by, J. Schuyler Montague | sharia unveiled
Barack Hussein Obama’s paid electoral infiltrators are in your nation, as we speak, doing their best to influence, interfere and illegally alter the outcome of your election.
They are working diligently, night and day, attempting to implant an ‘Obama-like’ Arab sympathizing candidate that will ultimately turn-over your nation to the Arabs.
Obama is a racist bigot, devout anti-Semite, a Jew hater and desires nothing more than the ultimate destruction of Israel.
So, if ‘you’ love Barack Hussein Obama and desire to have a ‘puppet regime’ controlled by his Muslim administration that seeks to destroy Israel and hand it over to the Arabs..then please, do NOT vote for PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
If ‘you’ desire to see your nation, broken up and divided into pieces..only to be handed over to Hamas for a Palestinian Terrorist State, then please.. do NOT vote Likud.
However, if ‘you’ love freedom, you love your nation and you desire to tell Barack Hussein Obama to ‘..shove his Muslim Agenda in his ass sideways..’
VOTE for PM BENJAMIN NETANYAHU and LIKUD!
The Security of Israel Depends on it.
(Many of ‘us’ did not. And look what we got.)
WE SUPPORT A ‘ONE STATE’ SOLUTION…
The Nation of Israel.. FOREVER!
NOT ONE GRAIN of SAND. NOT ONE INCH of LAND!
Am Y’israel Chai.
The Infiltration of HAMAS Terrorist Organization on America’s College Campus’..
by, Adam Kredo | The Washington Free Beacon
Anti-Israel activists at the University of California, Davis heckled Jewish students and shouted “Allahhu Akbar” at them during a vote last week on a resolution endorsing a boycott of the Jewish state, according to video of the event obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Video courtesy of: FNC & Steven Laboe
The commotion erupted late Thursday evening as pro-Israel students attempted to counter a student government resolution to divest from Israel as part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Activists waving Palestinian flags shouted at the Jewish and pro-Israel students as they left the meeting room ahead of an eight to two vote in favor of the divestment resolution, which is part of a larger movement by anti-Israel groups to attack Israel and pro-Israel students on campus.
“Allahhu Akhbar!” a large group of activists shouted in unison as the pro-Israel students filed out of U.C. Davis’ meeting room, according to video provided by a member of Aggies for Israel, a pro-Israel student group at Davis.
Following the vote, which was championed by the pro-Hamas group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), unknown vandals spray-painted swastikas on a fraternity house belonging to the Jewish AEPi organization.
Additionally, Azka Fayyaz, a member of the U.C. Davis student senate, posted on her Facebook page a triumphant message following the vote: “Hamas & Sharia law have taken over UC Davis.”
Azka Fayyaz, leader of the ‘BDS Nazi Campus Movement’ known as; Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UC Davis. Azka Fayyaz on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/smartazkanbe?fref=ts
Pro-Israel activists involved in the battle said the series of events at U.C. Davis highlight the danger posed to campuses by the BDS movement.
“BDS activism, anti-Semitism, swastikas, celebration of terror—these things are found together,” said Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel. “The U.C. Davis administration should be deeply alarmed that a member of the student senate has openly endorsed Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization whose charter calls for the murder of Jews worldwide.”
Johanna Wilder, a StandWithUs Pacific Northwest campus coordinator, said that the Facebook postings by student senator Fayyaz highlight SJP’s ongoing promotion of hatred.
“This demonstrates the dishonesty and hypocrisy of divestment campaigns on campus,” Wilder said in a statement following the vote. “They claim to be about social justice and human rights, but this student senator’s statement revealed SJP and the BDS movement’s real agenda.”
“A racist group, Hamas is designated a terror organization by the U.S. and many other governments and its charter is sworn to the destruction of the state of Israel,” she said.
Members of the AEPi fraternity also took note of the proximity between the BDS vote and the defacement of their home.
“Our U.C. Davis AEPi fraternity house was tagged with two swastikas, coming 24 hours after the deeply troubling actions on campus coming from those seeking to delegitimize Israel and her people,” a group of AEPi leaders and alumni members said in a joint statement released after the anti-Semitic attack.
U.C. Davis leaders said the administration fully opposes divestment from Israel.
Last weeks’ vote “does not reflect the position of U.C. Davis or the University of California system,” U.C. Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said in a statement. “The investment policy for the University of California system, including U.C. Davis, is set by the U.C. Board of Regents.”
