Category Archives: religious conflict

A Coupla Things

General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said last week: “We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force.”

Story here on Talking Points Memo.

In response to a question about reducing such incidents, McChrystal told troops listening to the town hall:

“We really ask a lot of our young service people out on the checkpoints because there’s danger, they’re asked to make very rapid decisions in often very unclear situations. However, to my knowledge, in the nine-plus months I’ve been here, not a single case where we have engaged in an escalation of force incident and hurt someone has it turned out that the vehicle had a suicide bomb or weapons in it and, in many cases, had families in it.”

He continued: “That doesn’t mean I’m criticizing the people who are executing. I’m just giving you perspective. We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force.”

——————————
Fifteen leading Islamic scholars got together in Mardin, Turkey this week and signed a “New Mardin Declaration,” urging the faithful to live up to Islam’s high moral and ethical values and condemning in the strongest terms the vigilantism of radicals, urging all to foster greater peace and conviviality.

Reuters story here.

A conference in Mardin in southeastern Turkey declared the fatwa by 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyya rules out militant violence and the medieval Muslim division of the world into a “house of Islam” and “house of unbelief” no longer applies.

Osama bin Laden has quoted Ibn Taymiyya’s “Mardin fatwa” repeatedly in his calls for Muslims to overthrow the Saudi monarchy and wage jihad against the United States.

Referring to that historic document, the weekend conference said: “Anyone who seeks support from this fatwa for killing Muslims or non-Muslims has erred in his interpretation.

“It is not for a Muslim individual or a Muslim group to announce and declare war or engage in combative jihad … on their own,” said the declaration issued Sunday in Arabic and later provided to Reuters in English.

Good background info here at the Mardin Fatwa group’s own website.

At this link you can download the actual declaration in an Arabic or English .pdf.

2 Comments

Filed under miscellaneous, Our glorious war on terror, religious conflict

Better Know a Christian Terrorist Group

Middle East Online has a good piece on the Lord’s Resistance Army, and not coincidentally Middle East Online is the only news source that consistently refers to the group as a Christian terrorist group.

UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council Tuesday “strongly condemned” the ongoing attacks and acts of violence of Uganda’s Christian extremist rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

“The (15) members of the Security Council strongly condemned the continued and recently increasing attacks carried out by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic and Sudan,” it said.

The attacks “have resulted in the death, abduction and displacement of thousands of civilians,” said Austrian Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting, who this month holds the council’s rotating presidency.

The LRA guerrilla group, whose chief Joseph Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court, first appeared in northern Uganga in 1988 and has since expanded into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and south Sudan.

Earlier this year in south Sudan, LRA men attacked several food aid distribution stations, killed hundreds of civilians and kidnapped children for use as soldiers, forcing thousands of people into Western Equatoria.

The extremist group was founded by a former Catholic altar boy from northern Uganda, who uses biblical references to explain why it is necessary to kill people.

His Christian extremist group is notorious for abducting thousands of children, forcing them to become either soldiers for his radical views or sex slaves.

The LRA rebels say they are fighting for the establishment of a government based on the biblical Ten Commandments.

He is described as a self-styled prophet who believes in Jesus, son of God.

One of Kony’s aides, Moses, was quoted as saying: “Kony is a messenger from God! We follow the commands of the Holy Spirit!”

Moses continues to explain Kony’s reasoning: “If someone has done something bad to you, you have to kill them!”

“Go and read in Matthew, chapter what and what, it is stated that if your right hand causes trouble, cut if off! It is there in the Bible!”

“He taught us how to pray,” one of Kony’s wives said. He had named was of his sons George Bush. And like the former US president, he also claims to receive personal visions from God.

In an interview with Vincent Otti, who was LRA second in command at the time, the Christian fanatic was asked about the group’s name and its ideal system of government.

Otti’s response was: “Lord’s Resistance Army is just the name of the movement, because we are fighting in the name of God. God is the one helping us in the bush. That’s why we created this name, Lord’s Resistance Army. And people always ask us, are we fighting for the [biblical] Ten Commandments of God. That is true – because the Ten Commandments of God is the constitution that God has given to the people of the world.”

