Resurrecting the Spirit of the Crusades
Former American President Jimmy Carter set off a hornet’s nest of controversy this week when he engaged Hamas in a series of meetings. Carter’s imprudent actions—motivated by a virulent anti-Israel bias—will surely embolden the terrorist group. They deserve sharp condemnation.
But they aren’t half as menacing as the fiery sermon delivered last Friday by prominent Hamas preacher Yunis al-Astal.
“Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was,” preached al-Astal on Hamas-sponsored television. “Today, Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam. This capital of theirs will be an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe” (emphasis mine throughout).
Western leaders and media barely looked twice at al-Astal’s bone-chilling diatribe!
We ought to be paying more attention to this man’s statement. Why? Because it shows us radical Islam is resurrecting the spirit of the Crusades! Reporting on Carter’s treasonous actions in the context of this sermon would make for a powerful story: Carter isn’t merely embracing a dangerous Middle East terrorist group, he is essentially endorsing and legitimizing an organization whose ideological and religious goal is to start World War iii!
It’s too easy to fall into the trap of thinking selfishly and too short-term about radical Islamic terrorism. Too many think Hamas’s primary goal is to annihilate Israel. Such thinking makes it easy to downplay or ignore men like al-Astal when they incite broader international conflict. Thus, we compartmentalize Hamas as Israel’s problem.
But it’s not. Radical Islam, which is sponsored by Iran, threatens to spark a conflict that will affect every person on Earth!
Re-read al-Astal’s sermon. This die-hard Islamist is talking about radical Islam creating a vortex of violence that will suck in nations on every continent. Once Rome is sacked, he says, it will become an “advanced post” for Islamic conquests throughout Europe, Britain and America.
He’s talking bringing violence to your doorstep!
But why Rome?
Al-Astal didn’t haphazardly single out Rome, nor was he talking about Islam conquering the newly elected Italian government of Silvio Berlusconi. His remarks—dripping with hatred that has brewed for generations—were aimed directly at Rome’s longest lasting and most imperialistic inhabitant: the Vatican.
The Crusades were a series of Vatican-sponsored wars during which tens of thousands of Muslim (among others) men, women and children were viciously slaughtered, tortured and raped by “Christian” soldiers operating under the banner of a red cross. Islamic fury has been smoldering ever since.
Today, Muslims are emboldened and possess more influence than ever. Now there are hundreds of Muslim clerics on the planet like al-Astal, many in Western states such as Britain, preaching war-mongering messages of revenge for what the Catholics did during the Crusades. Last month, Osama bin Laden released his latest rant, during which he slammed Pope Benedict xvi for leading a “new crusade” against Muslims, and warned of a “severe” reaction against what he perceived as European belligerence.
The crusading spirit is alive and well in the mind of bin Laden.
Today, it is widely recognized that al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups have stationed themselves throughout Europe, Britain and even America. Attacks are imminent. In January, during a raid on a Paris apartment occupied by a Hezbollah cell, French officials reportedly seized documents, including tourist maps of Paris, London, Madrid and Rome marked with red highlighter showing routes, addresses, parking lots and truck-stopping points. Among the documents, as Caroline Glick noted, were “maps point[ing] to several routes to Vatican back entrances.”
Radical Islam is already planning attacks on the Vatican!
Many Americans, Britons, Jews and even secular Europeans have forgotten the Crusades or pushed that history from their minds. Ever since World War ii ended, Western society has arrogantly evolved to think of itself above the principles and lessons of history. We think we’re so advanced that we will never repeat the mistakes of our fathers. Mankind has a history of violence, we reason, because in the past men were uneducated brutes ignorant of how to prevent catastrophe. We sincerely believe we have progressed beyond large-scale violence.
Have we? Clearly, radical Islam is bent on resurrecting Crusade-level violence!
But what is most alarming about al-Astal’s remarks is this: Pope Benedict xvi and the Vatican absolutely believe what he says and are preparing to oblige radical Islam’s driving ambition for violence.
Last month, within days of bin Laden’s verbal assault on the Vatican, Benedict, in complete disregard for Muslim concerns, baptized Magdi Allam, a former Muslim who is deputy editor of one of Italy’s most powerful newspapers, a bestselling author—and a prominent critic of Islam. Ever the master of diplomacy and doublespeak, the Vatican baptized Allam to send the clear message that it will not be bullied by radical Islam.
Benedict sent the same message in his now-infamous Regensberg speech, during which, in the words of analyst George Friedman, he threw “a hand grenade” into the Islamic arena.
The Crusades were a series of Catholic-sponsored military expeditions to wrest control of Jerusalem and others parts of the Holy Land from Muslim control. The word crusade comes from the Latin word crucesignatus, which means one signed by the cross. During the Crusades, tens of thousands of bloodthirsty Europeans, operating under the Roman Catholic banner, descended into the Holy Land via the Near East, where they set about pillaging, raping, mutilating and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Jews and Muslims.
Jerusalem, the “city of peace,” was a bloodbath for more than 200 years!
During one battle in Solomon’s temple, the blood of Muslims and Jews reached the bridles of the Crusaders’ horses. History books testify to the shocking and widespread torture and mutilation of Turks and Saracens (“tent-dwellers,” or Muslim Arabs) at the hands of the Crusaders.
The Crusades created a profound and lasting depth of hatred among Muslims for the Catholic Church.
Today, a newly emboldened and radical brand of Islam is seeking revenge against the Vatican and the Catholic Church. That’s why al-Astal and his cohorts seek the destruction of Rome. Radical Islam—led by Iran and driven by a crusading spirit—is pushing and prodding Catholic Europe and the Vatican.
That pushing and prodding is now resurrecting the spirit of the Crusades in Pope Benedict, the Vatican and Europe.
A deadly cycle of destruction has been created; the more that emboldened Islamic terrorists set their sights on the Vatican and Europe, and the more they preach about sacking Rome, the more urgently Pope Benedict and the Vatican will confront this threat. But the more strongly the Vatican reacts to Islamic ambition, the more angry Muslims will become, and the more intense the cycle of destruction will grow.
Human civilization—not just Israel, or the Middle East, or Europe—is gravitating toward World War iii!
What does this mean for you and your family? It means you need to watch current world trends, consider the reality of where mankind is headed, and then, most importantly, take the time to learn how you can guide your family through these tumultuous times.
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