“The Board and Office of the President issued a statement regarding student resolutions that urge the Board to divest from companies doing business with Israel,” Katehi said. “The statement reiterates the Board’s position that this type of call to action will not be entertained.”
When asked about the controversial comments made by the student senator, a U.C. Davis spokesman said, “statements by individuals do not reflect a position of the university or the university community as a whole … U.C. Davis is built on a foundation of tolerance and inclusion, and we have an obligation to treat each other with respect and dignity even when we disagree.”
He said Davis police are investigating the vandalism incident at AEPi.
“U.C. Davis Student Affairs and U.C. Davis police have met with the fraternity to offer support and advice,” the spokesman said. “It is being investigated as a hate crime.
Israeli/Jewish Students and Supporters Walk-Out in Protest of BDS: (Excellent Speech)
Video courtesy of: 2kbodya
– – –
Report: Anti-Semitism Soaring on U.S. College Campuses
by, Adam Kredo | The Washington Free Beacon
Anti-Semitism on college campuses is growing, with more than half of Jewish students claiming they have witnessed or been subjected to some form of anti-Jewish harassment, according to a new report by a leading human rights organization.
With college campuses across the country acting as a hotbed for anti-Israel activism, Jewish students say they are beginning to be targeted on the basis of their religion, according to a nationwide survey conducted by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.
The survey, which interviewed 1,157 self-identified Jewish students at 55 U.S. colleges, found that 54 percent experienced or witnessed “anti-Semitism on campus during the first six months of the 2013-2014 academic year.”
Perhaps most surprising, the report found evidence of anti-Semitism across the country, a finding “strongly suggesting anti-Semitism on campus is a nationwide problem,” according to the report.
The findings come as anti-Semitic incidents rise across the globe, with Jewish citizens being targeted for attack by Islamic extremists and far-right neo-Nazis.
This has been accompanied by several high-profile episodes on college campuses in which Jewish students have been subjected to harassment and, in some cases, violence.
The Trinity College researchers who performed the study said they were surprised by the findings.
“The patterns and high rates of anti-Semitism that were reported were surprising,” said Ariela Keysar, an associate research professor at Trinity who co-wrote the report with her colleague Barry Kosmin. “Rather than being localized to a few campuses or restricted to politically active or religious students, this problem is widespread. Jewish students are subjected to both traditional prejudice and the new political anti-Semitism.”
The survey was conducted prior to last year’s conflict in the Gaza Strip, when incidents of anti-Semitism spiked globally.
“That a majority of Jewish students felt that they had suffered or witnessed incidents of anti-Semitism on the college campus in only one academic year was an unexpected finding which requires very serious investigation,” the report states.
Anti-Semitic incidents were found to be underreported, meaning that the number of episodes occurring on campus could be higher than found in the survey.
Of those who reported having “witnessed or personally been subjected to anti-Semitism,” 29 percent said it had occurred at the hands of another student.
Ten percent said it occurred in a club or society on campus, while 3 percent said the anti-Semitism was a product of the “university administrative system,” according to the report.
“The data shows that few types of Jewish students are immune from or can avoid this problem on today’s campuses,” according to the report.
The report further found that students identifying as liberal and as conservative both experienced anti-Semitism.
It also found the such treatment was experienced by students who do not overtly identify as Jewish by wearing a yarmulke or other traditional forms of observance.
“Membership in a Jewish campus organization such as Hillel, Chabad, or a Jewish fraternity/sorority raises the likelihood of reporting anti-Semitism,” the report states.
“The fact that members of [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee], a vocal pro-Israel organization, report the highest rate of anti-Semitism could be interpreted to support the notion that campus anti-Semitism has a political element,” it states. “Nevertheless, half of the more liberal-oriented ‘peacenik’ J Street members report anti-Semitism.”
This finding “belies the canard that campus anti-Semitism is perceived primarily by conservative or right-wing students,” the researchers concluded.
The report additionally found that anti-Semitism was reported at a higher rate among students at colleges in the traditionally liberal areas of the Northeast United States.
One student who anonymously responded to the survey said that anti-Semitism is often associated with liberal political groups advocating boycotts of the Jewish state.
“The divestment campaign and other anti-Israel campaigns on this campus are intertwined with rampant anti-Semitism,” the student was quoted as saying in the report. “After a widespread anti-Israel/anti-Semitic attack earlier this year the University issued a weak response. Jewish students … want to know that our University stands by us.”
The results in the United States are slightly higher than those found in a similar 2011 study conducted in the United Kingdom, where Jewish citizens often find themselves under attack from far-left groups.
