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Jihad vs Crusades

Whenever you’re dealing with an apologist for Islam, or even a Muslim, and you bring up jihad, almost immediately, they kickback to you: “But what about those terrible crusades? Why they’re the moral justification for jihad and we’re just as bad as they are. So let's not talk about jihad, okay? Let’s talk about the Crusades.”

Well, what I would like to talk about here, are facts. I created a database of 548 battles that Islam fought: jihad battles against classical civilization. This isn’t even all the battles. It doesn't include battles Africa, India, Afghanistan and other locations. It’s primarily at data base of the battles against the classical civilization of Rome and Greece. 

548 battles are a lot; too many to comprehend. So I created a dynamic battle map with displays of the Mediterranean in 20 year increments. On the display, a white dot designates a battle during the twenty-year period, a new battle. Every time the screen changes to the next 20 year period, the previous white dots turn red and a new set of current battles  are shown with white dots so you can see the unfolding history. This may seem a little confusing, but when you see it you'll know exactly what I mean. 

As the dynamic display starts, Islam bursts out of the Arabian Peninsula and immediately starts attacking the Middle East. Notice that it is not long before there are battles across the Mediterranean and attacks in southern France, and Spain. 

Notice something else: when most people think of Islam, they think of Arabs; and of desert. Yet here we see that Islam is projecting power throughout the Mediterranean. Notice how the little islands of the Mediterranean are getting hammered. The navy of Islam would attack coastal towns, kill, rob, rape, and then take slaves. As this entire battle map unfolds, slaves are taken. Over a million slaves were taken from of Europe into the Islamic world. It’s something you don't think about, but it's absolutely true. 

There were over 200 battles fought in Spain alone. We also see, however, on the east coast, in Turkey, that Islamic forces attempt to break into Europe. What happens in Spain during this ongoing fight that lasted for 400 years is that the Christians push back the Moslems. But what happens in the East is that Constantinople falls and now then eastern Europe gets hammered. The jihad comes to Eastern Europe. It’s pushed out of Spain, but northern Africa becomes completely Islamic, and the Middle East is completely Islamic. 

This is all jihad, relentless jihad. And why is it so relentless?

Well, Mohammed was relentless in his jihad, and these people are good students of Islam. And so it's jihad against the Kafir, endlessly. 

It was traditional that when a new Sultan came to power, he would immediately attempt to launch new wars because he would be noted in Islamic history as to how well he fought against the Kafir.

So that's what the jihad looked like over that time period: 548 battles. But remember, when you bring up jihad, people want to bring up the Crusades. So I also prepared a dynamic battle map of all the offensive raids of the crusaders. Let’s watch it and make a comparison. 

As it begins, the Crusades enter Turkey and the Middle East; battles ensue. But there are far fewer than you might think. And in short order, the map concludes. The last battles are fought and the Crusades are over.

Now we can talk about some facts! Yes, there were Crusades. But notice that they ended centuries ago, and jihad is still being practiced today. Jihad has been with us for 1400 years. There is no comparison between jihad and the Crusades; certainly not a moral comparison. And when you’re looking at the Crusades, remember, in one sense the Crusades were defensive wars. Why? As we saw in the first jihad map, it was Islam that came out of Arabia and conquered the Middle East, a Christian Middle East. The crusaders were trying to free their Christian brothers and sisters from jihad. So there's no moral comparison all. The motivation of the crusaders was to free Christians; the purpose of jihad was, and still is, to enslave the Kafir.

So, the next time you hear somebody talk about “those dreadful Crusades”, respond to the facts of the matter. Speak up and tell that person, “You don't really know the facts!”

Watch the Video

Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
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