The Crusades Through Arab Eyes  

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“When accusing the West of imperialism,” says historian Paul Fregosi, “Muslims are obsessed with the Christian Crusades but have forgotten their own, much grander Jihad.” Conventional wisdom locates the beginning of Christian/Muslim hostility in the Crusades; according to Amin Malouf in The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, the sack of Jerusalem in 1099 was “the starting point of a millennial hostility between Islam and the West.” But the reality is somewhat different. Fregosi remarks that “the Jihad is more than four hundred years older than the Crusades.” Comparing the Muslim occupation of Christian lands in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa to European colonialism, he finds that the latter was much briefer and less culturally pervasive. “Yet, strangely, it is the Muslims... who are the most bitter about colonialism and the humiliations to which they have been subjected; and it is the Europeans who harbor the shame and the guilt. It should be the other way around.”" --Robert Spencer Islam Unveiled

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (1983, Les Croisades vues par les Arabes) is a French language historical essay on the crusades by Lebanese author Amin Maalouf.

As the name suggests, the book is a narrative retelling of primary sources drawn from various Arab chronicles that seeks to provide an Arab perspective on the Crusades, and especially regarding the Crusaders – the Franks (Franj), as the Arabs called them – who are considered cruel, savage, ignorant and culturally backward.

From the first invasion in the eleventh century through till the general collapse of the Crusades in the thirteenth century, the book constructs a narrative that is the reverse of that common in the Western world, describing the main facts as bellicose and displaying situations of a quaint historic setting where Western Christians are viewed as "barbarians", unaware of the most elementary rules of honor, dignity and social ethics.

Dutch translation

Rovers, christenhonden, vrouwenschenners : de kruistochten in Arabische kronieken.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Crusades Through Arab Eyes" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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