The Crusades: A Response to Islamic Jihad

Following 9/11, there was renewed interest in the Crusades as explanations were sought for the brutal attacks. As terrorist attacks have continued throughout the years, and now with the rise of the Islamic State, this interest in the Crusades has not abated. Unfortunately, increased interest has not necessarily translated into increased knowledge. Prof. Thomas F. Madden has lamented: “An interested person who simply strolls into a bookstore looking for a history of the crusades is much more likely to walk out with a book written by a novelist, journalist, or ex-nun than one written by a professional historian and based on the best research available. The heightened public interest in the crusades since 9/11 has created a market for popular histories, many of which simply retell myths long ago dispelled by historians.”

  • Tokenn

    I recommend Jihad [In The West] by Paul Fregosi; Pub: Prometheus Books. It’s not specifically about the Crusades but it does contain several chapters that gives as much detail as anybody is likely to want about them, as well as the Islamic invasions of Europe from the earliest days of Islam until the end of the Ottoman Empire, plus commentary about more-or-less contemporary times. Interestingly, the book came out before 9/11…I’d love to see an update from Fregosi…

    • Thanks I will check that out.

      • Tokenn

        Huh….Fregosi died in early 2001…. The book is densely written but with lots of chapter breaks…I read it over a 2 week vacation early this year. I found it stunning how much history there is between Islam and the West that is almost unknown…not because it’s obscure, but because it has been ignored.

  • Jay Currie

    An excellent corrective to the “Crusader” slander. There is no question that the crusades were simply push back against the black tide of Islam.

  • terrence

    Another good book about the endless war islam has with the civilized world is “Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: the forgotten war that changed American history” .

    Here is part of a review of it:
    “For centuries, pirates off the Northern Coast of Africa attacked and plundered Mediterranean commercial ships, kidnapping passengers and crew. When the United States was a new country, the government had neither money nor navy for tribute, ransom, or protection. “Purchased” peace treaties (bribes) were easily broken by tyrannical Barbary state rulers. In 1801, the Bashaw (Pasha) of Tripoli demanded exorbitant payments President Thomas Jefferson refused to pay. He was determined to use force instead of suffering the humiliation and disrespect of repeated demands for money and gifts, as well as the frustration of not being able to prevent the capture and brutal enslavement of white Americans. Ultimately, Jefferson sent ships from the newly established navy, along with marines to protect U.S. shipping and the unsteady American economy, leading the Bashaw to declare war against the United States. In this popular history of the first Tripolitan War, Kilmeade and Yeager focus more on the daring strategies and bold actions of envoys, commodores, and marines who executed Jefferson’s policy than on Jefferson himself.”

  • Alain

    Ah, the Crusades a favourite punching bag for the marxists and Muslims. Of course no mention of the Muslim invasions and their on-going attempt at invading Europe. They succeeded in Spain for a while until they were finally pushed out. All that however was in vain since every Western government now welcomes the same invaders and brings the full force of the state against citizens who object. While not a fan nor supporter I would like to raise another punching bag for the Left: the Inquisition. The real Inquisition would still never hold a candle to the inquisition carried out throughout the West against the “heretics” of cultural marxism.

  • Jabberwokk

    Someone owes Christianity an apology for defending the western world.

  • ellake

    The primary cause for Crusades was the fact that Seljuk’s prohibited Christians to visit Holly places. At that time the pilgrimage to Holly Places was extremely important for Christians. After all, at that time people identified themselves first as a Christians and the concept of nation-states was foreign to them,. they did not think of nations and nationality like we do today. In fact, present concept of nation-state was developed during the French revolution.