The Mother Of All Wars?
It was during the 7th century in the Middle East that Islam was born from the prophet Mohammad. In trying to advance this faith, Mohammad approached the Christians, who were just getting their own foothold with their religion, which was born 600 years earlier with the crucifixion of Jesus and the spread of the “gospel” by his 12 disciples.
Christianity, by this time, was fairly wide spread. Far more so than the Jewish religion which was largely confined to the various Jewish settlements around the world. Italy was now largely Catholic, as was the country we now know as England. Christian “missions” were found in the Middle East making converts in what we now know as Turkey, Lebanon and other countries in the region.
Both the Christians and the Jews basically said no to Mohammad so he went it alone and eventually triumphed in Mecca and other cities as documented in our piece on Islam.
In the ensuing several hundred years the faith of Islam spread like wildfire in the Middle East, Africa and even the Far East, overshadowing and dominating in some of those nations, which now include India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Singapore, much of Africa and almost all of the remaining Middle East nations such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Iran and Iraq.
The fact that the Muslims were now in-charge of the holy city Jerusalem and in the 11th century the Fatimid caliph Hakim began to persecute the Christians, plus Byzantine Emperor Alexius I, threatened by the Seljuk Turks, came to the Western civilization for aid, all contributed to worries about the Middle East and Islam in Chrisitian and political circles of the "Western" world. Around the end of the 11th century Pop Urban II encouraged the Christians under his charge to go to war to recover the Holy city and this became known as the first Crusade.
It should be well noted that what we now call "Christianity," the way of life as preached by Jesus to his disciples, called for tolerance and even love for your enemies. Jesus encouraged them to “turn the other cheek” when struck, although he also later instructed his disciples to buy one or two swords and to defend themselves if attacked, but he never told anyone to be aggressive or preach the gospel by way of the sword. In fact he told them that “those who lived by the sword would perish by the sword.”
This paradox of beliefs is no doubt a cornerstone in the extremist Islamic circles who view the West as serving the “devil.” Where are those Christian tenents preached by Jesus to love everyone and turn the other cheek?
All in all over several hundred years a multitude of “Crusades” were ordered out by the Catholic church leaders with mixed results. Sometimes the “Christian soldiers” would win, taking over a land or city, other times they would be defeated.
France, Germany, Bulgaria, England and others were all involved in the various excursions into the Middle East in an effort to “free Jerusalem.”
A lot of this activity probably helped to assure that Islam prevailed and converted followers in most of Asia Minor and parts of the Far East, which most of today’s Muslims reside – not the Middle East as so many “think.” The Arabic nations account for only about 20% of the Muslims in the world, the rest are found in Asia, Africa and North into the territory formerly held by the USSR, such as Bosnia, Georgia, etc.
It is the struggle for the city of Jerusalem and the wars fought over it for centuries that leads back to the “mother of all wars” with the first conflicts, be it between Islamics and the locals or Christian soldiers and the Islamic establishment.
Ultimately it was the Turks that prevailed in this region (perhaps one reason why the U.S. covets such a great relationship with Turkey today). The Turks defeated the Christians in the first and several other of the Crusades. The Turks were also at war with many Arabic nations, which eventually lead to an alliance with Great Britain in the 19th century, which proved somewhat disastrous for the Arabic states as the Jewish Zionist movement eventually persuaded Britain to legitimize a settlement in Palestine as we documented in out first issue with Crisis in Jerusalem which documents the great struggle and conflict between the Jewish Zionists (those Jews who advocate a homeland in Palestine for the state of Israel) and the entire Arab world who, as a majority, are now totally opposed to this concept, which is now supported largely by the United States who is a firm ally with Israel, the Jewish state in the Middle East.
The Arabs are largely Islamic. They oppose the state of Israel, not necessarily the Jewish religious practices (although these practices do include a Biblical reference to Israel and the “promised land” which is probably offensive to most Arabs and Islamics). Many Islamics apparently hold strong grudges against the Western world, Christians and to a degree the Jews for centuries of conflict in Palestine and the city of Jerusalem. For invasions, Crusades, lack of support for Islam and for supporting the Jewish state. Not all Muslims feel this fanatical, but an overwhelming majority would certainly like to see both the Jewish “settlers” and the U.S. presence in the Middle East totally removed. It is to this end that the fanatical “terrorists” or as some term them “freedom fighters” seek to bring about the ultimate solution to the problem in that region of the world.
This sets the stage for a faction of Islamics who position themselves dead set against both Christians, Jews and the Western World. While no one from either side has ever officially said it, the events that occurred between the 7th and 11th century probably make up the battle that can rightfully be called the “mother of all wars” between these factions.
War of Rhetoric | Osama bin Laden | About Islam | The Crusades
Terrorism | Saddam Hussein
Can We Survive? | Both Ways | Military Accountability | Government 1
Origin of Religion | We Cannot Lose To Racisim
From our past issues...
Prisoner Abuse | Court Martials | Military Way
History of Abuses | Under God? | Attack on US
WTC Comments | Interview with Soldier | Crisis In Jerusalem