Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Is Christianity equally guilty because the crusades are the moral equivalent of jihad?

The following was written by Philip Rosenthal of ChristianView Network.


Have you heard the argument that Christians can't critise (sic) Jihad because they are equally guilty for the crusades?  Mathematician Bill Warner created a dynamic time linked map comparing Jihad vs the Crusades: Watch it to decide who was the aggressor.

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* Jihad launched 548 major battles against Classical-Christian Civilisation (including what was the Christian Byzantine Empire, but not counting attacks against other civilisations or small terrorist attacks). These are distributed from Arabia across North Africa, the Middle East to France in the West and Vienna in the East from Mohammed onwards.
- 1 million Europeans carried into slavery in Islamic lands by Jihad including as far north as Ireland (not counting African slavery) - many of these sex-slaves to Harems.
- Jihad sponsored piracy impoverished Europe by reducing Mediterranean trade and depopulating coastal towns.

* About 20 significant Crusade counter-attacking battles from 1095 to 1291 (just under two centuries) by Europeans to try to liberate lands only recently conquered by Islam and with most of the population still Christian and oppressed as second-class citizens. In other words, there were about thirty times as many Jihad attacks on Christian civilisation as 'Crusades' against what are today Islamic lands.

* Other counter-attack battles that successfully liberated Spain, Eastern Europe and the Balkans from Islam are not historically counted as 'Crusades'. Had these areas not been liberated by Christian armies, they would likely have become progressively Islamised as is the Middle East today.

* The Crusader counter-attack likewise diverted an onslaught of Islamic military resources from attacking mainland Europe, without which it may well have been progressively conquered as was the Middle East and North Africa. After the Crusades stopped, the Jihad onslaught on Byzantine and then central Europe resumed - ending at the battle of Vienna in 1683 - where Polish-led united armies (what could be called a 'crusade' outside their own borders) saved Austria and the rest of Europe.

* Retrospectively, now a thousand years later, Christianity has been 90% eliminated in the Middle East due to Islamic persecution, so the Crusades are re-interpreted as a Christian-European attack on Islamic people. We forget for example, St George, the patron saint of England is a Syrian and the Christian lands were continuously receiving Christian Arab, Syrian, (Greek now Turkish) refugees from these countries fleeing Islamic persecution. We forget the Christian Byzantine empire, which had just lost Syria, Judea and Western Asia Minor, initiated the Crusades by begging the Europeans to help defend them).

* Drawing moral equivalency between Jihad and the Crusades would be a bit like arguing the Allied liberation of North Africa and Europe was the moral equivalent of the 1939 German conquests.

* THE IRONY OF THE LIBERAL HISTORICAL LENS: Now the irony of history is that the liberals who make this comparison, have their ideology rooted in Classical Greek philosophers, whose ideas were brought to Europe by refugees fleeing Islamic persecution on the fall of the Byzantine Empire - and that had there been no counter-attack, there would probably also be no liberalism. Certainly no liberalism in Islamic countries. Why did we not learn this at school? Because that history, written by liberals, starts with the French Revolution inspired by liberal anti-Christian philosophers inspired by Greek philosophers whose works were brought to Europe by these refugees. So then, since in the liberal view Modernity started then, after Christians won this titanic Civilisational war, then they want us to forget it all.

* But now, even more serious, are Christians learning this Civilisational-war history even at Christian private schools or home education? I don't know of any. They use the same text books.

* Why does this matter to South African history? Firstly, because the fall of Constantinople, formerly the biggest and wealthiest city in Europe, the centre of law and learning in 1453 cut off trade with the East and led to Bartholomew Diaz sailing to Cape Town in 1488 in search of another route. Secondly, because the Islamic attack on Vienna in 1683 forced Catholics and Protestants to make peace and left us with a legacy of religious tolerance.

(All the above is just looking at the historical question of who was the aggressor, without looking at the theological motivations of each. Unfortunately in most wars bad things happened and the Crusades were no exception, but one has to look at the overall picture before drawing moral equivalency.  We may not agree with all the Crusaders believed or everything they did, but without military fight-back Christian Civilisation would have been crushed in Europe as it was in the Middle East and North Africa).

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