Ken Marcus, president and general counsel for the Brandeis Center, said his organization often hears from students who “find that their experiences of anti-Semitism are not taken seriously.”
“This report gives substance and data to their experiences,” Marcus said in a written forward to the report. “The scope of this problem is greater than most observers had realized.”
“Kosmin and Keysar’s eye-opening findings should awaken authorities to the need to address campus anti-Semitism much more aggressively, comprehensively, and effectively than they are now doing,” he said.
– – –
Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus
END RACISM, NAZISM, ANTI-SEMITISM and HATRED on AMERICAN COLLEGE CAMPUSES
BAN BDS and the SJP From Our Children’s Universities!
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!
Let YOUR $$$’s Speak = Withhold Donations to Universities That Promote Intolerance by Allowing BDS and SJP Hate Groups on Their Campus’
Send YOUR Children to Universities That Promote Tolerance and Respect of Others.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
- Make a list of ALL of the Universities/Colleges in ‘YOUR’ State.
- Next, Contact each of them and ask if ‘…BDS and/or SJP have chapters on their campus..’
- Then, Contact ‘US’ and Provide the Results.
- Together ‘WE’ will take ACTION!
BE VOCAL – ACT LOCAL!
St. Catherine Monastery, Sinai Egypt.
Letter to the Monks of St. Catherine Monastery
by, J. Schuyler Montague | sharia unveiled
The following is based upon an alleged ‘Charter of Privileges’ that Muhammad was said to have granted to the Christians of St. Catherine Monastery in 628 C.E. in Sinai, Egypt.
Since the ‘authenticity’ of this document, can neither be confirmed nor denied by us, as existing in the true, original form, we will approach the subject as an objective ‘third party.’ At times, we will even work from the premise that the document is authentic.
The document itself entitled; ‘..Prophet Muhammad’s Charter of Privileges to Christians..’ (and) sub-titled; ‘.. Letter to the Monks of St. Catherine Monastery..’ was said to have been written originally by, Muhammad himself.
From an evidenciary standpoint, we must first look at the ‘visual appearance’ of the document:
(Note: The image of this document below has been compressed to fit the maximum horizontal dimension allowed. Please CLICK on the document / image for enlarged viewing, then click on it once more for full page viewing.)
The Appearance of the Document:
On the left side is a copy of the ‘original’ form, in Arabic.
One of the first observations I noticed was the hand-print of Muhammad. Notice the clarity? We can even see the ridges (lands and grooves) of the print itself. This becomes even more amazing when we consider the ‘original’ document itself is on leather from Ta’if. (As stated HERE.)
What becomes even more amazing is that the image above is not just a 1st generation copy from the original but rather..
‘..This reproduction was copied from the copy that was copied from the copy written in the handwriting of the Leader of the Believers, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah bless his countenance..’ (As stated HERE.)
Wow, and yet that hand print is still so clear…
Now, that’s one amazing photo-copier.
And all of this.. more than 1,000 years before the science of fingerprinting was developed in the West, in the mid-1800’s.
Well, you know Muhammad, always ahead of the curve.
Hmm.. so, after doing a little more research, I was able to locate another document entitled ‘Patent of Muhammad,’ with another example of his ‘..hand print..’ (As seen below.)
That looks like a sketch of the back of his left hand (at left) and the back of his right hand (at right.)
The variation between the pristine palm print in the first document and the ‘..child-like..’ drawing of the back of the hand in this second document are strikingly different. And ‘both’ are supposed to be the ‘..hand-print signature..’ of Muhammad.
Notice the highly degraded text, albeit, from the same time period.
The Translated Text of the Document:
- (From; Muqtedar Khan | Translation by; John Andrew Morrow)
“This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.
Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”
This just seems too convenient and too contrived. It sounds like another attempt at ‘re-writing’ the past. Basically, taking any and every argument that can be attributed to Islam and Muhammad’s example from the beginning to the present, and absolving Muhammad of any contribution.
So.. is the document authentic (or) fabricated?
Honestly, it’s irrelevant and here is why;
The St. Catherine Monastery at the foothills of the Sinai in Egypt was built by the Christian Monks, under Emperor Justinian (527-565AD). The date of ‘establishment’ was 565AD. Five years prior to the birth of Muhammad.
Muhammad was from Saudi Arabia, not Egypt.
So then, under what authority did Muhammad have jurisdiction over a Christian Monastery in another country, that existed before he did?
