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Historian counters myths about the Crusades

April 26, 2011

Writing for The Intercollegiate Review, Paul Crawford, a history professor at Alma College, counters four myths about the Crusades:

  • “The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world”
  • “Western Christians went on crusade because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in order to get rich”
  • “Crusaders were a cynical lot who did not really believe their own religious propaganda; rather, they had ulterior, materialistic motives”
  • “The crusades taught Muslims to hate and attack Christians”
  • References:

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    • Posted by: bnewman - Apr. 26, 2011 9:57 PM ET USA

      I believe that Muslims cared little about the Crusades until the 19th century, when European countries provided a romanticized imperialistic narrative of them, to provide a gloss on their own imperial ambitions. Muslim countries rightly opposed any such an account, though not realizing it to be unhistorical.

    • Posted by: Cornelius - Apr. 26, 2011 7:33 AM ET USA

      The Crusades were tactically offensive, but strategically defensive.