Intro to Ungurean Post on ‘CRUSADES: The TRUTH’


John R. Houk, Editor

Posted November 27, 2018

About those Christian Crusaders that loaded their weaponry to RE-TAKE the Holy Land from Muslim invading conquerors. Closer to the truth than lying Multicultural Leftists and Muslim Apologists.

 

My only criticism I have is Geri Ungurean’s source downplays the Antisemitism of the Crusaders. That’s a bit surprising considering Ms. Ungurean is a Messianic Jew (i.e. a Jew that has accepted Christ as Lord and Savior).

 

Not deviate too much from this otherwise awesome post, my take is the Crusaders were Antisemites largely because the Church had spent centuries calling Jews Christ-Killers which if you read your Bible is a bit of a stretch. The Pharisee/Sadducee ruling class empowered by the Roman government feared any Jewish movement that might be a threat to their station in life under Roman rule. The Jewish population on the other hand reviled Roman rule; hence many Jewish Messianic and Rebellion Movements (of which as far as Christians concerned was the Messianic Movement of Christian Redemption in Christ).

 

But as Gentiles became the dominating group over the Jewish Christians, Jew-hatred began to be taught even though pre-Resurrection Jesus was raised under Jewish traditions and every single person among the Twelve Apostles was Jewish.

 

The Jewish perspective of Jew-hatred Medieval propaganda HERE.

 

The Christian perspective for Jew-Hatred Medieval propaganda HERE and HERE.

 

JRH 11/27/18

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The CRUSADES: The TRUTH About Islam and Why Christendom FINALLY Pushed Back

 

By GERI UNGUREAN

NOVEMBER 27, 2018

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

 

Truth About the Crusades

 

The devil is a liar.

 

We know this because God told us this in His Holy Word.  Satan is the father of lies. He is a master of deception and the author of confusion.

 

Through the centuries, history has been rewritten with the help of the evil one. If you asked the typical person on the street about the Crusades, most of them would begin to disparage Christianity and speak of  ‘horrors’ committed against Muslims.

 

Do you remember when Obama spoke of  Christian aggression during the Crusades?

 

VIDEO: Starnes: Why Obama smeared Christians at prayer event

 

Watch Dinesh Desouza’s comments at the 4:27 mark in this video:

 

VIDEO: Malzberg | Dinesh D’Souza weighs in on President Obama’s “Crusades” comments

 

I would encourage the reader to print this article out.  I am using a piece from thenewamerican.com to dispel the lies which have been perpetrated throughout the centuries about the Crusades.

 

This article is rather long. For those who would rather watch a video concerning truth about the Crusades, I will insert a link for that at the end of this piece.

 

From thenewamerican.com

 

The year is 732 A.D., and Europe is under assault. Islam, born a mere 110 years earlier, is already in its adolescence, and the Muslim Moors are on the march.

 

Growing in leaps and bounds, the Caliphate, as the Islamic realm is known, has thus far subdued much of Christendom, conquering the old Christian lands of the Mideast and North Africa in short order. Syria and Iraq fell in 636; Palestine in 638; and Egypt, which was not even an Arab land, fell in 642. North Africa, also not Arab, was under Muslim control by 709. Then came the year 711 and the Moors’ invasion of Europe, as they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and entered Visigothic Iberia (now Spain and Portugal). And the new continent brought new successes to Islam. Conquering the Iberian Peninsula by 718, the Muslims crossed the Pyrenees Mountains into Gaul (now France) and worked their way northward. And now, in 732, they are approaching Tours, a mere 126 miles from Paris.

 

The Moorish leader, Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, is supremely confident of success. He is in the vanguard of the first Muslim crusade, and his civilization has enjoyed rapidity and scope of conquest heretofore unseen in world history. He is at the head of an enormous army, replete with heavy cavalry, and views the Europeans as mere barbarians. In contrast, the barbarians facing him are all on foot, a tremendous disadvantage. The only thing the Frankish and Burgundian European forces have going for them is their leader, Charles of Herstal, grandfather of Charlemagne. He is a brilliant military tactician who, after losing his very first battle, is enjoying an unbroken 16-year streak of victories.

 

And this record will remain unblemished. Outnumbered by perhaps as much as 2 to 1 on a battlefield between the cities of Tours and Poitier, Charles routs the Moorish forces, stopping the Muslim advance into Europe cold. It becomes known as the Battle of Tours (or Poitier), and many historians consider it one of the great turning points in world history. By their lights, Charles is a man who saved Western Civilization, a hero who well deserves the moniker the battle earned him: Martellus. We thus now know him as Charles Martel, which translates into Charles the Hammer.

 

The Gathering Threat in the East

 

While the Hammer saved Gaul, the Muslims would not stop hammering Christendom — and it would be the better part of four centuries before Europe would again hammer back. This brings us to the late 11th century and perhaps the best-known events of medieval history: the Crusades.

