Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NEW SERIES! "Islamic Crusades" An Introduction

You can find the full text of Bill Clinton's speech at Georgetown here.

The following in a full transcript of this video:

On November 7, 2001, less than two months after the 9/11 attacks, former President Bill Clinton addressed our new state of affairs with a high-profile speech at Georgetown University. In addressing the root causes of the conflict, he said the following:

“Those of us who come from various European lineages are not blameless. Indeed, in the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple mound. The contemporaneous descriptions of the event describe soldiers walking on the Temple mound, a holy place to Christians, with blood running up to their knees. I can tell you that that story is still being told today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it.”

This statement, along with many others that point to past Western sins to excuse modern-day anti-Western atrocities, are conventional wisdom for the Left. Similar thoughts have been repeated on college campuses, media outlets, workplaces, bars, throughout public discourse. Yet to anyone with a solid grasp of history, this statement is absurd and non sequitur. Not because the event is described inaccurately – though the president should have realized that the “up to our knees in blood” line was a common medieval exaggeration – but because the conclusions drawn are spurious.

First, Clinton points out that Jews as well as Muslims were victims in the Siege of Jerusalem. Indeed, European Jews were also victims; as religious fervor swept the continent, some restless Christians without the means to march to the Holy Land took out their aggression on local non-believers. The Western Latin Christian crusaders also fought with the Eastern Orthodox Christians who lay between them and the Muslim Middle East, climaxing in the Crusader sack of Constantinople in 1204. Western Christians even committed atrocities against each other, as they fought over rights to newly conquered lands and jockeyed for influence back home. If we follow the Left’s warped logic, all of these groups would have legitimate grievances against the West for the crusades, and all would have been justified in carrying out a 9/11-style attack in 2001. Yet it was only the Muslims who saw fit to carry out such an act, and I can’t help but think that Clinton would have been less sympathetic if a group of Jews or Orthodox Christians had murdered 3,000 people on that day.

Second, the chain of responsibility makes no sense. As we know, the United States of America did not exist during the Crusades; Columbus would not even land in the New World for another 300 years; and so Clinton references our European lineages as proof of our guilt. Yet 1/3 of American citizens are not of European descent. Of the 2/3 that did come from Europe, many are not Western Christians, and many more came from nations that did not take part in the Crusades or only participated peripherally. The United Kingdom, our founding colonial power, and the source of many of our laws, traditions, and early citizens, was one of these peripheral nations. Indeed, most crusaders were from France, which is why the Muslims at the time referred to all Crusaders simply as “Franks”. And France sticks out as the only large European nation that never sent great numbers of immigrants to America.

I hope this brief explanation has illustrated to you why I refer to the statements of Clinton as absurd, but my aim here is not merely to debunk the Crusades. My aim is to diminish the Western world’s self-destructive obsession with the perceived sins of our past interactions with the Muslim world; whether it’s the Crusades, the legacy of European colonialism, tensions over oil resources, or the existence of Israel. These flashpoints, while they are legitimate subjects for debate and reflection, have been taken out of context, scandalized, and fashioned into a weapon that threatens to destabilize Western society as a whole.

The liberal establishment highlights selected Western sins, and wraps a layer of current events around them to further their political goals. In this series, I will highlight what I believe are the far more horrific episodes in Islamic history that are neglected, marginalized or simply ignored by the media and academic establishment. I will explore the history of Islamic imperialism, Islamic colonialism, Islamic genocide and Islamic crusades; and believe me there is plenty of material to work with.

For those who already see America and the West as positive forces in our world, I hope this will provide you ammunition for arguments with liberal friends. I hope it helps you continue the conversation, when they try to blunt it by citing the wrongs of the Crusades or colonialism to excuse any and all Muslim actions in the present. My purpose here is to put the Crusades in context; as a brutal religiously-inspired conquest of land, yes, but just one among many, most of which were committed in the name of Mohammed rather than Jesus.

For those on the left who bother to hear me out, I hope you treat my testimony about the victims of the Islamic violence with the same seriousness that you treat the stories of Western exploitation that you are so quick to catalog. I believe in the course of this series you will come to understand, as I did, that your apologetics for Islam work directly against the values you claim to promote. That whatever sins the West has committed, the Islamic world has committed them more often and more severely, and that you who strive to tear the edifices of your own civilization down have been allowed to thrive in the West, while your counterparts in the Muslim world are executed, imprisoned, or intimidated into a deep silence.

And so it is in this spirit, that I ask you all to join me in an exploration of what I call, the Islamic Crusades. I promise you at the very least that it won’t be boring. And I suspect that all of us, myself included, will learn something in the process. Let’s begin.

The first installment on the Fall of Constantinople coming soon! Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for the latest updates.

1 comment:

Imperialistu' said...

Great idea! I wish you all the best, Sir!