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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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Friday, April 15, 2011

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Thomas J. Madden's, The Concise History of the Crusades, 2005. Part One.

Fantastic because it is based on reality, not PC Marxism.

by Ferdinand III

The Crusades are complicated, full of diverse and contradictory characters and motivations, somewhat dense and subject to ahistorical Marxist re-interpretation, or lies. The mendacity and myths, many perpetrated by the untutored and quite blind minds of the Enlightenment including Voltaire and Scott, has led to the current pop-culture irrationality against the Crusades. Such attitudes were not always held in regard to the 500 years or so of Crusading venture. From 1096 to the mid-th 16th century, the taking of the Cross, was deemed to be both a moral and a political-military project designed in the first instance to grant penitence and redemption to the crusader; and in the second to save Europe and the Holy Christian sites in Israel from the depredations of the pagan and quite bloody ideology of Allah. 

In the real world Moslems had warred, murdered, enslaved and forcbily converted literally millions of Christians [and Jews] from 636 AD until 1095 AD. More than 2/3 of Christian territory had been taken by the Moslems in wars soaked in blood, slavery and oppression. Only a mindless twit would expect that Christian Europe would not fight back. Indeed the Crusades highlight not the poverty of Catholic Europe but its richness. You can't fight for 500 years, equipping armies to sail or march 2000 miles, if you are a 'Dark Age' society. Thus the myth of the Dark Ages, a period which saw explosions and revolutions in everything from science and literature, to agriculture and military technology, is revealed by the reality of Europe's actions of self-defence against the Allah-cult which desired its abolition.

Mr. Madden's veracity and dismissal of Politically-Correct Cultural Marxist revisionism, probably earns him few friends amongst the academic community. In the current illiterate view proffered by Hollywood and most of the academe the Crusades were the great manifestations of White imperialism. Barbaric, rude, coarse, illiterate Christians attacking and sacking peaceful, sophisticated, tutored and oh-so-intelligent Muslims. Or some such nonsense. Europe was far ahead of Islam in every respect by 800 AD. If not the Muslims would have conquered it, as try they did to subdue the Continent. Aristotle, Greek and Roman literature, science, culture and astronomy were alive and well and unlike within Islam, subject to debate, review, interpretation and improvement. The Muslims simply accepted [or some of them did before the Asharites purged rationality from Islam], Aristotle and Greek thinking as the last word on any topic. The Europeans were already rejecting much of the non-scientific nature of Aristotle even before the time of Charlemagne. By the 10th century Islam was clearly in a dark age, not Europe. The only European Dark Age which one can possibly support is the Arab and Muslim destruction of trade, urban civilisation [the wheel was lost in Egypt for 3 centuries after the Arab invasions], and the decline in Mediterranean commerce which must have had a social-political impact.

Mr. Madden's account is thus reality-based, not premised on the fantasies of cultural-Marxism. He is a a long time professor and writer about the Medieval period and his works on the Crusades are must reads for anyone who desires the truth about one of Europe's most interesting and necessary expressions of civilisation, self-defense and power. The reader will learn for example of the great slaughter of Christians by Muslims in various sieges and battles – events that Hollywood will never screen. The so-called 'rivers of blood' which apparently inundated Jerusalem in 1099, after the Crusaders captured the city, of course never occurred. Maybe 3 to 4.000 people were killed, a small amount for a city of 100.000. In Medieval war, a city which did not surrender was subject to 3 days of pillage. By contract over 20.000 people were killed by the Muslims at Acre in 1291. The Muslims failed to honor their word when the city fell and negotiated the terms of surrender. They simply butchered the remaining population and sold off thousands more into slavery. A story of barbarity that Hollywood and its academic friends seem to miss.

Mr. Madden's excellent synopsis covers approximately five-hundred years of Crusading history, from the Turkish defeat of the Byzantine army at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 until the Holy League's defeat of the Turkish navy in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. He also quite rightly, inserts the great siege of Malta in 1565 as part of the Crusading effort, with the island defended by the heroic Knights of Malta, 7.000 Maltese militia and one of Westerndom's most important men, Grand Knight Jean de la Valette. If Malta had fallen, Rome was next.

Mr. Madden proves that the idea of the Crusade was to fuse the holy with the military. It was in essence an armed pilgrimage to provide support for Eastern Christians and protect Christianity's holiest places, namely Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepluchre. Madden addresses the topic largely in line with the traditional treatment; providing the history of the movement chronologically by numbered Crusades. The approach provides the benefit of introducing the Crusades' characters and its successes and ultimate failures in chronology.

