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Jihad versus the Crusades

I know it’s the politically correct thing to do — blame all the Muslim’s woes and outrage on the crusades that happened 11 centuries ago.  Even on the video when ISIS brutally beheaded 21 Coptic Christians on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, its spokesman indirectly referenced the Crusades.

And in that spirit, President Obama did exactly the same thing at the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington D.C. on the morning of Thursday, February 5, 2015.

During his address to a largely Christian crowd, President Obama talked about the brutality of ISIS and then in almost the same breath spoke of the terrible brutality of the Crusades, “justified in the name of Christ.”

The President said, “we are summoned to push back against those who would distort religion for their nihilistic ends” and basically put ISIS and the Crusades on equal footing.

You would think from the President’s statements, that the Crusades, which took place between 1095 and 1291, were done in isolation, a one-sided, unprovoked attack on the Muslims.

Prior to the Crusades, Europe had been under repeated attacks by Muslims trying to gain control of this region of the world. And even after the Crusades, Muslims, for a time, controlled Spain and parts of Greece. The Moors were not driven out of Spain until the late 1400s. As late as 1683, Muslims attacked Vienna with the goal of invading Rome and ruling Italy. They might have succeeded if not for the heroics of an unorthodox Polish King.

In the video above, Dr Bill Warner maps out the battles initiated by Muslims in Europe comparing them with the Crusades in the Middle East. Through it, you will have a better perspective on what was happening during this period. We need to put the Crusades in context.

After President Obama’s address, a number of people used Twitter to give the President a brief, 144 letter, history lesson.

One of them was J.R. Holmstead, who tweeted:

“Yes, let’s all pretend Islam had nothing to do with the Crusades.”

Watching the actions of Muslim extremists today, I am not so quick to judge the Roman Catholic church for what it did a thousand or so years ago. I don’t see much of a difference in intent between American and other coalition troops in Iraq or Afghanistan with the Roman Catholic church sending crusaders, also made up of a coalition force, to Jerusalem. They were all there to liberate.

Were their abuses?  Undoubtedly, as there are in every war and will be in any future conflict.

As for the video, Dr. Warner holds a PhD in physics and math from North Carolina State University. According to his website, he has been “a university professor, businessman, and applied physicist.” In recent years, he has taken to studying Islam extremism and its impact on human history.

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