Van E. Harl

CRUSADE, YES, FOR YOUR FREEDOM, FOR YOUR LIFE

“This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while” stated President Bush in one of his first speeches after the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

The European press picked up on what they consider a loaded term, because it brings up memories of the Christian wars of invasion into the Muslim middle-east. Those seven campaigns from 1095 to 1291 that were alleged to be unprovoked attacks on a people, who wanted nothing more than to practice their Islamic religion of peace. Of course the American press had to jump onto the band wagon. We were continually reminded of the barbarous and oh-so-ever unjust military operations by Knights from northern Europe, who openly challenged the sword of Islam.

Muslim extremist attacked the US and then are offended that something looking like and sounding like a crusade may be headed their way. Thousands of innocent civilians and military members were killed by the hostile religious acts of Islamic radicals, but these terrorists are concerned about counter attacks, that some may call a crusade.

According to Dr. Siddiqui head of the Muslim Parliament in Britain (they have their own parliament?) He stated “If they (US) end up killing innocent civilians it will be very unfair.” Not a lot of fairness was shown to the innocent folks in the Twin Towers. Both sides need to stop and look a little deeper and farther back in history to the open warfare between Christians and Muslims.

A relative who has a strong background in genealogy sent me information that traced our family line back to Emperor Charlemagne (747-814 AD). I have a feeling the family lineage would not hold up to DNA testing, but let’s assume for a moment the information is correct. As interesting as it might be to have Charlemagne as a great (many times removed) grandfather, it is in fact Charlemagne’s own grandfather that is truly more important to the history and freedom of Christian Europe and wherever those countries spread out to the new world. His grandfather was Charles “the hammer” Martel (686-741 AD).

What the Muslims fail to mention when they complain about the crusades of 1095-1291 is the fact that the sword of Islam had already conquered Northern Africa and Spain. The plan was to move on to, what is now, France, and then eventually take all of Northern Europe. Martel was the first European military leader to mount a successful defense against an Islamic army. He stopped them at the Battle of Tours (France) in 732 AD and after three major conflicts with the Moor’s, he forever kept them out of Europe. European students still study the importance of the Battle of Tours and it is compared to the US battles of Valley Forge or Gettysburg.

It took Hispanic Christians seven centuries to remove the Moors/Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal). Martel was able to convince the Church to back his army, something that had not happened since the days of the Roman Legions. His request for Papal help was based on the fact the church could give him the money needed to raise an army to defend Gaul or they could wait to have the Muslim army take it all from them and also their heads, they way the Moors had done in Spain. Even after the Moors were removed from Spain the Muslims were trying to enter Europe from the south through the Balkans and made it to the gates of Vienna before Christian Knights from Poland stopped them for good.

Modern Europeans, I believe, are tired of war. They have been fighting each other for so many centuries that they just want to live in their “peaceful” world of social welfare. The problem is, it is not one European nation attacking another like in the old days, it is an outside religious force that demands you submit or be destroyed. The concern for living the good life of Europe is you do not want that life interrupted by yet another war. And that little messy Muslim-Christian punch-up down in the Balkans back in the mid 1990s was a prelude to what could happen on a larger scale.

I do understand the European’s fears of another war. Yes, we lost over three thousand Americans on 9/11 but many countries in Europe have lost entire cities in one day. At what price do we avoid a clash of civilizations for our freedom? There is no freedom under Islam, religious or otherwise.