Muslim Reactions to the Crusades

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


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


Middle East Thirteenth Century Muslim World Eleventh Century Islamic World 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

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  • Helen J. Nicholson

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