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The reason I haven’t gone all out attacking Islamism in my art is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat. Grayson Perry, The Times 2007
The Pope proclaimed a new Holy War against Islam. For control of the most hallowed site in the Christian cosmos – the sacred city of Jerusalem. Dr Thomas Asbridge, The Crusades 1/3, BBC 2012
The story of the Crusades is remembered as a tale of religious fanaticism and unspeakable violence. Of medieval knights and Jihadi warriors. ibid.
From the summer of 1096 between sixty and a hundred thousand Christians – men, women and children – set out to walk some two and a half thousand miles. ibid.
The Pope created an anti-Islamic onslaught, peppered with propaganda. ibid.
I think most people joined this Crusade because they earnestly believed that the coming campaign would cleanse their souls of sin. ibid.
The Crusaders decided to divide their army in two. ibid.
Lack of water became a real issue. ibid.
Christian numbers were severely depleted by an epic journey. ibid.
The Muslim world finally appeared to unite. ibid.
The Muslim garrison was thrown into a state of utter confusion, and soon Antioch’s remaining gates were thrown open and the Crusaders poured in. In the half light of dawn a chaotic slaughter began. ibid.
The besiegers had become the besieged. ibid.
They overran the Holy City ... They unleashed a rampaging torrent of barbaric and indiscriminate slaughter. ibid.
The Crusaders were wading through their enemies’ blood. ibid.
In July 1192 Richard the Lionheart, King of England, valiant crusader knight, stood with his Holy Warriors preparing for a strike on Jerusalem. Thomas Asbridge, The Crusades 2/3: The Clash of Titans, BBC 2012
Jihad literally means struggle, but in the Middle Ages this could represent a fight against internal impurity or a sacred physical struggle – a Holy War, and its message could be spread by poetry. ibid.
Saladin was quickly becoming the premier Muslim leader in the East ... He united the disparate Muslim factions into a coherent army. ibid.
The Christian army marching in the height of summer was being led into a waterless killing zone. ibid.
Jerusalem was back in Muslim hands. ibid.
In June 1191 Richard the Lionheart sailed down the coast of Palestine. ibid.
The Third Crusade had achieved a categorical victory. ibid.
During Richard’s long absence from home his brother John had been plotting to take control of England. ibid.
Against his better judgment the Lionheart began a second advance having effectively lost control of his Crusade. ibid.
The Lionheart failed to lead the third Crusade to victory. ibid.
Two centuries of religious war. Dr Thomas Asbridge, The Crusades 3/3: Victory & Defeat
These Christian outposts were ruled by bickering warlords. ibid.
The power and wealth of the Hospitallers. This is a monument to rival anything in the Middle Ages ... Like their Templar brethren, they embraced the Crusading ideal. ibid.
Commercial contacts between East and West blossomed. ibid.
Louis was determined to bring Jerusalem back into the Christian fold. ibid.
Louis IX was the perfect Crusader king. ibid.
The Mongols and the Mamluks are the big players. ibid.
In twenty years Islam unites the warring tribes of Arabia. Mankind: The Story of All of Us IV, History Channel 2012
A Christian knight on a mission from God in the Holy Land waging war on Islam. ibid.
The Pope calls on Christians to take up arms. ibid.
The Crusades will continue for two centuries and will cost more than a million lives. ibid.
The Muslims had had a very clear idea of what the peoples of northern Europe were like. They were of the wrong religion, they were boorish, they were unhygienic, they were like lumbering animals. Professor Carole Hillenbrand, author The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives
There is no doubt on both sides of the historiography for this event that the crusaders were exceptionally bloodthirsty. The memory of the brutality of the crusaders is still with Muslims today. Professor Carole Hillenbrand
Saladin failed to remove the Crusaders permanently from Muslim soil. Professor Carole Hillenbrand
He allows the Crusaders to leave. Professor Carole Hillenbrand
The Templar Army began its gruesome desert march towards Tiberius without water or shelter. Weak and disorientated. That evening was when Saladin’s forces closed in to surround them. In the attack that followed ... it was the worst single military disaster in the Holy Land. The surviving Christian knights were sold into slavery. Decoding the Past s1e18: The Templar Code, History 2005
Saladin took the city a few months later. The Christians fought back under Richard the Lionheart, retaking the city in 1229. But held it only briefly. In 1244 the Turks recaptured Jerusalem, effectively bringing an end to Christian rule. ibid.
Two warriors came to prominence. Two warlords who would use Jihad as their rallying cry. Nur-ad-Din was a powerful leader who in 1146 took control of parts of what are now Syria and Jordan. A deeply religious man he immersed himself in the study of the Koran ... Nurd-ad-Din’s interpretation of Jihad resonated with his subjects who were eager to defeat the Europeans ... His deputy: a young warrior who was also a devout student of the Koran: his name was Saladin ... The reins of power were taken by Saladin who began immediately to plan an assault on Jerusalem ... The night before the assault the Muslims set the grass around the Crusader camp aflame. By dawn the Crusaders were enveloped in choking black smoke. As the sun rose over the battlefield the Islamic army attacked. After half a day of fierce battle in the searing heat the Crusader army lay devastated. This was a turning point in the history of the Crusades. Emboldened by his victory Saladin turned his attention to claiming Jerusalem. Decoding the Past: The Koran, 2006
Richard’s early encounter with Saladin’s forces resulted in decisive victories for the Christians. But taking Jerusalem proved much more difficult. Saladin’s armies were strong, and the open ground around the walled city made it difficult to mount an effective attack. The Muslims and the Christians were at a stalemate. On the 2nd September 1892 both sides agreed to a truce. ibid.
Of equal importance in the spiralling decline of the Islamic empires were external factors, in particular the growing power of Christian Europe. The last of the great Muslim empires was that of the Ottomans. The heartland of the Ottoman empire was Turkey. It began its rise to power in the fifteenth century, and eventually its armies reached the gates of Vienna. It was here in 1683 that European forces decisively halted Islamic expansion. For two months 200,000 soldiers fought each other outside the city walls. In the end the Ottoman army was defeated. ibid.
Out of the deserts of Arabia was about to burst forth a new revelation that would change the course of human history and transform the face of Jerusalem – the new revelation was Islam. Simon Sebag Montefiore, Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City 1/3: Judgement Day 1/3 BBC 2011