Staving Off Christian Crusades Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Reading Type: Essay Paper: #36233529 Related Topics: Christian Leadership, Jerusalem, Syria, Christian
Excerpt from Essay :

Islam's View Of The Crusades

Saladin could quite easily be the single most important Muslim figure chronicled in Paul Cobb's The Race for Paradise (an Islamic History of the Crusades). His significance is both historical and contemporary; in the case of the latter, it is quite clear that his actions still reverberate today. From a historical perspective, it is evident what the most major accomplishment Saladin achieved was: he was able to reclaim the city of Jerusalem from the invading Franks in 1187. This fact has immense importance, largely attributed to the eminence surrounding this particular city in both Muslim and Christian cultures. Historically, then, Saladin is regarded as one of the greatest leaders in the history of medieval Islam due to the fact that he was able to do what scant few other Muslim leaders could do: defeat the Franks in battle and actually send them scurrying away. As such, it is quite natural that this leader is also revered historically from his military prowess -- which is quite often a key facet in the esteem that a leader has, particularly one that encounters foreign cultures as Saladin did with the Franks.

Saladin's modern legend is informed by a couple of different facets of his historical depiction. However, the significance of his historical actions is somewhat different when viewed through a contemporary lens. The reason that Saladin was largely able to recapture Jerusalem was because during his reign, there was a degree of unification within that part of the Muslim world that had been difficult to achieve beforehand. Thus, in modern times Saladin is lauded for uniting the Muslims against the Franks, and presenting a unified front against what some regarded as a common foe in the Turks. Unifying the various factions and in-fighting that had historically categorized Muslim resistance (and which played no small role in the achievements the Franks were able to effect during the Crusades), is the part of Saladin's modern legacy for which he is roundly identified with and denoted for in contemporary times.

Saladin's actions in the 12th century reverberate...

...

There were many Muslims who considered the Crusades just the latest events in a series of the min which Europeans tried to conquer their land and alter their way of life in the process. There are some individuals -- both in Occidental culture and in Muslim culture -- that believe that the purported War on Terror is merely a continuation of this proclivity on the part of Westerners. In that respect, Saladin's actions are seen as those of a champion's for the simple fact that he was able to overthrow the Westerners that invaded the Middle East. Quite likely, there are Muslims today who wish they could overthrow the presence of Westerners in the Middle East the way that Saladin did in the 12th century. Consequently, Saladin's actions are likely idealized and an example of what some Muslims might wish could take place in modern times.

In more than one instance, Muslim communities that found themselves under Christian ruled as a result of the success of the Franks in the Crusades actually allied themselves with their invader. Significantly, these alliances engendered situations in which Muslims living in occupied territories actually engaged in warfare with other Muslims -- for the express purpose of defending the Franks and the territory which these Europeans had effectively stolen in the middle east. The author of the Race for Paradise denotes that this sort of "alliance-making" (Cobb 32) was not uncommon for Muslim communities in the Mediterranean Basin who found…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Cobb, Paul M. The Race for Paradise (an Islamic History of The Crusades). Oxford: Oxford University Press: Oxford. 2014. Print.


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