- Pathfinder

Reply To: How should we deal with the topic of the Crusades, both in our own thinking and in engagement with Muslims?

Janae Robinson

Overall, Christians and Muslims need to give each other grace about our past, work toward a future where both groups respect, and advocate for religious freedom for all. Personally, I need to become more educated on the Crusades. I have been raised in non-denominational churches and went to public schools. Throughout my time in Israel, I was made aware how little I know of Christian history. Most of that, I admit, was because I don’t or didn’t, (not sure where I land on this topic,) see the history of the Orthodox and Catholic churches as my own. The church I work at and am a member of is 70 years old and that is the Christian history I have grown up claiming. To go back to the question, education and the willingness to call out the wrong doing of both sides while acknowledging the reasoning of both sides is important. Realizing that both sides thought they were in the right is important in how we engage with Muslims. If we can agree that both sides did bad things and thought they were right, we lay the groundwork to have real conversations about our differences that start from a place of respect, not playing a circular blame game that does nothing to forward positive engagement. However, we cannot just call out where Christians were wrong in the Crusades, but where Muslims were wrong too. Giving Muslims a pass for bad Christian actors during the Crusades does not excuse their bad actions either.