New Civilization News: The Crusades - An act of faith or of politics?    
 The Crusades - An act of faith or of politics?5 comments
picture7 Mar 2002 @ 13:34, by Roni Gemma

“The Crusades as a whole refer to the liberation of Jerusalem from the ‘infidel’, Muslims. Not being of the true (Christian) faith, they were without souls so killing them was sanctified, indeed, called for by the Church. However from the Moslem point of view the same applied to the Christians. They saw the Crusades as an invasion of unbelievers.”
This is what we have been taught, but was driving force of the crusades truly spiritual or political?

The Muslim Beginning
The Prophet Muhammad was born in approximately 570 AD and as a youth he travelled with the caravans which traded between Mecca and Syria It wasn’t until he was about forty years of age however that he started having his visions and the visit from Gabriel. His visionary poetry convinced his friends that he was a prophet and a messenger of God. Soon he acquired followers and then an army. He took Medina then Mecca and then looked further towards the Jews and Christians. Declaring all must be converted and should acknowledge the truth of the Koran. He died in 632 AD but his successors were even more successful in their conversions

In 640, eight years after his death, an Arab army stood outside the walls of On (modern Heliopolis) the most sacred of Egyptian cities. Egypt, at that time, was still a province of the Byzantine Empire. The viceroy was Cyrus, Patriarch of Alexandria who fled to Alexandria when the Arabs attacked. The Arabs soon followed in his wake and Alexandria became under siege. Cyrus tired to bargain with their leader while the citizens continued to receive supplies by sea. In time, though, Alexandria fell. The Arab armies also raged through Palestine and Syria, and towards Persia at the same time that Cyrus surrendered Alexandria. Two years later the Arabs controlled all of Persia and the Umayyad dynasty. Luxury and corruption soon set in. The greed also became evident in North Africa and Spain which had been conquered.

In 732 the Arabs entered into France but were defeated by Charles of Heristal and the bitterly cold weather. France held together and fought back.

The Christians Turn
By end of 11th century five Christian kingdoms existed in the north, Leon, county of Portugal, Castile, Navarre, Aragon and Barcelona (Catalonia). A league of Christian princes was organized from these domains in 1014 to fight the moors. The Pope blessed his attack on the emirate of Sargasso but it wasn’t until the assassination of Ramiro I of Aragon by a Muslim at the beginning of a major offensive in 1063 which provoked the first real crusade. Then the Pope promised indulgence for all who fought for the Cross in Spain, troops were gathered from the northern Italian States and France.

In 1085 Toledo was taken by the Christians but this resulted in the Muslims calling for help from the Almoravide sect which had united the Berber tribes of the Sahara to conquer North Africa. The Almoravide caliph, Yusuf Ibn Teshfin, took march claiming territory on his way and met Alfonso at Zalaca. Where the Moors forces had been annihilated. Yusuf again conquered the peninsula then left leaving 3000 Berbers to assist the Andalusia Moors.

Urgent appeals went out to Western Europe and in 1089 the Pope Urban II announced that to fight for Spain was akin to a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The Spanish campaigns attracted many Christian knights until the end of the century.

continued at: [link]


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5 comments

8 Mar 2002 @ 01:20 by jazzolog : Valuable Contribution
You know, Sea, some say we Yanks are a people who delight in flying across oceans to fight war, but detest crossing the street to vote. We don't much like trying to understand the people we kill either---or what they don't like about us and things we do. The article here and at your site (and the glorious artwork!) provides some perspective everyone can use.  


8 Mar 2002 @ 08:23 by sea : Thank you for your compliments
Thank you so much! I try very hard to give people options and ideas without telling them what they should believe. Our rights to be individual minds, I feel, has been taken from all of us. Only by opening our minds back up to other views and possibilities can we hope to change our furture path.

Maybe, just maybe, I may be able to start that trend and reach a few people with my site! :-)

I also very pleased that you enjoy the graphics! I just they, except photos, are my work. I started learning graphics and animation 2 months ago and it seems like I learn something new about it each day!!

Thank you!  



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