 

Ah, the Crusades. Along with the Galileo affair and the Spanish Inquisition (both partially to largely misunderstood), they have become a metaphor for Christian “intolerance.” And this characterization figures prominently in the hate-the-West-first crowd’s repertoire and imbues everything, from movies such as 2005’s Kingdom of Heaven to school curricula to politicians’ pronouncements. In fact, it’s sometimes peddled so reflexively that the criticism descends into the ridiculous, such as when Bill Clinton gave a speech at Georgetown University and, writes Chair of the History Department at Saint Louis University Thomas Madden, “recounted (and embellished) a massacre of Jews after the Crusader conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 and informed his audience that the episode was still bitterly remembered in the Middle East. (Why Islamist terrorists should be upset about the killing of Jews was not explained.)” Why, indeed. Yet, it is the not-so-ridiculous, the fable accepted as fact, that does the most damage. Madden addresses this in his piece, “The Real History of the Crusades,” writing:

 

Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common. The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general. A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins. For variations on this theme, one need not look far. See, for example, Steven Runciman’s famous three-volume epic, History of the Crusades, or the BBC/A&E documentary, The Crusades, hosted by Terry Jones. Both are terrible history yet wonderfully entertaining.

 

But what does good history tell us? Madden continues:

 

Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War…. In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece. In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of western [sic] Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East.

 

[The Crusades] were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.

 

The reality is that in our modern conception — or, really, misconception — of the word, it is the Muslims who had launched “crusades” against Christendom. (In the true sense of the word, the Moors couldn’t be Crusaders, as the term means “those who are marked with a cross,” and the Muslims just wanted to erase the cross.) And like Martel before them, who ejected the Moors from most of southern Gaul, and the Spaniards, who — through what was also a Crusade — would much later wrest back control over Iberia, the Crusades were an attempt to retake conquered Christian lands. So how can we describe the view taken by most academics, entertainers, and politicians? Well, it is the Jihadist view. It is Osama bin Laden’s view. It is a bit like ignoring all history of WWII until December 8, 1941 — and then damning the United States for launching unprovoked attacks on Japan.

 

Christendom Pushes Back

 

So now the year is 1095. Just as the Muslims had invaded Europe from the west in the days of Charles the Hammer, now they are pushing toward it from the east. And just as they had taken the Byzantine lands of the Mideast and North Africa in the seventh century, they now have seized Anatolia (most of modern Turkey), thus robbing the Byzantines of the majority of what they had left. The Muslims are now just a few battles away from moving west into Greece itself or north into the Balkans — the “back door” of Europe. Rightfully alarmed and fearing civilizational annihilation, Byzantine emperor Alexius I in Constantinople reaches out to a rival, Pope Urban II, for aid. Inspired to act, in November of 1095 the pope addresses the matter at the Council of Clermont, an event attended by more than 650 clerics and members of European nobility. On its second-to-last day, he gives a rousing sermon in which he appeals to the men of Europe to put aside their differences and rally to the aid of their brothers in the East. Here is an excerpt of the sermon as presented by the chronicler Fulcher of Chartres:

 

Your brethren who live in the east are in urgent need of your help, and you must hasten to give them the aid which has often been promised them. For, as the most of you have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have conquered the territory of Romania [the Greek empire] as far west as the shore of the Mediterranean and the Hellespont, which is called the Arm of St. George. They have occupied more and more of the lands of those Christians, and have overcome them in seven battles. They have killed and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the empire. If you permit them to continue thus for awhile with impunity, the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked by them. On this account I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ’s heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians.

 

In addition to this call, the pope articulates a second goal: the liberation of Jerusalem and other Mideast holy sites. The pope’s words are so moving that those in attendance are inspired to shout, it is said, “God wills it! God wills it!” The first crusade is born.

 

Modernity, the Middle Ages, and Myth

 

Yet, in modern times, much cynicism would be born. People just can’t believe that these medieval “barbarians” didn’t have ulterior motives. This brings us to the “ambitious pope” and “rapacious knights” bit, the 20th-century myths about 11th-century motivations. Let’s examine these one at a time.

 

First we have the notion that the Crusaders were imperialists. This is an understandable perspective for the modern mind, as the not-too-distant past has been one of a dominant West colonizing a world of backwaters. Yet this was a recent and relatively short-lived development. Do you remember how Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi considered the eighth-century Europeans barbarians? It was no different in the 11th century; Dar al-Islam was the burgeoning civilization. It was the imperialist force — and this wouldn’t change for another 600 years.

 

Next we have two myths that contradict each other; although, considered individually, they may seem tenable. One is that, despite the Crusaders’ purported religiosity, they were just seeking riches by the sword. The other myth is, they were so darn religious that they were seeking to convert Muslims by the sword. It seems unlikely that both could be true, and, as it turns out, neither is.

 

Today we like to say “Follow the money.” Well, if you followed it in the 11th century, it led right back to Europe. The reality is that most Crusader knights were “first sons,” men who had property and wealth — much to lose (including their lives) and little to gain. And just as the United States can drain the public treasury funding Mideast interventions today, medieval warfare was expensive business. Lords were often forced to sell or mortgage their lands to fund their Crusading, and many impoverished themselves. It also doesn’t seem that the average knight entertained visions of becoming “the man who would be king” in a faraway land, either. As Madden said in an October 2004 Zenit interview, “Much like a soldier today, the medieval Crusader was proud to do his duty but longed to return home.”

