WHO SHOULD APOLOGIZE? (RE THE CRUSADES)

Filed under ENGLISH

Author: Thomas Cosmades

 

The denigration which Islam faces since the atrocities of September 11, when nineteen paradise-bound(!) Muslim men inflicted the heaviest savagery on the heart and soul of the USA, brings out several classical arguments which in their thinking–even partially–offers some explanation for this despicable collusion. «What about the Crusades?» they are asking again. And too many naïve, ever-apologetic Westerners are ready to apologize: «Oh, that was a terrible undertaking on the part of the church!» They think by this answer they will put the Muslim conversant at ease.

Muslims have never read an unbiased account of the Crusades, neither the apologetic Westerners seem to have read much about the Crusades. In my estimation the most valuable account on the subject in English is, «The Crusades» in three volumes by Steven Runciman, Cambridge University Press. This is a must for anyone interested in this important aspect of world history. It casts ample light on the attitude of both religions at the time and their conduct.

Naturally, no sane Christian believer acquainted with the principles of the Lord Jesus Christ can condone the misguided search for accomplishment in the Crusades’ venture. Their aim to capture the lands of the Bible was erroneous from start to finish. However, before Christians bend over to apologize to the Muslims for the Crusades, they ought to better acquaint themselves with Islam’s fourteen-century-long history and its aim of conquering.

Mohammed showed himself friendly and accommodating towards Jews and Christians at the outset of his religion. The Quranic verses which speak favorably toward Jews and Christians are those which antedate his pilgrimage to Medina. Once he established himself in the safety of Medina (A.D. 622, or A.H. 1), he began blasting at the followers of the other two religions (cf. Quran, 9:123; 47:7). He declared open war against the preceding religions which conflict never has ceased until our time. It is an ongoing warfare. Any person entertaining some inane notion about the unending chain of clashes between Islam and the rest of us should study the concept of Fateh (conquest) in Islam. Fateh is a religious dogma, a mandate bestowed by Allah on the Islamic community. Islam’s prime glory in the long tenure of its existence is Fateh, carried on by divine command.

In the last decades, the notion of apology has occupied the willy-nilly mind of many idealistic Westerners, that in the name of Christianity they should apologize to Muslims for the acts of the crusaders. Some took it on themselves to organize marches of apology to Islamic lands and explain to the Muslims they are regretful that Christendom organized such a military conquest. I know at least one group which went so far in its self-appointed humiliation that it included Maoris from New Zealand to travel all the way to Turkey to apologize for what the crusaders did! How much have the Maoris heard of the Crusades? Where were their ancestors at the time of the Crusades? What part did they play in them? One may ask who delegated these ambitious apologists and self-flagellators to be their representatives for expressing regret to the Muslims. The Muslims’ history of conquest in Allah’s name, killings, forceful conversions, taking slaves and concubines, plundering, changing Christian temples and churches into mosques, imposing heavy taxes on conquered people, and a chain of other brutal acts, are bound to cause a thinking person to ask, «What kind of God does this religion adhere to?»

The writer of Genesis informs us that Ishmael became an expert with the bow (21:20). Before contemporary Muslims jump to indict the Western princedoms for carrying on the Crusades, and before ambitious Westerners thrust themselves into the self-appointed undertaking to apologise, they will serve themselves very well to delve into Islam’s long-stretched history of Fateh for Allah with all its repercussions. Islam’s numerous invasions are carried on until our day in one way or another. We need name only a few:

As soon as this new religion-state solidified its position in the Arabian peninsula by wiping out all Jewish and Christian communities through killings or conversions and taking away their properties, Kalif Omar led the Islamic armies into Egypt. At the capture of Alexandria (641), they transferred into ashes the world-renowned double library in this famous city, established by the Ptolemeans. It was the home of tens of thousands of original volumes. Who has ever apologized for this obscene obliteration? The Islamic armies marched on westward in Allah’s name. They crossed Gibraltar, their aim being to convert the whole of Europe into Islam. The renowned historian, Arnold J. Toynbee, says, «Had they succeeded in this goal of conquest, today the Quran would have been studied in the main western universities.» It is our belief that the Arab armies were providentially checked and the conquest of Europe was prevented with the victory in Tours in 732 by Charles Martel. Europe was rescued from the Islamic conquerors.

Space will not allow to tell of Islam’s onslaughts in every direction of the known world. In the thirteenth century, a determined new brand of devotees started spreading their ferocious advance under Islam’s banner: the Ottoman Turks. Their history of conquest is one of the most striking chapters in the annals of Islam’s triumph by the sword. Their armies spread all over the Balkans and central Europe, accompanied by the shrieks, «Allah! Allah!» Twice they reached into Vienna — gateway to Europe (1529 and 1683). Again, Europe was at the mercy of Islam. Thanks to Jan Sabieski II (Polish king), who chased the Ottomans out of central Europe, and they started retreating. There is no apology in the Turkish lexicon. They gloat over the conquests of their triumphant armies in Allah’s name.

The Crusades (started in 1199) were only tit for tat action by the principalities of the West who in the twelfth century got the upper hand. They chased a chivalrous victory by the might of their sword, whereas Christ’s unalterable command is about victory without the sword.

The aeons to come will reveal all the atrocities carried on in the name of Allah (Luke 8:17; 12:2), for which not a single apology has ever been heard! No sound of regret will ever emanate from any Muslim mouth. Of course, we should not forget the atrocities committed by the crusaders against the Jews, Byzantines, and other dwellers of those regions. In the meantime, let Muslims go on reciting their line and injudicious Westerners bow before them for the excesses of the crusaders, glossing over the atrocities of the Muslim armies.

© Copyright Thomas Cosmades

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