Causes of the Crusades

Mar 23rd, 2007, in History, World, by

Possible causes of the Crusades in the middle ages.

Comments split off from beheadings trial story.


46 Comments on “Causes of the Crusades”

  1. avatar Czeslaw says:

    Hey guys, as far as the crusades are concerned, please keep in mind the time frame.

    Crusaders wanted to take back what Islam took from Jews, which is the link to “Christ”. So, Christ was the “link” to the cause to the crusades.

    There would be no crusades, if the Islam would not “conquer” Israel. I mean “to conquer”, is other word for war crimes and mass murders.

    In any way to look at it, man first is doing bad thing, than is trying to justify it.

  2. avatar Julita says:

    Czeslaw:

    Crusaders wanted to take back what Islam took from Jews, which is the link to “Christ”. So, Christ was the “link” to the cause to the crusades.

    There would be no crusades, if the Islam would not “conquer” Israel. I mean “to conquer”, is other word for war crimes and mass murders.

    My compliments Czeslaw in regard to Crusades, Christians were being attacked:

    Another turning point attributed to the change in western attitudes towards the east came in the year 1009, when the Fatimid caliph, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah ordered the Church of the Holy Sepulchre destroyed. His successor permitted the Byzantine Empire to rebuild it under stringent circumstances, and pilgrimage was again permitted, but many reports began to circulate in the West about the cruelty of Muslims toward Christian pilgrims; these accounts from returning pilgrims then played an important role in the development of the crusades later in the century.

    More importantly to the Pope, the Christians who made pilgrimages to the Holy Land were being persecuted.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

  3. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Julita Said:

    Czeslaw: Crusaders wanted to take back what Islam took from Jews, which is the link to “Christ”. So, Christ was the “link” to the cause to the crusades.

    In actual fact the Byzantine Christians had taken Jerusalem from the Jews long before Caliph Umar took control of the city:

    From Karen Armstrong:
    The Jews found their new Muslim rulers far more congenial than the Byzantines. The Christians had never allowed the Jews to reside permanently in the city, whereas Umar invited 70 Jewish families back. The Byzantines had left the Jewish Temple in ruins and had even begun to use the Temple Mount as a garbage dump. Caliph Umar, according to a variety of accounts, was horrified to see this desecration. He helped clear it with his own hands.

    Respect for other faiths was manifest in Islamic Jerusalem. When Caliph Umar, one of Muhammad’s successors, conquered the Jerusalem of the Christian Byzantines in 638, he insisted that the three faiths of Abraham coexist. He refused to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher when he was escorted around the city by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch. Had he done so, he explained, the Muslims would have wanted to build a mosque there to commemorate the first Islamic prayer in Jerusalem.

    Even after the Ummayad Era, in the time of the Abbasid Era, there was peace and tolerance between the three religions.
    From ISESCO:
    In the Abbassid era, Muslims and Christians lived together in a symbiotic manner. The Christian pilgrim, Bernard Le Sage, described life in Al-Qods in these terms : “Muslims and Christians in this peaceful city live in perfect harmony”.

    There would be no crusades, if the Islam would not “conquer” Israel. I mean “to conquer”, is other word for war crimes and mass murders.

    In 638 AH, just a few years after the death of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, an army of his followers surrounded Jerusalem. The city Patriarch, Sophronius, handed over the city after a brief siege. There was only one condition; that the terms of their surrender be negotiated directly with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Khalif of Islam.
    ‘Umar entered Jerusalem on foot. There was no bloodshed. There were no massacres. Those who wanted to leave were allowed to, with all their possessions. Those who wanted to stay were guaranteed protection for their lives, their property, and their places of worship in the ‘Umariyya Covenant.
    For the first time in its long history, Jerusalem had been spared a bloodbath.

    As a contrast to the peaceful takeover of power by the Muslims:

    One of the historians of the Crusades describes the conquest of Al-Qods in the following way :

    “The Byzantines besieged the city on June 7, 1099 A.D. and it was not until the night from 13th to 14th of July of the same year that they managed to enter it. This long siege as well as the enormous difficulties they had to overcome so as to occupy Al-Qods made them furious. They attacked houses and mosques, and they killed all the people they met on their way : men, women, and children, without distinction or pity.”

    The slaughter lasted all day Thursday 14 July 1099 A.D. and all night from Thursday to Friday. The Tancred standard that the Crusaders flew at the top of the minaret of the Mosque of Al-Aqsa and of the Dome of the Rock did not spare Muslims from massacre. According to the Armenian sources, more than 65 thousand Muslims were killed during this barbarous attack. The Latin sources give accounts of streets and squares strewn with corpses, cut-off heads, single arms and legs scattered all over.

    My compliments Czeslaw in regard to Crusades, Christians were being attacked:

    See above?

    Another turning point attributed to the change in western attitudes towards the east came in the year 1009, when the Fatimid caliph, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah ordered the Church of the Holy Sepulchre destroyed.[citation needed] His successor permitted the Byzantine Empire to rebuild it under stringent circumstances, and pilgrimage was again permitted, but many reports began to circulate in the West about the cruelty of Muslims toward Christian pilgrims; these accounts from returning pilgrims then played an important role in the development of the crusades later in the century.[citation needed]

    Quote from ISESCO:

    The beginning of the Fatimid reign was marked by such good treatment of the Christians within the holy city that Al-‘Azîz bin Al-Mu’izz appointed as governor of Palestine a Coptic minister by the name of Abûl-Youmn Qazmân.

