Saturday, February 14, 2015


One of the more interesting aspects of the currently evolving discourse on Islam and the West is the renewed focus, in various online media, on the Crusades. These days, the Crusades are viewed negatively by most people, including scholars—they are seen as one of the greater (greatest?) faux pas of corporate Christianity. But a series of articles has come out, arguing forcefully that this was not and has never been the case.

I'm currently reading and digesting these articles, one of which is here; another is here. Once I've done a bit of reading, I might get back to you with some thoughts of my own, but for now, this is "be silent and pay attention" time.

I can, however, say this: the articles are in response to a long-standing "metanarrative" that allows West-blamers to blame the West for various ills whose consequences have echoed down through the centuries. One of the more basic questions in the Islam/West debate is the extent to which old Muslim grievances are justified. This is an important question; a similar question fuels the acrimonious relationship between Israel and Palestine: who started it?


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