We in America (and the west in general) have an interesting revisionist way of looking at history. Lately we want to tear down anything to do with Western civilization and elevate anyone else to good guy status. You know the modern western (liberal) attitude: Don’t bother me with facts, my mind’s already made up. After all, all of those nasty 19th century European historians HAD to be wrong because they were such racists and jingoists and all the other bad ists that they were blinded by. People – take off your own blinders and look at history as facts and nothing else.
Let us take the western view of Islam and the crusades. It is popular (and has been for some time) to portray the Europeans who took the Crusades to the East as uneducated barbarians who invaded a peaceful, educated, highly civilized Islamic Empire for no reason except greed and a desire to extend European Hegemony.
Let us look at a few historical facts:
Mohammed was a kook. In the good old American New England Theosophical Society mold: If you don’t like current churches, start your own. If we look at historical records that the Moslems would like buried, we find that Mohammed desperately wanted to be some type of religious guru. He first tried to be accepted by the Orthodox Christian Bishops in Mecca. They rather gently told him that he would have to become a monk and work his way up through the ranks. They were not about to make him a bishop and let him play prophet. Mohammed next tried to get in with the Jews and be accepted as a prophet. They firmly rejected him and told him to get lost. Next he rolled his own. Notice that he felt totally rejected by both Jews and Christians (and he was). Where he found his initial followers is anyone’s guess. But note that both Jim Jones and Charles Manson seem to have had no problem in getting the weak of mind and despondent of spirit to follow them.
The First Crusade was in 1095 as a response to a request for help from Alexis I of the Byzantine Empire to Pope Urban II. The Moslems had been butchering the Byzantine Empire since the beginning, 624 or thereabouts. Christianity had spread across the whole of the Roman Empire and beyond by proselytizing, the spread of Islam was by the sword of conquest, murder and rapine.
The Arabs were not an educated people. There was no great flowering of high civilization in the Arabian peninsula. It takes natural resources to support civilization, and the Arabian peninsula is a little under endowed. Where then, did the high civilization that the Crusaders saw come from? Actually, it was there before the Moslem conquest. The Moslems took it over from the Byzantine Christians. When the Arabs conquered they generally left the Jews and Christians alone other than taking their wealth and placing them in second class conquered status. They usually kept the Byzantine bureaucrats in place. They generally kept Byzantine professionals on the job. Up through the Ottoman conquest, just about all administration was done by conquered Christians. This was the civilization that the Westerners saw. The Arabs did NOT invent algebra, the Byzantines did. In fact, Moslems have contributed nothing to the modern world except pain, suffering, destruction and murder of the innocent.
Now, I’m not saying the Crusaders were perfect, far from it. It is true that the Crusaders killed as many or more Byzantine Christians than Moslems. They looked a lot alike. Middle Eastern people with robes, etc. It is true that the later Crusaders, not the Moslems, dealt the death blow to the Byzantine Empire. The Crusaders destroyed more of Constantinople than the Moslems did.
Now then, if we look at a history timeline, we will see that the Moslem invasion of Europe officially began with the invasion of Spain around 719. Most historians place the crest of the Moslem wave at the battle of Tours in 732. Charles Martel defeated the invaders handily and is credited with having saved Western Europe. This was certainly the rise of the Carolingians if nothing else.
The Battle of Tours was not the end of things. Moslem invasions took place off and on until the Battles of Lepanto (1571) and the last, Vienna in 1683.
It should be noted that the first (Tours) and last (Vienna) were great and desperate struggles fought on European soil. In between, most of the fighting took place in the East, leaving Europe free to have its own internal wars and to come into the Renaissance and beyond. This development could not have taken place if the Moslem Empires from the Umayyad through the Ottoman had not been forced into stalemate in the East.
I know that many people want to talk about the Crusades as misplaced moral wars. Study Clauswitz and the philosophy and causality of war before you go there. Study the science of root causes of war. The stated legal justification for the war is never the real cause of the war. Many people also want to place blame on Western Europe, but really, the first battles were in Spain and France, not the Middle East. So who invaded? It is hard to place the blame for the invasion of Europe on the Europeans. (The same people that think that Americans are reponsible for 9/11 could pull it off). For that matter, we think of the middle East as Moslem, not remembering the great Byzantine Empire that the Moslems tore apart. Moslems are the invaders and aggressors in every historical conflict.
I don’t like George Bush. Not for the same reasons that the liberals hate him. No, for me, he is not nearly conservative or resolute enough. The immigration forgiveness bill made me sick. But – he does have a grasp of the fact that we (the West) are still being invaded by fanatical Moslems intent on conquest and the destruction of our civilization. We either fight them there, or surely we will fight them here. If someone wishes to war with us, then people will die, children will suffer. I suppose it is a bit of a provincial attitude that I have: If the suffering and dying take place because of the actions of some other people, I prefer that it is their people who suffer, not ours. The main thing to remember is that the Moslem terrorists are not fighting for freedom or food or a better future for their children. They hate us. They want to kill us. They want to destroy our civilization. They want to obliterate our culture. And IF they let our children live, they want them to be slaves under Sharia law totally subservient to their Moslem masters.