Muslim Reactions to the Crusades

  • Helen J. Nicholson
Part of the Palgrave Advances book series (PAD)

Abstract

No event, certainly none before Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, has seared modern Islamic consciousness and unified the modem Arabic-Islamic world as have the crusades. Whereas some Arab scholars may debate the value of the Napoleonic incursions and their rippling effects of modernization and westernization, nearly all Arabs, regardless of religious affiliation, oppose the crusades and impugn their perceived expansionist politics and religious extremism. Even today, more than seven centuries after the last crusading remnants ignominiously left Acre, the words ‘crusader’, ‘carriers of the Cross’, ‘Saladin’, ‘Hattin’ and ‘Jerusalem’ still inflame emotions and stir anti-western sentiments.2 Constantly evoked by politicians, journalists, preachers and scholars, these events and personalities resonate widely among Arab populations as they are invariably linked with contemporary problems of colonialism, Zionism, exploitation and the need for liberation.3

Keywords

Europe Syria Egypt Defend Verse 

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Notes

  1. 2.
    See, for example, K. Armstrong, Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Todays World (New York, 2001), juxtaposing historical events against the recent and contemporary situation in Israel: see especially pp. vii-ix, the preface to the new edition, and pp. 531–39. See also the briefer discussion of this phenomenon in scholarly literature by C. Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (Edinburgh and New York, 1999), especially pp. 4–5 and 589–616.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
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    For example, the ‘International Conference on Crusade’ organized by the Turkish Historical Society in Istanbul, 23–25 July 1997. The proceedings were published as: Uluslararasi Haflh Seferlerli Sempozyumu, 23–25 Haziran 1997. Istanbul. (AKDTYK Turk Tarih Kumuru yayinlari, XXVI. Dizi.Sa. 8) (Ankara, 1999).Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

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  • Helen J. Nicholson

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