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US President Barack Hussein Obama has raised the issue of the Crusades as “evil done in the Name of Jesus Christ” as some kind of justification, or distraction, from Islamic Jihad today. It is impossible to understand the Crusades without first understanding the five centuries of Islamic Jihad that preceded it.
A Reaction to Jihad
The crusades were a reaction to centuries of Islamic Jihad. Muslim armies had conquered most of the Byzantine Empire. The enemy was literally at the gates of the greatest Christian city in the world at the time, Constantinople. Muslims had conquered Spain, Sicily, Southern Italy and many of the islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
Persecution and Piracy
Vast territories which had once belonged to Christians were now under the rule of Islamic rulers who abused the Christians, looted churches, kidnapped, tortured and ransomed Christian pilgrims. Millions of Christians were being enslaved by the Muslim world. Muslim Pirates were threatening Christian shipping. Christian lands were threatened by Islamic raids and full scale invasion.