- He possessed no authority.
Who appointed Muhammad as the ‘..provider of privilege..’ for the people of another religion, that already possessed privilege?
- No one. Muhammad was self-appointed.
In typical Islamic fashion, fascism and fanaticism. The arrogance of ordaining oneself as ‘..the giver and taker of rights, liberties and privilege..’ Proclaiming to have the self-appointed ‘authority’ to tell others what they can and cannot do in their own lands, their own homes and their own houses of worship.
This would be like ‘me’ coming to ‘your home’ tonight, in ‘your country’ and telling you..
‘..I am taking over your neighborhood but, I will grant you some privileges in ‘..your own home..’
I bet ‘you’ would tell me where to shove my privileges.
And Muslims around the world tout this document as an example of Muhammad’s kindness and compassion towards Christians.
‘..Oh, you mean I can breathe in my own home?..’
Well, thank you Mr. Muhammad.. you are so kind and your generosity so abundant..
And likewise, there are millions of ‘..pseudo-Christians..’ around the world, mostly in the U.S., that Muslims will share this document with.. and they will be sucked right in by it.
This document, if genuine, is simply further evidence of the lunacy and self-appointed supremacy of Islam and Muhammad’s contribution to it.
Flowers left by Muslims in Denmark, honoring the terrorist that murdered 2 innocent Danish citizens. Photo courtesy of: Nic Robertson
by, J. Schuyler Montague | sharia unveiled
Muslims from around Denmark are coming to honor 22-year-old Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein at the location where he died in a shoot-out with police. They are hailing as a hero, the Muslim terrorist that murdered 2 Danish citizens and severely wounded 5 police officers, by leaving flowers and messages of support for his actions. El-Hussein is one of the Muslim terrorists responsible for the murder of one person at the Copenhagen Freedom of Speech Conference, before murdering a Jewish man at Copenhagen’s Main Synagogue. Five police officers were also seriously injured, three at the conference and two guarding the Synagogue.
Video courtesy of: jim hoft
Often we hear; ‘..all Muslims are not terrorists..’ but, this is a flawed premise from the beginning. If ‘we’ define a terrorist as only the individual (or) group of individuals that pull the trigger (or) detonate the charge..then no, all Muslims are not terrorists.
But is that an accurate definition of ‘..a terrorist?..’
Is the get-away-driver who waits in the car outside of the bank, not as guilty of being a bank robber, as the one who goes inside the bank and takes the money? They are both pieces of the same plot. Spokes in the same wheel. And, our judicial system agrees. The culpability is equally assigned and the punishment equally distributed.
Does the person (or) persons that ‘finance’ a bank robbery, also possess guilt and responsibility for the bank robbery? After all, there are costs associated with robbing a bank. There is the vehicle, the fuel in the vehicle, the weapons, ammunition, etc. that make the bank robbery possible.
ALL Muslims pay an obligatory percentage of their income in the form of a ‘..religious tax..’ called ‘Zakat.’ This is one of the primary reasons Muslims expect and demand interest-free loans. They expect 100% of their ‘non-disposable’ income to go to the Mosque (and/or) Islamic organizations, for the spread of Islam. It is a well known fact that this ‘Zakat’ is often funneled through back-door channels and redistributed to terrorist organizations. And the far majority of Muslims know exactly where this money goes and what it is used for. There have been many Federal cases, indictments and prosecutions of Islamic ‘charity’ groups caught funding terrorism. These ‘charities’ are where the majority of the Zakat goes. Because, not ‘all’ Muslims desire to strap-on suicide-bomber vests, but they do desire to assist in purchasing them for the ones who do.
Therefore, it is not accurate to say..there are only a small percentage of Muslim terrorists.
We clearly see the masses come out in support of the terrorist. We know they ALL financially support terrorism.
And by this definition, YES, ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS!
by, Moufaq Khatib | NBC News | h/t Ricky Levine
AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan has deployed “thousands” of troops at its border with Iraq as it ramps up a campaign against ISIS militants who set a pilot ablaze, two Jordanian government officials told NBC News on Tuesday.
The troops were sent to prevent the infiltration of ISIS fighters into Jordan and as a show of force, according to the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Jordan’s King Abdullah last week threatened to make ISIS pay for the death of Muath al-Kasasbeh’s after video of the military pilot’s murder emerged. He vowed to wage a “harsh” war against ISIS “because this terrorist organization is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values.”
Abdullah also pledged to hit ISIS militants “hard in the very center of their strongholds.”
