Allow me to issue a long-post blogging alert. Given the historical nature of today’s post, be prepared for a long read. Do not attempt to read this blog on your SmartPhone or other small-scale electronic device!
“President Barack Obama on Thursday condemned those who seek to use religion as a rationale for carrying out violence around the world, declaring that “no god condones terror.”
“We are summoned to push back against those who would distort our religion for their nihilistic ends,” Obama said during remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. He singled out the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, calling the militants a “death cult,” as well as those responsible for last month’s terror attacks in Paris and deadly assault on a school in Pakistan.
Obama had a more non-denominational message for the audience that also included prominent leaders of non-Christian faiths. The president said that while religion is a source for good around the world, people of all faiths have been willing to “hijack religion for their own murderous ends.”
“Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.
“So it is not unique to one group or one religion,” Obama said. “There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.”
That was the AP’s version of Obama’s speech Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast. What did he mean by “our religion”?
Here is portion of the speech, in context:
“So how do we, as people of faith, reconcile these realities — the profound good, the strength, the tenacity, the compassion and love that can flow from all of our faiths, operating alongside those who seek to hijack religious for their own murderous ends?
“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. Michelle and I returned from India — an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity — but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs — acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhi, the person who helped to liberate that nation.
“So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. In today’s world, when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance. But God compels us to try. And in this mission, I believe there are a few principles that can guide us, particularly those of us who profess to believe.
“And, first, we should start with some basic humility. I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.
“Our job is not to ask that God respond to our notion of truth — our job is to be true to Him, His word, and His commandments. And we should assume humbly that we’re confused and don’t always know what we’re doing and we’re staggering and stumbling towards Him, and have some humility in that process. And that means we have to speak up against those who would misuse His name to justify oppression, or violence, or hatred with that fierce certainty. No God condones terror. No grievance justifies the taking of innocent lives, or the oppression of those who are weaker or fewer in number.
“And so, as people of faith, we are summoned to push back against those who try to distort our religion — any religion — for their own nihilistic ends. And here at home and around the world, we will constantly reaffirm that fundamental freedom — freedom of religion — the right to practice our faith how we choose, to change our faith if we choose, to practice no faith at all if we choose, and to do so free of persecution and fear and discrimination.
“There’s wisdom in our founders writing in those documents that help found this nation the notion of freedom of religion, because they understood the need for humility. They also understood the need to uphold freedom of speech, that there was a connection between freedom of speech and freedom of religion. For to infringe on one right under the pretext of protecting another is a betrayal of both.
Obama backed off his statement “our religion” and “corrected” it to “any religion.” Yet a mere three or four paragraphs earlier, he distorted the history of Christianity, linking Christianity to slavery and Jim Crow laws, the Inquisition, and the Crusades.
The following information was drawn from Wikipedia:
Before 1100, the Catholic Church had already suppressed what they believed to be heresy, usually through a system of ecclesiastical proscription or imprisonment, but without using torture and seldom resorting to executions. Such punishments had a number of ecclesiastical opponents, although some countries punished heresy with the death penalty.
In the 12th century, to counter the spread of Catharism, prosecution of heretics became more frequent. The Church charged councils composed of bishops and archbishops with establishing inquisitions. The first Inquisition was temporarily established in Languedoc in the south of France in 1184. The murder in 1208 of Pope Innocent’s papal legate Pierre de Castelnau sparked the Alibgensian Crusaide (1209–1229). The Inquisition was permanently established in 1229. It was centered under the Dominicans in Rome and later at Carcassonne in Languedoc.
Cataharims was a Christian dualist movement that thrived in some areas of southern Europe, particularly northern Italy and southern France, between the 12th and 14th centuries. Cathar beliefs varied between communities because Catharism was initially taught by ascetic priests who had set few guidelines. The Cathars were a direct challenge to the Catholic Church, which denounced its practices and dismissed it outright as “the Church of Satan.”
