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The Roots of the Camp of Evil in the West: The Crusades

 

The Roots of the Camp of Evil in the West: The Crusades

 

 

Published in April 10, 2019

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

 

Introduction:

1- As usual, we focus on criticizing and denouncing tyranny and injustice which carry religious banners/mottoes through which innocent, peaceful civilians among the weak ones on earth are massacred. We hold in our heart the weak ones on earth regardless of their different tongues, races, sects, doctrines, and denominations.

2- Within the previous articles, we have tackled the camp of evil which supports terrorism among the Muhammadans, past and present. We focus here on the West and the roots of the camp of evil which supports terrorism; these roots brought about the Australian criminal who committed the Christchurch massacre at the two mosques in New Zealand. This Australian criminal intentionally retrieved the history of struggle between Arabs and Ottomans on the one hand and the West on the other hand. Within our discussing the roots of the camp of evil in the West, we begin here with the Crusades.  

3- In 1985, as an assistant professor, we have authored five books and taught them to our students at Al-Azhar University; these books of ours include the one titled "The Raids of the Mongols and the Crusaders". This book includes our mentioning the major reason of the defeat of Arabs; namely, that their faith/belief was weak and they adhered to myths which include the so-called intercession of Muhammad on the Last Day. Because of these five books, we were interrogated in an inquisition-like manner by high-rank Azharite men and we got fired from Al-Azhar University; we were incarcerated for two months in 1987. The following passages are quoted from our book titled "The Raids of the Mongols and the Crusaders".    

 

Firstly: the Popular Crusade led by Peter the Hermit:

1- The People's Crusade (a.k.a., the Popular Crusade) was a prelude to the First Crusade, and it is not mentioned in detail by Arab historians; it is mostly recorded by the historians of the West.

2- By raising religious banners/mottoes and spreading the promises of absolution by the Catholic Pope, many masses among the Europeans received the call of Urban II favorably as he urged them to launch a military attack to 'retrieve' the Holy Land. This zeal was manifested in the campaign (or the Popular Crusade) led by Peter the Hermit; most of the men who followed him came from Germany, The Netherlands, and the west of Italy.  

3- The very first group of the soldiers of the Popular Crusade was led by Walter the Penniless (orWalter Sans Avoir ); he led his followers, who were mostly peasants, and they began looting and stealing in Bulgaria, but Bulgarian soldiers resisted them; the soldiers/peasants led by Walter the Penniless entered into Hungary and continued robbing and killing the Christians there and they marched until they reached the walls of Constantinople in July, 1069 A.D. The Byzantine emperor, Alexios I, allowed them to wait by the walls of Constantinople to wait for the troops led by Peter the Hermit.       

4- The troops led by Peter the Hermit did not differ from the groups led by Walter the Penniless in terms of formation and unruliness; his soldiers had insatiable desire for looting, pillaging, destroying, and massacring. The troops of Peter the Hermit, about 40000 persons, consisted ont criminals, unemployed, prostitutes, poor peasants, and some cavaliers on horseback. On their way to Constantinople, the troops of Peter the Hermit attacked a Hungarian Christian city, Semlin, which was located within the borders with the Byzantine empire. The massacre of Semlin was instigated by peter the Hermit; 4000 people were killed in this city and the villages around it. Another massacre was committed in the city of Nish (in today's Serbia).     

5- The troops of Peter the Hermit continue marching inside the Byzantine empire; a byzantine garrison resisted them and forced them to divide themselves. The troops reunited later on and continued marching eastwards, reaching the walls of the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, in Aug. 1069 A.D.

6- The Byzantine empire at that era was like a head without a body; its head was Constantinople with its fame and some stretches of land controlled by it. The Byzantine empire was weakened by several wars against Arabs and the Seljuks in Asia Minor. The byzantine emperor requested from Peter the Hermit to wait for the arrival of the Crusade led by the European princes, but Peter the Hermit refused and he led his followers into Constantinople where they robbed, destroyed, and burned down many houses and churches; the emperor had to hastily transport them into Asia Minor through the straits, where they committed several massacres against Christians. They marched into Nicaea in 1096 A.D., where the Seljuk sultan Kilij Arslan I ambushed them and killed off all the soldiers within the troops of Peter Hermit, including Walter the Penniless and his men; yet, Peter the Hermits was not killed as he fled to Constantinople.  

7- Mentioning all the atrocities committed by Peter the Hermit and his troops in Constantinople against Christians (despite the fact that the Byzantine emperor was their friend and advisor!) is beyond the scope of this article.