    At the beginning of his reign, Al-Mansûr bin Abdel’azîz, better known as “Al-Hâkim bi Amr-Allah” (386-411 A.H./996-1020 A.D.), followed the example of Ibn Al-Mu’izz ; however, he subsequently changed his mind and turned against the Christians.

    In point of fact, both Christians and Muslims (58) suffered his mismanagement of public affairs. But he ultimately thought better of it and allowed the Christians to build churches, and it is reported that he even went as far as to grant credit from his funds for the construction of places of churches and convents for the benefit of his Christian subjects.

    More importantly to the Pope, the Christians who made pilgrimages to the Holy Land were being persecuted.

    Quote from Wikipedia:
    Exhortations by monks such as Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, which spread reports of Muslims abusing Christian pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem and other Middle Eastern holy sites, further stoked the crusading zeal.

    Have you never heard of propaganda? I have heard stories from Muslim fundamantalists regarding Christians and Jews but that doesn’t make them true does it?

    Peace

  4. avatar Julita says:

    M.Khafi. You are posting some great Moslem rulers who were good. That is nice,

    Though in regard to the Crusades we were talking about, I would not quote from any person or any individual especially a rebellious ex-Catholic nun, Karen Armstrong. I don’t think it will be a good source to take for discussion. To me she has no good record. I get the following from an Encyclopedia more reliable.

    Origins of the Crusades: Merit Students Encyclopedia.

    Until the 11th century the West maintained churches in Jerusalem, in the Holy Land of Palestine. Europeans made peaceful pilgrimages there to visit the Holy Sepulcher, or tomb of Christ. However, strife began developing when in 1009, Egyptian Moslems attacked the Christian settlement in Jerusalem, destroyed the Holy Sepulcher, and began harassing Western pilgrims.

  5. avatar Hassan says:

    An encyclopedia written by or was based on the accounts of some Western-Christian historians? Yeah, that will be fair, Julita. 😉

  6. avatar Aluang anak Bayang says:

    War fought in the name of God is extrinsic to Asian’s culture, but it looks like Indonesians are catching the bugs.

    The Muslims like to identify their internal sectarian conflicts e.g shias vs. sunnis to that of the protestant reformation of the 16th and 17th century, but the real differentiation is that we are in the age of technological advance. Men had landed on the moon, probes are flown to planets in our solar system, scientists are busy mapping our genetic code, AND yet they are busy fighting over who had the correct version of the holy Quran. How contemptible! Grow up brothers. We are Asians, not Middle Easterns. Look at China, India, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Learn from them.

  7. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    To be fair to Julita, as I stated above:

    At the beginning of his reign, Al-Mansûr bin Abdel’azîz, better known as “Al-Hâkim bi Amr-Allah” (386-411 A.H./996-1020 A.D.), followed the example of Ibn Al-Mu’izz ; however, he subsequently changed his mind and turned against the Christians.

    The attacks did appear to take place, however as Hassan points out, history written from different view points will obviously have a different slant on exactly what happened, there will likely be no mention of “Al-Hâkim bi Amr-Allah” having realised his mistakes and trying to make recompense with assistance and funds to the Christians to rebuild their churches in the Christian historical accounts. We must also remember that these were different times from our present day, and fights, fueds, and wars were commonplace.

    Just to put things in perspective, here is some history of the two monks who were the instigators of the stories of Muslim aggression, Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless Walter who is described as:

    A famous mob leader, adjutant of Peter the Hermit (q.v.) in the first Crusade.

    Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

    On the first crusade, Walter allowed some of his men to steal provisions from the people of The City of Belgrade, because his “Army” had not received permission to open a market there, the towns people took offence to this criminal acts and 16 of Walters Knights were stripped of their Armour and disciplined, the armour being displayed on the city walls as a warning to others. When Peter the Hermit passed Belgrade some days later with his troops, a major disturbance broke out and the City of Belgrade was sacked with the loss of several thousands of lives! This was Christian against fellow Christian!

    With regard to Karen Armstrong, I can understand why as an Ex Nun she should upset you, but there is no doubting that she is one of the greatest religious writers of modern time, knowledgable, studied, clear and concise in her writing. But having rejected orthodoxy in favour of a simple belief in God she would probably upset you, just as the rejectors of mainstream Muslim orthodoxy upset Hassan, 1ndra, and Cukurungan.

    A quote from an interview with her said:
    People have such clear ideas of what God is you know: creator, father, personality watching over me. It’s not what I believe in, even though I like to use the word sometimes. So people will ask, “Is traditional faith wrong?” And I say, “No.” It doesn’t really matter what you believe as long as it leads you to practical compassion. If your belief in a traditional God makes you come out imbued with a desire to feel with your fellow human beings, to make a place for them in your heart, to work to end suffering in the world, then it’s good. Nobody has the last word on God, whether they’re conservative or liberals.

    I admire the woman greatly, for her clarity and vision, and for having the bravery to stand up against the establishment as she has.

    One God for all religions, nothing to argue about!

    Peace

  8. avatar Aluang anak Bayang says:

    I admire the woman greatly, for her clarity and vision, and for having the bravery to stand up against the establishment as she has.

    Mas Khafi, is Karen Armstrong a Muslimah yet? Otherwise she is a hypocrite. In an on-air documentary interview some years back, she claimed she is convinced that Islam is the one true religion. However when asked repeatedly why she hasn’t converted yet, she completely ignored the questions. Probably she is afraid of death penalty for apostasy.

