The Crusades Weren’t the Grievance Pundits Believe

By injecting moral equivalency into the National Prayer Breakfast by comparing the violence of the Crusades with that of the Islamic State (ISIS), President Obama sparked a storm of controversy. Obama is hardly the first president to step into the mine field of the Crusades, however. President George W. Bush sparked both outrage and considerable self-flagellating in the West when he spoke of a “crusade” against terror.

The irony of the obsession with either apologizing for or avoiding mention of the Crusades is as important as they were to Christians at the time and perhaps even to broader European history, contemporary Muslims considered them little more than minor irritation.