In Cathar texts, the terms “Good Men” (Bons Hommes) or “Good Christians” are the common terms of self-identification. The idea of two gods or principles, one being good the other evil, was central to Cathar beliefs. The good god was the God of the New Testament and the creator of the spiritual realm, as opposed to the bad god, whom many Cathars identified as Satan, creator of the physical world of the Old Testament. All visible matter, including the human body, was created by Satan; it was therefore tainted with sin. This was the antithesis to the monotheistic Catholic Church, whose fundamental principle was that there was only one God who created all things visible and invisible. Cathars thought human spirits were the genderless spirits of angels trapped within the physical creation of Satan, cursed to be reincarnated until the Cathar faithful achieved salvation through a ritual called the “consolamentum” or baptism with holy water.
The Cathars rejected the consumption of the Catholic sacrament because they believed the human body would contaminate it.
Generally, the Inquisition was concerned only with the heretical behaviour of Catholic adherents or converts and supposedly did not concern itself with those outside that religion such as Jews or Muslims.
When a suspect was convicted of unrepentant heresy, the inquisitorial tribunal was required by law to hand the person over to the secular authorities for final sentencing, at which point the penalty would be determined by a magistrate, usually burning at the stake although the penalty varied based on local law. The laws were inclusive of proscriptions against certain religious crimes (heresy, etc.), and the punishments included death by burning, although imprisonment for life or banishment would usually be used. Thus the inquisitors generally knew what would be the fate of anyone so remanded, and cannot be considered to have divorced the means of determining guilt from its effects.
The 1578 handbook for inquisitors spelled out the purpose of inquisitorial penalties: … quoniam punitio non refertur primo & per se in correctionem & bonum eius qui punitur, sed in bonum publicum ut alij terreantur, & a malis committendis avocentur. Translation from the Latin: “… for punishment does not take place primarily and per se for the correction and good of the person punished, but for the public good in order that others may become terrified and weaned away from the evils they would commit.”
Most inquisitors were friars who taught theology and/or law in the universities. They used inquistional procedures, a common legal practice adapted from the earlier Ancient Roman court procedures. They judged heresy along with bishops and groups of “assessors” (clergy serving in a role that was roughly analogous to a jury or legal advisers), using the local authorities to establish a tribunal and to prosecute heretics. After 1200, a Grand Inquisitor headed each Inquisition. Grand Inquisitions persisted until the mid 19th century.
The answer to the Inquisiton was the Protestant Reformation, led by Martin Luther in Germany. The Protestant Reformation, often referred to simply as the Reformation, was the schism within Western Christianity initiated byLuther, John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli and other early Protestant Reformers, lasting from 1517 until 1648.[
Although there had been significant earlier attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church before Luther — such as those of Peter Waldo, Johyn Wycliffe, and Jan Hus — it is Martin Luther who is widely acknowledged to have started the Reformation with his 1517 work The Ninety-Five Theses. Luther began by criticizing the selling of indulgences, insisting that the Pope had no authority over purgatory and that the Catholic doctrine of the merits of the saints had no foundation in the gospel. The attacks widened to cover many of the doctrines and devotional Catholic practices. The new movement within Germany diversified almost immediately, and other reform impulses arose independently of Luther.
The largest groupings were the Lutherans and Calvinists. Lutheran churches were founded mostly in Germany, the Baltics and Scandinavia, while the Reformed ones were founded in France, Switzerland, Hungary, the Netherlands and Scotland. The new movement influenced the Church of England decisively after 1547 under Edward VI and Elizabeth I, although the national church had been made independent under Henry VIII in the early 1530s for political rather than religious reasons. There were also reformation movements throughout continental Europe known as the Radical Reformation, which gave rise to the Anabaptist, Moravian, , and other Pietistic (emphasizing personal behavior) movements.]
Although the core motivation behind these changes was theological, many other factors played a part, including the rise of nationalism, the Western Schsim, which eroded people’s faith in the Papacy, the corruption of the Curia (the papal bureaucracy), and the new learning of the Renaissance which questioned much traditional thought. On a technological level, the invention of the printing press provided the means for the rapid dissemination of religious materials in the vernacular.
The Roman Catholic Church responded with a Counter-Reformation, initiated by the Council of Trent. Much work in battling Protestantism was done by the well-organized new order of the Jesuits. In general, Northern Europe, with the exception of most of Ireland, came under the influence of Protestantism. Southern Europe remained Roman Catholic, while Central Europe was a site of a fierce conflict, culminating in the Thirty Years’ War, which left it massively devastated.