    Hope she is a Muslimah by now.

  9. avatar Hassan says:

    Aluang anak Bayang: Oh you mean the China which occupied Tibet and always threatening war with Taiwan? The one who practiced comprehensive censorship on it’s press and oppressed the Falungong followers? The India which is constantly bickering with Pakistan over Kashmir and currently on a nuclear arms race with it’s dear neighbor? The one where Muslim and Hindu extremists are constantly on each other’s throat? Korea the North, or the South?

    The point is, each culture and civilization has their fair share of conflicts and problems. Yes, the Middle East is currently a hot zone and boiling with conflicts, but those problems can better be attributed to a host of economical, ideological and geopolitical, conflicts of interests among the ‘players’ in that region (the Arab countries, the US, Israel, Russia, and the EU), each and every one of them wants the piece of the action.

    Perhaps in the midst of your enthusiasm in blaming everything that went wrong in that part of the world (and also in Indonesia) to a particular religion you missed all those other factors. Religion alone does not shape the condition there, and indeed the shape of humanity. There are other factors in play. But you like to play the blame religion game, don’t you? Aluang, just because you don’t believe in God doesn’t mean you should advocate that religion is the source of all evil.

    “yet they are busy fighting over who had the correct version of the holy Quran”

    Perhaps after your intensively thorough study, you missed another point here, as the Sunni vs Shia conflict was never about who got the correct Quran. Both of them had the same Quran, as there are no different version of Quran (unlike the Bible). It’s their interpretations of the Quran which were different, differences based on political motive rather than religious purity, mind you. Perhaps you should study some more before commenting.

    BTW, how can you imply that there are different version of the Quran (“who had the correct version of the holy Quran”)? As a former Muslim (or was it a kejawen Muslim?) you should know that there is only one version of the Quran worldwide. Did you ever read the Quran at all?

    Anyway, a smart and enlightened person like you should know that the Sunni vs Shia conflict in Iraq happened because the majority Shia wanted to convert Iraq into an Shia country (where Shia dominate the government) while the Sunni minorities wanted to keep things like it was before, when Iraq is still under Saddam. Back then they had the power on governmental issues. That is good ol’ politics, not religion.

    ________________

    Aluang anak Bayang: “We are Asians, not Middle Easterns”

    The Middle East is part of the continent of Asia, so technically the Middle Eastern people can also be considered as Asian. Perhaps you should have said “We are Indonesian, not Arabs”.

    “Probably she is afraid of death penalty for apostasy.”

    Apostasy? Karen Armstrong is a nun, if she converts to Islam then she would be considered an apostate by Christian, wouldn’t she? An honest mistake, eh Aluang?
    Ahh, but that had made your agendas more obvious now.

  10. avatar Aluang anak Bayang says:

    War fought in the name of God is extrinsic to Asian’s culture, but it looks like Indonesians are catching the bugs.

    You have missed the crux. I am not denying there ain’t any war in Asia, but not one Asian war was fought in the name of God.

    It’s their interpretations of the Quran which were different, differences based on political motive rather than religious purity, mind you.

    What is the difference between ‘version’ and ‘interpretation’? If it makes you feel better, then I will just rephrase it. It still make much difference.

    AND yet they are busy fighting over who had the correct interpretations of the holy Quran.

    Feels better?

    Mas Hassan, when someone walk into a shop and took something without paying, it is ‘stealing’, not ‘taking’. When a terrorist shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’ after beheading his captive, he is making a religious statement, not politically driven.

    Perhaps after your intensively thorough study,

    Sorry, I am too busy for that. I use my commonsense. I call a spade a spade. One only have to be a human to know that polygamy is bad for your children’s mental development, and beating of wife is bad for marriage. Every Indonesian Muslims and non-Muslims know that Islam allows 4 wives. I have not read the Quran, tell me, is that true?

  11. avatar Aluang anak Bayang says:

    What is the difference between ‘version’ and ‘interpretation’? If it makes you feel better, then I will just rephrase it. It still make much difference.

    should be: still makes no difference.

    “Probably she is afraid of death penalty for apostasy.”

    Apostasy? Karen Armstrong is a nun, if she converts to Islam then she would be considered an apostate by Christian, wouldn’t she? An honest mistake, eh Aluang?
    Ahh, but that had made your agendas more obvious now.

    Dear learned friend, is there death penalty for apostasy in Christianity? Probably you or a Christian brother can enlighten me. If there is a mistake, then it is an honest mistake. 🙂

  12. avatar Julita says:

    I know this will not be an easy discussion, two sides. I know I will meet Hasan and M.Khafi. This not only about religion, it is history and if we would like to discuss do it fairly. I cannot look it up in an Indonesian, Chinese or Middle East Encyclopedia, no? Is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades not good enough for you? Tell me the reason? I will come back once I have done my readin and checking what you come up with, and it will take time.

  13. avatar Oigal says:

    “We are Indonesian, not Arabs”.

    Perhaps already too late to say that.

  14. avatar Yunir says:

    Hi Julita,
    1. Wikipedia cannot and should never be used as a critical source of information.
    You can use it as a stepping stone, but cannot stop there! Some academics have actually banned its students from citing wikipedia as a reference! (I belong to one such school).

    Authors of articles are anonymous. Artciles in Wikipedia are “trusted” because of “Wikipedia”, not because of the authors. This is obviously a huge flaw.

