The Truth About the Crusades

Obama's most recent speech at the National Prayer Breakfast showed a president who is simply ignorant of history and demonstrated his inability to inspire a nation in time of crisis. Obama, who can’t seem to utter the word Islamic terrorism or radical Islamism, did the ultimate no-no when giving his speech. He morally equated Islamic terrorism to past Christian sins, and by using the crusades as part of his equation, he also adopted his enemies’ propaganda as truth.

How often have we heard about how Christians attacked the Muslim world during the crusades and accept the Muslim radicals’ talking point that this was the start of the Christian-Muslim conflict? President Obama tried to play Professor Obama, but instead, he came off as Student Obama in need of more education.

The real history is that the Crusades were some 400 years after Muslim armies overran much of the Christian world in Africa and the Middle East. By the time the Crusades began, two thirds of what was the Christian world in 600 AD was under the control of Muslims. Spain and France were nearly engulfed into the Muslim orbit but for victory at the battle of Tours under the leadership of Charles Martel.

Brutality of the Crusades can’t be denied, but then in Medieval times, life was both brutal and short. Brutality was a sin that all sides were guilty of. Esteemed Middle East Scholar Bernard Lewis noted, “The Crusades could more accurately be described as a limited, belated and in the last analysis, ineffectual response to the jihad- a failed attempt to recover by a Christian holy war what had been lost to a Muslim holy war.”

As Ralph Peters observed, “And when Christians and Muslims squared off, the Muslims increasingly won. The damage that venal Crusaders did to Constantinople, the last bulwark of Eastern Christianity, was far worse than any harm they wreaked in Muslim lands….But “historical” memory is selective. And those boorish European tourists who visited the Middle East coastal resorts in 1099 and briefly overstayed their welcome have become the all-purpose bogeymen excusing every failure, great and small, between Benghazi and Baghdad. In fact the Muslim conquest of Christianity’s Middle East heartlands and the occupation of much of Europe into the 20th century did the actual civilization damage. Two hundred years of Crusades? How about 14 centuries of jihad?”

The fall of Constantinople opened up central Europe and Turkish armies were at the gates of Vienna before being pushed back in 1683. The Ottoman Empire still held European territory before an uprising forced the Turks out at the advent of World War I. Obama mentioned slavery as a sin without mentioning it was the Western abolitionist who spearheaded the abolition of slavery and the slave trade was stopped as courtesy of the British Navy during 19th century Pax Britannica. If the 19th century was a Pax Ottoman Empire, slavery would most likely still exist and even today, ISIS sells women into slavery, that is when these radical Islamists are not involved in the usual rape, plunder and pillage on a daily basis.

The Inquisition was part of Christianity, but five hundred years have passed, and this kind of violence and torture the Inquisition was guilty of over the centuries occurs on a weekly basis by ISIS and Boko Harem. Instead of making the case that ISIS is evil, Obama all but minimized the evil of ISIS and radical Islam by comparing it to events committed by Christians that happened centuries ago. The moral equivalence argument is based on fraudulent ideas that somehow, America is no better than any other nation and our past sins should be considered when viewing modern day evil. The one thing that will strike Americans, or should, is Obama's ignorance of history, and even worse, his failure to defend Western civilization. If we are no better than our enemy, what is there to defend?

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