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Twenty-First Century Crusades?

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Submitted by Chris Cumming (United States), Apr 28, 2008 at 07:27

Beginning May 2nd of this year [2005], the new Ridley Scott movie, "Kingdom of Heaven" depicting the twelfth-century Crusades was released in no less that 54 countries covering Europe, the Middle and Far East. In the few short weeks since this release, there have been published a number of books, news articles and editorial pieces covering both the movie and the impact of crusades on current events. Just what do we know about the Crusades? What was their purpose? Who instigated them? What prompted these military actions? Who was affected? How are the crusades linked to events we see unfolding today in both Europe and the Middle East?

Could we see twenty-first century crusades in the near future that will mimic those crusades of almost 1,000 years ago? Could this be the incident that will fulfill the key prophetic event of armies around Jerusalem we read of in Luke 21:20: And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

Reasons for the Crusades
The most immediate cause for the Crusades was Muslim incursions into previously Christian lands. The crusades were mainly directed toward Jerusalem and the Christian shrine of the Holy Sepulcher. In the movie, we see 200,000 Muslim warriors surrounding and overcoming Jerusalem. The Catholic Church in Western Europe fought the Crusades against heretics or in other words, Muslims because their belief differed from that of the official church. At this time in Europe was a feudal society controlled by the monarchy, clergy and the knights. The church had the utmost authority. The Pope was the head of the church and carried the most religious and political power and influence over the land. The Crusades were part of the church's wish to expand its empire.

The Pope was able to grip the whole of Europe with "Crusade Fever". Part of his propaganda was to attack the authenticity of the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad, who were both tagged imposters, sorcery, evil, satanic and pagan. The church actually had citizens believing they could pay their penance for their sins by going off and slaughtering believers of other religions. History records at least nine crusades during the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. Several see direct linkage between those crusades and current events affecting most of the world.

Today's Events Seeded by Crusades
In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, "Blame the Crusades", they begin by speaking of the movie itself. "From swords to suicide bombers, the West's relationship with the Middle East hasn't changed much in the past millennium. That's why the film, ‘Kingdom of Heaven' struck such a chord. It rams home the notion that events during the Crusades eerily parallel current world affairs. The movie ends by noting that in modern times there is again conflict in the Middle East. That misses the point. The Crusades aren't just a true-life allegory of current world conflicts. In various ways, they're a major part of the reason those conflicts exist."

Later in the article one reads, "The crusades created a mind-set in which Muslim presence would not be tolerated in Europe, which played out violently when Spain expelled its Muslims in 1492. Popes had long exhorted European Christians to sever all relations with Muslims, a call that echoes to this day. Newly elected Pope Benedict XVI opposes allowing Turkey into the European Union, saying it runs counter to history; he also deplores European multiculturalism as ‘fleeing from what is one's own.'" Our staff writer, Michael Burkert speaks to this in his word from, "Europe's Tolerance May Soon End." Will these events of old be played out again? In his commentary, Mr. Burkert states:

"Muslim hatred for the European countries and peoples, who have welcomed them over the past fifty years, may soon bring about a reaction that will rock the western world."

"There are indications that the breaking point may come soon."

"European Muslims, through their refusal to assimilate and adopt European customs and traditions, are rapidly setting the stage for a backlash movement that may well see the majority of Europe's indigenous peoples turning against the Muslim foreigners."

Matein Khalid, a Dubai-based investment banker just published an editorial piece on the Crusades. In it he says, "The Crusades changed both Europe and the Middle East and their echoes, nine centuries later, still resonate in Arab politics." "The modern Arab world was shaped by the Crusades as surely as the West was. While the Frankish knights and feudal lords squandered fortunes in the Holy Land, the kings of Europe became stronger, the genesis of the rise of the nation state in France that culminated in Louis XIV, Napoleon's conquest of Egypt and, later, Algerie Francals. The concept of Arab nationalism was unthinkable without the Crusades."

Not just Muslims But Jews

When the Popes across these centuries of the Crusades whipped the populace into a murderous frenzy, other non-Catholic groups were targeted. Jews were killed in both Europe and the Middle East. Going back to the LA Times article, "Crusaders often wondered why, if they were fighting Muslims in far-off lands, they should leave unmolested other 'infidels' closer to home—Jews. Thus the Crusades gave rise to the first big waves of violent anti-Semitism in Europe, which would flare for centuries and eventually feed the Nazi Holocaust. This in turn gave birth to modern Zionism, seen by Muslims as another European imperialistic attack."

