posted on Jul, 17 2003 @ 09:57 AM
Tass, a quick history lesson:
"The crusades were a series of military expeditions by western European Christians to the Middle East in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The
crusaders saw themselves as trying to free the Holy Land from the rule of the Muslims. The crusades were mainly directed toward Jerusalem and the
Christian shrine of the Holy Sepulcher. There were eight major crusades.
The cause of the crusades is an issue of debate. It is widely believed that the crusades were purely holy wars, but many other motivating factors were
actually involved. The crusades arose out of the feudal society of the eleventh century, and they offered crusaders freedom, adventure, and the
possibility of economic gain. Also, the crusades were a defensive act against the flourishing Muslim state, which Christians perceived as a threat to
their faith and their way of life.
The first crusade started when the Byzantine Emperor, Alexis Comnenus, requested aid from the west against the Muslims. Instead of just sending
troops, Pope Urban II invited his people to engage in a holy war to take back Jerusalem. Peter the Hermit, a monk and priest, also began preaching the
crusade (he even led an army during the first crusade that was defeated by the Turks). As a result, Alexis received crusaders in answer to his
request, and the first crusade was born in 1095.
The volunteer crusaders faced an imposing task: crossing thousands of miles of unfamiliar territory to fight against unknown countries. Yet because of
their great fervor, the crusaders managed to take Antioch in 1098. The crusaders took Jerusalem in 1099, killing 10,000 Jews and Muslims. The
crusaders set up the Crusader States along the coast of Palestine and built up the cities they had conquered.
The third Crusade (1189-1192) was a response to the capture of Jerusalem. In 1187 Saladin, a great Muslim warrior and founder of the Ayyubid dynasty
in Egypt, had recaptured Jerusalem. Unlike his Christian opponents, Saladin did not sack the city upon his victory. This Crusade was led by Frederick
Barbarosa, the Holy Roman Emperor, King Richard I of England and King Philip II of France, three of Europe's most powerful monarchs. It accomplished
Over the next hundred years, many more crusades were launched, but the crusaders never again experienced great success. They ruled small areas of the
coast until their final defeat by the Mamluks at Acre at the end of the thirteenth century. Overall, the crusades were a military failure. To the
Arabs, they were just one more annoying barbarian invasion, not nearly as much of a threat as the Mongols were later.
Although many people were killed during the crusades, there were many positive results for both the east and the west. The most obvious result of the
crusades was the establishment of trade routes between east and west, which in turn resulted in positive contact between the cultures. Although the
pope initially tried to ban trade with the Muslims, he backed down in 1344, and a flourishing trade market was born that benefited the economy of both
cultures. The combination of these cultures resulted in the invention of the windmill, the compass, gunpowder, and clocks. Scholarly exchange took
place. For example, Muslim architects began to imitate the European pointed arch, while Europeans learned Greek medicine from the Muslims. Muslims and
Europeans learned new military techniques from one another. As a result of learning new military strategies and uniting themselves against one cause,
the Muslims developed a stronger religious nation. The crusades also accelerated the decline of feudalism and the Byzantine empire."
The reason the Muslins eventually declined was due to rampant European colonialism in the 17th and 18th century. We screwed thme over, just like
everyone else (see Africa and the America for examples), and know we are facing the results of the seeds our forefathers planted so many years ago.
To think that all poor people can easily escape poverty with just a little hard work are the words of someone who was born into wealth. Poor people
escape poverty usually be working very hard AND by taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves.
In the case of Americans, we took advantage of the fact that we lived in a vast, unexplored and uninhabited (sorry Native Americans) continent with
all its natural resources, space and strategic location available to us. The poor peoples of Africa and Asia have no such opportunity. All I am
saying is that if we gave them opportunities to grow, they would be alot more like us and alot less like the stereotypical Muslims you probably
[Edited on 17-7-2003 by Pyros]