Islam, the Crusades and Colin Powell

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Following is a dialogue about the Crusades, between "Azizrasul", "Kiwimac" and "JenT". For full post and to write your own response, click here

Azizrasul: Christians have also used the Bible to attack the Muslims. Remember the Crusades? But these attacks and counter attacks mean nothing. These people will all be answerable to [Allah]. Stick to what Islam says. If u agree that the Qur’an doesn’t advocate war without justification, then we r getting somewhere.

Jen: The Crusades happened because Muslims were torturing Christians in Jerusalem. Below is part of the speech made by Pope Urban to a council of bishops and religious leaders which inspired the Crusades. It wasn't about greed for money and land as public school textbooks would have our children believe. It was about stopping torture and bloodshed, and defending the innocent, something which the Taliban, under the dictates of the Quran and Sunna, will not afford.

Pope Urban summoned a group of knights to give "one of the great speeches of history". He told how Turks [under the name of Allah] "have destroyed the altars that they have polluted with their foul practices. They have circumcised the Christians, spreading the blood on the altars and pouring it on the fonts. And they cut open the bellies of those whom they choose to torment with a loathsome death, tear out their bowels and tie them to a stake, drag them around and flog them, before killing them as they lie on the ground with entrails all hanging out"

Kiwimac: JenT, What a lot of rubbish!
Let's take this one point at a time:

[Kiwi posts much text describing the Crusades (see full post). These are answered point by point below:

Kiwi, isn't it amazing how history repeats itself...

Just as the right and the left have very different interpretations of what just happened in Iraq and the motives of President Bush, so are speculations of the motives of the Crusades, and historians use a broad brush when they paint their own colors.

If you sift out the facts from what you posted, and exclude the added guesswork of motives, you will find you have confirmed what I've written.

You wrote,

Europe was even beginning to push back the boundaries of Islam. The Spanish recaptured Toledo...

I gotta ask, Kiwi, why is it that when Islam conquers a territory, you seem to conclude it rightfully belongs to Islam, and "Europe was even beginning to push back the boundaries of Islam." Why are those Islam's boundaries? Why is it that in your mind, what Islam takes is Islam's, and anyone who RECAPTURES their land, is taking from Islam, putting Islam in the defensive no doubt? Oh poor misunderstood Islam!

You claim the Crusades failed. The truth is, England was watching the rest of the world fall to the sword of Islam, as Islam was violently slaughtering and conquering. How long would England last once all the world was Islam? How wise would it be to just ignore the onslaught all around them until they were surrounded? (I think Powell needs to consider this!)

Kiwi, I would say we have much to be thankful to the Crusaders, because they stopped Islam from taking over everything, or would you prefer that we women wear burquahs, and have our arms cut off if our elbows show? Maybe you'd prefer it if all wives were "tilths" (sex objects with no more rights than a cow).

My goodness, you wrote, "In 1091, Sicily was retaken from the Moslems."

Kiwi, again, why is what Islam takes suddenly of clear ownership of Islam, and anyone who takes their country back, is "retaking" from the Muslims? Oh the poor victimized Muslims.

Your post states, "The Turks, originally from Central Asia, invaded Persia..." Kiwi, why is it you call Muslims "Muslims" when they are suffering the torment of losing what they killed to get, but when you write about Muslim invasions of others, suddenly you refer to their country, i.e., "Turks". Oh so the Turks invade but the Muslims are victims... yet they are the same...

Your post states: "The ascent of Urban II, a prominent member of the Cluniac movement, to the papacy in 1088 enabled the reformers to put their agenda into action."

Wow now that sounds evil doesn't it? But really all you are saying is that Pope Urban was a good choice to regain unity, "free the church from secular controls" and bring discipline to the church. (oh the horror of it all)

Your post states, "The Moslems, who were tolerant of Christians, who respected Christ as a great prophet..."

WOW Kiwi, the tactic doesn't change! TODAY Muslims claim this very thing! Yet look at the slaughtered Christians, like in the Sudan, the missionaries that don't dare go into Islamic nations (or if they do they know they could well die a torturous death), look how hundreds of Christians were slaughtered merely because a journalist suggested Muhammad might have chose a wife from a beauty pageant! You say Islam respects Christ as a "great prophet"? If the Gospel is preached in a Muslim nation it is done so at the risk of death! If a Muslim converts to Christianity it is ordered he be murdered! Yes, you allow it to be said that Jesus is a "prophet" but your definition of a prophet other than Muhammad is about equal to a "popular teacher with ideas" as Jesus is described in Houghton Mifflin's "A Message of Ancient Days." Apparently you are happy about that... and all the while claim to be a Christian yourself, amazing.

