This post is actually a comment to another commenter, gringoman, in a thread from All Things Beautiful . gringoman gave a link to an American Thinker article, The Truth About Islamic Crusades and Imperialism, that, imho, turned out to be a gold mine of information that will never be seen in the antique media, so I decided to do a bibliographical listing of the links in the article. Long story short, the gatekeeper program kept kicking me out as a spammer, so, if anyone is interested, here is the listing, including, last but not least, Jihad begot the Crusades, by the great Andrew Bostom.
My response that made me a spammer 😉 :
gringoman: What an absolutely wonderful reference to a great article by James Arlandson with an excellent set of reference links. I have been on this “crusade” with GD, i.e., that there was a lot of conquering, pillaging, raping and slaughtering going on long before the Christian crusaders got started. And here you are with Mr. Arlandson’s and Andrew Bostom’s proof that the crusades were a response to islam. BTW, your link didn’t work- it had an extra backslash in it. Here’s the working link, and I hope you don’t mind if I do a major cut and paste here because Mr. Arlandson does a much better job than I could hope to do of tying it all together, and the article is from 2005, so it has been a while. I have never seen it before. I encourage everyone interested in this to save this article and the references mentioned in it.
Historical facts say that Islam, including Muhammad, launched their own Crusades against Christianity long before the European Crusades.
Westerners—even academics—accept the notion that the West alone was aggressive. It seems that Islam is always innocent and passive. It is difficult to uncover the source of this Western self—loathing. It is, however, a pathology that seems to strike Westerners more than other people around the globe. This anti—West pathology shows up in Westerners’ hatred for the European Crusades in the Medieval Age
Muslims seem to forget that they had their own, for several centuries before the Europeans launched theirs as a defense against the Islamic expansion.
638 Muslim Crusaders conquer and annex Jerusalem, taking it from the Byzantines.
639—642 Muslim Crusaders conquer Egypt.
641 Muslim Crusaders control Syria and Palestine.
644—650 Muslim Crusaders conquer Cyprus, Tripoli in North Africa, and establish Islamic rule in Iran, Afghanistan, and Sind.
710—713 Muslim Crusaders conquer the lower Indus Valley.
711—713 Muslim Crusaders conquer Spain and impose the kingdom of Andalus. This article recounts how Muslims today still grieve over their expulsion 700 years later. They seem to believe that the land belonged to them in the first place.
831 Muslim Crusaders capture Palermo, Italy; raids in Southern Italy
1050 Creation of Almoravid (Muslim Crusaders) movement in Mauretania; Almoravids (aka Murabitun) are coalition of western Saharan Berbers; followers of Islam, focusing on the Quran, the hadith, and Maliki law.
1075 Seljuks (Muslim Crusaders) capture Nicea (Iznik) and make it their capital in Anatolia
1086 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) (see 1050) send help to Andalus, Battle of Zallaca
1094 Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus I asks western Christendom for help against Seljuk invasions of his territory; Seljuks are Muslim Turkish family of eastern origins; see 970
1095 Pope Urban II preaches first Crusade; they capture Jerusalem in 1099
So it is only after all of the Islamic aggressive invasions that Western Christendom launches its first Crusades.
It must be noted that Islamic expansion continues until well into the seventeenth century. For example, the Muslims Crusaders conquer Constantinople in 1453 and unsuccessfully besiege Vienna for the second time in 1683 (earlier in 1529). By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Islamic Crusades receded, due to Western resistance. Since that time until the present, Islamic civilization has not advanced very far.
Khalid al—Walid (d. 642), a bloodthirsty but superior commander of the Muslim armies at the time, also answers the question as to why the Muslims stormed out of Arabia…’I call you to God and to Islam. If you respond to the call, you are Muslims: You obtain the benefits they enjoy and take up the responsibilities they bear. If you refuse, then [you must pay] the jizyah. If you refuse the jizyah, I will bring against you tribes of people who are more eager for death than you are for life. We will fight you until God decides between us and you.’
When the Islamic Crusaders go out to conquer, carrying an Islamic banner inscribed in Arabic of the glory and the truth of their prophet, Ibn Khaldun would not deny that the army’s mission, besides the material reasons of conquest, is to convert the inhabitants. Islam is a ‘universalizing’ religion, and if its converts enter its fold either by persuasion or force, then that is the nature of Islam.
Moreover, Ibn Khaldun explains why a dynasty rarely establishes itself firmly in lands of many different tribes and groups. But it can be done after a long time and employing the following tactics, as seen in the Maghrib (N and NW Africa) from the beginning of Islam to Ibn Khaldun’s own time:
The first (Muslim) victory over them and the European Christians (in the Maghrib) was of no avail. They continued to rebel and apostatized time after time. The Muslims massacred many of them. After the Muslim religion had been established among them, they went on revolting and seceding, and they adopted dissident religious opinions many times. They remained disobedient and unmanageable . . . . Therefore, it has taken the Arabs a long time to establish their dynasty in the . . . Maghrib. (p. 131)
It is only natural that the Quran would be filled with references to jihad and qital, the latter word meaning only fighting, killing, warring, and slaughtering. Textual reality matches historical reality in the time of Muhammad. And after.
But this means that the Church had to fight back or be swallowed up by an aggressive religion over the centuries. Thus, the Church did not go out and conquer in a mindless, bloodthirsty, and irrational way—though the Christian Crusades were far from perfect.
Islam was the aggressor in its own Crusades, long before the Europeans responded with their own.”</i>
Update: I am in the process of adding these references and others, along with short pull-quotes, to the “Islamofascism” category of the In Context References section of the blog.