 

As for conversion, the Crusaders were warriors, not missionaries. They had no interest in converting Muslims; in fact, I doubt the notion ever entered their minds. They viewed the Muslims as enemies of God and His Church and a threat to Christendom, nothing more, nothing less. Treating this matter in a piece entitled “The Crusades: separating myth from reality,” Zenit cited medieval history expert Dr. Franco Cardini and wrote:

 

“The Crusades,” says Cardini, “were never ‘religious wars,’ their purpose was not to force conversions or suppress the infidel.” … To describe the Crusade as a “Holy War” against the Moslems is misleading, says Cardini: “The real interest in these expeditions, in service of Christian brethren threatened by Moslems, was the restoration of peace in the East, and the early stirring of the idea of rescue for distant fellow-Christians.”

 

Yet, whether or not the Crusades were religious wars, they certainly flew on the wings of religious faith. And when the Crusaders sought treasure, it was usually the kind that was stored up in Heaven. As to this sincerity of belief, Madden has pointed out that Europe is peppered with thousands of medieval charters in which knights speak of their deepest motivations, of their desire to do their Christian duty. Then, Professor Rodney Stark, author of the new book God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades, tells us that while the knights were serious sinners, they were also serious about becoming more saintly. Anne Godlasky of USA Today quotes him as stating, “These knights did such terrible things that their confessors kept saying, ‘I don’t know how you will ever atone for this — why don’t you try walking to Jerusalem barefoot.’ And they would do it — they took their faith very seriously.” Moreover, when the Crusaders met with failure, Europeans embraced a characteristically religious explanation: They blamed their own sinfulness. Then, seeking to purify themselves, piety movements arose all across their lands. Perhaps this is why Oxford historian Christopher Tyerman has called the Crusades “the ultimate manifestation of conviction politics.

We should also note that the Crusaders didn’t see themselves as “Crusaders”; the word wasn’t even originated till the 18th century. They viewed themselves as pilgrims.

 

Having said this, it would be naïve to think that all Crusaders’ worldly endeavors were animated by heavenly thoughts. Some say that Pope Urban II might have hoped he could regain control over the Eastern Church after the Great Schism of 1054. It’s also said that Urban and others wanted to give those militant medieval knights someone to fight besides one another. As for those on the ground, the Crusades involved a motley multitude encompassing the regal to the rough-hewn, and it is certain that some among them dreamt of booty and betterment. Yet is this surprising or unusual? People are complex beings. Within a group or even an individual’s mind, there are usually multiple motivations, some noble, some ignoble. Charles the Hammer might have very well relished the glory won on the battlefield, for all we know. But it would be silly to think that was his main motivation for fighting the Moors. Likewise, if the Crusaders were primarily motivated by covetous impulses, it was the most remarkable of coincidences. For those dark urges then manifested themselves just when a Christian emperor appealed for aid, just when Europe again seemed imperiled — and after 400 years of mostly unanswered Muslim conquests.

 

Into the Mouth of Dar al-Islam

 

But however great the Europeans’ faith, the first Crusade was a long shot. The soldiers had to travel on foot and horseback 1,500 miles — traversing rivers, valleys, and mountains; braving the elements; dealing with hunger and thirst and whatever unknowns lay ahead — and then defeat entrenched Muslim forces. And the endeavor had gotten off to a rather inauspicious start: An unofficial Crusade comprising peasants and low-ranking knights had already departed — only to be massacred by the Seljuk Turks.

 

So, now, it is August 15, 1096, and the official Crusader armies depart from France and Italy. Arriving in Anatolia many months later, they lay siege to Muslim-occupied Nicea; however, Emperor Alexius I negotiates with the Turks, has the city delivered to him on June 1, 1097, and then forbids the Crusaders to enter. They then fight other battles against the Muslims on the way to their next objective: the great city of Antioch. It is a must-win scenario; if they do not take it, they cannot move on to Jerusalem. The siege continues for seven and a half months, during which time the Crusaders are hungry, tired, cold, and often discouraged; Antioch’s formidable walls seem an impenetrable barrier. On June 2, 1098, however, they are able to enter the city with the help of a spy. It is theirs.

 

Yet the Crusaders soon find themselves besieged and trapped in Antioch with the arrival of Muslim relief forces. Nevertheless, they manage a break-out on June 28, defeat the Turks, and, after a delay caused by internecine squabbling, move south to Jerusalem in April 1099. Starving after a long journey, they arrive at the Holy City on June 7 — with only a fraction of their original forces. Despite this, Jerusalem will not pose the problems of Antioch, and they capture it on July 15.

 

The First Crusade successes give Christendom a foothold in the Mideast for the first time in hundreds of years with the establishment of four outposts known today as “Crusader states.” They are: the County of Edessa and the Principality of Antioch, founded in 1098; the Kingdom of Jerusalem, founded in 1099; and the County of Tripoli, founded in 1104. Perhaps the tide has finally turned in Christendom’s favor.

 

But it was not to be. It was still a Muslim era, and more Crusades would be launched in the wake of Islamic triumphs. In fact, there was a multitude of Crusades — if we include minor ones — lasting until the end of the 17th century. However, it is customary to identify eight major Crusades, dating from 1096 through 1270, although this does omit many significant campaigns.

 

Great passion for a second Crusade was sparked when the County of Edessa was overcome by Turks and Kurds in 1144. Led by Kings Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany and advocated by St. Bernard, it was an utter failure. Most of the Crusaders were killed before even reaching Jerusalem, the campaign did more harm than good — and Muslim power continued to grow.