Christianity, as is well chronicled, has no concept of Holy War which is the center-piece and prime animating force of Islam. St. Augustine in the 5th century, provided the framework for ideas around a 'just war', or more loosely, a 'moral war' as Christian power began to displace the temporal power of the state. According to Mr. Madden, the Eastern Christians also never developed a holy war concept. This is quite clear when reading the history of Byzantium. In fact throughout much of the Crusading period, the Byzantines were allies of the Muslim Turks. In the West, and particularly in Spain, something similar to a Holy War ideal developed around the Spanish reconquista which lasted 700 years. The devastation wrought by Muslims in Spain was simply staggering, and the Christian desire to eject the Infidel and reimpose civilisation was the closest we can come to the Muslim idea of Holy War within Christendom.

Mr. Madden uses 1071 as the beginning point of the Crusader inquiry. He only briefly mentions the wanton destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 1009 by the Muslims, which other authorities have identified as one of the central psychological aspects giving rise to the crusading wars. Undoubtedly the eradication of Christianity's most important icon, along with the butchering of literally thousands of unarmed Christian pilgrims in the 11th century by Muslims, as the proceeded on pilgrimmage, would have hardened European attitudes about the Muslim and Islam and psychologically prepared the way for war.

After the Turks routed the Eastern Romans at Manzikert in 1071, the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I appealed to Pope Gregory VII for Western aid. It was clear that Islam was going to subjugate Eastern Christianity without the arrival of Western military forces. According to Mr. Madden, Gregory saw this request as a way in which to assist the East in Christian charity, to ameliorate the warrior culture of Europe by exporting it, and reasserting papal prerogatives. In response, Urban II, Gregory's successor, called the Council of Clermont in which he called for a war of liberation against the Turks: freeing Christians from the humiliating rule of the Muslims. Thereafter, the call for assistance was preached effectively all of Europe.

In discussing these events, Madden draws on the importance of Jerusalem to medieval Christians. In fact, it is something we really cannot imagine today. The fact of harsh rule by Muslims who desecrated its Churches, harassed its Christian inhabitants, and reduced Christianity to a second-class status in the home of its birth was too much for the medieval mind to bear. And why should they have tolerated it? Only our 'Dark Age' modern culture finds it necessary to have our people, assets and culture assaulted, defaced, or killed with little or no response. In our world Moslems are free to do as they wish, and anyone who resists the barbarous crudity of Islam in any way, is pillaged.

In 1095 Urban II declared a crusade to save Christianity. It was a momentous and history-altering event. Urban's concept was to fuse the Augustinian notions of Just War with that of a pilgrimage. Each Crusader took a pilgrim's vow to visit the Holy Sepulchre. Various indulgences and remissions were attached to this service. Mr. Madden is perfectly correct when he exposes the 'poor and dispossessed' myth of crusading as something not true and indicative of modern bias against the entire enterprise. Most of the crusading armies were family based and came largely from France. Piety and devotion to the cross were the chief animating factors. The Crusades were ruinously expensive and many Barons and Lords went bankrupt paying for them. They were complicated and time-consuming adventures and they never 'exported' the 'detritus' or excess demography of Europe. As Mr. Madden relates, they were not imperialist projects in any sense. The flow of specie was one way – from Western Europe to the Levant. There were no migrations of Europeans to live in the Holy Land. In fact the Crusades were doomed to failure since the paucity of fighters and Europeans gave the Muslims an impossible to overcome advantage in men and material. Most Crusaders left the Holy Land as soon as they had done their duty and could prove their pilgrimmage obligation had been fulfilled. Mr. Madden's account eviscerates these post-modern shibboleths which are entirely unfounded on fact or reality.

It is refreshing to read a book on this topic where the author takes seriously the medieval Christian's motivations and tries to view them in the larger context of Turkish and Muslim aggression. In other words Mr. Madden does not use the prism from the world of Marx and Obama to view the Crusades. Indeed Karl Marx wrote that Islam was not a religion but a militant theology bent on world domination. A fact that Mr. Obama is clueless about. Mr. Madden's book is a very good introduction to the theme of crusading, the historical period in which it grew, and various heroes and villains. It is told from essentially Europe's perspective relaying the happenings in the Islamic areas and Latin Holy Land Kingdoms by extension. More from this book to follow.



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