While there are pockets of ISIS support across the Iraqi border, Jordan’s deployment appeared to be “an intensification of ongoing efforts to secure the border to stop movement of men and weapons” and not the precursor to an incursion, according to Matthew Henman, an analyst at Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre in London. “It underlines a robust response on the part of government and the king in response to the killing of Muath al-Kasasbeh,” he added.
The kingdom has unleashed up to 20 missions per day by Jordanian jets targeting the militant group’s positions in Syria.
“We are determined to wipe them [ISIS] from the face of the Earth,” Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Jobour told NBC News on Sunday, citing the need for “revenge” after al-Kasabeh’s killing.
Jordan is part of a U.S.-led military alliance that has been bombing ISIS targets in Syria for nearly five months. The Sunni militants have taken over large parts of Iraq and Syria since last summer.
Less than an hour ago, I received an internal memo from a colleague of mine, with excerpts from an intel. report that read:
‘..more than 7,000 ISIS militants killed in 3 days of Jordanian airstrikes..’
WE SUPPORT JORDAN & THE UAE
by, Thomas F. Madden | Shoebat Foundation & Shoebat.com | h/t Bill Muehlenberg
As a Crusade historian, I found the tranquil solitude of the ivory tower shattered by journalists, editors, and talk-show hosts on tight deadlines eager to get the real scoop. What were the Crusades?, they asked. The Islamic world has a just grievance against the West. Doesn’t the present violence, they persisted, have its roots in the Crusades’ brutal and unprovoked attacks against a sophisticated and tolerant Muslim world? In other words, aren’t the Crusades really to blame?
Osama bin Laden certainly thought so. In his various video performances, he never fails to describe the American war against terrorism as a new Crusade against Islam. Ex-president Bill Clinton has also fingered the Crusades as the root cause of the present conflict. In a speech at Georgetown University, he 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.) Clinton took a beating on the nation’s editorial pages for wanting so much to blame the United States that he was willing to reach back to the Middle Ages. Yet no one disputed the ex-president’s fundamental premise.
Well, almost no one. Many historians had been trying to set the record straight on the Crusades long before Clinton discovered them. They are not revisionists, like the American historians who manufactured the Enola Gay exhibit, but mainstream scholars offering the fruit of several decades of very careful, very serious scholarship. For them, this is a “teaching moment,” an opportunity to explain the Crusades while people are actually listening. It won’t last long, so here goes.
The threat of Islam
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.
So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.
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. Christianity—and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion—has no abode. Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth. As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.
With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed’s death. They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt—once the most heavily Christian areas in the world—quickly succumbed. By the eighth century, Muslim armies had conquered all of Christian North Africa and Spain. 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 Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East.
Understand the crusaders
That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They 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.
Pope Urban II called upon the knights of Christendom to push back the conquests of Islam at the Council of Clermont in 1095. The response was tremendous. Many thousands of warriors took the vow of the cross and prepared for war. Why did they do it? The answer to that question has been badly misunderstood. In the wake of the Enlightenment, it was usually asserted that Crusaders were merely lacklands and ne’er-do-wells who took advantage of an opportunity to rob and pillage in a faraway land. The Crusaders’ expressed sentiments of piety, self-sacrifice, and love for God were obviously not to be taken seriously. They were only a front for darker designs.
During the past two decades, computer-assisted charter studies have demolished that contrivance. Scholars have discovered that crusading knights were generally wealthy men with plenty of their own land in Europe. Nevertheless, they willingly gave up everything to undertake the holy mission. Crusading was not cheap. Even wealthy lords could easily impoverish themselves and their families by joining a Crusade. They did so not because they expected material wealth (which many of them had already) but because they hoped to store up treasure where rust and moth could not corrupt. They were keenly aware of their sinfulness and eager to undertake the hardships of the Crusade as a penitential act of charity and love. Europe is littered with thousands of medieval charters attesting to these sentiments, charters in which these men still speak to us today if we will listen. Of course, they were not opposed to capturing booty if it could be had. But the truth is that the Crusades were notoriously bad for plunder. A few people got rich, but the vast majority returned with nothing.
What really happened?
Urban II gave the Crusaders two goals, both of which would remain central to the eastern Crusades for centuries. The first was to rescue the Christians of the East. As his successor, Pope Innocent III, later wrote:
How does a man love according to divine precept his neighbor as himself when, knowing that his Christian brothers in faith and in name are held by the perfidious Muslims in strict confinement and weighed down by the yoke of heaviest servitude, he does not devote himself to the task of freeing them? … Is it by chance that you do not know that many thousands of Christians are bound in slavery and imprisoned by the Muslims, tortured with innumerable torments?
