The animus against Western history and Christianity is animated by bigots, misinformed socialist zealots and those who deny the reality of the 5 senses. Many issues and problems exist of course in the long story of Christianity and Western development. But one fact is clear and usually lost on the very-smart-people including 'secularist's and Marxists and those who yell that Islam is peace. Nothing in life, history, or the real world can, or should be perfect. People, systems, civilizations, and cultures all evolve and mutate. The key question is this; do they gravitate towards more freedom, with more understanding, morality and purpose; or do they simply regress and drift backwards? Western civilization and Christianity are in the former group. Islam, cults and pagan Fascisms litter the latter. Equating anything to do with Islam, with Christianity, the Crusades or Western civilization is the height of illiteracy and defamation.
Kristof is a lame-stream media reporter who does not have any idea, whatsoever, about Islam, the Crusades or Christianity. An elitist trained intolerant, Kristof parrots the simpleton line; Islam is peace, Christianity is bad, the Crusades are worse. He has obviously never read the Koran, the history of Mohammed, the blood-drenched saga of Islamic imperialism; nor why the Crusades were not only necessary, but a reply to Muslim depredations and unceasing warfare against the infidels. In fact I would argue that the Crusades in essence saved Europe by furthering the internal divisions in Islam, forcing the Muslims to fight in the Near East for some 300 years instead of in Europe; and creating within Europe a clearly defined and unique 'Christian ideal'; something that was instrumental in Europe creating the modern world. Reason is acquired through faith. The modern world was created only in Christian Europe. Islam produced nothing of any value whatsoever.
But not for Kristof. Like all raving lunatics Kristof eschews facts for fantasy and substitutes screaming for logic:
Remember also that historically, some of the most shocking brutality in the region was justified by the Bible, not the Koran. Crusaders massacred so many men, women and children in parts of Jerusalem that a Christian chronicler, Fulcher of Chartres, described an area ankle-deep in blood. While burning Jews alive, the crusaders sang, “Christ, We Adore Thee.”
This is nonsense. The reality of the 'sack' of Jerusalem in 1099 is that maybe 4.000 non-combatants lost their lives. This is 5 times less than in major Muslim sacks of cities such as Acre, Ascalon, Antioch and Edessa. 40.000 lost their lives in the Turkish attack on Constantinople in 1453, with 30.000 marched off to slavery. No one in 1099 Jerusalem was marched off to slavery. In medieval warfare the rules were understood and straightforward. If a city under siege did not surrender and was taken, it was open to 3 days of pillage and rapine. So it went with Jerusalem in 1099. The Christian army was tired, had lost 2/3 of its men in 18 months of fighting; had secured an incredible and almost miraculous victory at Antioch against all odds when completely surrounded by the Turks; and vented their frustrations, anger and even joy on innocents. A sad event yes. A monumental massacre without precedent? Please.
As one commentator on Kristof's useless tirade aptly observed:
What was at stake was nothing less than the preservation of Christianity, and the civilization which had, even if imperfectly, sought to embody its teachings in the world. This was also evidenced by the increasingly hostility to Christians still living in the Levant (the Holy Land), as well as those who went on pilgrimage; in 1009, the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah ordered the Church of the Holy Sepulcher – in an act the Catholic Encyclopedia rightly calls a “fit of madness” - razed to the ground. This was followed by an even broader campaign against Christianity throughout the Levant, culminating in the destruction of thousands of Christian churches.
Given the scale of the unprovoked and ceaseless attacks, as well as the persecution of Christians within the Holy Land itself, I believe the Crusades were more than justified. When we understand that they were in fact a belated response to centuries of violent Islamic expansion, and not a random and spontaneous act of aggression (like every Muslim assault on Christian territories was), I don’t see how a reasonable person could deny it.
All of this is true! War is always ugly. But there are moments in history when the right side must win. In the conflict between Christianity and Islam during the early modern period, Christian Europe had to win. If Europe was conquered by Islam, there would be no modern world today. You would not be reading this on a computer through digital internet technology. None of the appliances and benefits of our modern world would exist. That is simply a fact. You can look at the poverty, the misery, the illiteracy, the rampant stupidity, and the in-breeding within the Islamic world and recognize that our achievements have only emanated from European and North Atlantic civilization. Islam has never, and never will, produce anything of value.
Since Mr. Kristof wants us to “remember” things, let us remember a few more. First, let us remember that the goals of the Crusades did not include the conversion of Muslims to Christianity, and that the few conversion attempts made were largely unsuccessful. Not only that, but Arab travelers living at the time, such as Ibn Jubayr, noted that Muslims lived better under their Frankish rulers than they did other Muslims!
It is also worth remembering that the Crusades failed, and that the Islamo-Turks did overrun Southeastern Europe, and would have taken over all of the rest of it as well had they not been checked twice at Vienna, in 1529 and 1683.
Remember that Islam is a moon cult. Remember that it is fascistic in every sense of that world. Remember that non-Muslims must either be converted, killed or taxed as second class citizens. Remember that there is no separation of church and state – a particular concern for people such as Kristof. And remember that commentators like Kristof are misinformed ignoramuses who should move to Iran.