    2.
    Two scholars discussed about the crusade, people’s perception about it and is it still relevant today?

    “Madden: In the West there are two popular perceptions, one born in the 18th century and the other in the 19th. The first, which gained currency during the Enlightenment, was that the Crusades were a series of unnecessary wars in which a barbaric people steeped in ignorance and superstition attacked a peaceful and sophisticated Muslim world. The Crusades, therefore, were seen as a black mark on the history of Western civilization in general and the Catholic church in particular. This view is still very popular, although it is usually glossed with the assertion that the Crusades were a form of proto-colonialism — the West’s first attempt to subjugate the world.

    The other popular perception grew out of 19th-century Romanticism. This view sees the Crusades as noble wars led by larger-than-life men motivated by honor and chivalry. Religion and the church are usually airbrushed out of this perception, leaving behind only courageous and selfless knights fighting for righteousness in far-away lands. This perception was particularly popular among colonial powers in the 19th century, but it has waned in the 20th and 21st centuries. Still, it hangs on. Run a Nexis search and see how often the word “crusade” is used to mean a noble and praiseworthy pursuit and “crusader” is used to mean a selfless and courageous individual.”

  15. avatar Yunir says:

    Forgive the double posting. Here’s another abstract from the discussion in case anyone is too lazy to check it out themselves:

    Carole Hillenbrand has pointed out that almost all of the sources about the Crusades — both contemporary ones and modern ones — come from the perspective of Western Europe. Why is this?
    “Hillenbrand: The Crusades are a Western Christian phenomenon with their roots in medieval Europe. From the outset, it was predominantly Western Christian chroniclers who wrote about them. Nowadays the weight of Western scholarship about many aspects of the Crusades is positively awesome — thousands of books and tens of thousands of articles.

    Not so in the Muslim world. Not a single separate account of the Crusades written by a Muslim has survived. There is abundant information about the events of the Crusades in medieval Muslim historiography, but it has to be searched for amid a welter of other accounts predominantly concerned with the dynastic history of the Islamic world itself. Medieval Muslim writers do indeed mention the coming of the Crusaders, but they evince little curiosity as to why they came.

    Until recently, Muslim historians have not tended to interest themselves in the Crusades. Wherever possible, Western specialists on the Crusades use medieval Muslim sources, but, as so few of them know Arabic, they have to rely on the small number of these texts that have been translated into Western languages. It is this problem of language that has kept the two sides in their separate boxes.

    Madden: I would agree that this is in part because of a lack of research in medieval Arabic texts. It is also the result of the very different perceptions of the Crusades at the times. For Europeans, the Crusades were a crucially important effort to rescue the lands of Christ. Success in the Crusades became a barometer of the soul of Christendom. They were on everyone’s minds. But in the vast Muslim world, the Crusades were a very small thing. It took several generations before most Muslims even understood that the Crusades existed. Prior to that, they simply assumed that the Crusaders were Byzantine mercenaries — one more group in an already chaotic political landscape.”

  16. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Aluang anak Bayang Said:

    Mas Khafi, is Karen Armstrong a Muslimah yet? Otherwise she is a hypocrite. In an on-air documentary interview some years back, she claimed she is convinced that Islam is the one true religion. However when asked repeatedly why she hasn’t converted yet, she completely ignored the questions. Probably she is afraid of death penalty for apostasy.

    Hope she is a Muslimah by now.

    I never saw that interview unfortunately, but I will attempt to answer your question, Is Karen Armstrong a Muslimah yet?

    I guess that depend on how you define a Muslimah, the first part is easy the ‘ah’ I have to assume that she is a female, she was after all a Nun, so she fits that part of the description. 😉

    Muslim? Well if we define Muslim as one who has submitted to God, and not just one who follows Al Quran and Muslim Orthodoxy, I guess she also fits that description.

    If you read and understand Al Quran you will find that Muslims are those who submit themselves to God. Jews, Sabians, Christians can also be Muslims, in fact ‘Any who believe in God, believe in the Day of Judgement and do good deeds’. Muslim is a name from the ancient past, from the time of Nabi Ibrahim, it is not just a label for those people who follow The Book given to the Arabs, Al Quran is not a replacement for the earlier Scriptures it is a confirmation of them. Allah has said that he has sent messengers to many nations, who can say what form that message took to other believers? Even the Orang Badui believe in one and only God.

    What Karen Armstrong is doing, is in a way a Crusade, a Crusade for religious tolerance and understanding, she said:

    “If your understanding of the divine made you kinder … and impelled you to express this sympathy in concrete acts of loving-kindness, this was good theology,” she writes. “But if your notion of God made you unkind, belligerent, cruel, or self-righteous, or if it led you to kill in God’s name, it was bad theology.”

  17. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Further research into this interesting subject clearly shows that historical facts as recorded by Christian and Muslim sources differs greatly in many respects. The Muslim sources as Yunir has pointed out have very little detailed information regarding the Crusades as such. It would appear that they were not really given the significance in the Islamic world that they have acheived in the West.

    Regardless of the motives or causes of the Crusades which have many factors influencing them, including the state of Europe during the middle ages with regard to feudal rule, poverty, lack of land, merchants trying to free up trade routes, fear of the burgeoning Islamic influence in the areas surrounding the Mediteraenean including North Africa, Al Andalus, Turkey etc. It would appear that the catalyst for the 1st Crusade was the poor treatment of pilgrims and the destruction of the Basilica of the Anastasis by al-Hakim bi Amr Allah: Fatimid Caliph of Egypt. He was without doubt a very strange character, but attempts to research him further have lead me into a minefield of conflicting reports.

