The Crusades Were a Reasonable Response to Unchecked Islamic Aggression

There’s nothing a person says that more serves better to convinces me of their ignorance than when they use the “C” word. They use it as if it was a magical talisman that would make us crumble to the ground and eagerly convert to whatever twaddle they’re peddling. People who believe the Crusades were somehow “bad” inevitably are completely and unforgivably ignorant of both Christian and Moslem histories, let alone the infamous and barbaric treatment of Christians under invading Moslem armies in Spain, Portugal and France between AD 711-1492.

The Crusades weren’t started by Christians or the Church. Instead, they were slow, measured, moral, reasonable and rational responses to violent and unchecked Islamic invasion and colonization.

  • Ego

    The Crusades weren’t started by Christians or the Church
    While I totally agree with the gist of the article, I’d correct that sentence.
    Yes, the Crusades were started by the Church, notably Pope Urban II in 1095, and not a minute too soon—by that time, Islam had been ravaging the once-heartland of Christendom for five centuries.

    Urban had arranged the gathering in response to a letter from Alexius Comnenus, emperor of Byzantium, who had written from his embattled capital of Constantinople to the Count of Flanders requesting that he and his fellow Christians send forces to help the Byzantines repel the Seljuk Turks, recent converts to Islam who had invaded the Middle East, captured Jerusalem, and driven to within one hundred miles of Constantinople. In his letter, the emperor detailed gruesome tortures of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land and vile desecrations of churches, altars, and baptismal fonts. Should Constantinople fall to the Turks, not only would thousands more Christians be murdered, tortured, and raped, but also “the most holy relics of the Saviour,” gathered over the centuries, would be lost. “Therefore in the name of God…we implore you to bring this city all the faithful soldiers of Christ…[I]n your coming you will find your reward in heaven, and if you do not come, God will condemn you.

    (Quoted from ‘God’s Battalions’ by Rodney Stark.)
    The Crusades tied down Muslim forces, checking their advance to conquer Europe, and won time for Europe to develop. Without the Crusades, Muslim conquest may have succeeded in Europe.
    We should be proud of the Crusaders.

    • WalterBannon

      True, but if you start fighting back against a bully who has been beating you, are you really “starting” a fight, or just stopping being a victim…

      I would say the fight was started by Islam, Pope Urban was just finally getting up and fighting back.

  • Obviously.

  • bverwey

    Ego, good points but if indeed the Crusade only started 5 centuries after muzlims started invading how does that extrapolate to modern Europe’s fate today?

    • WalterBannon

      extinction of Europe, that’s how….

    • Ego

      At that time, Islam was a relatively new phenomenon. People were slow to realize what it really meant, few could read, even fewer (if any) read the Koran, and news spread at snail’s pace. But Christianity was powerful and fundamental in what still remained Christian lands. It was a huge unifying force: people were willing and eager to make sacrifices hard to imagine in today’s ideological vacuum:

      Nor were the Crusades organized and led by surplus sons, but by the heads of great families who were fully aware that the costs of crusading would far exceed the very modest material rewards that could be expected; most went at immense personal cost, some of them knowingly bankrupting themselves to go. Moreover, the crusader kingdoms that they established in the Holy Land, and that stood for nearly two centuries, were not colonies sustained by local exactions; rather, they required immense subsidies from Europe.

      (Quoted from ‘God’s Battalions’ by Rodney Stark.)

      Today, news spread in a fraction of a second and have a worldwide reach. Also, a huge body of knowledge is available about Islam. But the West has no faith in anything, be it a religion or any idea worth fighting—and if need be, dying—for. Against it stands a medieval religious fervor, a huge unifying force, brutality paired with cunning, with nothing to match it in the West, not even common sense.
      Yet the West does have something powerful worth making sacrifices for: the freedoms it has fought for and won over centuries, freedoms that define the very existence and essence of the West as we know it. Without them, and without people eager and willing to defend them, the West would cease to be what it is.
      Islam can only be fought with knowledge and will. People should start educating themselves in Islam to understand what it preaches, start to appreciate the freedoms they (still) have, and understand that they will lose them unless they are willing to fight for them.

      Sorry for this late-night sermon, from an atheist to boot 🙂

      If you want to learn about Islam, here is a very short selection:

      Bill Warner: Why We Are Afraid (video, YouTube has it)
      Robert Spencer: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam
      Reliance of the Traveler (aka sharia)
      Stephen Coughlin: Catastrophic Failure
      Bill Warner: Islam Self Study Course

  • Sid Falco

    The only bad thing about the Crusades is that we lost them.

    • Clausewitz

      Please elaborate.

  • Tokenn

    The more I read about the conflict between the West and Islam, the more shocked I am that this history has been so studiously ignored and downplayed. I am seeing it as one of the most important facts of European history, if not human civilization.