Because of the public schools, too few Americans know history. Here is Kip Allen writing at American Thinker about the Crusaders — and some of the most critical — and un-taught history:
The Muslim world jumped on President George W. Bush’s use of the word “crusade” as proof that America wants to wage war against Islam, not merely apprehend international terrorists. While indeed the word does refer to unsuccessful Christian attempts to recapture the Holy Land centuries ago, the word also means “a remedial enterprise undertaken with zeal and enthusiasm.” As an example, Dwight Eisenhower called the war against Nazi Germany the “Crusade in Europe.” It is interesting to note that while Nazi Germany was non-Muslim, many Muslim leaders and nations, such as the grand mufti of Jerusalem and Iraq, openly supported the Nazi regime.
Today’s Islamists claim there is an age-old conspiracy against their religion and that Christianity and Judaism have always tried to stifle their faith by force of arms.
History reveals and entirely different story.
When the Prophet Mohammed died in A.D. 632, the Holy Land was Christian-controlled and had been for centuries, as were what are now modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon. The Byzantine Empire, which ruled the territory, became Christian shortly after the conversion of Emperor Constantine I in 324.
Jerusalem, sacred to Jews as the site of the Temple and to Christians as the place of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, is not even mentioned in the Quran.
From its very beginning, Islam set about spreading its faith at swordpoint. It conquered the nearby pagan territory, including Mecca, and then turned on the Byzantines in the west and north and the Persians in the east. The armies of Allah poured into Syria and the Holy Land, taking Jerusalem in 638, a full six years after Mohammed’s death.
While maintaining a constant pressure on the Byzantines and swallowing the Persian Empire, they pushed across North Africa, subjugating all of it by the end of the seventh century. Not content with these conquests, Islamic armies then swept north from Africa into Europe, the heart of Christianity. They landed in southern Spain in 711 and rapidly subdued the entire Iberian peninsula under the banner of the crescent. Still not satisfied, their armies poured across the Pyrenees into France, where a Christian army under Charles Martel finally stopped them at the Battle of Tours in 732.
It took just 21 years for Islamic armies to sweep from Africa to the heart of France. It would be 781 years before they were finally driven out, when Granada fell in 1492 to Spanish armies.
Read more: American Thinker
Image credit: Image credit: King John III Sobieski Sobieski sending Message of Victory to the Pope, after the Battle of Vienna in 1683 / quantaoflight.wordpress.com / Wikipedia.