After the First Crusade – Jihad Resumes (1 of 2)


UI – Part 599 – After the First Crusade – Jihad Resumes  (1 of 2)

An “Unforeseen and Ironic aspect of the Crusades is that a distorted and demonized version of them (the Crusades themselves) was eventually disseminated in and continues to haunt the West– while exonerating ongoing Muslim aggression as”payback”– to this very day” (pg. 163, Sword & Scimitar) 

Jerusalem Held By the Templars

Christians, thankful to the Crusaders, held Jerusalem as territory for over 88 years, following its conquest over the Seljuk Jihadist Muslims, in 1099.  Half that period was reasonably peaceful.  The Christians were welcoming of Muslims, allowing them to live within the walls and worship.  But the freedoms offered by the Christians for citizens, the common law practices, did not fit the Islamist agenda of control, Sharia, and restrictions Muslims must abide by, submitting as they must, to Islam. Outside factions, Islamic, fought each other, lands occupied by the Seljuks, and desired by the Abbasids, their base Baghdad.  Saladin became their leader.  From Egypt and the lands of Fatimid Muslims Saladin took it upon himself to overtake Seljuk areas that included Syria.  He was successful. By 1182 the Crusader areas in Palestine and Jerusalem became Saladin’s objective.  He wanted this holy area for Islam. 

Crusader kingdoms to include Edessa were retaken.  By 1144, the jihad of Islam was re-ignited.  The Second Crusade formed to counter the loss.  The Muslim leader, Nur al-Din, a Sufi, was devout and had a zeal for Islamic education, building mosques and madrassas, to radicalize his subjects. Subjects were trained as warriors also. Saladin followed (his name, ‘Righteousness of Islam’). Saladin found justification to renege on a treaty with the crusader kingdoms. Skirmishes during the intervening years accomplished very little.  But then, over 50,000 fighters faced each other in 1187 at Nazareth. The Battle of Hattin ensued. The Christians were routed. “All captive Templars and Hospitallers – at least one hundred warrior-monks sworn to defend the Sepulcher of Christ to their dying breath” (pg. 159, S&S) were ordered beheaded.  It was then too the fate of the True Cross was sealed – it disappeared.   

Jerusalem readily fell. “Saladin reestablished Sharia; churches were pillaged and vandalized; their bells were silenced, their crosses broken off” (pg. 160, S&S).

Timelines 

There were 9 Crusades, not all successful.  The period of the Crusades from the first, lasted 208 years.  From France to England, Germany and others helping, new Popes and new leaders, calls for help to retain Jerusalem and areas hard won by the early Crusaders brought new forces by land and sea to the holy land and surrounding area, including Egypt. 

  • 1099 – Crusaders take Jerusalem – Pope Urban II provided indulgence. First Crusade.
  • 1128 – Pope Honorius II approved military order of Knights of Templar. 
  • 1144 – Edessa, a crusader kingdom, captured by Seljuk Muslims. Second Crusade to begin. 
  • 1160-1171 – Saladin (Sunni) takes charge of Fatimid (Shi’a) Caliphate in Egypt. Many skirmishes with the Crusaders occurred on his path towards Egypt. He established the Ayyubid dynasty (Syria to Egypt).  
  • 1187 – Battle of Hattin (most decisive battle between Christian and Muslim). Major turning point with Muslim powers, resuming strength.  Crusader force largely annihilated.
  • 1189 – Saladin takes Jerusalem. Pope Victor III, it is said, died in grief due to fall of Jerusalem.  Third Crusade organized.  King Richard to lead.
  • 1190 – Christians recaptured Acre and Jaffa, not Jerusalem.
  • 1191 – Templars establish a base in Cyprus. 
  • 1192 – Treaty of Jaffa, allows Christians to visit Jerusalem. 3 year truce with Saladin.  Muslim controlled. Focus of crusaders (3rd) was wrong area (Damietta).  Their pious zeal upset al-Kamal. He moved north. Crusaders stuck in Damietta for 2 years. Areas to the north were losing to the Muslims. Richard (Lionheart) left, but was held captive (18 months) by Henry VI for ransom.
  • 1193 – Saladin died in Damascus, Syria. (Saladin did greatest damage to crusaders).
  • 1202-1204 – Innocent II launched the Fourth Crusade.  Set out for Jerusalem, diverted to Constantinople, then looted.  
  • 1217-1219 – Focus on Damietta (on the Mediterranean) was that of the Fifth Crusade, and Egypt, supply routes for Muslims to Jerusalem.  Progress stalled. 
  • 1220 – 1229 –  Secular Holy Roman Emperor sailed to holy lands, but Church had excommunicated him. (Frederick II Hohenstaufen). Created loggerheads between Templar’s and Teutonics, but achieved success. Restored much of the crusader kingdoms. 
  • 1229 – Agreement between Frederick (Holy Roman Emperor) and “al-Kamal (Sultan to Egypt) gave Holy City and Holy Sepulcher to Christian’s, while Temple Mount remained Muslim
  • governance” (pg. 231, TT).
  • 1230-1240 – Period of relative calm
  • 1238 – Sultan al-Kamal died. Mamluks (Khwarizmian Turks) gained strength. 
  • 1241-1244 – Muslim access to Jerusalem restricted. Christians gained access to Temple Mount. 
  • 1244 – Marauding Turks (from Persia & central Asia) and Mongols arrive. 7000 men and women massacred in Holy City.
  • 1244 – La Forbie – major battle between Christians and Mamluk-Egyptians – Over 300 Templar’s died.  Lost. Military disaster, with captives incarcerated or taken away to be slaves. 
  • 1244-1248 – From deathbed to leading an army. Louis IX leaves France for the Holy Lands. Sets sail with Parisian Templars. Seventh Crusade. Cyprus became their supply base.  Damietta and Egypt his primary target. 
  • 1246 – Sultan of Egypt regains control of Jerusalem from the Kwarizmians.
  • 1249 – Louis IX sets sail from Cyrus towards Egypt. Battles into Egypt failed.  Louis IX taken prisoner.  Ransom – 2 years royal (France) revenue – a ‘king’s ransom.’
  • 1250 – Mamluk Sultan (Baybar) takes control of Egypt. Ayyubid dynasty weakened after 80 years.  King’s ransom paid. Jerusalem a vulnerable kingdom, no head (king). Louis IX arrives in surrounds, but not Jerusalem – still held by Muslims. 
  • 1254 – Louis IX left Acre for France.  Led a pious life thereafter.  (Became a Saint). (Last of the great Crusader Kings).  Support for the Templars began to wane.
  • 1258 – Mongols sacked Baghdad
  • 1259-1261 – Mongols and Mamluks battled each other.  At Galilee in 1260 Mamluks won decisively. 
  • 1260-1277 – Baybars (Mamluks), Sunni Muslims, ruled eastern Mediterranean. With little resistance Baybar took other Templar strongholds, including Antioch.  By 1268 only county of Tripoli and Cyprus remained in Templar hands.
  • 1270-1274 – Groups came to see how to aide the Christians, only to find areas no longer strong enough to support.  
  • 1275 – Request for a tenth Crusade receives no response. Pilgrims in Acre and other areas attacked. Remaining crusaders move to Cyprus.  
  • 1303 – Holy Land lost