 

Because of this, Madden writes, “Crusading in the late twelfth century … became a total war effort.” All are asked to answer the call, from peasants to patricians, either by devoting blood and treasure to the defense of Christendom or through prayer, fasting, and alms to make her worthy of victory. Yet these are the days of the great Muslim leader Saladin, and in 1187 he destroys the Christian forces and takes one Christian city after another. And, finally, after almost a century of Christian rule, Jerusalem surrenders on October 2.

 

The loss of the Holy City inspires the Third Crusade. Led by storybook figures such as England’s King Richard the Lionheart, German Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, and France’s King Philip II, it is sometimes called the Kings’ Crusade. Yet it is no fairytale affair. Frederick’s army quits the campaign in 1190 after their aged German leader drowns while crossing a river on horseback, and King Philip leaves after retaking the city of Acre, owing to continual friction with Richard. Despite this, the English King is undeterred. Displaying brilliant leadership and tactical skill, he fights his way south, taking on all comers, and eventually recaptures the Holy Land’s entire coast. Yet the crown jewel, Jerusalem, eludes his grasp. Believing he would not be able to hold it (since most Crusaders will be returning home), he must swallow hard and settle for what he can get: an agreement with Saladin to allow unarmed pilgrims unfettered access to the city. Richard then returns home and never sees the Holy Land again, dying from a battle-related wound sustained in Europe in 1199.

 

While the passion for Crusading remained strong in the 13th century and the Crusades were greater in scope, funding, and organization, they were lesser in accomplishment. There would be no more Richard the Lionhearts. Mideast Christian lands would slowly be overcome. And Jerusalem would never again be in Crusader hands. In fact, by 1291, the Crusader kingdom had been wiped off the map.

 

The Next Crusades Battle: The History Books

 

Because the Crusades ultimately failed to achieve their objectives, they are typically viewed as failures. And this brings us to a common Crusades myth. It’s said that those medieval campaigns are partly to blame for anti-Western sentiment in today’s Middle East, but this is nonsense. The reality is, as Madden told Zenit, “If you had asked someone in the Muslim world about the Crusades in the 18th century he or she would have known nothing about them.” This only makes sense. Why would the Crusades have been remembered? From the Muslim perspective, they were just routine victories — like so many others — events that would just naturally fade into the mists of time. What in truth is partly to blame for Islamic anti-Western sentiment is 19th-century pro-Western propaganda. That is to say, when England and France finally started colonizing Arab lands, they wanted to rubber-stamp imperialism. To this end, they taught Muslims in colonial schools that the Crusades were an example of an imperialism that brought civilization to a backward Middle East. And, not surprisingly but tragically, when imperialism was later discredited, the Crusades would be discredited along with it. Muslims would start using the false history against the West.

 

But there are many Crusade myths. For example, some would characterize the campaigns as anti-Semitic. Yet, while there were two notable massacres of Jews during the Crusades, there is more to the story — as Madden also explained in the Zenit interview:

 

No pope ever called a Crusade against Jews. During the First Crusade a large band of riffraff, not associated with the main army [the aforementioned “People’s Crusade”], descended on the towns of the Rhineland and decided to rob and kill the Jews they found there…. Pope Urban II and subsequent popes strongly condemned these attacks on Jews. Local bishops and other clergy and laity attempted to defend the Jews, although with limited success. Similarly, during the opening phase of the Second Crusade a group of renegades killed many Jews in Germany before St. Bernard was able to catch up to them and put a stop to it.

 

This obviously adds perspective. In every war there are rogue forces that commit transgressions. Why, the United States had the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam and Abu Ghraib in Iraq. Yet, to echo Madden on this count, it would be unfair to claim that the goal of American forces was to, respectively, murder innocent civilians or commit sexual abuse.

 

There were other Crusader sins as well. In the Second Crusade, the warriors foolishly attacked Muslim Damascus, which had been an ally of the Christians. Worse still, the Fourth Crusade saw the sacking of Constantinople itself — occupied by the very eastern Christians the Crusades were designed to protect — after the Crusaders helped an imperial claimant gain the Byzantine throne and then were refused the aid he had promised them as a quid pro quo. In response, the pope at the time, Innocent III, condemned the attack (and he had already excommunicated the Crusade). Nevertheless, the damage was done. The act widened the Great Schism of 1054 to perhaps irreparable proportions.

 

Yet, again, perspective is necessary. Medieval armies didn’t have modern discipline or rules of engagement, and they were, above all, medieval. You could not have put hundreds of thousands of men in the field during the course of centuries in that age without writing some dark chapters. Really, though, you couldn’t do it in the modern age, either.

 

With all these failures and missteps, we may wonder why Europeans continued Crusading well beyond the 13th century’s close. We may ask, was it worth the blood and treasure? Yet the answer boils down to one word: survival. The threats to Europe mentioned earlier would not remain theoretical. The Muslims would extinguish the Byzantine Empire — and Constantinople would be renamed Istanbul. They would cross into the Balkans, and their descendants would clash with Christians there in the 1990s. The Ottoman Turks would capture the Italian town of Otranto in 1480, prompting the evacuation of Rome. The Ottomans would occupy what is now Hungary for 158 years. And, in 1529 and 1683, they would reach the gates of Vienna.

