Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Did the Crusaders lead to Islamic State?

I've been working on The Book of Whispers, a novel about the First Crusade, for so long now that it's starting to feel like I spend more time in the eleventh century than in the twenty first. It's a good thing I have a time machine! But also... I can't help but be interested in media stories that draw together the two epochs that I inhabit, like this one...

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/02/23/comment-did-crusades-lead-islamic-state

In this piece, Carole Cusack writes that,
The most important reason we should resist the lure of the crusade tag to any fight against jihadists is that groups like Islamic State want the West to think like that. It justified the Paris bomb attacks of November 2015 as attacks against “the Crusader nation of France”. Osama bin Laden used the same reasoning after the September 11 attacks.
By adopting the role of Crusaders, Western nations play into Islamic State’s hands. It’s how these jihadists want the West to understand itself – as implacably opposed to Islam. But it’s not, and it never has been. [my italics]
Something worth thinking about! It's lies that make enemies of Crusaders and Saracens in The Book of Whispers... and it's lies that make enemies today. We should celebrate our different religions and not let terrorists frame the way we think.

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