Jan Hus, a professor at the University in Prague, objected to some of the practices of the Roman Catholic Church and wanted to return the church in Bohemia (Germany) and Moravia to early Byzantine- -inspired practices: liturgy in the language of the people (i.e. Czech), having lay people receive communion in both kinds (bread and wine – that is, in Latin, communio sub utraque specie), married priests, and eliminating indulgences (paying of sins with ‘donations’ to the Church) and the idea of Purgatory. Hus rejected indulgences and adopted a doctrine of justification by grace through faith alone. The Roman Catholic Church officially concluded this debate at the Council of Constance (1414–1417). The conclave condemned Hus, who was executed by burning despite a promise of safe-conduct. Wycliffe was posthumously condemned as a heretic and his corpse exhumed and burned in 1428.
Those were the days of the Inquisition and the Reformation, some thousand years ago.
Those were also the days of The Crusades. The Crusades were more than just an attempt to “take back” Jerusalem. An excellent resource for the correct, or rather “politically incorrect” history of the Crusades, is The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)” written by Robert Spencer and published by Regnery Publishing.
Spencer gives us the true history of Islam. Apologists for Islam claim that misperceptions of that religion began with the Crusades, what they regard as an unprovoked slaughter of innocent Muslisms. Spencer tells us that the violent nature of Islam began with its founder, 450 years before the Crusades.
“Contrary to what many secularists would have us believe,” Spencer writes, “religions are not entirely determined (or distorted) by the faithful over time. The lives and words of the founders remain central, no matter how long ago they lived. The idea that believers shape religion is derived, instead, from the fashionable 1960s philosophy of deconstructionism, which teaches that written words of no meaning other than that give by the reader.
“Equally important, it follows that if the reader alone finds meaning, there can be no truth (and certainly no religious truth); one person’s meaning is equal to another’s. Ultimately, according to deconstructionism, we all crate our own set of ‘truths’, none better or worse than any other.”
Facts are essential to other religions (Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism). But Mohammed remains more mysterious, primarily because the Koranic texts are rarely translated into languages other than Arabic. To read the Koran, you must learn to read Arabic. Versions of the Koran written in other languages are considered to be blasphemous, according to the Muslims.
Citing Islamic texts, Spencer tells us, “First basic fact: Mohummad ibn Abdallah ibn Abd al-Muttalib (570-632), the prophet of Islam, was a man of war. He taught his followers to fight for his new religion. He said that their god, Allah, had commanded him to take up arms. And Muhammad, no armchair general, fought in numerous battles.”
“In the course of these battles, Muhammad articulated numerous principles that have been followed by Muslims to this day. Therefore, it is important to record some features of Muhammad’s battles, which can provide insight into today’s newspaper headlines – insights that continue, sadly, to elude many analysts and experts.”
Spencer tells us that Muhammad was already an experienced warrior.
“After receiving revelations from Allah through the angel Gabriel in 610, he began by just preaching to his tribe the worship of One God and his own position as a prophet. But he was not well-received by his Quraysh brethren in Mecca, who reacted disdainfully to his prophetic call and refused to give up their [pagan] gods.
“When even his uncle, Abu Lahab, rejected his message, Muhammad cursed him and his wife in violent language that has been preserved in the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam:
“May the hands of Abu Lahab perish! May he himself Perish! Nothing shall his wealth and gains avail hi m. He shall be burnt in a flaming fire, and his wife, laden with faggots, shall have a rope of fibre around her neck!’ Qur’an 111:1-5
“Ultimately, Muhammad would turn from violent words to violent deeds. In 622, he finally fled his native Mecca for a nearby town, Media, where a band of tribal warriors had accepted him as a prophet and pledged loyalty to him. In Medina, these new Muslims began raiding the caravans of the Quraysh, with Muhammad personally leading many of these raids. These raids kept the nascent Muslim movement solvent and helped form Islamic theology – as in one notorious incident when a band of Muslims raided a Quraysh caravan at Nakhla, a settlement not far from Meca. The raiders attacked the caravan during the sacred month of Rajab, when fighting was forbidden. When they returned to the Muslim camp laden with booty, Muhammad refused to share in the loot of have anything to do with them, saying only, “I did not order you to fight this sacred month.”