 

Yet the tide would finally turn against Dar al-Islam. The Ottomans would lose the Battle of Vienna in 1683, and, more significantly, Europe was blossoming. It would outpace the Muslim world technologically, and in its march toward modernity, the Christian “barbarians” would become the burgeoning civilization. In fact, they would become dominant enough to forget how recent their time in the sun is — and how, perhaps, it almost never was.

 

So, were the Crusades really a failure? Sure, there was no Charles Martel and Battle of Tours, no Duke of Wellington at Waterloo; there was no history-changing engagement where we could say, ah, that is where we slew the dragon or “this was their finest hour.” And they accomplished none of their stated goals. But the Crusades era might have constituted a “holding action,” a time when Christendom was pushed toward the abyss and, outweighed and wobbling, pushed back. Of course, this isn’t the fashionable view. But it is easy today to characterize those medieval warriors any way we wish; they are no longer around to defend themselves. But had they not defended the West, we might not be troubling over the past at all — because we might not have a present. – source

 

VIDEO: The Truth About The Crusades

 

Brethren, it is important to be able to chronicle the events leading up to the Crusades. We must attempt to shut down revisionist historians who present history from a politically correct vantage point.

 

Truth is truth!!   Jesus would have us tell the truth about events in history regarding His church.

 

The Left have made Islam and Muslims into “victims.”  Not all Muslims are war lords or terrorists, but many are.  Their prophet Muhammad was the originally war lord and his fundamental followers continue in his footsteps.

 

Shalom b’Yeshua

 

MARANATHA!

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Intro to Ungurean Post on ‘CRUSADES: The TRUTH’

John R. Houk, Editor

Posted November 27, 2018

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The CRUSADES: The TRUTH About Islam and Why Christendom FINALLY Pushed Back

 

About Geri Ungurean 

 

Bio: I am a Jewish Christian who was born-again in 1983. Yeshua is my life. Writing about Him is my passion. My subject matter varies. Sometimes I write on Bible Prophecy. Other times on apostasy in the church. And often times I address the political climate of our country and our world. My greatest love is writing about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray that some of my articles will fall in the hands of my Jewish people. If you would like to bless us with a gift, please send to: Geri Ungurean P.O. Box 1031 Savage, MD 20763 Your generosity is most appreciated! Shalom

 

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Fr. James V. Schall: Sword and Scimitar Is “a Detailed, Well-Researched” and “Most Welcome” Book


I am gratified the GOP still controls the Senate and displeased the Marxist oriented Dems is the majority political party in the House – all be it slim majority. The jury is out on how a divided Congress manages the rule of law in this nation, but if the proven Dem/media lies against President Trump the emerging proof of a lying smear campaign (HERE, HERE, HERE & HERE) against Justice Brett Kavanaugh is any indication – government gridlock is in the future for at least two-years.

But moving on … It is time to refresh our memory on just how dangerous Islam is to Western Culture. I’ve been reading Robert Spencer’s new book “The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS” – Book Review HERE.

 

And now another book exposing Islam’s history and true nature is out by Raymond Ibrahim: “Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West”. After reading the book review on Ibrahim’s blog, I’ll picking that book up as well.

 

JRH 11/7/18

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Fr. James V. Schall: Sword and Scimitar Is “a Detailed, Well-Researched” and “Most Welcome” Book

 

By Raymond Ibrahim 

11/07/2018

RaymondIbrahim.com

 

Fr. James V. Schall during his final lecture at Georgetown University in 2012

 

James V. Schall, S.J. — a longtime professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University and author of On Islam — recently reviewed my book, Sword and Scimitar.  First published in the Catholic World Report, and titled, “On the Purpose of Islam: A Review of Raymond Ibrahim’s Sword and Scimitar,” it follows:

 

“Unlike most military histories—which no matter how fascinating are ultimately academic—this [book] offers correctives; it sets the much discussed historical record between these two civilizations straight and, in so doing, demonstrates once and for all that a Muslim hostility for the West is not an aberration but a continuation of Islamic history.” — Raymond Ibrahim, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West (New York: De Capo Press, 2018), xvi

 

“For unlike Manzikert (1071), which was more a Turkic victory, the conquest of Constantinople (1453) had greater significance for all Muslims. Even in Egypt, where the Ottoman’s chief rivals the Mamluks reigned, the ‘good tidings were proclaimed and Cairo decorated’ to celebrate ‘this greatest of conquests.’ The Sharif of Mecca wrote to Muhammed (II), calling him ‘the one who has aided Islam and the Muslims, the Sultan of all kings and sultans,’ and—further underscoring the idea that conquest over infidels is the epitome of Islamic piety—‘the resuscitator of the Prophet’s sharia.’” — Raymond Ibrahim, Sword and Scimitar, 247.

 

I.

 

Some things we prefer not to know. Among these, it often seems, is an accurate account of the origins, extent, and the means of expansion of Islam over its now 1200 year history. During this time period, the armies of Islam managed to conquer a good fifth of the world’s geography and population. This growth and expansion show few signs of abating, in spite of Islam’s expulsion from Spain in the fifteenth century and from the Balkans in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The main reason that Islam is not larger is because—and only because—it was defeated in some major historic battles. In recent years, with its high birth-rate and its immigration, Islam has a new lease on life in the West, particularly in Europe, from which it had been turned back in the eighth century at the battle of Tours and in the fifteenth at Vienna. Both Europe and America are now dotted with mosques in hundreds of places, the construction of which is usually financed by Saudi Arabia.