Your post states (and this is truly informative) "Pope Urban II called for a Crusade in 1095. The principal stated objective was to drive the Turks out of Anatolia. The principal hidden agenda was to heal the Great Schism on Rome's terms


once and for all by rescuing the Byzantines from a grave threat and thereby obligating them. The objective of going on to reconquer the Holy Land for Christendom (as long as we're in the neighborhood) was almost an afterthought."

Gee, Kiwi, that was really rotten of Pope Urban to hope the Byzantines might be a little grateful after being rescued from a "grave threat" and thereby, "obligating them." Gosh, Kiwi, how wicked of Pope Urban to hope to heal the Great Schism. This actually confirmed what I was stating in the first place, why did you call it rubbish?

Reconquering the Holy Land for Christendom was an afterthought? That was kind, usually people try to claim it was all about gaining wealth.

I don't think it was an afterthought at all. The Pope gave a speech urging many lords, knights, noblemen to sacrifice their fortunes, their legacies, their comfort and their lives to defend the tortured Christians in Jerusalem. In fact, it was very well documented that for years they marched with the constant motto, "Is this Jerusalem?"

You wrote, "The Crusaders did not decisively defeat the Turks but mauled them severely enough to halt their expansion [yaaay!] and provide a promising basis for future offensives.

They marched into Palestine, besieged and captured Jerusalem, and indulged in wholesale massacre and plundering once they took the city.

And I suppose "historians" such as this will write that our troops are doing that in Iraq today, right? Oh how history repeats itself. I suppose future "historians" will write that people were drawn to Sadaam Hussein because "of his strong character. His followers were attracted to his morality, courage, and compassion, perhaps as much as they were attracted to his teaching.” (this is how Muhammad is described in our children's textbooks today...will future "historians" write such words about Osama bin Laden tomorrow?)

You stated: It should come as no surprise that the Crusaders adopted precisely the wrong tactics. [why is that, Kiwi? Seems a little prejudiced]

Their ideal strategy should have been to seek rapprochement with their neighbors and act to maintain stability in the region.

[now, why would they want to stabilize the Muslim control and torture of Christians? Maybe they were a little anxious to DO something about it?]

Instead, believing that they could eventually overcome Islam itself, they allied themselves with every destabilizing force in the region. They assisted one Moslem ruler in attacking Damascus, despite his professed intent of later launching a jihad against the Crusaders themselves.

[Doesn't this sound like Colin Powell today? We have Muslim clerics professing their hatred of us, calling for Jihad; meanwhile few Muslim clerics will condemn what these "fundamental" Muslims are doing. Yet our US schools, textbooks, and Colin Powell are embracing Islam, asking Muslims to come over and "educate us"...I think you and Colin Powell may be of the same "Christian" persuasion, Kiwi!]

Predictably enough, he did just that, capturing the Crusader citadel of Edessa. The loss jolted Europe, and the Second Crusade was launched in 1147.

[This does not bode well for the diplomatic efforts of our government with Islam today]

Your post states: Remember the original aim of healing the Great Schism? It was now forever out of reach. The Byzantines preferred surrender to the Turks in 1453 to seeking aid from the West

[the history books I read said they fell to the Turkish Muslims in that year, not surrender]

You stated, "Poorly financed, they were soon in debt to Venice and agreed to pay off the little more than mercenaries on the Venetian payroll, they then agreed to help the Venetians install a puppet ruler on the throne of Constantinople.

Wow Kiwi. Look what later happened to the Venetians...did the Byzantines fare any better than the Venetian's surrender?.. "Captain of Famagusta, Marcantonio Bragadin, of a distinguished Venetian family, offered his surrender. It was accepted by [Muslim Turk] Mustafa in flattering terms. When Bragadin and his surviving officers came out, after receiving the acknowledgement of surrender sealed with the Sultan's seal, Mustafa gave the signal for the massacre to begin. He himself cut off Bragadin's ears and nose, then kept him waiting in this state for two weeks before having him flayed alive. His skin was stuffed with straw and taken to Constantinople in triumph. A patriotic Venetian later stole it and it now rests in an urn in the church of SS Giovanni e Paolo in Venice."

The Muslims then took the Venetian's St. Nicholas Cathedral, turned it into a mosque and named it the Mustafa Pasha Mosque, which stands today. "In accordance with Muslim religion all images of the human form in stone, fresco, or in stained glass windows were removed or plastered over."

I wonder what the White House will look like a hundred years from now...

Your post states, "Where else can we find a war that was won four times and still finally lost?"

I disagree. They did not lose. For you see, not all the world is Islam. Yet. And when it is... when the world gets darker still as it will, Christ will come, and then there will be times like no man has ever seen or will see again.

Kiwi, you ended saying we have much to be thankful for from the Muslims. I say we have much to be thankful for from the Crusaders, that many of us have since come to know Christ, for who can we be more thankful to God than for His Son, that we can be reconciled unto the Father. Amen. ~Jen

(I apologize for my impatience, these have been long dialogs at Christian Website Talk)

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