All Crusades had Jerusalem as their objective.  The favor and support of Western Kings (Europe), and Popes, and the special status accorded the Templars was essential to raising money and having volunteers join the force. 

  • First Crusade – 1095-1099.  Took Jerusalem.  A success.
  • Second Crusade – 1144 – came by ship. Could not recapture Edessa. A failure.
  • Third Crusade – 1189-1192 – Restored Christian territories. Acre, Jaffa, but not Jerusalem.  Failure.  King Richard led. Richard spent 10 months of his 10 year reign as King of England in England (1189-1199). Pope Gregory VIII supported. (Wikipedia: Richard and Saladin finalized the Treaty of Jaffa, which granted Muslim control over Jerusalem but allowed unarmed Christian pilgrims and merchants to visit the city).*
  • Fourth Crusade – 1202-1204 – Time spent in Constantinople.  Divisions over control of Empire.  Did not get to Jerusalem.  Failure.  Pope Eugene II was upset that Holy Land was ignored. Called for a return of forces. 
  • Fifth Crusade –   1217-1221 – Egypt, Ayyuhid Caliphate became target. 4th Sultan al-Kamal of Mamluks defeated crusaders.  Innocent III – Pope (succeeded by Honorius III). Stalemate at Damietta. Never got to Jerusalem. Templar master – William of Chartres, succeeded by Peter of Montaigu. .  – Failure
  • Sixth Crusade – 1228-1229 – Brief.  Led by Frederick II (Holy Roman Emperor). More diplomatic maneuvering.  Regained control of Jerusalem (1229-1239, by treaty; 1241-1244). Success. 
  • Seventh Crusade – 1248-1254 – In the midst of Mongol (Ghegis Kahn) invasion. Took Jerusalem in 1244. Returned control to Muslims. Egypt was object of this crusade.  Popularity of crusades, financial support from Europe, on the wane. Louis IX led. Failure. 
  • Eighth Crusade – 1270 – Louis IX led again. Against Egypt. Detoured to Tunis and died there. Failure.
  • Ninth Crusade – 1271-1272 – Military expedition to the Holy Land. Spirit of the crusades was lost as Edward I returned to be King of England (to fight the Scots, Robert the Bruce). Failure.
  • Tenth Crusade – never happened. Crusader strongholds fell. Sultan (Bayber – from Mamluks) took charge.  Crusader fortresses fell one by one.  In 1268 Antioch was lost. Muslims were recovering areas and returning to their unkind ways towards Christians. 

There were attempts, at least discussions, as to future Crusades as the Turks continued to ply their killing and marauding trade towards the West, towards Europe.  But battles between Kings and want for territory by the French or the English or the Germans or the Belgiums, et al, consumed the energies of the monarchs and their armies.  Little was done to build a united, trained and equipped army to fight invasion by Islamic hoards.  It was felt the Holy War was far away, with Jerusalem the main feature.  A great failing of the Christian West was internal struggles with orthodoxy, as well as familiar battles for hegemony.  Understanding Islam was secondary to their personal needs and wants.  The people remained as subjects.  The subject was never a world all for Allah and what it truly meant.  The aggressive actions and constant warring by vile, hate-fueled Jihadists was known.  Only as it came closer to home, after the initial Crusades, did leaders awaken to the potential consequences.

…..to be Continued in two days.

Grace and Peace

Note:  In a series of this blog, Understand-Islam.com, the historically aggressive nature of Islam is discussed.  A historical narrative is provided.  I give the inspiration and much of the factual references to the credit of Raymond Ibrahim, his book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War Between Islam and the West, Publisher: Da Capo Press, Hachette Book Group, New York, NY, 2018.  His quotes are noted by page, and “S&S.”  Another book, by Dan Jones, The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors, Publisher: Penguin Books, NY, NY, 2017, noted by page and “TT,”  although directly referenced less, still provided much critical analytical understanding of events related to the Christian Crusades. I thank both of these authors.

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