The Struggle for the Holy Land

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Emperor Constantine

History has it that Constantine, the first Christian Caesar (one of the most talented, vigorous, and triumphant Roman emperors), who established the Constantinople and the Byzantine empire, was the first Roman Emperors to impose the idea of a Christian theocracy, a system of policy which assumes all subjects to be Christians, thereby merging civil and religious rights. He was the Constantine at that time saw Christianity as the only weapon strong enough to wipe out the high rate of idolatry that swept across the Roman empire. His monarchical regime held in high regard the Catholic unity. He was in close contact with the bishops in the year 313, thereby making peace and harmony his topmost priority in the Donatist and Arian disagreements.

The devout pilgrimages of Helena, the fanatical Aranism of Constantia etc proved that Constantine had his entire family very much bought into his idea of the religious sentiments. Even though Christianity at the initials was adopted with infused superstition till it finally disappeared. Constantine was more interested in promoting the outward front of Christianity as a social structure than an inward mission causing transformation.

After the death of Constantine, his sons did not fully follow the footsteps of their Father (even with their Christian education) in keeping the

Christianity of the 4th - 6th centuries was engulfed in the monastic spirit giving high credence to poverty, voluntary celibacy, total obedience and excessive self-punishments of the pillars of the saints and martyrs of the desert. More flamboyant life styles were seen as a low degree of morality as against the prevailing corrupt social situation of the continuous decaying Roman Empire.

Emperor Ju...

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...n the Middle East 1789-1923 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999. Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam (Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 1996), especially chapter 6, "Jihad and War Propaganda: The Ottoman Jihad Fatwa of November 11, 1914"), pp. 55-57.

For examples in the immediate wake of 9/11, see Alan Philips, "Ill chosen Word [Crusade] Fuels Claims of Intent to Wage War on Islam," Daily Telegraph (London) (September 18, 2001); Eric Black, "Christian Crusades are Bitter Chapters in History of Islam," Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (October 21, 2001); Jonathon Phillips, "Why a Crusade Will Lead to a Jihad," Independent (London) (September 18, 2001).

The PBS video "Islam: Empire of Faith" (2001)

History Channel/A & E's "Inside Islam" (summer 2002)

MSNBC, PBS [Public Broadcast Service] video "Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet" (Dec. 18, 2002),

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