    Al Hakim was a Shiia Muslim whilst the majority of his subjects were Sunni, he was also an Ismaili, and not a ‘Twelver Shiia’, he took the Caliphate at the age of 11. Because of his being a Shiia, the historical records of the Sunni majority paint him in a particularly bad light. Some details are in an article here from The Hysterical Historian, An English Historical Heritage site ‘The Mad’. As can be seen, some of his followers considered him to be Christlike and started the Druze religion, which still has followers in the Levant and Palestine.

    From the Institute of Ismaili Studies an Ismaili version of his history is here Hakem be-Amr Allah.

    A possibly more balanced account of some of his actions and his history can be found here written by the Egyptian Historian, al-Maqrizi ‘al-Hakim bi Amr Allah: Fatimid Caliph of Egypt’.

    Another interesting fact which has come to light is that in addition to the Massacre carried out in Belgrade mentioned in an earlier posting, the Crusaders decided to Slaughter Jews on their way to the Holy Land, estimates vary but are thought to number in their thousands.

    Why did the Christians go on the Crusades, well some reasons were postulated above, but the following may also have some effect:

    Gesta Dei per Francos, etc.; L’Esprit des Croisades, by Mailly; Charles Mills’ History of the Crusades; Heeran, Essai sur l’influence des Croisades.

    The privileges granted the soldiers of the holy war were inestimable. The crusader found himself sheltered from all prosecution for debt; he was exempted from paying interest on the money he had borrowed, was free from taxation, and was allowed to alienate his land without the consent of his lord. The church covered with its special protection his person and his property, and hurled its anathemas against his enemies. All the privileges accorded to ecclesiastics were accorded him; he was granted a plenary indulgence, and was subject to spiritual jurisdiction alone. Here is the true cause of the enthusiasm with which the first crusade was received. Afterward political interests were mixed up with these private interests. Certain sovereigns, desirous of centralizing power, were delighted to see their vassals enrolling themselves under the sacred banner, and leaving the field open to their ambition. On the other hand, the popes made the crusades a powerful means of universal domination. Thus, the interest of the sovereign pontiffs; that of princes; the ignorance of the laity; the authority of ecclesiastics, who found their advantage in the departure of the nobility, and in the sale of their lands at a very low price; an immoderate passion for war; above all the necessity which was generally felt of doing something to put an end to domestic trouble, extinguish hatred, wipe out the memory of crime, transfer the scene of continued and sanguinary struggles from Europe: such were the causes of the crusades.

    Peace

  18. avatar Julita says:

    M. Khafi this if for now about Karen Armstrong the others are coming, it is getting interesting, so many long postings, we are intelligently discussing things here.

    M. Khafi:

    With regard to Karen Armstrong, I can understand why as an Ex Nun she should upset you, but there is no doubting that she is one of the greatest religious writers of modern time, knowledgable, studied, clear and concise in her writing. But having rejected orthodoxy in favour of a simple belief in God she would probably upset you, just as the rejectors of mainstream Muslim orthodoxy upset Hassan, 1ndra, and Cukurungan.

    Karen Armstrong:
    Too bad that in the first few years and the many chances that she could leave before making her last vow she did not realize what she wanted, even after that she could have left the convent. Why did she wait for 30 years what a waste of time and so much suffering, yes if a person has no call for this kind of life, don’t try. It is hard.

    You said that she upset me. No. I don’t know her, I rather say, I pity her and really hope she will find the right God from which ever channel. What a waste, perhaps in that 30 years she would have been able to unite the religions she was talking about. Unbelievable but true, I love her because I know Jesus loves her, through God I can love anybody. Meaning not wanting them to suffer and not wanting their souls to be lost.

    I kind of question her being an Atheist and being a nun, I am confused. Perhaps she became an Atheist after her life in the convent, then she wrote books about religion? I am happy that she get her confidence back and as you said writing many good books.

  19. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Julita said:

    Too bad that in the first few years and the many chances that she could leave before making her last vow she did not realize what she wanted, even after that she could have left the convent. Why did she wait for 30 years what a waste of time and so much suffering, yes if a person has no call for this kind of life, don’t try.

    Her biography states “From 1962 to 1969, Karen Armstrong was a nun in the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.” That certainly is not 30 years.

    You said that she upset me. No. I don’t know her, I rather say, I pity her and really hope she will find the right God from which ever channel.

    I don’t really think it is a matter of finding the right God, here belief is quite simple I think, that there is only one God, and that Religious Fundamentalism, or Orthodoxy is what is dividing, believers of all faiths and setting them one against another.

    What a waste, perhaps in that 30 years she would have been able to unite the religions she was talking about.

    She has been writing her books since 1984, attempting to promote religious tolerance and uniting faiths, unfortunately there are still many people who believe that their own brand of religion is the only one to the exclusion of all others, that their path to God is the only path.