But then, a new revelation came from Allah, explaining that the Quraysh’s opposition to Muhammad was a worse transgression of the sacred month. In other words, the raid was justifiied.
‘They question thee, O Muhammad, with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: warfare therein is a great transgression. But to turn men from the Way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable place of Worship and to expel His people thence, is a greater sin with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing.’ Qur’an 2:214.
“This,” Spencer writes, “was a momentous revelation, for it led to an Islamic principle that has had repercussions throughout the ages. God became identified with anything that redounded to the benefit of Muslims, regardless of whether it violated moral or other laws. The moral absolutes enshrined in the Ten Commandments, and other teachings of the great religions that preceded Islam, were swept aside in favor of an overarching principle of expediency.”
The ends justified the means.
The Battle of Badr was the first major battle the Muslims fought. in the Hejaz region of western Arabia was a key battle in the early days of Islam and a turning point in Muhammad’s s struggle with his opponents among the Quraysh. The battle has been passed down in Islamic history as a decisive victory attributable to divine intervention.
According to Spencer, “Muhammad heard that a large Quraysh caravan, laden with money and goods, was coming from Syria.
“‘This is the Quraysh caravan containing their property,” he told his followers. ‘Go out to attack it; perhaps God will give it as a prey.”
“He set out towards Mecca to lead the raid. But this time, the Quraysh were ready for him, coming out to meet Muhammad’s three hundred men with a force nearly a thousand strong. Muhammad seems not to have expected these numbers and cried out to Allah in anxiety, ‘O God, if this band perish today, Thou wilt be worshiped no more.’”
Despite their superior numbers the Quraysh were routed. Some sources attribute the victory to the strategic genius of Muhammad. It is one of the few battles specifically mentioned in the Qur’an. Most contemporary knowledge of the Battle of Badr comes from traditional Islamic accounts, both hadiths and biographies of Muhammad, recorded in written form some time after the battle.
Advancing to a strong defensive position, Muhammad’s well-disciplined force broke the Meccan lines, killing several important Quraishi leaders including the Muslims’ chief antagonist Abu Jahl. For the early Muslims the battle was the first sign that they might eventually defeat their enemies among the Meccans. Mecca at that time was one of the richest and most powerful cities in Arabia, fielding an army three times larger than that of the Muslims. The Muslim victory also signaled to the other tribes that a new power had arisen in Arabia and strengthened Muhammad’s position as leader of the often fractious community in Medina.
Spencer tells us that after Muhammed’s followers beheaded Abu Jahl , a name given him by the Muslims which means “Father of Ignorance – his real name was Amr bin Hisham, they brought brought his severed head to the Prophet. The soldier who brought the head proudly claimed, “This is the head of the enemy of God, Abu Jahl.”
“Muhammad was delighted. ‘By God than Whom there is no other, is it?’ he exclaimed and gave thanks to Allah for the death of his enemy. The bodies of all those named in Muhammad’s curse were thrown into a pit. Muhammad then taunted the dead bodies, calling them the “people of the pit.” When his followers asked why he was talking to dead bodies, he replied, “You cannot hear what I say better than they, but they cannot answer me.”
Another enemy, Uqba, peladed for his life. “’But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?”
“Hell,” replied the prophet.
“Flushed with victory,” Spencer continues, “Muhammad stepped up his raiding operations. He also hardened in his attitudes toward the Jewish tribes of the region, who kept their faith and rejected Muhammad as a prophet of God. With this rejection, Muhammad’s prophetic calls to Jews began to get violent, emphasizing early punishment.
“Striding into the center of the marketplace of the Banu Qaynuqa, a Jewish tribe with whom he had a truce, he announced to the crowds:
‘O Jews, beware lest God bring upon you the vengeance that He brought upon Quraysh and become Muslims. You know that I am a prophet who has been sent – you will find that in your scriptures and God’s covenant with you.’
