Ouachita Baptist University

The Islamic View of the Crusades and Why It Matters: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

In July 1096 rumors of an approaching army unsettled the inhabitants of Asia Minor. Spies brought news of a motley horde of knights and foot-soldiers accompanied by thousands of raggedy woman and children all wearing on their backs crosses made from strips of cloth. This paper will address the developing Islamic perception of what became known as “the Crusades” from the beginning through the Third Crusade. Contemporary perspectives and Islamic sensitivity to the term “Crusades” in today’s political climate will also be examined. This paper will suggest that perhaps more than any of the ideological determinants, the Crusaders themselves impacted Islamic consciousness, and as history has shown — Islamic memory.

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