- Pathfinder

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

Benjamin Wearp

We should first seek to have our own solid understanding of the Crusades. It’s important to know the history; the motivations behind, and consequences of, the different Crusades. Were they religious wars or more struggles between two competing powers?

Christians should also study the Crusades in order to know and acknowledge the harm wrought by Crusaders, particularly in their treatment of Jews.

This course taught me the importance of understanding the way Muslims view the Crusades. At the same time highlighting awareness that the perceived historical grievance of Christian seizure of Islamic “waqf” is often exploited in modern times to justify violent attacks on Western Civilization. We need to look at how Muslims of the past viewed the Crusades, versus the common rhetoric of today.

A proper understanding of the Crusades, and how Muslims view them can open new opportunities for dialogue. It can also give us a better understanding of which people are seeking good-faith dialogue and those who are only committed to a destructive narrative.