Kony uses passages from the Pentateuch to justify mutilation and murder.

LRA fighters achieved notoriety by turning on the Acholis they claimed to represent, hacking off lips, ears and noses, killing thousands and abducting more than 20,000 civilians, mostly children.

The children who have been abducted were often forced to kill their own parents so they have no way back.

People who were abducted into Kony’s forces and later escaped describe him as a crazed religious leader.

Fun stuff. Indubitably the LRA is a terrorist group founded on Biblical teachings, therefore a Christian or Christianist terrorist group.

The LRA has killed more people than many other terrorist groups, yet few Americans or Europeans have ever heard of it.

But of course. Who ever heard of Christian terror group? Or they don’t really count as Christians, or they’re not true Christians, and there’s no need for any Christians anywhere to denounce them because they aren’t real Christians, ad infinitum.

And of course if this were a Muslim group, there would never be a news article about them without the words “Muslim” and “terrorist.” Ipso facto.

Leave a comment

Filed under domestic terrorism, religious conflict

Refreshing

I finally found a news outlet that refers to the Lord’s Resistance Army as a Christian extremist group, instead of just glossing over the fact that they are a Christian terrorist group, like every one else does. It’s Middle East Online, which I know nothing about yet.

Notorious Ugandan Christian radicals suspected of committing attacks in Sudan’s Darfur.

KHARTOUM – Uganda’s Christian extremist rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, the feared abductors of children who have spread fear in east-central Africa, are now rumoured to be heading into new terrain in Sudan’s troubled Darfur.

A brutal guerrilla group, whose chief Joseph Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court, the LRA has already expanded into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and south Sudan.

Earlier this year in south Sudan, LRA men attacked several food aid distribution stations, killed hundreds of civilians and kidnapped children for use as soldiers, forcing thousands of people into Western Equatoria.

Ahh, that’s more like it.

2 Comments

Filed under miscellaneous, religious conflict

Christians Pray a Shield Around America

More from Right Wing Watch:

We’ve put together this clip featuring some of the highlights from the call itself, featuring Dobson saying the effort was designed to “put a shield of prayer around the United States of American and our world, while just praying for God’s intervention.” She was followed by Perkins, who insisted that it was not a question of whether Muslims had a right to gather to pray but rather “the focus of their prayers, are they praying for the well-being of our nation,” saying that the Islamic community has been silent when acts of terrorism have been committed against America and has been equally silent on the “threats” facing Rifqa Bary and, as such, “we have reason to be suspicious about the motives this community has for the well-being of this country. Perkins then introduced his “good friend” Lou Engle, who proceeded to warn that Americans did not “understand the spiritual implications of what is taking place” with this Muslim rally, saying they were “taking the spiritual power of 40 days Ramadan and then channeling it like an arrow right into the White House.” Eventually, others began to pray as well, asking God for a “great turning in education, a great turning in the political arena, [and to] turn the media in America over to your son” at which point Engle took over again asking God to help them win “the challenge in the spirit realm” and defeat “every demonic ideology [and] every spirit of darkness”:

You have to go to Right Wing Watch if you want to see the video. Or search for it on YouTube.

Stupidest comment I’ve seen yet, from here (Washington Times):

So if Islamic muezzins will chant out the “adhan,” the call to worship, to folks kneeling on prayer rugs on the west front lawn, does that make the Capitol dome a minaret?

Yes, indeedy, through the magical power of the adhan, a dome of many thousands of pounds of stone and metal will rise into the air, change shape, and reassemble itself as a minaret. Any architect will tell you that it happens all the time.

minaret dome mosque 1

By the way, what Perkins is quoted as saying above is complete and utter horseshit hooey, as has been shown time and time again.

Leave a comment

Filed under bigoted idiots, Islamic relations, religious conflict

Battle of the Prayers Tomorrow

FRIDAY! FRIDAY! FRIDAY! Watch Christzilla battle it out with Qur’annosaurus, prayer to prayer, to see who will emerge victorious.

