WASHINGTON, March 27, 2015 — On Feb. 5 at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama defended Islam by stating that Christians should not be on their “high horse” because they were just as guilty of atrocities in the Crusades. Obama used the simplistic and incorrect stereotype of the Crusades as holy wars against Islam led by evil popes and fanatical Christians. The historical truth is that the Crusades were 400 years of wars, ignited by warriors of Islam in their conquests of Christian lands.
Thomas F. Madden, associate professor and chair of the department of history at Saint Louis University and author of The New Concise History of the Crusades, writes, “Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common … [In reality, they] were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands. … From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword.”
After the Roman Empire adopted Christianity, the Christian faith spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where Christianity was born. As Madden says, “The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.”
When the Roman Empire split in two, the eastern part (today known as the Byzantine Empire) was centered in Byzantium, located in modern day Turkey. The city was renamed Constantinople in A.D. 330 by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.
At that time, Palestine, Syria, and Egypt—once the most heavily Christian areas in the world—fell in rapid succession to Muslim aggression. Muslim armies conquered all of Christian North Africa and Spain. They seized the holiest site of the Jews and Christians alike—the Temple Mount—where they built their own mosque over ruins over the First and Second Temples of the Jews.
By the late 11th century, Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul, also had fallen to Muslim conquest.
In 1095, the emperor in Constantinople sent pleadings to Christians in the western empire for aid in the defense of Christianity; it had nothing to do with the conversion of the Muslim world. By the 15th century, even the area of modern Germany was threatened, and it became a matter of whether Christendom would survive.
War is ugly and ultimately grotesque with atrocities committed by all sides. However, Obama’s lecture to Christians not to be “on our high horse” in thinking ISIS-type violence is “unique to some other place” is little more than a millennia-old conflation buttressed with lies of omission.
Obama’s further talking point that ISIS is not really Muslim is also patently false. In Shari’a law, believed to be authored by Mohammed himself, theft is punishable by cutting off the hand. Leaving the Muslim faith is punishable by death. A man can consummate marriage with a girl at 9 years of age. Per Mohammed’s words (Quran, Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251) a girl’s clitoris should be cut. Shari’a condones the forcible taking of concubines and enslavement of enemies.
In what Christian nation, including America, is any such barbarism not outlawed? Today, the world calls these things rape, murder, genital mutilation, kidnapping and human trafficking.
Obama’s disdain for the Jewish homeland of Israel and affinity for the land “rights” of Palestinian Muslims further demonstrates his Islamic worldview. Any schoolchild could confirm in five minutes with a simple Google search that Islam and Muslims were preceded by Judaism and Jews by at least a thousand years.
Shaikh Muhammad el-Khidhri Buck, professor of Islamic history, Egyptian University, Cairo, says in his book, Noor-ulYaqeen fi Seeret Sayyed al-Mursaleen, that Muhammad was born on a date that corresponds to June 8, A.D. 570.
Meanwhile, historians record that in the year 555 B.C., the king of Assyria conquered the kingdom of Israel, dispersing the Twelve Tribes. Israel comprised a much larger land area in exactly the same geographical location today.
Apparently, Obama’s math is not too good: The historical fact is the Jewish nation of Israel existed in the same place it is today at least a thousand years before Islam was even a religion. So just who is occupying whose land?
Christopher Tyerman, British historian and author of Fighting for Christendom: Holy War and the Crusades, sums it up this way: “Most of what passes in public as knowledge of the Crusades … is either misleading or false.”
Sadly, especially when it comes to Islam, President Obama’s rhetoric and the facts are often strangers.