“Crusading,” Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith has rightly argued, was understood as an “an act of love”—in this case, the love of one’s neighbor. The Crusade was seen as an errand of mercy to right a terrible wrong. As Pope Innocent III wrote to the Knights Templar, “You carry out in deeds the words of the Gospel, ‘Greater love than this hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends.’”
The second goal was the liberation of Jerusalem and the other places made holy by the life of Christ. The word crusade is modern. Medieval Crusaders saw themselves as pilgrims, performing acts of righteousness on their way to the Holy Sepulcher. The Crusade indulgence they received was canonically related to the pilgrimage indulgence. This goal was frequently described in feudal terms. When calling the Fifth Crusade in 1215, Innocent III wrote:
Consider most dear sons, consider carefully that if any temporal king was thrown out of his domain and perhaps captured, would he not, when he was restored to his pristine liberty and the time had come for dispensing justice look on his vassals as unfaithful and traitors … unless they had committed not only their property but also their persons to the task of freeing him? … And similarly will not Jesus Christ, the king of kings and lord of lords, whose servant you cannot deny being, who joined your soul to your body, who redeemed you with the Precious Blood … condemn you for the vice of ingratitude and the crime of infidelity if you neglect to help Him?
The re-conquest of Jerusalem, therefore, was not colonialism but an act of restoration and an open declaration of one’s love of God. Medieval men knew, of course, that God had the power to restore Jerusalem Himself—indeed, he had the power to restore the whole world to his rule. Yet as St. Bernard of Clairvaux preached, His refusal to do so was a blessing to His people:
Again I say, consider the Almighty’s goodness and pay heed to His plans of mercy. He puts Himself under obligation to you, or rather feigns to do so, that He can help you to satisfy your obligations toward Himself. … I call blessed the generation that can seize an opportunity of such rich indulgence as this.
It is often assumed that the central goal of the Crusades was forced conversion of the Muslim world. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the perspective of medieval Christians, Muslims were the enemies of Christ and his Church. It was the Crusaders’ task to defeat and defend against them. That was all. Muslims who lived in Crusader-won territories were generally allowed to retain their property and livelihood, and always their religion. Indeed, throughout the history of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, Muslim inhabitants far outnumbered the Catholics. It was not until the 13th century that the Franciscans began conversion efforts among Muslims. But these were mostly unsuccessful and finally abandoned. In any case, such efforts were by peaceful persuasion, not the threat of violence.
The Crusades were wars, so it would be a mistake to characterize them as nothing but piety and good intentions. Like all warfare, the violence was brutal (although not as brutal as modern wars). There were mishaps, blunders, and crimes. These are usually well-remembered today. During the early days of the First Crusade in 1095, a ragtag band of Crusaders led by Count Emicho of Leiningen made its way down the Rhine, robbing and murdering all the Jews they could find. Without success, the local bishops attempted to stop the carnage. In the eyes of these warriors, the Jews, like the Muslims, were the enemies of Christ. Plundering and killing them, then, was no vice. Indeed, they believed it was a righteous deed, since the Jews’ money could be used to fund the Crusade to Jerusalem. But they were wrong, and the Church strongly condemned the anti-Jewish attacks.
Fifty years later, when the Second Crusade was gearing up, St. Bernard frequently preached that the Jews were not to be persecuted:
Ask anyone who knows the Sacred Scriptures what he finds foretold of the Jews in the Psalm. “Not for their destruction do I pray,” it says. The Jews are for us the living words of Scripture, for they remind us always of what our Lord suffered … Under Christian princes they endure a hard captivity, but “they only wait for the time of their deliverance.”
Nevertheless, a fellow Cistercian monk named Radulf stirred up people against the Rhineland Jews, despite numerous letters from Bernard demanding that he stop. At last Bernard was forced to travel to Germany himself, where he caught up with Radulf, sent him back to his convent, and ended the massacres.
It is often said that the roots of the Holocaust can be seen in these medieval pogroms. That may be. But if so, those roots are far deeper and more widespread than the Crusades. Jews perished during the Crusades, but the purpose of the Crusades was not to kill Jews. Quite the contrary: Popes, bishops, and preachers made it clear that the Jews of Europe were to be left unmolested. In a modern war, we call tragic deaths like these “collateral damage.” Even with smart technologies, the United States has killed far more innocents in our wars than the Crusaders ever could. But no one would seriously argue that the purpose of American wars is to kill women and children.