“The Jews of the Banu Qaynuqa were not persuaded, frustrating the Prophet even more. He laid siege on them until they offered him unconditional surrender. “
Spencer tells us that Muhammad then turned his attention to a Jewish poet, K’ab bin Al-Ashraf who wrote love poems of an insulting nature about Muslim women. Muhammad asked for a volunteer to assassinate the poet.
A young Muslim named Muhammad bin Masla volunteered, crying, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would like that kill him?” The prophet replied, “Yes.” Then the young volunteer asked Muhammad for permission to lie in order to deceive K’ab bin Al-Ashraf in walking into an ambush. The Prophet granted him this permission.
“After the murder of Ka’ab,” Spencer writes, Muhammad issued a blanket command: ‘Kill any Jew that falls into your power.’ This was not a military order; the first victim was a Jewish merchant, Ibn Sunayna, who had ‘social and business relations’ with the Muslims. The murderer, Muhayissa, was rebuked for the deed by his brother, Huwayissa, who was not yet a Muslim. Muhayissa was unrepentant. He told his brother, ‘Had the one who ordered me to kill him ordered me to you, I would have cut your head off.’
“Huwayissa was impressed. ‘By God, a religion which can bring you to this is marvelous!” He became a Muslim. The world is still witnessing such marvels to this day.”
Spencer’s book is marvelous, revealing the truths about Islam and its history and exposing the lies and politically correct propaganda. He gives sidebars comparing the commands of Muhammad to the commands of Jesus.
Part II of his book gives a “politically incorrect” history of the much-disputed, much-maligned Crusades. Politically correct historians never explain how the Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638, a mere six years after the Prophet’s call to non-Muslims, “…embrace Islam and you will be safe” and his death ins 632.
For centuries afterwards, Muslim persecution of the early Christians escalated, until they dispossessed Christians of two-thirds of their lands. Spencer gives us examples:
“Early in the Eighth Century, 60 Christian pilgrims from Amorium were crucified. Around the same time, the Muslim governor of Caesarea seized a group of pilgrims from Iconium and had them all executed as spies – except for a small number who converted to Islam. And Muslims demanded money from pilgrims, threatening to ransack the Church of the Resurrection if they didn’t pay. Later in the Eighth Century, a Muslim ruler banned the displays of the cross in Jerusalem. He also increased the anti-religious tax (jizya) that Christians had to pay and forbade Christians to engage in the religious instruction of others, een their own children.”
“Early in the Ninth Century, the persecutions grew so severe that large numbers of Christians fled to Constantinople and other Christian cities. More persecutions in 923 saw additional churches destroyed, and in 937, Muslims went on a Palm Sunday rampage in Jerusalem, plundering and destroying the Church of Calvary and the Church of the Resurrection.”
“In the 960s, General Nicephorous Phocas carried out a series of successful campaigns against the Muslims, recapturing Crete, Cilicia, Cyprus and even parts of Syria. In 969, he recaptured the ancient Christian city of Antioch. But in Islamic theology, if any land has ever belonged to the House of Islam, it belongs forever – and Muslims must age war to regain control over it.
“In 974, the Abbasid (Sunni) Caliph in Baghdad declared jihad. This followed yearly jihad campaigns against the Byzanties…by Saif Al-Dawla, ruler of the Shi’ite Hamdanid dynasty in Aleppp [Syria] from 944 to 967. Al-Dawla appealed to Muslims to fight the Byzantines on the pretext that they were taking lands that belonged to the House of Islam. This appeal was so successful that Muslim warriors from as far off as Central Asia joined the jihads.
“However, Sunni/Shi’ite disunity ultimately hampered Islamic jihad efforts, and in 1001, the Byzantine Emperor Basil II concluded a ten-year truce with the Fatimid (Shi’ite) caliph.
“Basil, however, soon learned that to conclude such truces was futile. In 1004, the sixth Fatimid caliph, Ab ‘Ali al-Mansur al-Hakim (985-1021) turned violently against the faith of his Christian mother and uncles (two of whom were patriarchs), ordering the destruction of churches, the burning of crosses, and the seizure of church property. He moved against the Jews with similar ferocity. Over the next ten years, thirty-thousand [30,000 – Spencer writes out the number so that there is no mistake) churches were destroyed, and untold numbers of Christians converted to Islam simply to save their lives. In 1009, al-Hakim gave his most spectacular anti-Christian order: the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, along with several other churches.
