Western Self-Loathing, or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jihad
by Animate Matters
As you all know, Vox gets a bit twitchy on Saturdays, what with sundry viruses accumulating in his CPU. So he’s out having his brainbox upgraded and cleaned, and his servomechanisms lubricated. But never fear; he should be back in fighting trim for tomorrow.
By a cruel jest of fate manifest through the clicking of dice, his dear readers have been afflicted with my rantings as his inaugural guest blogger. May my words be buoyant millstones as you flounder in the cyber sea.
Without further ado, let’s discuss the Crusades and the Islamic Jihad. We’ll take a unique tack, addressing these events from a historical perspective, rather than that of a leftist soundbite.
First the Jihad. Upon Muhammed’s death in A.D. 632, Muslims controlled much of the Arabian Peninsula, including Palestine. This trend of expansion continued under his successors, the caliphs. A century after his passing, Muslims had conquered territory stretching from Afghanistan to Spain. Portions of India, Anatolia (ancient Asia Minor or modern Turkey), Sudan, and the Balkans fell under Islamic ascendancy. It’s important to point out that this imperialism and proselytization with the sword was a continuation of Muhammed’s own tactics–not a deviation from his grand scheme. The ultimate goal of Jihad was and is Islamic domination of the planet through Sharia law.
Why the history lesson? Because it sheds light on the motivations behind the Crusades. When Pope Urban II preached the First Crusade in 1095, the Islamic Jihad against the West already had been an unrelenting plague for over 460 years. If one understands nothing else about the Crusades, one should realize that they were not imperialistic wars of aggression against peaceful easterners–but a response to centuries of blood-soaked conquest instigated by the Islamic world. Finally suppressing age-old petty rivalries and internal bickering (to a degree), European Christians mustered the will for bringing a halt to Muslim expansion, and a reoccupying of the Holy Land–stolen centuries before.
Militaristic and religious aspects of the Crusades cannot be divorced. Not just exercises in revenge and reclamation, they entailed the qualities of a pilgrimage. Some went on crusade as an act of penance; others for the receipt of indulgences; still others for a tiny glimpse of the past home of Jesus and his disciples. Rationales were as diverse as the people themselves. Most crusaders were poor folk sincerely seeking God’s will, knowing that months if not years would pass before laying eyes on their loved ones, again. Many departed expecting never to return to the lands of their birth.
Don’t misunderstand me. This isn’t a defense of the Crusades. Both sides perpetrated atrocities against innocent people. Neither was of sterling character or saintly guise.
But an accurate rendition of the Crusades rarely is offered for public consumption. In the past fifty years or so, the mainstream media, certain Islamophile historians, popular television programs, the public indoctrination machines (euphemistically known as “schools“), and even U.S. presidents have utterly mischaracterized the Crusades.
From a U.S. News headline: “The Truth About the Epic Clash Between Christianity and Islam,” followed by “During the Crusades, East and West first met.” The article continues by proclaiming the Crusades “The First Holy War.” Later, it suggests that “For Muslims, imperialism is a dirty word.“ Of course, all of this demonstrably is false.
After 9/11, Bill Clinton remarked: “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…. I can tell you that that story is still being told today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it.”
Though it contains a kernel of truth, this observation lacks even a glimmer of historical context.
I see manifold reasons for such comments. Multiculturalism, ignorance, western self-loathing, hatred toward Christianity, disassociation from reality, and perhaps even heavy drug use all contribute to this mentality.
Most people blissfully go about their lives, hindered by a PC wall from seeing the ramifications of modern terrorism. And yet the Jihad continues–sometimes in sporadic fits; sometimes with grim monotony–an engine of destruction chugging onward.
Osama bin Laden’s World Islamic Front subcategorizes itself as a “Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders,” and issued a fatwa to that effect, in 1998.
Osama understands that the Jihad is alive and kicking.
Even if we don’t.
And to paraphrase the Muslim philosopher, Avicenna, “To make the whole world Islamic, you first have to break a few infidels.”
Note – Just to be clear, I will continue posting on Saturdays. I do not intend to post commentary on the guest blogs, for the most part, and I prefer to let those discussions be led by the guest blogger himself.