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Dustin’ off the Degree – “I’ll see your jihad and raise you a crusade”
On my birthday we saw a sticker on a car that read “I’ll see your jihad and raise you a crusade” among other, equally troubling stickers. As the disgust faded I realized this was a great topic for a Dustin’ Off the Degree. What do Jihad and Crusade mean, and what is worse?
Jihad is a holy struggle in the defense of Islam. The concept requires that it be a defensive war and has to be to protect the faith. Examples would be what the Muslim kingdoms fighting against the Crusades were doing and the Afghan mujaheddin defending against the Soviet Union’s invasion and occupation in the 1980s. After the Soviet Union withdrew some of the mujaheddin formed Al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda viewed western influence in the Arab and Islamic world as an attack on Islam, so they viewed their terrorist attacks as holy jihad, defending Islam against outside threats.
A Crusade is a Christian holy war and the First Crusade was theoretically supposed to defend pilgrimage routes in the Levant, but when the armies arrived they killed Muslims, Jews, and Arab Christians indiscriminately and established crusader kingdoms that subjugated anyone who didn’t follow the Roman church. This was followed up with three other Crusades and ended with Muslim kingdoms back in control of the region.
However, the crusades continued. There was the reconquista, a holy crusade to aid the Christian kingdoms in what is now Spain and Portugal drive out the Muslim emirate ruling most of the Iberian peninsula. The same year the reconquista was completed Columbus arrived in the Caribbean and Conquistadors began crossing the ocean on a crusade to convert and conquer the heathens.
German crusaders, namely the Teutonic knights, were sent to the east for the Slavic crusades to convert and conquer the heathen Slavs in the lands between the Holy Roman Empire and Russia. This resulted in the establishment of crusader states and eventually lead to the establishment of Prussia.
Since then Protestants have taken the term and used it to mean evangelism as in an evangelistic crusade or Campus Crusade for Christ.
I do have to say that I’m glad that Christians have taken and watered down the concept, but that hasn’t been universal. George W Bush publicly and repeatedly described the War on Terror as a crusade. And the pickup I saw the sticker also had an Iraq War sticker, so it would appear that this soldier got the message loud and clear.
So did a lot of Muslims, this was only confirmed when Christian Armies from the west invaded Iraq as part of this Crusade. Sure, Saddam Hussein was a bad guy and needed to go, but this provided evidence to some that the extremists who had already started the Jihad were right.
After Saddam Hussein had been overthrown Al Qaeda in Iraq formed to fight against US and coalition troops as well as the government they backed, all as part of a jihad, since if history has any lessons, then jihad is the response to crusader armies.
Of course this goes both ways. The September 11 attacks claimed to be a jihad, which caused a lot of Americans to view it as Islam attacking them. Using this kind of language has a tendency to push people to more extreme views and being okay with more extreme responses.
An Iraq War veteran with PTSD was on his way to a Bible study when he saw brown people he thought might be Muslim in the crosswalk ahead of him. Rather than stop and let them cross he stepped on the gas and plowed his car into the crowd injuring 8 people of South Asian descent. He is now facing eight counts of attempted murder.
John Earnest is accused of fired eight rounds into a San Diego synagogue killing one and injuring three before fleeing the scene. A seven page letter was published to 8chan under the name JohnTEarnest, presumably the suspect, taking credit for the shooting using antisemitic tropes, blaming Jews for killing Jesus, rambling about the white genocide conspiracy theory, and taking credit for a fire at an Escondido mosque a few weeks ago.
A 65 year old nurse and Sunday school teacher in Arkansas was convicted of murdering her husband. The story goes that she kept finding porn that he had hidden. He had a shed he called his “man cave” where he would watch porn so she started to feel like the devil was in the shed. She filed for divorce, but withdrew the papers after he begged her to reconsider, then just two months later she found that he had subscribed to a porn channel on their TV. So she went out to the shed, shot him in the leg and then fired a “warning shot” that hit him in the head.
Representative Mike Simpson, Republican from Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District, address a conference in Boise where he talked about how climate change is real and that actions need to be taken to address climate change and other issues that salmon.
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