Friday, September 25th about 50,000 Muslims will be converging on Washington to do this:

•The Athan will be chanted on Capitol Hill, echoing off of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill
•Thousands of Muslims from all races, creeds, colors and ethnicities will gather for the sole purpose of prayer
•Bonds of friendship will be formed between those in attendance, both Muslims and Non-Muslims
•Muslim youth will experience tours of the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court.
•The peace, beauty and solidarity of Islam will shine through America’s capitol.

Some Christian groups, appalled that “those people” are allowed to pray in public in the nation’s capital in a country where free speech and freedom of religion are enshrined in the Constitution, are going to try to out-pray them.

Right Wing Watch has had several informative posts over the last week about this. I like this one a lot.

But now it looks as the organizers have realized that their call to arms against the “rising tide of Islamic boldness” might have been a bit over the top, because they have removed the original press release and replaced it with this less confrontational version:

The National Day of Prayer Task Force is committed to prayer for the nation 365 days a year. We are thankful that we live in a country founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and consequently there is freedom for all to gather, pray and worship.

It is important that we understand the signs of the time and what we must do. The need is great for Christians to join together in Solemn Assembly seeking transformation in our communities today.

Therefore, we are calling Christians to join Lou Engle, Shirley Dobson, Tony Perkins, David Barton, and many other major leaders in America to a national conference call to pray for America. Please join us tonight, Thursday, September 24th from 7:30PM to 9:00PM Eastern Time for possibly one of the greatest moments in the prayer movement.

Compare that with what they originally posted last night:

It is critical that the church in America understands the times and what needs to be done now. The natural things speak of the invisible. Natural happenings on the earth are revealing something that is going on in the spiritual realm. There is a great spiritual conflict with a rising tide of Islamic boldness being manifested.

Our President has recently honored the Muslim holy days of prayer and fasting called Ramadan. Interestingly at the same time a major Christian leader of the Emergent Church called for forty days of fasting and prayer in the same Ramadan period with the goal that the church will better understand our Muslim friends. We advocate for understanding, but we must have spiritual discernment as to the spiritual dark powers that are being invoked into our nation.

Therefore we are calling Christians all over America to join Lou Engle, Mrs. Shirley Dobson, Tony Perkins, and many other major leaders in America to a national conference call to pray for America. Please join us on Thursday, September 24th from 7:30PM to 9:00PM Eastern for what we believe is a critical moment in American History.

A betting person would find a way to make this fun. What’s a good way to determine which group’s prayers were the strongest? Any suggestions?

1 Comment

Filed under bigoted idiots, church and state, Islamic relations, religious conflict

Time/CNN Ought to Know Better By Now

There I was, reading about this Sri Lankan-American teenaged cheerleader who ran away from her parents to live with a pastor and his wife, then claimed that her parents threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity. The parents say that’s ridiculous, the police consider the parents credible, and the coverage is relatively even-handed.

But then there was this, right there in a Time/CNN story:

…they are hardly the kind of fundamentalist Muslims who would declare a medieval fatwa, or death sentence, on their daughter.

A fatwa, medieval or not, is not a death sentence!!! It’s a legal opinion based on Islamic law.

And how would someone in 2009 declare a medieval fatwa? Time travel?

*sigh*

The teenager met the pastor on Facebook. This’ll give you an idea what he’s like:

Blake Lorenz, who insists that Rifqa will be killed if she goes home, earlier this month made clear to reporters his Crusades-era belief that this is part of Christianity’s holy struggle against Islam: “These are the last days; these are the end times,” he said, “and this conflict between Islam and Christianity is going to grow greater. This conflict between good and evil is going to grow greater.”

I trust that the authorities in pastor Lorenz’s city are investigating him for using Facebook to lure a teenaged girl across the country into his clutches.

Let’s round out this story thusly:

Florida’s moderate Republican governor and U.S. Senate candidate, Charlie Crist, who needs conservative voters to win his state’s closed GOP primary next year, issued a statement on Aug. 21 saying he’s “grateful to Circuit Judge Daniel Dawson for his decision to grant [Rifqa] the right to remain in Florida … We will continue to fight to protect Rifqa’s safety and well-being as we move forward.” Of course, Crist’s conservative primary opponent, former Florida house speaker Marco Rubio, released his own communiqué: “Florida not only has a responsibility to protect [Rifqa’s] innocent life, but also to defend her sacred right to worship freely.”

