One 6 page paper in which they evaluate the material found in Amin Maalouf’s Crusades Through Arab Eyes.
How does Maalouf’s work present the Crusades? What are the main themes and issues depicted? How does our understanding of the Crusades change or expand based on looking at the events “through Arab eyes”? How can we understand the Crusades in the broader context of the period and issues of the time?
Students will have a thesis (main argument) and provide cogent analysis of the material found in the text. No outside research is needed for this assignment. Please use only Maalouf’s text as your evidence to prove your main argument regarding the points he makes and the overall meaning/impact of the material presented. Make some conclusions about the legacy of the Crusades and the themes presented.
Papers should be double-spaced, 12 font, and one inch margins.
\Crusades through the Eyes of the Arabs
In 1096, the first crusade movement reached the Middle East, a predominantly Islamic region. The subsequent years were marked with infiltration and global surge from large influxes of crusaders. The primary drive of the crusaders was to preach the gospel to reach the ends of the world and convert masses to follow the Christian faith. Malouf depicts meticulous details of the crusade movement, which are merely referenced in the wake of religious and civilization conflicts ongoing in the Middle East. Maalouf reiterates the bitter contemporary battle engineered by the crusaders as the basis for modern Middle East conflicts. With the aid of ancient chronicles and texts, Maalouf laces the narrative strategies and tempers of the combatants to paint an image of the intricate linkage between the modern ravaging wars between the Muslims and Christians with the invasion of crusaders and how they affected Islamic perspectives of the Christian West. He seeks to deconstruct the feign heroism embellished in western countries by documenting the barbaric acts of the crusade movement.
How does Malouf’s work present the Crusades? In the wake of 1099, an army of crusaders arrived in the Arab nation in large companies accompanied by their children and wives. This marked the beginning of severe murderous rivalries that span across the Asia East in 1095-1291 between the Muslim-Arab world and the Christian West. According to Maalouf, the crusaders invaded the Arab community in attempts to brainwash and convert the Islamic radicals to abide and follow the true-life novel of Christianity (Amin, 1986). The crusades caused turbulence and turmoil across the states due to the waging resistance from the Muslim faiths to ascribe to the western religion. Through his precise and concise prose, Maalouf presents the crusaders as anarchists who burned mosques and massacred many Muslim beliefs on the native land. He writes about all the atrocities and pathologies” the franj” imposed on the Muslims. For example, Muslims were caged in houses full of pigs to ridicule and dishonor their faith. Native Muslims were also subjected to slavery in their own country (Amin, 1986). The crusaders were merciless invaders who spewed the blood of children at the slightest agitation. In his narrative, it is also evident that the crusade movement was made up of a ruthless army of foot soldiers and knights who, upon the first contact with the Muslims, swore to exterminate them and purify their unholy land according to God’s will. The crusader’s sense of dominance and desire to take over blindsided their inhumane acts and vow to take over regardless of the repercussions. According to Malouf’s literary narrative, it is evident that savagery and barbaric acts were their true spirit. Through their unrelenting ruthlessness, they conquered the Asia East, a widely celebrated façade of heroism that is well exposed by Maaloufs intuitive and fluent prose as borrowed from the Arabian Historians.
What are the main themes and issues depicted? Racial Cleansing. Three key themes surface from the fluent, vivid, and sensitive illustration of the French men’s invasion in the Arab East. Firstly there is the element of racial cleansing, religious dominance, and chauvinism. These themes originate from the colossal impact on the Islam nation and its imprint on modernity. As illustrated in the narratives, the Europeans have a firm belief that the Turks were unclean, ungodly, and did not deserve to own land. According to them, the Turks represented an accursed race, and a people alienated from God due to their vile habits and actions. They did not accord any human decency and generosity to the Turks, King Papal Urban 11 indulged and offered assistance to all Roman Catholics participating in the crusade. He was convinced that all the atrocities and social pathologies committed against the Muslim community would be forgiven, and the Christians would be cleansed and see the Kingdom of heaven. This feigns belief justified their actions to rape, kill, and exterminate the Muslim (Amin, 1986).
Religious dominance. The crusades began with the attack of the Turks at a dominant Muslim community who had settled in Nicaea present-day Turkey. Although the Turkish Prince defeated the first group of invaders, Europeans did not fall back. Many people lost their lives, with hundreds of Turkish soldiers being maimed and subjected to slavery. The following year there was a massive influx of Europeans who came in masses to fulfill the plan. Murderous rivalries between the Europeans and Muslim princes continued up to 1099 when Jerusalem fell to the crusaders. The aftermath of the way saw millions of people displaced, maimed, raped, and killed. According to the Maalouf, it was a celebratory moment for the French forces because they had acquired God’s will to occupy and rule the land. Native Muslims were forced to flee Syria and seek refuge in the neighboring Baghdad.