    I kind a question her being an Atheist and being a nun, I am confused. Perhaps she became an Atheist after her life in the convent,

    But she is not an atheist, she describes herself thus:

    I usually describe myself, perhaps flippantly, as a freelance monotheist. I draw sustenance from all three of the faiths of Abraham. I can’t see any one of them as having the monopoly of truth, any one of them as superior to any of the others. Each has its own particular genius and each its own particular pitfalls and Achilles’ heels. But recently, I’ve just written a short life [story] of the Buddha, and I’ve been enthralled by what he has to say about spirituality, about the ultimate, about compassion and about the necessary loss of ego before you can encounter the divine. And all the great traditions are, in my view, saying the same thing in much the same way, despite their surface differences.

    I am glad you enjoy the intelligent discussion, much as I do. I enjoy the fact that it allows me to increase my knowledge and of course my faith!

    Peace

  20. Let’s not talk about religions so deeply. It’s not about Islam, Christian, or Judaism. It’s just how the world goes.

  21. avatar Julita says:

    M.Khafi: Her biography states

    From 1962 to 1969, Karen Armstrong was a nun in the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. That certainly is not 30 years.

    Her life in a British convent is 30 years behind her.
    Sorry, I misread the above.

    M.Khafi: But she is not an atheist, she describes herself thus:

    The following is a quotation:

    At the time she was an atheist who was “wearied” by religion and “worn out by years of struggle.” Born a Roman Catholic in the countryside near Birmingham, England, in 1945, she gave up on religion after her time in the convent. “I was suicidal,” she said of life in her late 20s. “I didn’t know how to live apart from that regimented way of life.

    http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlibrary/kamstrong.html

    M. Khafi, ours is not the only God, people have other Gods, and it is theirs: god Zeus, sun god Re, Vishnu.

    I think we should stop about Karen, I don’t know her, perhaps one day if I have more opportunity I might look into her books.

    Yunir Says:

    Hi Julita,
    1. Wikipedia cannot and should never be used as a critical source of information.

    Fine yunir, won’t be taking from Wikipedia.

    To make this long discussion short, many of the subjects are already posted by others. I go to the main issue we are talking about.

    The following was my first posting.

    Merit Students Encyclopedia.

    Until the 11th century the West maintained churches in Jerusalem, in the Holy Land of Palestine. Europeans made peaceful pilgrimages there to visit the Holy Sepulcher, or tomb of Christ. However, strife began developing when in 1009, Egyptian Moslems attacked the Christian settlement in Jerusalem, destroyed the Holy Sepulcher, and began harassing Western pilgrims.

    Hasan and M. Khafi were not in favor of my quoting from the Merit Students Encyclopedia.

    M. Khafi quoted:

    At the beginning of his reign, Al-Mansûr bin Abdel’azîz, better known as “Al-Hâkim bi Amr-Allah” (386-411 A.H./996-1020 A.D.), followed the example of Ibn Al-Mu’izz; however, he subsequently changed his mind and turned against the Christians.

    From the above we can see that we agree about what we were discussing about. Different words but it means the same, no?

  22. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Julita Said:

    M. Khafi, ours is not the only God, people have other Gods, and it is theirs: god Zeus, sun god Re, Vishnu.

    I find this somewhat confusing, I thought that a cornerstone of Christian belief was that God was one?

    Quoted from Religion Facts:
    Christianity is one of the three major monotheistic world religions. Like Jews and Muslims, Christians believe one God who created the world and takes an interest in the humans who inhabit it.

    My pesonal take on this is that there is one God, who has has presented himself to different races and peoples in different forms. We all have one supreme being to worship, but just have different ways of doing so.

    Hasan and M. Khafi were not in favor of my quoting from the Merit Students Encyclopedia.

    I have never said that Julita, you can quote from whatever sources you wish, the quote from Merit Students Encyclopedia was in fact true, it was just somewhat limited as it did not tell the full story.

    However I cannot accept that this one period of trouble which from my earlier comments you can see applied also to the Muslims in the area, after 400 years of open access to Jerusalem for pilgrims should have been sufficient to start a series of wars which cost many thousands of lives. Is not ‘You shall turn the other cheek” one of the cornerstones of Christian belief?

    From Templar History:

    It has been stated that the purpose of the Crusades was to recover the sepulchre of Christ from the Infidel. The underlying causes, however, were deeper and far greater. They were:

    the desire of the Papacy for conquest,

    the desire of the mercantile classes to open up trade routes to the East,

    the desire of the Byzantine emperors to recover their lost territories and

    the desire of princes to carve new kingdoms out of the East.

    From Middle ages.com:
    The immediate cause of the First Crusade was the preaching of Peter the Hermit, a native of Picardy, in France. Having been commissioned by Pope Urban II. to preach a crusade.

    Peace

  23. avatar Julita says:

    People have other Gods, and it is theirs: god Zeus, sun god Re, Vishnu etc.etc..

    The above have nothing to do with my own Believe, I am referring to the variety of believes in this world.

    M. Khafi: One God, who has presented himself to different races and peoples in different forms. We all have one supreme being to worship, but just have different ways of doing so.
    Are you saying that when Mozes was on the mountain talking with God, the same God was adored by the people at the foot of the mountain?

    Hasan: An encyclopedia written by or was based on the accounts of some Western-Christian historians? Yeah, that will be fair, Julita.

    M. Khafi: The attacks did appear to take place, however as Hassan points out, history written from different view points will obviously have a different slant

    M. Khafi :I have never said that Julita, you can quote from whatever sources you wish, the quote from Merit Students Encyclopedia was in fact true, it was just somewhat limited as it did not tell the full story.

    The above made me think that like Hasan, you prefer quotation taken from more reliable sources. Thanks, that solves it, it made easier for me.