8- Briefly, we assert here that the European historians wrote that the men who joined the Popular Crusade committed all grave sins: they robbed, pillaged, massacred, raped (even some nuns were raped!), sabotaged, destroyed, etc. until they reached the walls of Constantinople; the Byzantine emperor hastily transported them through the Bosporus into Asia Minor to get rid of their evils; the Seljuks defeated them and killed them off. 

 

Secondly: a comparison between Peter the Hermit and the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror:

1- The topic of the comparison is about what Peter the Hermit did in Constantinople and what the Ottoman sultan did in the same city when he conquered it in May 1453 A.D. 

2- When Mehmed II the Conqueror entered into Constantinople, he saw that his soldiers began robbing houses and people of the city and that thousands of the dwellers of the  city sought refuge in the Hagia Sophia Church; he issued his commands to his soldiers to stop robbing and ruining the city, and they obeyed him instantly.

3- When Mehmed II the Conqueror entered into the Hagia Sophia Church, he found that its monks and clergymen received him while trembling in fear; he assured them of their security and safety; some monks who took hiding in the vault of the Hagia Sophia Church saw the tolerance and general pardon of Mehmed II the Conqueror and got out of their hiding and converted to 'Islam'.

4- Mehmed II the Conqueror issued a decree to give all Christians of Constantinople, and all clergymen in Constantinople and in all conquered regions, their religious freedom (e.g., concerning religious rituals/practices, choosing their leaders, and having their own courts), while he imposed a tribute to be paid by them; he also turned the Hagia Sophia Church into a mosque. 

5- There is a huge gap/difference between Peter the hermit and Mehmed II the Conqueror.

 

Thirdly: the massacres committed by the European princes during the First Crusade, as per the historian Ibn Al-Atheer:

1- In his history book titled (Al-Kamel), the historian Ibn Al-Atheer mentions in the events of 491 A.H. that when the Crusaders attacked the Levantine city of Maarat Al-Numan, they robbed all of its houses and put its people to the sword for three days, massacring more than 100000 people and enslaving so many. This means that the victims of looting, massacring, and enslavement were the peaceful, weak ones on earth!

2- Ibn Al-Atheer mentions in the events of 492 A.H., within a chapter on the 'cursed' European rule of Jerusalem, that when the Crusaders attacked Jerusalem on a Friday, they put its dwellers to the sword for a week; 70000 people, including imams, scholars, and ascetic men, were killed inside the Al-Aqsa mosque; many precious items of silver and gold were stolen; spoils were countless, and many women and children were enslaved.

 

Fourthly: the massacre in Jerusalem in the writings of European historians who witnessed the First Crusade:

1-Foucher de Chartres (c. 1059 – c. 1128 A.D.) was a priest and participated in the First Crusade and he wrote a chronicle of it in Latin; he participated in the massacre of Jerusalem; he writes the following: (... Some Arabs fled and sought refuge in the Tower of David and the Temple of the Lord built by Solomon, but they were savagely attacked and brutally murdered by our men; they were not spared the swords of our men; one's feet and ankles sank into pools of blood of slaughtered people; no one was spared, even women and children; our infantry and cavaliers ripped open the bellies of the corpses of Muslims to see if they deceived them by swallowing gold coins or not while they were alive! Many corpses were gathered, burned, and turned into ashes by those who seek gold coins ... No one was spared from being massacred even those who implored for mercy; all Arabs of Jerusalem were put to death ... After the massacre, our men robbed all the houses ... Many of the penniless men became rich by confiscating houses and all possessions found in them ...).

2- The chronicler of the First Crusade, Raymond d'Aguilers, writes the following: (... Our men entered into Jerusalem with courage and joy ... The amount of bloodshed they committed is unimaginable ... Once our men controlled the walls and the towers, they beheaded the enemies, threw arrows at those in the towers and the enemies fell on the ground ... Some of the enemies were tormented by being thrown alive in the fire ... Heaps of corpses, severed heads, and severed limbs increased in the streets of Jerusalem; one could hardly move through such corpses and such dead horses; this was nothing, however, when compared to what occurred in the Temple of Solomon ... No one would be able to believe me when I mention the truth about what happened there; it is enough to say that some of our men waded through blood up to their knees ... In fact, it is the fair judgment of the Lord that such a location would be filled with the blood of the infidels who desecrated the Holy Temple ... The streets of Jerusalem remained filled with corpses and blood for long days     ...).

