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Western Civilisation

Until the advent of materialism and 19th c. dogma, Western Civilisation was  superior to anything Islam had developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Proof of this resides in the 'modern' world and the unending political-economic and spiritual poverty of Muslim states and regions.  Squatting on richer civilisations is not 'progress'.  Islam is pagan, totalitarian, and irrational.   

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

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Common myths about the Seven Crusades which occurred 1095 to 1299

Europeans finally reacted to the Muslim invasion of both Western Europe and the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire.

by Ferdinand III

The Crusades are used as a proxy by the anti-Western, anti-American fanatics who are deployed in grotesquely large numbers in the Western media and educational systems. The word 'Crusade' like the words capitalist or conservative has been re-associated by the post-modern marxists and deceitful socialists to denote criminality, bloody indiscriminate war and Western-white imperialism against 'superior cultures' and peoples. None of these attitudes or beliefs is supported by reality and none of the myths of the Crusades bears any scrutiny or dissection. 

Here are some common, and quite incorrect myths about the Crusades.

1. Myth: Europe was poor and Islam glorious.
Reality check: How does one account for the technology, logistics and leadership in which Europeans traveled in some cases thousands of miles to an inhospitable piece of land on the outstretch of the western Mediterranean – conquering, building and surviving for 2 centuries outnumbered by enemies some 150:1 ? Even barring the great failures and disasters of many crusades how does one account for the invincibility of the mounted European knight – a weapon of war to which the Muslims had no answer ? 

Obviously Europe as not as poor or backwards as it is portrayed. During the period of the Crusades technological innovation abounded in Europe – far outstripping what was to be found in the Islamic states, Ummayed Spain included. Muslims conquered and squatted on existing empires – rich, full of trade routes with millenia of culture and social development. Europeans – especially those outside of Italy had no such legacy. Forested, bisected by rivers, mountains, lakes and different and harsh climates, the post-Roman European world had to build a civilisation in inhospitable terrain – one without a 10.000 year legacy of civilisational development. 

European cities had well built roads, cathedrals and thriving markets. European architecture and church building outshone that of the Islamic world. In a harsher climate the Europeans developed new methods of improving agricultural productivity including the use of shoulder harnesses for oxen and horses, and implementing field rotation and genetic splicing to improve crop hardiness. In fact the scope of technological improvements in commerce, markets, building, farming and war had no answer in the Islamic world. 

A simple example suffices. The Europeans were able to field a fully armed mounted knight, with attendants, food, and logistics – all of it a very costly enterprise – and ship him in some cases thousands of miles. The Muslims did not have the military advances found in the creation of a mounted knight, nor the means to logistically ship him with a retinue across a sea. Who then is more advanced ? 

2. Myth: Only the Europeans slaughtered people.
Reality check: Both sides – Muslim and 'Frank' – engaged in the usual atrocity associated with war. There is no denial that both sides engaged in the bloodiest of acts. The Muslims under Saladin for example – lauded by Muslims and Hollywood as some sort of heavenly dignified warrior – in fact ravaged and stormed countless cities and towns slaughtering in many cases all the Christian, Jewish or anti-Muslim inhabitants. Indeed Saladin was just as cruel with his Muslim enemies or competitors as he was with the hated Christians. 

During many of the 7 crusades Europeans also slaughtered non-Muslims. Christian heretics, Jews or innocents were widely persecuted during these two centuries. Keep in mind that Catholic heretics in southern France [Albigensians]; pagans in the Baltic's; as well as Jews along the Rhine-Danube system were targeted for annihilation, conversion or just barbaric slaughter. Much of this non-Muslim crusading zeal was of course for money. The Jews in such prosperous towns such as Mainz were killed by Crusaders en route to the 'Holy Land' and their money confiscated to pay for the journey and the costs associated with crusading

3. Myth: Muslims were peaceful, wonderful people who were 'attacked' by evil Europeans.

The Muslim-Arab invasion of Europe started in 710 with Spain being conquered by 718 A.D. Sicily, parts of Italy, the Balkans and even Rome were either sacked, occupied or under perennial depradations of Arab arms. Charles the Hammer's victory near Poitiers in 742 effectively stopped the northern advancement of Islam. After this date Muslim armies began the consolidation of their first Arab inspired phase of expansion. It was clear that the Arabs had neither the men, nor the material or technological resources to proceed out of Spain or Sicily into the European heartland to garner permanent conquests. 

As such the European attack on Islam was of course a defensive posture. One that was laggardly in response and tepid in intensity. Almost 400 years was to pass from the time of the first Arab incursions into Christian Europe until the first Crusade crossed into Muslim territory. Without calls from Byzantium for help against Christianity's common enemy the Muslim, it is doubtful if the West would have been inspired at all, to counter attack and seek recompense from the Arabs for 400 years of bloodletting; stealing of land and destruction of various Christian states. In any event the Muslim attack on Europe was of course a Muslim jihad or crusade to conquer Christianity – replete with all the ruthlessness and bloodiness of any jihad. 

4. Muslim leaders were genial gentlemen, prone to civilised discourse and conduct.

According to Hollywood and post modern thought, all Muslim leaders were wise sages, steeped in culture and advanced knowledge, juxtaposed against dirty, hairy, barbaric European knights who were uneducated criminals, thirsting for blood and coin. The reality was most likely rather different. Muslims were very adept pre-Crusades at killing not just Christians or non-Muslims but each other. Power struggles within the Islamic world had started the never-ending civil war between Sunni and Shia in 656 A.D., and such internal conflicts were still prevalent during the time of the Crusades. Muslim leaders were no more educated or civilised than their Christian counterparts. 

For example Saladin's famous sparing of Jerusalem in 1189 was effected more to preserve it as a future and prosperous Muslim capital, than out of any generosity towards its citizens. Just before taking Jerusalem Saladin had rounded up, tortured and killed the entire Christian army which had surrendered at the battle of Hattim in 1187 – a battle which effectively ended Frankish power in the Levant and which portended the eventual demise of the Crusader states one century later. This slaughter of surrendered knights was barbaric and contravened medieval doctrines and rules of war. To portray a vicious, ruthless warrior such as Saladin or any Muslim leader for that matter, as a messenger of mercy and love, is to put it mildly, rather psychotically inaccurate. 

5. Myth: The Crusades were a failure.
Reality check: The Crusades were bloody and violent but they were not a failure. Trade, commerce, ideas and technology were all improved thanks to the forced interaction of East and West. Pre-Renaissance Europe was given a needed capital infusion and the opening up of Eastern trade routes and access to knowledge and different technology stimulated industry, and innovation in Europe – especially in Italy whose city states were the main beneficiaries of the 2 century conflict, becoming in due course masters of the Mediterranean. 

Post Modern gibberish:
The Crusades are used by those who loathe Western or American history and culture. They rally the pro-Muslim, pro-post modern fanatics to their version of historical rewriting. The Crusades were a complex set of reactions against Muslim depradation and vainglorious attacks against both Eastern and Western Christendom. Islam was spread by the sword – not by post modern rhetorical flourishes or supine Marxian theoretics, nor was Koranic imperialism presaged by warm chocolate treats and group hugs. 

What is spectacularly impressive about the Crusades is the mix of greed, religious fanaticism, sense of honor and duty and adventure, which played their parts in motivating men to reject their known world and embark on a hazardous venture which for many ended in death or ruin. It is the expression of a complex European society, and one with a sense of confidence and power. It is an ethos one cannot find in Europe today and which is quickly disappearing in the last bastion of Western power – the United States.

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