——
UPDATE: realisticbird asked in the comments: What would their reaction be if the case war reversed and the Christian girl went to the Muslim family?

I was going to say that few Americans would give any credence to the claims of death threats from a Christian family for changing religions, but then I found this helpful web page that highlighted these biblical directives:

13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
13:7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
13:10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

17:2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,
17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:
17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
17:7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.

2 Comments

Filed under bigoted idiots, Islamic relations, pedantry, religious conflict

CNN’s Generation Islam

For more than a week I’ve wanted to post about CNN’s Generation Islam feature, and it has been thwarting me by making it impossible to copy and paste the text or save the graphics. I had to resort to typing. It is not clear to me why CNN is interested in disseminating a mix of accurate and inaccurate information about Islam right now, but they’re doing it and so here I am.

The Generation Islam premise seems to be that Muslims are exotic people in strange clothes who live far away and that there is a giant gulf between us and them, and that those Muslims resent us for mysterious reasons and we might want to do something about it so they don’t hurt us again.

Here’s the tagline right under the banner:

9/11 taught the U.S. that it ignores rising Muslim resentment at its own peril. America can’t have another generation of Muslims who hate it. Is it possible to win the hearts and minds of Muslim youth?

and the first link, immediately underneath it:

Experts: Why some turn to violence

This will take more than one blog post to squeeze all the possibilities out of Generation Islam. Let’s start with the simple stuff and go to the Islam: Key facts page.

Islam has a monotheistic (belief in one God) message and follows some of the same principles as Christianity and Judaism. Muslims, the followers of Islam, believe in Allah and believe Mohammed was his prophet.

I used to expect better from CNN. Of course, that was before Lou Dobbs starting telling lies in prime time and getting away with it. So now I’m dying to know which principles CNN thinks Muslims follow that Christians and Jews also follow, and which ones CNN thinks they don’t. CNN also leads us to think that Muslims believe in some crazy, alternative god named “Allah,” whose pronoun doesn’t get capitalized the way good old American God’s pronoun does.

CNN has several related articles on the page. Kind of a journalistic version of “scent layering,”* which a guy in my college speech class explained as he gave us all an Amway-style sales pitch as a class assignment.

I saw part of the story about the Muppet Show for Palestinian children the other day. Maybe I’ve gotten overly sensitive, but the vibe I got from what I saw was that Palestinian children are inherently prone to violence, probably due to their Arab genes, and need extra handling and guidance to guide them on the right path.

Daoud Kuttab, executive producer of “Shara’a Simsim,” knows that the Muppets are highly effective communicators. “Anything the Muppets do, anything they say, any idea they transmit, the children accept.”

An internationally respected Palestinian journalist, Kuttab began working with the show more than a decade ago. After covering the war-torn region for years, he realized that Sesame was a great way to reach Palestinian children who desperately needed an alternative to the harsh lessons they were absorbing.

“I would say 3-, 4-, 5-year olds — if we don’t catch them at that early age, we do risk losing them to all kinds of propaganda, whether it’s conservative, religious or fundamentalist,” Kuttab said.

Okay, I would argue that Palestinian children aren’t absorbing any worse lessons than Israeli children are. Different, sure. Palestinian children are seeing that they are second-tier human beings, and they can expect to spend their whole lives being pushed around, made to wait in interminable lines, walled off from their own property, arrested or shot for venturing outdoors, etc., but Israeli children are learning that apartheid is natural, that some people are far beneath others, and that disproportionate violence is the only way to deal with your unfounded fears.

“We are interested in teaching tolerance, respect, pride in their own country and their own nation, and also in understanding that there are people who are different, and that’s OK,” Kuttab said.

