A fascinating history lesson, thanks.<quoted text>
The first Crusade began in 1095… 460 years AFTER the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies, 457 years AFTER Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies, 453 years AFTER Egypt was taken by Muslim armies, 443 AFTER Muslims first plundered Italy, 427 years AFTER Muslim armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople, 380 years AFTER Spain was conquered by Muslim armies, 363 years AFTER France was first attacked by Muslim armies, 249 years AFTER the capital of the Christian world, Rome itself, was sacked by a Muslim army, and only after centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions of Christians.
By the time the Crusades finally began, Muslim armies had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.
Europe had been harassed by Muslims since the first few years following Muhammad’s death. As early as 652, Muhammad’s followers launched raids on the island of Sicily, waging a full-scale occupation 200 years later that lasted almost a century and was punctuated by massacres, such as that at the town of Castrogiovanni, in which 8,000 Christians were put to death. In 1084, ten years before the first crusade, Muslims staged another devastating Sicilian raid, burning churches in Reggio, enslaving monks and raping an abbey of nuns before carrying them into captivity.
In 1095, Byzantine Emperor, Alexius I Comneus began begging the pope in Rome for help in turning back the Muslim armies which were overrunning what is now Turkey, grabbing property as they went and turning churches into mosques. Several hundred thousand Christians had been killed in Anatolia alone in the decades following 1050 by Seljuk invaders interested in 'converting' the survivors to Islam.
Not only were Christians losing their lives in their own lands to the Muslim advance but pilgrims to the Holy Land from other parts of Europe were being harassed, kidnapped, molested, forcibly converted to Islam and occasionally murdered.(Compare this to Islam’s justification for slaughter on the basis of Muslims being denied access to the Meccan pilgrimage in Muhammad’s time).
Renowned scholar Bernard Lewis points out that, "unlike the jihad, it [the Crusade] was concerned primarily with the defense or reconquest of threatened or lost Christian territory... The Muslim jihad, in contrast, was perceived as unlimited, as a religious obligation that would continue until all the world had either adopted the Muslim faith or submitted to Muslim rule... The object of jihad is to bring the whole world under Islamic law."
ISLAM WAS THE ATTACKER AND CHRISTIANITY WAS THE DEFENDER. Just like today Islam is still the attacker and other countries respond by defending themselves. The aim of Islam is world domination as it was then and it will never change until Jesus returns to destroy Islam and all its defenders
So the problem of Islamic takeover is nothing new @ all. Despite their bloodthirsty reputation now, the Crusaders knew how to deal with them. Better than today's bleeding heart liberals.