 

Sword & Scimitar bk jk

 

In this riveting account of the history of Islam’s military accomplishments, Raymond Ibrahim shows that Islam has followed a consistent policy that has combined politics, war, terror, and religion. Its purpose was, and remains, essentially religious, however unwilling we might be, because of our own presuppositions, to grant that fact. This purpose follows a reading of the Koran as Islam’s central guide and ultimate justification as the message of Allah to mankind. It also manifests the core reason why Islam, throughout its history, has sought to expand. Other motives—economic, ethnic, and political—were also present, but this religious motive was at its core. Until that core is rejected by enough individual Muslims, it will continue to inspire, , by ever varying means—sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent—this drive to conquer what is not yet under Islamic control.

 

What is difficult for many to understand is the persistence of a singular purpose, carried on century after century: the submission of the world to Allah. Both those who believe in nothing and those who believe in other gods are tempted to think such a concept to be preposterous or impossible. Yet this purpose is what motivated and inspired the Muslim caliphs, beys, emirs, sheiks, merchants, and peasants, whether Sunni or Shiite, to continue their mission no matter how hopeless it seemed at first.

 

This expansion involved massive genocides and slaughters in various parts of the world and in different eras, about which Ibrahim gives a detailed and often graphic account. But such shocking means, deliberately undertaken, do not obviate this prior religious purpose. Indeed, this religious purpose is part of the rationale of the expansion, which used whatever means that worked. The philosophical voluntarism that finally explained Muslim actions came into being to justify the use of violence in religion. As explained by al Ghazelli in the eleventh century, Allah could will the opposite of what he willed; everything depends on Allah’s will that is bound to no permanent truth.

 

II.

 

To understand Islam, it is necessary to follow its history, which is inspired by the Koran and its interpretations. Thus we have both what the Koran teaches and the historic record of what Islam did following upon those teachings. Noted historian Victor Davis Hanson, in the “Foreword” to Ibrahim’s book, gives a brief list of its major theses: 1) “Islamic armies saw themselves as expansionary and messianic, eager to engage the West and to annex its territory and convert its people”; 2) The wars against the West were not seen primarily as localized but “as religious rather than national or ethnic…their warring against the Westerners was so seen as mostly a monolithic struggle against Christendom rather than against particular European States”; 3) Islamic leaders have seen Christianity as inherently against Islam; 4) Muslims in Western states had much more freedom than Christians in Muslim states.

The book is a detailed, well-researched account of the major battles between Islam and the West. The same methods of warfare, conquest, and imposition of Muslim law occur again and again. The Crusades were not signs of Christian aggressiveness but of a final, usually desperate effort to protect themselves from Muslim incursions. Two things are striking in this presentation. The first is that the positive use of violence is considered a legitimate way to deal with those deemed as enemies of Islam. With almost monotonous regularity this factor is seen in every battle and its aftermath. It can be, from an Islamic perspective, justified from Koranic verses and from the historical record. The only time a Muslim doubts his faith is when he is soundly defeated in battle. But military defeat is only temporary. As long as the Koran is read, Islam will rise again. Islam, we see again and again, is both patient and unforgiving.

 

The second striking thing is the extent and prevalence of slavery, of slave markets, of the need of slaves to make possible the kind of life that Muslim leaders carved out for themselves. Most Americans are aware that slavery existed in their own country. What is not so widely known is the place of Arab middle men who were the slave brokers for both black and white slaves. Though slavery is found in many cultures throughout history, it was a constant element in Muslim life. And the slaves were not mostly black, but white; the choice slaves were acquired by raids along the European coasts or as the booty of conquest.

 

Near the end of the book, Ibrahim recounts the experience of the early American founders with Islam. The first American war, some might be surprised to learn, was with the Barbary Pirates in North Africa. The United States paid regular and enormous ransom fees to recover Americans held as hostages. Ibrahim cites the letter that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson wrote to Congress on March 28, 1786:

 

We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the grounds of their (Muslim) pretentions to make war against nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation. The (Muslim) ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet, that was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war on them wherever they could be found and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise (284).

 

This analysis of Adams and Jefferson sketches and summarizes the essential theses of this book, which draws out in detail the record and working out of the Muslim practice of warfare and governance as seen embodied in its history.

 

III.

 

The book leaves us with several questions. Can one really be a faithful Muslim and not accept this history and its rationale? Can non-Muslims rest content that this religious warfare in various forms will not be unleashed on them whenever the opportunity arises? As Ibrahim points out, a Muslim is free to say in public that he will not practice violence provided that he secretly agrees in his heart that he will follow, when he can, the Koran and what it says about such violence.

 

A further issue is whether an accurate knowledge of Islamic warfare and history is not somehow illiberal, unfair, or, yes, provocative. Those who maintain, in spite of all evidence, that Islam is a religion of peace do neither Islam nor themselves any favor. We honor Islam best by judging it first by its own standards and purposes. In this sense, Ibrahim’s book is most welcome. It does not pretend that the record of what Islam does and says of itself is something else other than it is. And no one denies, of course, that Islam is composed of many internal struggles both of its theology and of its politics.