“Boys are a problem in our society. They see their parents being humiliated. They think they are the men of the house and have to do something about it. But they can’t do anything,” Kuttab said. “We’re trying to tell them, ‘your energy is OK, but let’s channel it in a different way.’ ”

Live-action segments introduce children to Palestinians who have channeled their energy into becoming teachers, doctors or business owners — people, Knell says, “who can act as role models, people who strive to remove themselves from the hardships children see.”

Sesame Workshop hopes to expand this type of localized programming into other areas that have witnessed recent conflict, such as Pakistan. Perhaps that means Iraq will get its own show someday and won’t have to hold on to someone else’s.

The bolding is mine. As far as I can see so far, this is the only acknowledgement in this entire Generation Islam cloud of “information” that the population of Gaza is in distress, and that those scary Muslims who might wish to do violence to us might have a reason for it. More information here would have done a world of good, CNN.

As for Shara’a Simsim, it’s basically nothing more than a new market for Sesame Street. At least it’s not Disney Princesses.

—-
*Off-topic plea: please go easy on the perfume and cologne. As in, I shouldn’t be able to smell your perfume or cologne unless I am snuggling you.

Leave a comment

Filed under arab, arabist, Islamic relations, movies and shows, pedantry, religious conflict

More and More Fanaticism

Thanks to all the lunatics coming out of the woodwork lately, I’ve added a lot to my Fanaticism page. So if you haven’t been there for a while, you’re missing some.

Leave a comment

Filed under miscellaneous, religious conflict

More Recent Crusades Talk

I’m still reading up on the Crusades. With two hundred years of history and a cast of thousands, it’s bound to take a while to get a good handle on it. (There were more than 200 years of Crusades all together, but I’m only dealing with the ones to the Arab world).

It’s becoming clearer and clearer why the people of the Levant thought of the Crusaders as barbarians. And this is so at odds with how the western world views the Crusaders that it’s kind of funny.

Over here we’re used to thinking of the Crusaders as admirable hero types. People to emulate.

From Wikipedia:

A June 2, 1944 message to Allied troops before the Normandy landings, began with General Eisenhower stating, “Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.” His later bestselling memoir was entitled Crusade in Europe.

[French General Henri Gourard] is remembered in the Levant primarily for this role, and for an attributed anecdote which portrays him as the epitome of Western triumphalism in the Middle East. After marching into Damascus in July 1920 to put down an anti-colonial rising, Gouraud is reputed have stood upon Saladin’s grave, kicked it and said: “The Crusades have ended now! Awake Saladin, we have returned! My presence here consecrates the victory of the Cross over the Crescent.”[3]

And there was also the Crusader 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer that the military stopped developing in 2002.

The Crusader self-propelled howitzer was being developed for the US Army as a replacement for the Paladin and the US Army requirement was expected to be for over 800 vehicles. In May 2002, the Crusader program was officially terminated by the Department of Defense because it was not considered sufficiently mobile or precise for the evolving security needs of the 21st century. In August 2002, United Defense received the formal termination which ends all further work on the program.

And whereas, predictably, I was able to find several high school sports teams in the US named the Crusaders, I also found a professional rugby team in England called the Saracens.

For earlier posts on the Crusades, see here and here.

Leave a comment

Filed under arab, arabist, religious conflict

The Crusades – Crescent & The Cross

I recently watched this History Channel three-hour movie. Before I rented it I read a couple dozen reviews on Netflix. It was funny how many reviewers were angry that it showed the Crusaders in a bad light some of the time. They felt the program dwelt more on the Crusaders bad behavior than the Muslims’. I took that with a grain of salt, because having already read The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf, I was already familiar with the Arab view of the Crusades.

I disagree with those reviewers. While the Crusaders were portrayed in a worse light than we are used to, the program wasn’t kind to the Muslims. First of all, every actor portraying a Muslim character was unattractive. Call me superficial, but I think a subtle thing like that makes a difference. What was weird was that I kept seeing actors who looked like attractive Arab men to me, but then it would turn out they were portraying Crusaders or Christians.

I’m sure most people who watched this program were surprised to hear of the cannibalism that occurred that at Ma’arra (معرة النعمان) an incident that was sandwiched between the wholesale slaughter of Antioch and the wholesale slaughter of Jerusalem. I was surprised myself when I read about, in fact, it didn’t even sink in until the second time I read it.