    M. Khafi: Is not ‘You shall turn the other cheek” one of the cornerstones of Christian belief?

    Just because we thought others would turn their cheeks anyway, should we slept them? Or make them a door-mat?

    A beautiful quotation, it could be from Fulton Sheen, not sure:
    ” It has always been a mystery to me how men feel themselves honoured by the humilitation of their fellow beings.”

    I was having lunch with some ladies. Two Moslems, one from Iran and one from Turkey, very, very nice ladies. One Buddhist and 2 Christians. It was just like we use to do in Indonesia, good friends. We chat and chat about our daily lives , we came to talk about solving problems. The lady from Iran said “We should put ourselves in their shoes.” Nice, instead of judging or hitting people’s cheeks.

    Yes, I agree the pilgrims attacked was not the only cause of the Crusade. I think people who are interested would go and check themselves in the web. Yunir gave a good source.

    M. Khafi: First Crusade was the preaching of Peter the Hermit, a native of Picardy, in France. Having been commissioned by Pope Urban II. to preach a crusade.

    One thing to remember though, at that time they did not have the means of communication we have now, TV, computer etc. etc. somebody had to go out personally to make announcements. If anybody want to know more, just look it up in the web what happened.

    All in all, it is in the past and nobody is proud of it. Thanks to M. Khafi, he did post a lot compared to my meager contribution. I join this section because we should know more than just pointing our fingers to others.

    I have a big project coming up, so if I am not around you know. I’ll check once in a while, no big discussion though.

  24. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Julita said:

    Are you saying that when Mozes was on the mountain talking with God, the same God was adored by the people at the foot of the mountain?

    I was under the impression that they were worshipping an Idol, a Golden Calf if I remember correctly, wasn’t that the reason that Nabi Musa was angry with them, wasting their energy on worshiping a manmade object?

    M. Khafi: Is not ‘You shall turn the other cheek” one of the cornerstones of Christian belief?

    Just because we thought others would turn their cheeks anyway, should we slept them? Or make them a door-mat?

    A beautiful quotation, it could be from Fulton Sheen, not sure:
    ” It has always been a mystery to me how men feel themselves honoured by the humilitation of their fellow beings.”

    You seem to be turning the discussion around to argue from the point of view of the aggressor? I was under the impression that as turning the other cheek was a part of Christian doctrine that the Christians of the time would have done just that instead of waging war on the Muslims for Jerusalem, a city which when all is said and done the Jews have more right over than anybody else.

    You are quite correct that it is all in the past, and although there is little too be proud of in the history of the city of Jerusalem, it can serve as lessons for all people of faith.

    I personally would like to see Jerusalem as a free state, jointly run by all three Abrahamic religions, I think ultimately that will be the only solution to the problems there.

    Peace Julita, nice discussing this issue with you.

  25. avatar Sweetpea says:

    First of all – thanks to everyone who participates in the discussions.
    I find it all very interesting – especially the comments of Mohammed Khafi, who seems to be very knowledgeable and always promotes tolerance.
    My question is actually about the calender year. I have some knowledge of the Gregorian calendar (being adopted as late as mid 18th century in some parts of europe) vs the Julian calendar, so I know what A.D. refers to but what does A.H. stand for?
    (386-411 A.H./996-1020 A.D.)
    This poses another question: do Muslims have two dates of birth – one for each calendar or does it depend on their country of birth?

  26. avatar Julita says:

    I join this section to make a point that one of the causes of the Crusade was attack on pilgrims and I did just that. All the details, did not matter, it was war and there were lots of myths. So we should do our own reasoning, our research. In war it is either you kill or be killed, so sometimes they had to do what was necessary.

    I purposely did not do much posting (to tell you the truth I hardly read posting which are too long) since I think you should read it and benefit from the expert. Read Thomas Madden, educate yourself, then the West instead of being ashame, should appreciate more of what these people did for the West. Where all races, religion, culture of the world live in harmony and benefit from so many things here.

    The Real History of the Crusades
    By Thomas F. Madden

    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.

    Khafi:

    Is not ‘You shall turn the other cheek” one of the cornerstones of Christian belief?

    Oh, no, I thought you are better than that, using your mind, that was why I talked about other things. Though of course you are eager to hear what I personally would say, great, here it comes.

    Yes, Jesus said turn the other cheek in our daily life with our neighbours. So we have to really make sure that we are able to do this. Make sure that we have the other cheek to turn, make sure that one is alive, because a dead person cannot turn his/her other cheek anymore, right. Please, read the following.

    As Thomas Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia and a great humanist, said in response to Tolstoy: “If someone attacks me with the intention of killing me, I shall defend myself, and if I cannot avoid it, I shall kill the attacker. If one of us must be killed, let the one be killed who has the bad intentions.” His words are reminiscent of the Talmud’s admonition: “If someone comes to kill you, kill him first” (Sanhedrin 72a).
    http://wwww.belief.com/story/6/story_671_1.html

  27. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Julita said:

    I join this section to make a point that one of the causes of the Crusade was attack on pilgrims and I did just that. All the details, did not matter, it was war and there were lots of myths. So we should do our own reasoning, our research. In war it is either you kill or be killed, so sometimes they had to do what was necessary.