The failure of the Crusades
By any reckoning, the First Crusade was a long shot. There was no leader, no chain of command, no supply lines, no detailed strategy. It was simply thousands of warriors marching deep into enemy territory, committed to a common cause. Many of them died, either in battle or through disease or starvation. It was a rough campaign, one that seemed always on the brink of disaster. Yet it was miraculously successful. By 1098, the Crusaders had restored Nicaea and Antioch to Christian rule. In July 1099, they conquered Jerusalem and began to build a Christian state in Palestine. The joy in Europe was unbridled. It seemed that the tide of history, which had lifted the Muslims to such heights, was now turning.
But it was not. When we think about the Middle Ages, it is easy to view Europe in light of what it became rather than what it was. The colossus of the medieval world was Islam, not Christendom. The Crusades are interesting largely because they were an attempt to counter that trend. But in five centuries of crusading, it was only the First Crusade that significantly rolled back the military progress of Islam. It was downhill from there.
When the Crusader County of Edessa fell to the Turks and Kurds in 1144, there was an enormous groundswell of support for a new Crusade in Europe. It was led by two kings, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, and preached by St. Bernard himself. It failed miserably. Most of the Crusaders were killed along the way. Those who made it to Jerusalem only made things worse by attacking Muslim Damascus, which formerly had been a strong ally of the Christians. In the wake of such a disaster, Christians across Europe were forced to accept not only the continued growth of Muslim power but the certainty that God was punishing the West for its sins. Lay piety movements sprouted up throughout Europe, all rooted in the desire to purify Christian society so that it might be worthy of victory in the East.
Crusading in the late twelfth century, therefore, became a total war effort. Every person, no matter how weak or poor, was called to help. Warriors were asked to sacrifice their wealth and, if need be, their lives for the defense of the Christian East. On the home front, all Christians were called to support the Crusades through prayer, fasting, and alms. Yet still the Muslims grew in strength. Saladin, the great unifier, had forged the Muslim Near East into a single entity, all the while preaching jihad against the Christians. In 1187 at the Battle of Hattin, his forces wiped out the combined armies of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem and captured the precious relic of the True Cross. Defenseless, the Christian cities began surrendering one by one, culminating in the surrender of Jerusalem on October 2. Only a tiny handful of ports held out.
The response was the Third Crusade. It was led by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa of the German Empire, King Philip II Augustus of France, and King Richard I Lionheart of England. By any measure it was a grand affair, although not quite as grand as the Christians had hoped. The aged Frederick drowned while crossing a river on horseback, so his army returned home before reaching the Holy Land. Philip and Richard came by boat, but their incessant bickering only added to an already divisive situation on the ground in Palestine. After recapturing Acre, the king of France went home, where he busied himself carving up Richard’s French holdings. The Crusade, therefore, fell into Richard’s lap. A skilled warrior, gifted leader, and superb tactician, Richard led the Christian forces to victory after victory, eventually reconquering the entire coast. But Jerusalem was not on the coast, and after two abortive attempts to secure supply lines to the Holy City, Richard at last gave up. Promising to return one day, he struck a truce with Saladin that ensured peace in the region and free access to Jerusalem for unarmed pilgrims. But it was a bitter pill to swallow. The desire to restore Jerusalem to Christian rule and regain the True Cross remained intense throughout Europe.
The Crusades of the 13th century were larger, better funded, and better organized. But they too failed. The Fourth Crusade (1201-1204) ran aground when it was seduced into a web of Byzantine politics, which the Westerners never fully understood. They had made a detour to Constantinople to support an imperial claimant who promised great rewards and support for the Holy Land. Yet once he was on the throne of the Caesars, their benefactor found that he could not pay what he had promised. Thus betrayed by their Greek friends, in 1204 the Crusaders attacked, captured, and brutally sacked Constantinople, the greatest Christian city in the world. Pope Innocent III, who had previously excommunicated the entire Crusade, strongly denounced the Crusaders. But there was little else he could do. The tragic events of 1204 closed an iron door between Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox, a door that even today Pope John Paul II has been unable to reopen. It is a terrible irony that the Crusades, which were a direct result of the Catholic desire to rescue the Orthodox people, drove the two further—and perhaps irrevocably—apart.
