Consequences of the Crusades on the Islamic World Essay
At the advent of the middle ages, the Islamic world had some of the strongest religious empires that relied on trade and good political organization. Nonetheless, this situation changed immediately after an invasion from Europe that took the form of Crusades. In 1097 CE before the invasion of the First Crusade, Islam manifested unity, high literacy levels, and proper organization of trade. Supporters of the movement from Europe entered the Middle East and caused serious conflicts. During the empires were destroyed, Islamic literary materials were burnt, and trade routes turned into channels of war. The Crusades not created political instability, but also interfered with the spread of the Islamic religion and culture (Day 202). The movement had the key objective of destabilizing the Islamic and Jewish religions and ensures forceful adoption of Christianity among the residents of Islamic empires.
Crusades and the Islamic World
In eleventh century, Papacy had become a strong religious entity with political influences in the whole of Europe. The office could organize military operations and coordinate religious in the quest to defend Christianity. One of the religious organizations that was viewed the key rival as Islamic religion. In 1063, the Spanish Christian soldiers were sent by Pope Alexander to launch a war against the Islamists living in the Middle East. The campaigns gave a lead to the Europeans as they were able to take over Islamic borders. The areas around the Baltic Sea were taken over by the crusaders thus disrupting the Islamic settlement. There was massive displacement of people by the crusaders rendering most Islam’s homeless. Consequently, the Islamic rulers lost control over many regions due to the crusader’s colonization. In addition, the crusaders conquest and colonization of the Islamic territories gave Christians control over many trade routes in the Islamic world. Given that a considerable percentage of the Islamic world’s economy relied on trade, it became very difficult for the leaders to raise revenues, and the period experienced a lot of sufferings. Further, at the time of the crusades, most Islamic countries were well organized and developed than Europe. However, the intensity of the crusaders slowly interfered with the steadiness that most Islamic countries enjoyed for an extended period. For instance, Byzantium was among the strongest economies in the Islamic world that was weakened by the continuous warfare (Riley-Smith 98).
The territorial expansion disguised in the form of a religious war, reached the major Islamic empires in 1099. In addition, the struggle turned Muslim societies into areas of intolerant religious diversity. The wars made the Muslim societies to be more conservative and intolerant of other people’s faith. Furthermore, the crusades unified most Islamic worlds as they initiated a collective identity emblem of brotherhood and unity to defend themselves from the Christian forces. Moreover, most Islamic states such as Syria and the Palestine recruited youths to join their informal forces so as to help in fighting the crusaders. Consequently, the war broke the good relationship that existed for a long period between the Christians and the Muslims states. The link between the Christian countries and the Muslim world deteriorated as the Papacy intimidated persons who traded with the Muslims issuing threats of excommunication for individuals doing business with the enemies. Further, the warfare led to the introduction of madrasas’ in most Muslim countries which were set up at schools dedicated to teaching of the Quran and the religious laws. The madrasas were the main strategies that the Islamic leaders had in place to help in bringing together its people and assisted in the removal of the crusaders from the Palestine coastlines. Additional, the Muslim clergies in all the Islamic states intensified the teachings of the holy war or Jihad (Goode 166).
In eleventh century, the crusaders had penetrated further into the Islamic territories; they interacted with the Islamic natives leading to intermarriages and assimilation of cultures among the Muslims and the Christians. The intermarriages resulted in cultural transfers as the two sides borrowed their diverse ways of being. For instance, the crusaders adopted radical concepts and ideas from the Muslims such as the ideologies in mathematics and science. The immediate cultural impact on the Islamic states was that Muslims gained knowledge on how to improve their forces and build stronger defenses. In addition, the crusaders influenced the political systems of the Muslims leading to volatility among the Islamic leaders. The leadership wrangles among the Islamic leaders almost resulted in the collapse of Islamic empire, and it only regained its shape after the intervention of Saladin’s leadership. The invasion of towns such as Tyre, Caesarea, and Jerusalem by the Crusaders produced a cohort of learned and civilized Muslims (Tyerman 177).