 

In many ways, Islam has been its own worst enemy. Efforts to democratize Islam have taught many Muslims how to use democratic processes for their long term goals. While Islam approves of conquest by arms, it does not disdain any other way to power if it can finally impose its law (Sharia). While there are no Muslim armies today capable of defeating any major power in the field, the use of terrorist tactics can, if unchecked, still effectively disrupt and even weaken any modern society.

 

IV.

 

In Belloc’s 1900 book Miniatures of French History we find a chapter entitled “The Breaking of Islam,” which is about the Battle at Poitiers and Tours in 732, a seminal battle that Ibrahim likewise covers. It was a battle that saved France and probably Europe. To explain why Islam was in France in the first place, Belloc wrote:

 

Mahomet, acquainted with the Faith, selected from manifold Christian truth what few points seemed good to him, and composed a new heresy alive with equality and the reduction of doctrine to the least compass. He denied the Incarnation and left the Eucharist aside. Mahomet had vision and heard divine commands. Stones spoke to him and he perceived the glories of heaven. But more than this…he was filled with a command to teach what he had seen and known. He must remake men. For this mighty task he found two mighty levers—brotherhood and simplicity—and to these he joined the delight of arms.

 

Belloc, as Ibrahim also notes, was far ahead of his time in seeing the meaning and scope of Islamic thought and history. Belloc paid the honor to Islam of taking its religious side, its history, and its messianic purposes seriously. He could do this because he could understand the call of its faith. This understanding of Islam’s faith is what is important in Sword and Scimitar. We cannot read Muslim history as if it is explained by the liberal mind that cannot (or will not) understand the call of such a faith over time. Christians have been mostly driven out of Muslim lands. They have suffered attacks and killings in our day, the same kind of atrocities that occurred again and again in the past. We pay little or no attention. Those most eager to dialogue with representatives of Islam usually do not know its history. They cannot understand why this dialogue results mostly in an effort to settle more and more of Mohammed’s followers in lands that Islam could not conquer before by arms.

 

Belloc, in his book The Crusades—in a section on the Battle at the Horns of Hattin (1187), after the crushing of the Crusaders’ last hold in the Holy places—said that if Islam ever gains the power again, it will do exactly as it did before. He wrote this in the 1930s; by the second decade of the 21st century, it is clear that he was right. Ibrahim’s book provides the background to verify this thesis.

 

Islam cannot reform itself by denying its own history and the methods to achieve its successes. And it cannot be Islam and deny what is in the Koran. Wherever the Koran is read carefully and seriously, the drive to world submission to Allah will reappear and continue. Sometimes it will be defeated; at other times it will succeed. Islam is content to wait, but it always is prodding. It understands that its immediate enemy is the West—not China or India or Russia. It has every reason to believe that it is gradually but definitely making inroads into Europe, often without the need of bloodshed. It has not repudiated terror, but it has realized the possibility of using Western political means to bring the Sharia into effect in any given city or country. If it can expand by democratic means as well as with terror and war, so much the better. The end remains the same–the conquest of the world for Allah, the mission assigned to it from the beginning.

 

Islam today is divided into various factions and dozens of states, some struggling against others. It has no final authority of interpretation of its texts; it has no unified army. The recent defeat of ISIS on the ground made clear that its expansion might now use other means. Historically, Christians and non-Christians falling under the control of Muslim majorities have been required to pay a fine and accept second class citizenship, convert, or die. Peace for Islam means the condition brought about when everyone is Muslim. Until then, a state of war with non-Muslims de facto exists. Again, the purpose of Islam is the subjection of all men and nations to Allah. Without this ultimate goal, Islam is not Islam. One cannot but admire this religious impetus, while, at the same time, doing one’s best to see that it never succeeds—both for the good of non-Muslims and Muslims alike. Sword and Scimitar offers a challenging and direct explanation why these things make sense.

____________________

© 2018 · RaymondIbrahim.com ·

 

 

 

About

 

RAYMOND IBRAHIM is a widely published author, public speaker, and Middle East and Islam specialist.  His books include Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West (Da Capo, 2018), Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (Regnery, 2013), and The Al Qaeda Reader (Doubleday, 2007).

 

Ibrahim’s writings, translations, and observations have appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times Syndicate, CNN, LA Times, Fox News, Financial Times, Jerusalem Post, United Press International, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, and Weekly Standard; scholarly journals, including the Almanac of Islamism, Chronicle of Higher Education, Hoover Institution’s Strategika, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, and Middle East Review of International Affairs; and popular websites, including American Thinker, Bloomberg, Breitbart, Christian Post, Daily Caller, NewsMax, National Review Online, PJ Media, and World Magazine. He has contributed chapters to several anthologies and has been translated into dozens of languages.

 

Ibrahim guest lectures at universities, including the National Defense Intelligence College, has briefed governmental agencies, such as U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and has testified before Congress regarding the conceptual failures that dominate American discourse concerning Islam and the worsening plight of Egypt’s Christian Copts.

 

Among other media, he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, and NPR; he has done hundreds of radio interviews and two courses for Prager University, each of which has been viewed over a million times on YouTube.

