Monday, July 04, 2005

Should Christians apologize for the Crusades?

Of late, there has been a resurgence of interest in the Crusades. For example, the June/July 2005 issue of FIRST THINGS had an article by Thomas F. Madden, “Crusades and Historians.” ..... “The Crusades have been a topic of intense scholarly investigation for the last forty years. … In thousands of journal articles and scholarly monographs Christianity’s holy wars have been probed, analyzed, and debated. … We now know much more than ever before about the Crusades.” P. 26

One of the books I have read on the subject was by Jonathan Riley-Smith, “What Were the Crusades?” Professor Riley-Smith of Cambridge University deals with this important subject in 114 pages! The Crusades are being treated not only as an historical subject for academic purposes, but discussions about them have also attracted the attention of the popular media. This has happened due to the demands that have been made recently by Muslims who claim that an apology for the Crusades by the West is long overdue.

Muslims have mastered the art of propaganda. They exploit the free-speech tradition in the West, and go on the attack painting themselves as peace-lovers. According to their propagandists, it is always the Others, i.e., Christians, Jews, and Hindus, who are and have been the true aggressors. This mantra becomes very shrill with respect to the Crusader Wars. What is surprising though is that some Christians feel that apology for the Crusades, is in order.
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