Alan Woods in his recent article, "George W. Bush and the Crusades" quotes the crusaders themselves regarding the Jews:

"We have set out to march a long way to fight the enemies of God in the East, and behold, before our very eyes are his worst foes, the Jews. They must be dealt with first." And again: "You are the descendants of those who killed and hanged our God. Moreover [God] himself said: 'The day will yet dawn when my children will come and avenge my blood.' We are his children and it is our task to carry out his vengeance upon you, for you showed yourselves obstinate and blasphemous towards him ... [God] has abandoned you and has turned his radiance towards us and has made us his own." (N. Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium, p. 70.)

We cover both these subjects in news commentaries on Anti-Semitism in Europe and NAZI Legitimacy.

Economics and the Crusades

As the Crusades got underway, European merchants saw an opportunity to get rich by linking up and taking advantage of Middle Eastern trade routes. Clearly Europe has a strong economic interest in Israel and the Middle East today. Quoting form the Alan Woods article again:

"The merchants were even more interested in the success of this venture. The Turks now controlled the lucrative trade routes to the East, like the famous Silk Road. The most Christian merchants of Venice, Genoa and other European ports were completely shut out, and they wanted to get a share of the action. The crusades were their best chance to do this, moreover under the banner of the Almighty. This was an opportunity not to be missed."

Recent events have shown us Europe's keen interest in Middle Eastern oil and arms trade. As world tensions increase, we will see this repeated and may include Europe having to interject itself politically and militarily into Israel and the Middle East.

Century Crusades? -- What to Look For

My original question was, "could we see events in Europe that would mimic the Crusades and result in a political, religious and military incursion into Israel and the Middle East." As with the Crusades, there are many elements, each of which could act as indicators that such an event might take place.

1) Continued tension and backlash against Muslims in Europe. [reference Euro-Intolerance Word from]
2) Acts of terror increasing throughout Europe.*
3) An increase in anti-Semitism. [reference New Anti-Semitism Word from]
4) Growth and increased political power in the Neo-Nazi movement. [reference Nazi Word from]
5) The Vatican becoming involved in the political affairs of the EU, including a new constitution that will be embraced by what German chancellor Gerard Schroeder is calling his "inner circle" of fast-track European Union member states. [ reference Power of the Pope Word from]
6) The Pope laying even greater emphasis than John Paul II on both doctrine and authority of the Church.
7) The Pope taking radical steps to bring all sheep back into the fold and filling the currently empty pews of the Catholic Church.
8) The Vatican demonstrating intolerance for the Muslims in Europe. Possibility of the Pope speaking negatively toward the Muslim faith, its beliefs and the Qur'an. He could conceivably call for a new "crusade" against Islam.
9) The Catholic Church getting directly involved in the "Road to Peace" process.
10) A call by the Vatican for Christians throughout the world to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem. This may or may not be coupled with increased persecutions and attacks against Christians in Jerusalem and throughout the Middle East.
11) The Vatican expressing special interest in the Temple Mount and other holy sites in Jerusalem.
12) A visit by cardinals and/or the Pope himself to Jerusalem.
13) Continued build-up of the EuroArmy despite initial rejection of constitution. [reference EuroArmy Word from]
14) News stories speaking to possible EU troop movements to Israel and/or the Middle East.* [reference Two-Key Prophecies--Armies Around Jerusalem]
15) The EU taking political and even military steps to insure the flow of oil to Europe.* [reference United Europe section]

16) Destruction of Arab mosques either by Israel or some other catastrophic event such as an earthquake coupled with walls falling on the Temple Mount.* [reference Two-Key Prophecies-Temple Mount]
17) King of South to push against Europe, possibly in the form of oil embargo or other means* [ reference Will Mubarak Emerge As The "King Of The South?" Word from]

The LA Times article ends with a haunting question as it ends its discussion of the movie depicting the Crusades: "In effect, ‘Kingdom of Heaven' asks the insipid if sincere question, ‘Can't we all just get along?' The more pertinent question is: How do we change the ending of a story whose plot was cast nearly 1,000 years ago?"

*from Garner Ted Armstrong's list of what to look for in World events [stated 13 April 2002]

Source: http://www.garnertedarmstrong.org/Mark_Wordfroms/manews0037.shtml

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