From Wikipedia:

One of the crusader commanders wrote to Pope Urban II: “A terrible famine racked the army in Ma’arra, and placed it in the cruel necessity of feeding itself upon the bodies of the Saracens.”[citation needed]

Radulph of Caen, another chronicler, wrote: “In Ma’arra our troops boiled pagan adults in cooking-pots; they impaled children on spits and devoured them grilled.”[1]

These events were also chronicled by Fulcher of Chartres, who wrote: “I shudder to tell that many of our people, harassed by the madness of excessive hunger, cut pieces from the buttocks of the Saracens already dead there, which they cooked, but when it was not yet roasted enough by the fire, they devoured it with savage mouth.”[2]

Many authors suggest that the crusaders’ behaviour was not really born of their hunger but fanatical belief that the Muslims were even lower than the animals.[citation needed] Amin Maalouf in his book The Crusades Through Arab Eyes points out the most crucial line for such belief among the Muslims: “Not only did our troops not shrink from eating dead Turks and Saracens; they also ate dogs!” by Albert of Aix.

The portrayal of Saladin seemed like a bit of a hatchet job. They portrayed him as a hale and hearty man, when the Arab historians say he was frail, and they skip over everything that leads to his being thrust into leadership of Cairo after the former strongman is killed, because he (Saladin) is perceived as the weakest of the possible choices and therefore the least threat. Then they allude to how Saladin’s rivals and enemies kept fortuitously dying, as if Saladin as a young lad was the evil genius behind this. It was reminiscent of the famous Clinton death list (I don’t know if this is the most up-to-date version, but I know there’s already an Obama version circulating).

The Arabs realize that Saladin got a lot of lucky breaks. But when Frederick Barbarossa, King of Germany, the most powerful Christian king ever to embark on a Crusade and a huge threat to Saladin, drowned in a freak accident while fording a river, even the most ambitious spinmeister couldn’t find a way to pin it on Saladin.

Speaking of whether the program portrayed the Crusaders unfairly, I found it interesting that the scene of Saladin’s soldiers cutting off the heads of Templars and Hospitallers after the battle of Hattin and the scene of Richard I’s soldiers cutting off the heads of 2,000 hostage Muslim soldiers were almost identical.

Wikipedia:

On Monday, July 6, two days after the battle, the captured Templars and Hospitallers were given the opportunity to convert to Islam. According to Imad al-Din, only a few accepted, although those that did became devout Muslims.

The executions (one of only two executions of prisoners ordered by Saladin) were by beheading. In an act of solidarity, many of the captured crusaders wrongly claimed to be Templar knights, forcing Saladin’s men to behead them as well [7]. Saint Nicasius, a Knight Hospitaller venerated as a Christian martyr, is said to have been one of the victims.[8]

“Saladin ordered that they should be beheaded, choosing to have them dead rather than in prison. With him was a whole band of scholars and sufis and a certain number of devout men and ascetics, each begged to be allowed to kill one of them, and drew his sword and rolled back his sleeve. Saladin, his face joyful, was sitting on his dais, the unbelievers showed black despair” – Imad ed-Din, Saladin’s Secretary [9]

That was in 1187. In 1191 (from Wikipedia):

Richard had kept 2,700 Muslim prisoners as hostages against Saladin fulfilling all the terms of the surrender of the lands around Acre. Philip, before leaving, had entrusted his prisoners to Conrad, but Richard forced him to hand them over to him. Richard feared his forces being bottled up in Acre, as he believed his campaign could not advance with the prisoners in train. He therefore ordered all the prisoners executed.

By beheading.

The program never even mentioned Saladin’s famous benevolence in sparing conquered people, which led to his eventual downfall.

You wouldn’t want this documentary be the only thing you know about the Crusades, but it does a pretty good job. After all, the Crusades in the Holy Land lasted almost two hundred years, and this was a three-hour program.

1 Comment

Filed under arab, arabian, arabist, movies and shows, religious conflict