    I would say that the persecutions of Pilgrims was a catalyst rather than a cause of the Crusades, I have quite clearly shown that ‘al Hakim’, was just as harsh on his own people as he was on pilgrims, I think it was the excuse that the Catholic Church in Rome needed to justify an attack on Islam. The details of course do matter, they matter a great deal as that is where the truth lies, generalisations about history are invariably misleading, especially if taken from one viewpoint.

    As Professor Madden stated “The real Crusades began in 1095 as a response to centuries of Muslim conquests of Christian lands. Their purpose was to restore those territories, including the Holy Land, to Christian control.” Which when you consider the Holy Lands especially Jerusalem were constructs of the Jews, still is not justified.

    I purposely did not do much posting (to tell you the truth I hardly read posting which are too long) since I think you should read it and benefit from the expert. Read Thomas Madden, educate yourself, then the West instead of being ashame, should appreciate more of what these people did for the West. Where all races, religion, culture of the world live in harmony and benefit from so many things here.

    Whilst there is some truth in what you say, the West has not always been tolerant and understanding has it? Even if we ignore the Colonisation and Christianisation of The Americas, which were carried out with the blessings of the Catholic Church in the search for gold and wealth, and lead to the destruction of many different cultures, we still have the examples set in Europe during the Second world war, where an attempt was made to wipe out the Jews as a race of people. I am not suggesting that this was carried out for the purposes of religion, but in fact the people who knew that this was going on who were predominantly Christians decided to turn a blind eye to it.

    The Real History of the Crusades
    By Thomas F. Madden
    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.

    Ambitious Pope? One of the reasons given in the speeches from Urban II was the unification of Christendom under The Western Pope.

    All this suggests that, as much as saving the Holy Land, the aim was to unite a divided Christendom in western Europe, the implication being that they should unite under the ultimate leadership of the pope. Furthermore, there are indications in Guilbert’s account that pope Urban wanted to increase his influence over the eastern Christian church as well as western monarchs. He mentions the mother church of all churches (i.e. the Catholic church) and asks does God wish some regions of the East to be restored to the faith against the approaching times of antichrist? (ibid:47).

    Khafi: Is not ‘You shall turn the other cheek” one of the cornerstones of Christian belief?

    Oh, no, I thought you are better than that, using your mind, that was why I talked about other things. Though of course you are eager to hear what I personally would say, great, here it comes.

    Yes, Jesus said turn the other cheek in our daily life with our neighbours. So we have to really make sure that we are able to do this. Make sure that we have the other cheek to turn, make sure that one is alive, because a dead person cannot turn his/her other cheek anymore, right. Please, read the following.

    As Thomas Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia and a great humanist, said in response to Tolstoy: “If someone attacks me with the intention of killing me, I shall defend myself, and if I cannot avoid it, I shall kill the attacker. If one of us must be killed, let the one be killed who has the bad intentions.” His words are reminiscent of the Talmud’s admonition: “If someone comes to kill you, kill him first” (Sanhedrin 72a).
    http://wwww.belief.com/story/6/story_671_1.html

    I agree with you completely that self defence is a justifiable cause for war, but were the Crusades self defence or offence?

    This is similar to the American justification for the Vietnam War, although that was based on ideology rather than religion, but it is in many ways the same, and how many people now would say that the Vietnam war was justifiable? A war driven and financed by peoples from outside the country affected, to force their own views onto others. And again not forgetting that Jerusalem historically belongs to the Jews and not the Christians, or can you justify the Crusades because you feel that your team are fighting for the only truth? As the American Presidents did during the 60’s and 70’s.

    Peace

  28. avatar Julita says:

    All said M. Khafi, the tolerance, kind righteousness, how one of the ruler walk to a city or pick up with his own hands the rubbles you post, to me is not important, and I don’t know the truth as it is said there were lots of myth. Your posting is from one side and I am not contradicting them. As I said before it is a difficult discussion. My aim is to make one point and I did, anything else just refer and ask Thomas Madden the expert. I have not read his entire web may be they are more positive for you.

    Yes, nice meeting you here, nice discussion and perhaps we will meet again in some other difficult intelligent discussion.

    Peace be with you!

  29. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Hi Julita,

    You are quite correct of course this is a discussion which has been going on for centuries without any seemingly solid conclusions drawn. I don’t know if you have actually read Professor Maddens book or not, but I would advise that you take the web extracts with some caution as many people see them as being a great over simplification of the facts presented in his book. See here: medievalstudies.

    We of course have to remind ourselves that these incidents, took place in the Medieval period, and the mindset of people then was completely different from ours in this modern day and age, we are better educated and our life styles are much much different from our medieval counterparts, although one thing which seems to have remained constant amongst those who believe in God, is their ability to be selective and biased in their interpretation of the events of history. I hope our balanced debate has shown that this does not necessarily have to lead to conflict and that a centre path can be found for those wishing to walk it.

    Ultimately, what good did the Crusades do? After years of fighting and lots of bloodshed, we still have all of the Abrahamic religions in place, Islam has not taken over the world and displaced Christendom as was feared by the Church in the middle ages, and unfortunately we still have people fighting over Jerusalem.

    It is about time that Jerusalem was declared a nation state and became a centralised hub for tolerance and understanding for the Abrahamic religions, a centre for God in whatever way he should be perceived by us all.

    Peace.

  30. avatar Julita says:

    Great Khafi, let the Lord’s will be done and let people of His Faith one day be united, not only in the Holy land but honestly all over the world, under His banner.

Comment on “Causes of the Crusades”.

RSS
RSS feed
Email

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-18
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact