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HISTORIAN REBUTS COLUMNISTS' ISLAM
By Rev. Austin Miles
Special to ASSIST News Service
CALIFORNIA (ANS) -- In what might be conceived
as an attempt to justify the attack on America by Islamic
Jihad forces, Armstrong Williams, in his column distributed
by Tribune Media Services titled: Three Religions Hijacked
(Antioch Press, 11/01 issue) stated:
On or about 1095, Pope Urban II organized
a holy war against Islam. Driven by the goal of uniting
the European Empire under one identity, one religion, one
pope, Christian soldiers promptly spent the next 196 years
butchering Muslims in distant lands.
He went on to write:
Since these soldiers
were ostensibly defending Christian ideals, in rhetoric,
though plainly not in truth, Pope Urban II reasoned that
the crusades would be pleasing to God.
The only thing butchered in this event was
Williams' account of its history. The Christian Crusades
began only after over 458 years of horrific attacks on
Christians, their monasteries and the Vatican itself by
After Islamic forces attacked and conquered
Jerusalem and took over its Holy sites, the Catholic Church
responded with the Crusades.
Here is an authentic history of Islam and
the Crusades: Muhammad received his 'vision' on Mount Hira
in 610 AD. In 624 he married the 10- year old daughter
of Abu Bekr, who was named, Aisha. The following year,
625, he began dictating what would become known as the
Within four years after organizing Islam,
the (real) slaughters began. Muhammad's forces captured
Mecca. Muhammad wrote letters to all of the world's rulers
explaining the principals of the Moslem faith. Persia was
invaded and conquered, causing its leaders to appeal to
China for help against Islamic terrorism.
Muhammad's forces captured Gaza and in 637,
they invaded and conquered Jerusalem. They next attacked
Armenia (639), Tripoli (642), and Cyprus in 649.
Muslims, on a rampage, invaded and conquered
city after city, threatening civilization itself, creating
a living nightmare for their victims.
Not only did the Muslims conquer entire areas
like Sicily (878), making Palermo their capital, they had
begun systematic attacks on monasteries after they attacked
and damaged the Vatican in 846. This prompted Pope Leo
IV to build the Leonine wall around the Vatican to protect
it from future attacks from Islamic warriors.
In 1009 the Mohammedans sacked the Holy Sepulcher
in Jerusalem. The attacks and need for defense did not
let up. Christians everywhere were being killed.
The Catholic Church could no longer sit and
allow itself to be destroyed by this Jihad. St. Gregory
VII had planned to organize a crusade in answer to anguished
appeals from the shaky Eastern Empire but the fight over
lay investiture had prevented him from doing so. Now Pope
Urban II had no other choice but to take action against
Under his direction, the Crusades began in
1096. The Christian Knights were correctly called, The
Defenders of The Faith. The first order of business was
to recover the Holy Sepulcher of Christ that had been seized
by Islamic Jihad warriors.
Williams' misleading Islamic history might
be understandable since propaganda had worked its way into
history and public discussions would represent that the
Catholic Church wanted world dominion and the Muslims were
the victims. And this misinformation was possibly implanted
in the mind of Williams who believed it to be a true account.
An example is an article titled, War: A Muslim
Perspective, published in Christian History (10/05/01).
Islamic historian, Hadia Dajani-Shakeel who is also co-editor
of The Jihad and Its Times (Michigan, 1991), stated:
In 1095, Pope Urban
II staged a massive military invasion of the Muslim East.
That invasion and occupation caused the forced expulsion,
conversion or enslavement of the Muslim majority.
Notice the total absence of the events leading
up to that action. It was this deceptive view of history
that Armstrong Williams propagated. While it would be understandable
that Dajani-Shakeel had an agenda that would be furthered
by passing off this revised history, Williams' agenda is
He not only misrepresented the Catholic role
in the Crusades, but he went further by using the inflammatory
word, "butchering" on the part of the Christian
Crusaders who had no choice but to vigorously defend the
church and Christianity. Self- defense is not butchery.
Crashing airplanes into buildings killing thousands of
innocent people and hacking Christians to death around
the world is.
If Williams, like too many others, are trying
to be diplomatic and make nice, then this is political
correctness gone mad.
While Christians in such Muslim dominated
countries as Indonesia, Malaysia, Sudan, Nigeria, as well
as the Philippines, which is facing an Islamic terrorist
group, are being slaughtered and beheaded in the market
places as this is being written, as well as planned new
attacks upon America, Armstrong Williams has given the
enemy ammunition to carry on by proclaiming that it was
all started by the Catholic Church that wanted to annihilate
Muslims and dominate as a world religion. This would support
the Islamic notion of defending the faith against infidels.
This war declared by the Muslims against
the Catholic Church became a war against Christians in
general and anyone else who was a non-Muslim.
To dissent and state an opinion is one thing, but to distort history
and present so-called facts, which could stir up radicals to increase
their rampages against innocent people by giving them a reason to do
so, including their attacks on America itself, is not on.
First Amendment Rights and political correctness
does not apply here.
This is not a blanket defense of the Catholic
Church. They have been guilty of atrocities of their own.
This is not one of them. The church exercised extraordinary
restraint for over 458 years before finally organizing
the Crusades and fighting back.
With a more careful look at
accurate historical accounts,
world events can be sorted
out more effectively and better
decisions can be implemented
for the future.
Rev. Austin Miles is a
chaplain and historian. He has lectured on Circus History
at the prestigious New York Museum of Natural History,
the Staten Island Museum and lecture halls throughout New
England. He was also the historical narrator for the Royal
Lipizzan Stallion Show in its tours throughout the U.S.,
Canada, Alaska, Mexico and Puerto Rico. He was a writer-researcher
and technical consultant for the multi-award winning TV
series, Ancient Secrets of The Bible and is listed in the
Who's Who Historical Encyclopedia. He can be contacted
by e-mail at Chaplainmiles@aol.com.
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