Going to War in the Name of God

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Religious wars, especially in the centuries following the rise of empires, were quite frequent in the Western Europe and northern Middle East regions. The Crusades are known to most as some of the bloodiest and most all-embracing religious wars of all time, yet the reasons behind, misconceptions about, and possible consequences of the Crusades are still being researched by many historians today, and even show quite outstanding parallels to current religions conflicts. The Crusades, “military campaigns sanctioned by the Latin Catholic Church during the high middle ages to restore Christian access to Holy places in and near Jerusalem” (The Crusades 1) were fought mainly between Christians and Muslims. However, some fail to realize that tens of thousands of Jews, Muslim tribal civilians, and other members of small tribes were slaughtered in this “valiant” attempt to gain a land holy to ALL of these religions! According to recent research, the Crusades may not be the grand Christian victory that follows its reputation. In fact, these attempts to regain the Holy Land from the Muslim empire killed “nearly the entire Jewish population of Prague or 30,000 people” (3). Human slaughter to this degree is never a victory, especially in the name of God. Many make the argument that the Christians did not have the right to start such a bloody war and kill not only the Muslim soldiers, but also the thousands unarmed and tribal civilians who were completely taken aback by the audacity and ruthlessness with which the empire acted. This actually forced the long-time enemies, Muslims and Jews, to fight alongside each other in these horrible wars, but to no effect. The violence spread beyond the direct slaughter of non-Christians. Many Jews,... ... middle of paper ... ...media, have distorted the view of the Muslim religion to a point where it is unrecognizable. Again it is seen that selfish intentions and hatred seem to override commitment to God when it comes to most Holy Wars: the Crusades and Arab-Israeli conflicts as prime examples. Obviously the consequences of the Crusades can be seen in the Middle East today, and one wonders what madness will erupt as a result of these wars if they ever end. Violence and hatred are never the answers to religious conflict. It is not God’s will for any to kill his servants in his name. Works Cited "Arab-Israeli wars." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. "Crusades." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. "First Crusade." Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

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