Ryan Guerbi 1/3/189-1 BSGEChristianity, Islam and The Crusaders Unit: Final EssayWords: 988Approximately 1000 years ago there were three societies surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The first society, that was in modern day Europe, was the Catholic Kingdoms. The Catholic Kingdoms were ruled by Pope Urban II.
Pope Urban II was very highly respected by all the people of the Catholic Kingdoms, as most believed God had sent him to become ruler (Ellis 188). The main structures the Catholic Kingdoms followed were Feudalism and the Manor Economy. Feudalism was a somewhat organized structure in which powerful local lords divided their land amongst lords who did not have as much power (Ellis 186). This created a way of living for the civilians of the Catholic Kingdoms. The Catholic Kingdoms were very religious. They built a medieval Christian Church to dedicate their worship of God (Ellis 195).
They were so fierce on the topic of religion that if anyone disrespected or disobeyed Church laws in any way then they would get excommunicated. This meant that a civilian would not receive the sacraments or a Christian burial (Ellis 195). To the East of the Catholic Kingdom, there was another society called the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Empire was practically a continuation of Roman Empire in the East. The Empire shifted across the Mediterranean Sea.
The emperor of the Byzantine Empire was Alexios I Komnenos. The capital of the Byzantine Empire was Constantinople (Ellis 235). The religion that the Byzantine Empire followed was Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
The Byzantine Empire had rejected the Pope’s claim of authority over all Christians (Ellis 237). The Islamic Caliphates were ruled by prophet Muhammad up until his death. When he died, the next caliph, ruler, who stepped up was Abu Bakr. However, most of Muhammad’s companions had thought that Muhammad’s son in law Ali ibn Abi Talib, was designated as Muhammad’s successor by Muhammad (Speilvogel 193). The Islamic Caliphates rapidly became a dominant driving force as they took over all of North Africa peacefully (Al-Harawi 1099). They did not force anyone to join Islam, people did so willingly which made their conquering easier.
They were becoming extremely dominant. They kept going and were able to take over Iberia. They were on road to becoming the most powerful (Al- abiwardi).As the 11th century reached its 71st year, a new society came, known as the Seljuk Turks. The Seljuk Turks were Muslims that came from Central Asia. The Seljuk Turks started to slowly conquer the Byzantine Empire. Alexios was having difficulty stopping the Seljuk Turks and decided to send a letter to Pope Urban II for help. However, years before this, the two rulers had excommunicated each other, which means that they excluded each other from the participation in the sacraments of the Catholic Church (Ellis 236).
Pope Urban II took advantage of the situation and decided to help the Byzantine Emperor since it could keep Christianity alive in the Middle East. Pope Urban II made a speech to the Crusaders to go and conquer the land (Pope Urban II). The Crusaders went to Jerusalem after Pope Urban II speech to fight the Muslims. On the trip, they brutally attacked, raped, and killed any non-Catholics. Al-Harawi, a caliph, sent a speech to all Muslims to fight back and not let the Crusaders take advantage of them. Al-Harawi was disgusted by the Crusaders actions and used guilt as a power of source to drive the Muslims to attack. He commanded them to stop being cowards and fight the Crusaders (Al-Harawi 1099).
The Crusaders continued to attack for close to 200 years. However, the Islamic Caliphates continued to battle the Crusaders due to their desire for land and wealth. Since the Islamic Caliphates had lost their territory to the Crusaders, they wanted to get it back, which meant that they had a strong desire for land and wealth. Al-Harawi urged the Muslims to get their land back as it held religious significance to the Muslims (Al-Harawi 1099).
Al-Harawi had not urged Muslims to fight for their religion as the main priority. Instead, he motivated the Muslims by telling them to get their land back, not their religion (Al-Harawi 1099).The Islamic Caliphates were more motivated by land and wealth than religious fanaticism. As they did not force people to convert to Islam when Islamic Caliphates were conquering Northern Africa they did not force people to convert, unlike the Catholic Kingdoms whom would force people to convert to Christianity (Speilvogel 196). “The conquered people were not forced to convert to Islam.
Those who chose not to convert were required only to be loyal to Muslim rule and to pay taxes” (Speilvogel 197). This shows how Muslims did not care about religion and those who did not convert had to pay taxes. This would give Muslims more wealth to become a driving force and take the land. Al-Harawi started this off by sending a speech saying to gain land back (Al-Harawi 1099).The Catholic Crusaders were driven by religious fanaticism more than land and wealth. The main source of motivation for the Catholic Crusaders was religion.
Pope Urban II had promised that no matter what outcome of their journey was, that they would be getting “immediate remission of sins” (Pope Urban II 1095). They were being watched by God as their source of protection. Pope Urban II made it clear that Christ was the one that commanded this quest rather than himself. This would motivate the Crusaders to go on this quest as they get plenty of protection and assurance that their will only be positive outcomes (Pope Urban II 1095).
The Catholic Crusaders valued religious fanaticism more than land and wealth as the reason they had even gone to help the Byzantine Empire had been because they wanted to keep Christianity alive in all parts of the world. The Catholic Crusaders wanted it to be the dominant religion across the world (Pope Urban II 1095).