“Al-Hakim commanded that the tomb within be cut down to the bedrock. He ordered Christians to wear heavy crosses around their necks (and for Jews, heavy blocks of wood in the shape of a calf). He piled on other humiliating decrees, culminating in the order that they accept Islam or leave his dominions.”
Spencer goes on to say how Al-Hakim relaxed his persecution of the Christians and Jews. You can read the rest in his book. He goes on to tell the tale of the Seljurk Turks of Central Asia, who enforced “new Islamic rigor” and reconquered most of the Byzantine Empire, right up to Constantinople.
“It looked as if [the Christian Empire of Byantium’s] death hat the hands of the Seljurks was imminent. The Church of Constantinople (The Eastern Orthodox Church) considered the popes schismatic and had squabbled with them for centuries. But the new emperor, Alexius I Compinenus (1081-1118), swallowed his pride and appealed for help. And that is how the First Crusade came out: It was a response to the Byzantine Emperor’s call for help.”
The First Crusade was no war of conquest and/or conversation; it was strictly a defensive measure. Pope Urban’s only “ambition” after his address at the Council of Clarement was “to defend Christian pilgrims and recapture Christian lands. It was not until over a hundred years after the First Crusade (in the 13th Century) that European Christians made any organized attempt to convert Muslims to Christianity, when the Franciscans began missionary work among Muslims in lands held by the Crusaders. This effort was largely unsuccessful.”
After the first successful Crusades, the Crusaders allowed Muslims and Jews to follow their own religions in peace and prosperity. The Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus prevailed upon the Crusaders to agree, in accordance with Urban’s wishes, to return any conquered lands to the Byzantine emperor. However, when he failed to support the Crusaders in the Battle for Antioch in 1098, they renounced their agreements and began to establish their own governments, settling permanently in the Holy Lands.
Then, in 1099, the Crusaders launched a five-week siege against Muslim-occupied Jerusalem. The Crusaders, according to anonymous, contemporary account, that “Our men followed and pursued [the Saracens] as far as the Temple of Solomon, and there was such a slaughter there that our men were up to their ankles [some accounts say “knees’”] in the enemy’s blood.”\
Other knights protected the civilians. Estimates of the slaughter range from 20-30,000 (according to Balderic, a bishop an author of an early 12th Century history of Jerusalem) and 100,000, according to the 15th Century Islamic historian, Ibn Taghribirdi.
Spencer writes, “The Crusaders’ sack of Jerusalem was a heinous crime – particularly in light of the religious and moral principles they professed to uphold. However, by the military standards of the day, it was not out of the ordinary. In those days, if a city under siege resisted capture, it could be sacked, if it did not resist, mercy would be shown. Some accounts say that the Crusaders promised the inhabitants of Jerusalem that they would be spared, but reneged on this promise. Others tell us that they did allow many Jews and Muslims to leave the city in safety.
“Count Raymond gave a persona guarantee of safety to the Fatimid governor of Jerusalem, Iftikar al+Daulah. In the mind of a Crusader, when such guarantees were issued, those who remained in the city would have been more likely to be identified with the resistance – and their lives forfeited.
“What about those ankle- or knee-deep rivers of blood?” Spencer claims that these were “rhetorical flourishes. When the Christian chronicler and Crsade leaders boasted of this, everyone would have considered it an embellishment. In fact, such rivers were not even remotely possible. There weren’t enough people in Jerusalem to bleed that much, even if its population had swelled with refugees from the surrounding regions.”
Here, we must note that if the capture residents were all corralled into one place, it might have been very well possible. Spencer makes no excuse for the bloodshed of the Crusaders by saying that the Muslisms did just as much or worse. However, he goes on to chronicle various accounts of how they did exactly that and worse.
In light of Obama’s outrageous remarks yesterday about the moral equivalency of Christian and Muslim crimes, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) is worthwhile, instructive reading. Not only does Spencer correct revisionist history, but gives us a pretty good idea of what’s coming in the future.