On November 27, 1095, the French Pope Urban ll convoked a great church council held at Clermont, France. Before a crowd of thousands, Urban protested that the Turks were occupying the Holy Land, were defiling Christian holy places and molesting Christian pilgrims. He then urged that all Christendom join together in a holy war-a great crusade to recapture the Holy Land for Christianity. But Urban’s motives were not just to take over Jerusalem and Christianize it. He pointed out that the Holy Land was fruitful and wealthy, far richer than the overcrowded lands of Christian Europe. The Pope also announced that participation in the crusade would take the place of all penances and assure the crusader forgiveness for all his sins.
Urban’s speech appealed to his listeners’ religious and selfish motives. Within a few months, the First Crusade was under way and was followed by a long series of holy wars which took place over a span of approximately 200 years. Deus Le Volt, meaning, God Wills It, became the battle cry of the Crusaders.
Besides the pillage and plunder of the Holy Land, the Crusades brought western Europe into close contact with the Byzantine and Islamic civilizations which were considerably more advanced than western Europe. This contact was extremely beneficial and paved the way for the Renaissance which in turn led to the full flowering of modern European civilization.
The First Crusade became an excuse to unleash savage attacks on the indigenous inhabitants of the Holy Land. The siege of Jerusalem culminated in a bloody and destructive Christian victory in July 1099, where many of the inhabitants were massacred and Jews were burned in their synagogue. Some Crusaders envisioned the creation of a permanent Christian presence in the Holy Land and a place to build feudal states where they could transplant their military culture as well as carve out fortunes from the new frontier.
Judged by military standards, the Crusades were a failure. However, many scholars give the Crusades credit for making Western Europe more cosmopolitan. They believed that due to the Crusades, Western Europe was exposed to higher standards of medicine and learning, of Greek and Muslim culture and to the luxuries of silks, spices and oranges. The Crusades in essence took Europe out of the Dark Ages.
In 1187, Saladin, the Kurdish Muslim leader from Takrit, Iraq, (Salah ad-din Yusuf) recaptured Jerusalem. The Crusades were disgraceful but formative events in Western history. They were devastating for the Muslims of the Near East.
Though the Crusades of long ago ended in Western Christendom’s defeat, they have been replaced with the neo-Crusaders, who are atheist, heartless Western Imperialists in a Middle East that is more fertile and wealthier than ever before. In an age of de-colonization, the neo-Crusaders are everywhere. They are more subtle, less visible, but they still plunder and pillage not only the Holy Land but also the entire Middle East. They are aided and abetted by Zionist Israel, the monster that the American Frankenstein created, and by the puppet tyrants that the American Imperialists supplant as leaders of the helpless Arab masses. Deus Le Volt must be the battle cry of brave new leaders like Saladin of old or Tariq Bin Ziad.