732. Although the History Channel version did give a nodding acknowledgement to the spread of Islam by force, it did not accurately describe the extent or ferocity of the Muslim invasion nor did it even touch upon the realities of non-Muslims, called dhimma, living under Muslim rule.
In addition to glossing over the fact that Islam was only spread at the point of a sword, the History Channel perpetuated the myth that there existed a peaceful coexistence between the Islamic conquerors and the subjugated native inhabitants. Once conquered these native inhabitants were given three choices; convert to Islam, pay what is called the jizya a. tax which leads into the dhimma status I mentioned earlier or die. Those who chose life without Islam, the dhimmi, were treated to a second class “citizenship” that bordered on slavery. This is the status to which Islamic apologists refer when they say that the “people of the Book” (Christians and Jews) were allowed “freedom to worship”. That statement is both true and incomplete. Freedom of worship was allowed. Freedom to build new churches or synagogues was not; freedom to renovate, repair or expand existing churches or synagogues was not. As dhimmi, there were also sometimes very severe restrictions limiting their participation in many social and legal activities. In addition, the jizya could become very expensive as it could be raised at the whim of whoever was in power at any given time.
This is already pretty long and I do have more. Guess it’ll have to be a two parter.

Resources: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades
A History of the Crusades, Vol. 1
Carnage and Culture

Submitted by Rick

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