The crusades illustrate the modern-day ravaging wars in the Middle East drawn on the line of religious dominance, political power, and control. Religious dominance bores the bearing to the current predicament and is hugely illustrated in the Arab chronicles and journals. Throughout his book, Maalouf gains and maintains insights on Christian zeal as the primary factor for the massive success of the crusades. The Christian West was firm and relentless to exterminate the Muslim radicals and establish the Christian true-life novel as the only doctrine in the Middle East. As it was evident in the mass murder of 10,000 Muslim faithful of Marra and the continuous cannibalism acts by western soldiers showcased the innate desire to abolish the Islamic religion.
Chauvinism. Furthermore, the survivors were exposed to traumatizing and humiliating acts. Their were forced to denounce their faith, become slaves, heave bodies of their relatives in vacant, abandoned grounds burning them alive, locking up with pigs in tiny spaces, or selling them to slavery. The Europeans began a terror war against Islam and declared their religion unholy and were committed to exterminating the Muslim-Arab doctrine. They were relentless in the fight to establish dominance to preach the emerging European Christian identity. Throughout the crusades, a European soldier has little regard for the Muslim faith. They did not coerce or lure Muslims into their religion. Their quest for converting the masses was solely based on physical moral and spiritual evil that utterly convinced Muslim-Arab of spiritual peril that waited for them if they denounced their faith.
How does our understanding of the Crusades change or expand based on looking at the events “through Arab eyes”? A closer look at the narrative through the Arab’s eyes shows a granditure connection between the crusades and the current predicaments in the Middle East. The western influence and affluence in the Middle East can be interpreted as a continuation of the crusades in the modern world. With literature on the crusades produced by the Europeans, Maalouf’s viewpoint gives a gentrified social, political, and economic awareness that surpasses the highly publicized west Euro-centric perception that has been labeled as heroic. It invigorates the need to understand the prevailing anti-colonialism, the anti-western bias deeply rooted in the Arab East. Many people in Europe have little knowledge of the colossal impact the crusades had in forming the West’s Islamic perspective. As a result, conducting this research presents a neutral ground for both parties to attain and maintain an unbiased view of the Islam faith. On further analysis, Maalouf’s viewpoint directs the perennial impacts that are still imprinted in the modern world. We can relate to the heightened tensions between the Christian and Muslims that are the key drivers in the Middle East. Also, it creates a solid understanding of how we can solve and ease these ramifications from a political, social, and economic purview that still ails the world a millennium later.
How can we understand the Crusades in the broader context of the period and issues of the time? According to Malouf’s literature texts, the crusades that took place did not have less atrocious effects on neighboring countries that practiced the Christian faith. The western soldiers employed the same kind of torture, cannibalism, and savagery in other parts of Asia. For example, during the crusades in Jerusalem, there was new widespread discrimination and hate for the European Jews that spans over a thousand years, which marked the Holocaust. Amidst the crusade movements, Jews were given a choice to convert, undergo baptism, or be killed. Many of them refused to denounce their faith, which led to the mass execution of Jews. In the subsequent years, approximately 10,000 Jews were killed in Jerusalem. Also relevant to this narrative of religious dominance through savagery, oppression, and barbaric acts are the Greco-Roman European zeals and desire for dominance. It is widely referenced in Malouf’s text that the Byzantine Empire’s sense of domination merged with the incoming crusaders, therefore, leading to the collaboration with the Europeans to take over Nicaea. Eventually, Alexander’s the former ruler of Nicaea had transformed from paganism to gain political power and affluence over the Turks. It is also important to note that at this time, “Muslim Arabs” had overtaken Spain and Portugal and the greater region of Italy and Sicily and established Islam faith. The Muslims controlled and dominated the land for almost 800 years. From this perspective, it is evident that the crusades were constant war over dominance, political power, and control in Western and Eastern Europe. However, the European units were more heavily armed and employed chauvinism to enforce the European Christian identity. Muslims, on the other hand, used non-violence acts to establish their faith (Amin, 1986). Ideally, this is attributed to the Muslim prince aversion to blood without a profound reason. For instance, when the crusaders intruded the Prince Kilij Arsan land in Constantitrophe. The Turkish revelers reported their activities, but the Prince did not order any attack on the lot until their set foot in the city.
Over the last decades, historians and human rights activists worldwide have gained interest in the crusades and their effects on the land of Muslims. At the moment, little Islamic literature and sources about the crusade movement exists as compared to the West. However, to gain a solid understanding of the incidental, there is a need to analyze the Islamic account with unbiased perspectives engrained by the West. To gain credible knowledge about the crusades, historians must view all the aspects and sources with any negative bias to realize their limitations and raw concrete findings that unveil the true nature of the crusade movements and their effects on both parties.
Amin, M., 1986. The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. s.l.:Saqi Essentials.