 

Ibrahim’s dual-background—born and raised in the U.S. by Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East—has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former. His interest in Islamic civilization was first piqued when he began visiting the Middle East as a child in the 1970s. Interacting and conversing with the locals throughout the decades has provided him with an intimate appreciation for that part of the world, complementing his academic training.

 

After a brief athletic career—including winning the 1993 NPC Los Angeles Bodybuilding Championship as a teenager—Raymond went on to receive his B.A. and M.A. (both in History, focusing on the ancient and medieval Near East, with dual-minors in Philosophy and Literature) from California State University, Fresno. There he studied closely with noted military-historian Victor Davis Hanson. He also took graduate courses at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies—including classes on the history, politics, and economics of the Arab world—and studied Medieval Islam and Semitic languages at Catholic University of America. His M.A. thesis examined an early military encounter between Islam and Byzantium based on arcane Arabic and Greek texts.

 

Ibrahim’s resume includes serving as an Arabic language and regional specialist at the Near East Section of the Library of Congress, where he was often contacted by and provided information to defense and intelligence personnel involved in the fields of counterterrorism and area studies, as well as the Congressional Research Service; and serving as associate director of the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia think tank.

 

He also often functions as a journalist and has been a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a CBN News analyst.  His knowledge of Arabic and familiarity with Middle Eastern sources have enabled him to offer breaking news.  Days before the Obama administration blamed an anti-Islamic movie for Muslim uprisings against a U.S. consul and an embassy in Libya and Egypt respectively, Ibrahim showed that the demonstrations were pre-planned and unrelated to the movie.  Similarly, he was first to expose an Arabic-language Saudi fatwa that called for the destruction of any Christian church found on the Arabian Peninsula.

 

Raymond Ibrahim is currently the Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

 

Breivik’s Christian Revolution


Nazi Iron Cross

John R. Houk

© July 29, 2011

 

An Anti-Christian atheist dear one commented on a post I sent to Facebook. The post is entitled, “New York Times reader kills dozens in Norway”. The SlantRight posting is actually an Ann Coulter piece using her political wit to point out that Anders Breivik wrote of more resources than Biblical Christians and Anti-Jihad/Anti-Islamist bloggers. The Anti-Christian dear on was quite antagonistic which forced me to spend more time than I really wished to examining a 1500 page manuscript by terrorist Anders Breivik.

 

Below are the initial interchanges between the dear one and I which is then followed by my assertions relating to Anders Breivik. (Note that comment section posts are rarely accomplished with grammar and spelling in mind. I usually edit such comments when I repost them but I thought it better not to do so out of anxiety that I may change dear one’s intent.)

 

_____________________________

Dear one: You neocons can spin and twist all you want. The facts are that he is a Christian, opposed Islam and multiculturalism and killed many people. His rant in his 1500 page diatribe sounds like a compilation of a lot of your posts on Islam. You are associated, like it or not.

 

John Houk: Dear one you need to re-check your facts! Even though the sicko Breivik may have appreciated Anti-Jihad/Anti-Islamist American writers and Western culture derived from a Christian past, his actions as a terrorist are far removed from bloggers and Christians. Bloggers expose the dark side of Islam to alert people in the West the Anti-Liberty nature of Islam. Breivik’s self-identification as a Christian must also be seen in the context of his self-identifications in his 1500 page manuscript; e.g. Christian Atheist and Christian Agnostic to name a mere couple. Those terms may be a few oxymorons you are more acquainted with. It is the LEFT doing the spinning not any proud Neocon, Anti-Jihad/Anti-Islamist blogger or Christian!

 

 

Dear one: He wan’t (sic) an atheist John. Christian atheist is an oxymoron. He believed he was a knight of god sent to bring Europe back to it’s cultural christian roots, which is ironic because it wasn’t until the expanse of the roman empire di(d) Christianity gain a foothold.

 

Dear one: One retort to your misstatement of facts above: He didn’t claim to be a christian atheist or christian agnostic. He said that people who are those two are welcome to join the fight to restore christian cultural values. Please don’t misrepresent the facts.

++++++++++++++++++++

 

Dear one I did not misrepresent the facts! I may not have been precise; however upon a quick perusal of the Breivik manuscript my thoughts are indeed vindicated. Even though the sicko Breivik may have appreciated Anti-Jihad/Anti-Islamist American writers and Western culture derived from a Christian past, his actions as a terrorist are far removed from bloggers and Christians. Bloggers expose the dark side of Islam to alert people in the West the Anti-Liberty nature of Islam. Breivik’s self-identification as a Christian must also be seen in the context of his self-identifications in his 1500 page manuscript; e.g. Christian Atheist and Christian Agnostic to name a mere couple. Those terms may be a few oxymorons that you are more acquainted with. It is the LEFT doing the spinning not any proud Neocon, Anti-Jihad/Anti-Islamist blogger or Christian!

 

Is Breivik an atheist? You are correct in this justification.

 

Is Breivik a Christian? Your assertion is not justified. As I did point out “Christian atheist” is indeed an oxymoron; nevertheless that was Breivik’s phrase for an atheist that respected the roots of Western Culture which is Christianity.

 

Breivik DID NOT believe he was a knight sent from God in the sense of the Knights Templar of old. Breivik believes he is … READ THE REST AT SlantRight.com.