The remainder of the 13th century’s Crusades did little better. The Fifth Crusade (1217-1221) managed briefly to capture Damietta in Egypt, but the Muslims eventually defeated the army and reoccupied the city. St. Louis IX of France led two Crusades in his life. The first also captured Damietta, but Louis was quickly outwitted by the Egyptians and forced to abandon the city. Although Louis was in the Holy Land for several years, spending freely on defensive works, he never achieved his fondest wish: to free Jerusalem. He was a much older man in 1270 when he led another Crusade to Tunis, where he died of a disease that ravaged the camp. After St. Louis’s death, the ruthless Muslim leaders, Baybars and Kalavun, waged a brutal jihad against the Christians in Palestine. By 1291, the Muslim forces had succeeded in killing or ejecting the last of the Crusaders, thus erasing the Crusader kingdom from the map. Despite numerous attempts and many more plans, Christian forces were never again able to gain a foothold in the region until the 19th century.
Europe’s fight for its life
One might think that three centuries of Christian defeats would have soured Europeans on the idea of Crusade. Not at all. In one sense, they had little alternative. Muslim kingdoms were becoming more, not less, powerful in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. The Ottoman Turks conquered not only their fellow Muslims, thus further unifying Islam, but also continued to press westward, capturing Constantinople and plunging deep into Europe itself. By the 15th century, the Crusades were no longer errands of mercy for a distant people but desperate attempts of one of the last remnants of Christendom to survive. Europeans began to ponder the real possibility that Islam would finally achieve its aim of conquering the entire Christian world. One of the great best-sellers of the time, Sebastian Brant’s The Ship of Fools, gave voice to this sentiment in a chapter titled “Of the Decline of the Faith”:
Our faith was strong in th’ Orient,
It ruled in all of Asia,
In Moorish lands and Africa.
But now for us these lands are gone
‘Twould even grieve the hardest stone …
Four sisters of our Church you find,
They’re of the patriarchic kind:
But they’ve been forfeited and sacked
And soon the head will be attacked.
Of course, that is not what happened. But it very nearly did. In 1480, Sultan Mehmed II captured Otranto as a beachhead for his invasion of Italy. Rome was evacuated. Yet the sultan died shortly thereafter, and his plan died with him. In 1529, Suleiman the Magnificent laid siege to Vienna. If not for a run of freak rainstorms that delayed his progress and forced him to leave behind much of his artillery, it is virtually certain that the Turks would have taken the city. Germany, then, would have been at their mercy.
Yet, even while these close shaves were taking place, something else was brewing in Europe—something unprecedented in human history. The Renaissance, born from a strange mixture of Roman values, medieval piety, and a unique respect for commerce and entrepreneurialism, had led to other movements like humanism, the Scientific Revolution, and the Age of Exploration. Even while fighting for its life, Europe was preparing to expand on a global scale. The Protestant Reformation, which rejected the papacy and the doctrine of indulgence, made Crusades unthinkable for many Europeans, thus leaving the fighting to the Catholics. In 1571, a Holy League, which was itself a Crusade, defeated the Ottoman fleet at Lepanto. Yet military victories like that remained rare. The Muslim threat was neutralized economically. As Europe grew in wealth and power, the once awesome and sophisticated Turks began to seem backward and pathetic—no longer worth a Crusade. The “Sick Man of Europe” limped along until the 20th century, when he finally expired, leaving behind the present mess of the modern Middle East.
From the safe distance of many centuries, it is easy enough to scowl in disgust at the Crusades. Religion, after all, is nothing to fight wars over. But we should be mindful that our medieval ancestors would have been equally disgusted by our infinitely more destructive wars fought in the name of political ideologies. And yet, both the medieval and the modern soldier fight ultimately for their own world and all that makes it up. Both are willing to suffer enormous sacrifice, provided that it is in the service of something they hold dear, something greater than themselves. Whether we admire the Crusaders or not, it is a fact that the world we know today would not exist without their efforts. The ancient faith of Christianity, with its respect for women and antipathy toward slavery, not only survived but flourished. Without the Crusades, it might well have followed Zoroastrianism, another of Islam’s rivals, into extinction.
Thomas F. Madden, is one of the top historians on medieval history and also on the Spanish Inquisition. He is an associate professor and chair of the Department of History at Saint Louis University. He is the author of numerous works, including The New Concise History of the Crusades, and co-author, with Donald Queller, of The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople.
Dr. Bill Warner, PhD: Jihad vs. The Crusades (Excellent Video)
Video courtesy of: Bill Warner (Thank you Bill)