3- The anonymous author of the book about the First Crusade titled "The Deeds of the Franks", or Gesta Francorum in Latin, writes the following: (... Our men chased the infidels and massacred them until they reached the Temple of Solomon; the massacre committed in the Temple was so violent and savage that our men waded up to their ankles in blood ... The Temple was flooded by the blood of massacred Arabs ... Muslim men and women who sought refuge in the roof of the Temple were beheaded by the swords of our men; some Arabs threw themselves from the roof and fell dead ... Our men held a council and they were commanded to pay alms and to pray to the Lord God to make Him choose the king of Jerusalem ... they were commanded to throw all corpses of Arabs outside Jerusalem as the stink was frightening; all streets of Jerusalem were filled with corpses .... The corpses were piled in huge heaps as big as houses ... No one saw or heard of such a number of corpses of the heathens; the heaps were like pyramids; they were burned outside Jerusalem ... No one, except the Lord God, knows their number ...).

4- The French historian, Joseph François Michaud (1767 – 1839 A.D.), in his six-volume book titled "Histoire des croisades" mentioned that Muslims were slaughtered like cattle in streets and houses of Jerusalem. 

5- The chronicler William of Tyre (c. 1130 – 1186 A.D.) mentions that Jerusalem was soaked in a huge lake of Muslim blood; this caused fear and disgust in the souls of the Crusaders; no one could look at the huge number of copses everywhere without being frightened; most corpses had severe heads and arms and the streets were red with blood of the murdered Arabs.

6- The historian Will Durant quotes registered words of the European men who witnessed and/or participated in such massacres: (... women were killed by being stabbed with swords and spears; babies were snatched by their legs from the breasts of their mothers to be thrown from the walls or to have their heads smashed by pillars ...).

7- The anonymous author of the book about the First Crusade titled "The Deeds of the Franks", orGesta Francorumin Latin, mentions that the corpses of Muslims were gathered in heaps whose height reached the roofs of houses.

8- The cause for such extreme savagery is the belief of the Crusaders that their atrocities gratify the Lord God; this devilish idea is typical in all religious wars in all eras and locations.

 

Fifthly: comparing the above with what Saladin did when he recaptured Jerusalem in Oct. 1187 A.D./ 583 A.H.:

1- When the Crusaders inside Jerusalem realized the fact that the military troops led by Saladin were about to attack Jerusalem, they requested safety, security, and negotiations; this meant they surrendered and gave the city to Saladin in return for their leaving the city in peace; when Saladin heard this offer from a delegation of Crusaders, at first, he refused as he desired to take revenge against them since they massacred most dwellers of Jerusalem and enslaved many women and children when they conquered Jerusalem.  

2- Eventually, Saladin agreed to grant the Crusaders safety and security to leave after they would give him the city in return for their paying a tribute for him: ten dinars for every man, five dinars for every woman, and two dinars for every child.

3- There were 60000 European men in Jerusalem and so many women and children; all of them left Jerusalem, along with their precious possessions and money, in peace and security. A wealthy woman among the Crusaders had huge loads of precious stones and jewels and many servants, gentlewomen, and male and female slaves; she requested peace and security from the Arabs under Saladin to leave the city along with her possessions and people; she was escorted by Arab soldiers in peace out of Jerusalem and no one dared to attack or rob her. The great patriarch of the Crusaders went out of Jerusalem along with his wealth, huge amounts of money, and Saladin and his men never confiscated anything from the patriarch, despite his advisors who urged Saladin to confiscate such money; Saladin insisted on never to act treacherously against any of the Crusaders who left Jerusalem; his men took the 10 dinars from the patriarch and he left in peace within a caravan of his men protected by Saladin's soldiers until the caravan of the patriarch reached Tyre. Many of the penniless men and women among Crusaders were pardoned and allowed to leave (along with their children) without paying the tribute to the Arabs after they implored Saladin for mercy. The daughters of rulers left Jerusalem in peace along with their caravans of possessions, servants, and male and female slaves. Saladin gave away the money of the tribute collected from the Crusaders to all his soldiers as he never amassed any wealth of his own and he had no safes or coffers; Saladin was a merciful, generous, patient, and courageous leader.       

4- Many of those Europeans who were released for free by Saladin fought against him later on.

5- Saladin imposed the 'moderate' terrestrial religion which is Sunnite Sufism; he fought against the following terrestrial religions: the Shiite religion, the Shiite Sufism, the extremist Sunnite Hanbali religion, and the extremist doctrines of Sufism. 

 

 


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