reply to post by NarrowGate
Okay, I'm honest, english isn't my first language, but I want to explain something about the "just" crusade. So I try my best
Before the first crusade, relationship between muslim, christian and the jew population were quite good in the "Holy Land". Christian (and everyones
else) pilgrims were in fact allowed access to all holy sites there and protected by the arabs travelling the land. It wasn't safer or unsafer there
in comparision to Europe.
There was commerce, science and cultural exchange between all religions and everything was quite peaceful, everyone accepting the legacy and religious
beliefs of the other groups. The arabs had taken over a great portion of what was left when the roman empire crumbled in the region and preserved much
knowledge from the romans in the same time, when the Dark Ages came to europe and much got forgotten there. In the 10th to 11th century, the cultural
repercussions of the dying roman empire stopped and the middle ages began and with them, the rise of knighthood, dogmatic christianity, nobility
ruling the land and the reformation of the population.
Many small wars began in Europe, since kings and rulers of small countries tried to expand their power, and some greater powers emerged like Germany,
Britain, France, Poland and to some degree Italy, And with these came bigger wars, which annoyed the Pope, who became more and more powerful thanks to
religious belief, sucessful politics and whose word got more and more listened in Europe. In fact, christianity was the only thing, which united the
european population and so the Popes word were listend by many people. To protect his new Power, the Pope was against inter-christian wars and looked
for a solution to "his" problem. He found it in the Holy Land.
Another problem in europe was, that the knights (mounted professional warriors) needed wars to get their income, land and power and when there was no
war, these warriors got restless, had no purpose and started fighting each other due to boredom. Since religion was deeply rooted with the knights, it
was easy for the Pope to remind them of their sins (killing fellow christians for example) and obligations (protecting fellow christians or example
), since the Pope feared, that Europe would crumble under itself, when the knight couldn't be controlled.
So he shifted the attention of the bored Knights to the Holy Land, painting the arabs in the wildest colors and promised salvation to everyone, who
would join these holy fight for ending the "oppression" of the christians, since killing Unbelievers isn't a sin. This was an outright lie, because
the arabs had never done any harm to pilgrims visiting holy sites. But the price was Jerusalem, which was still perceived as the middlepoint of the
known earth and with the counquering of Jerusalem, the power of the Pope reached a new height. We all still see the outcome of the whole
crusadebusiness up until today.
So.. the first crusade wasn't "just", it was a political thing, protecting the newfound power of a small bunch of people and religious beliefs just
got abused, like everytime else, when something is marked as "a holy war for god".