Into the bargain, the native Christians who lived in the Islamic countries suffered discrimination from the Islamic governments. These Christians faced accusations of working hand in hand with the crusaders. They underwent torture from their fellow Islamic citizens as they felt that the native Christians were traitors. The crusades impacted the relationship and the trust that existed among the dwellers of the Islamic countries. The native Christians working for Islamic organizations lost their jobs as their Muslim employers lost faith in them. Further, all the native Christians who were employed by the military and tax bureau were dismissed in most Islamic countries such as Egypt and Syria, among others. The Islamic government argued that there was a possibility that the native Christians would assist the crusaders to invade the Islamic states. Further, in most Islamic countries, the native Christians were accused of involvement in terrorism and arson activities. However, most of these accusations were unfounded and only spoilt the stable relationship between the Islamic citizens and the native Christians (Hillenbrand 122).
Nevertheless, the crusades boosted trade and commerce in the Muslim worlds as the major seaports of the Mediterranean were occupied by a massive population. The existence of a vast number of populace interested in the exchange of goods and services enhanced trade in the Islamic countries. For instance, the textile industries in Byzantines motivated the Muslims to build mills. Consequently, employment opportunities presented itself in the Muslim countries as the demand for laborers increased. Additionally, the Muslims who had occupied the regions of the Far East, and Europe acted as middlemen who facilitate the flow of goods through the Islamic worlds. Products such as wood, furs and leather goods from Europe finally got their way into the Muslim societies thereby escalating the Islamic economy. Furthermore, trade and commerce facilitated the exchange of language predominantly in the Middle East. Further, many Muslims got an opportunity of learning English and other European dialects as they interacted with the merchants from Europe (Day 162).
Towards the end of the thirteenth century, the Crusades had caused massive displacement in the Islamic countries. For example, many towns and cities in the Middle East were entirely deserted during the period of the campaigns. Most Muslims were displaced from their lands as they provided battlefields for the Muslim and the crusaders to encounter each other. Unwarranted fear also drove away most Muslims from their states as they hunted for secure zones. There was mass destruction of Muslim’s properties as the crusaders matched to obtain the lands they proclaimed holy. In the process, most Muslims lost their lives as they defended their land from the crusaders. Further, as the crusaders occupied most of the Islamic territories, they managed to spread their forces throughout the Islamic states. Therefore, many newly-conquered Islamic countries were compulsorily cleared by the European troops. As a result, thousands of refugees from these Islamic countries formed an economic burden on the few Islamic countries that were stable. Many Islamic citizens suffered trauma from the wars (Day 163).
Consequently, several Muslims became vulnerable to imagined threats and offers of safety. Into the bargain, presently, most Islamic states visualize a world of security whereby they are the conquerors against all enemies. The crusades impacted the Islamic world’s approach to war and struggles. Most Islamic leaders and citizens believe that wars are the ideal measures for guaranteeing patriotism and hope of security. Further, the teachings of Jihad that were emphasized by the Islamic leaders during the crusades have ceased to end. Consequently, in the present world, most Islamic youths and foreigners are attracted to the Jihad teachings which are a significant source of threat to the world’s security. For instance, in the recent past, a lot of unrest has been witnessed in the Islamic countries such as Egypt and Palestine. These turbulences are attributed to the intolerant nature of most Muslim states. However, studies show that the crusade movements instigated the instability of these Islamic regions. Given that the warfare actions caused misunderstandings among the Muslim leaders and states, there is a huge hitch to the Islamic national leaders in governing and regulating the various activities of its citizens (Riley-Smith 78).
In conclusion, the crusades worked to shape the Islamic countries, both positively and negatively. For instance, the Muslims learned from the western imperialists the art of manufacturing explosives and accumulating strong ammunitions. Therefore, with the firm ammunitions and well-organized forces, the Muslims were able to stop the Crusaders from conquering them. Better economic conditions in the Islamic worlds are as a result of the European crusaders who engaged in trade and commerce across the Islamic states. Moreover, additional developments were experienced in the education sectors as the Arabs and the Europeans exchanged facts in various fields. For instance, the Islamic poets improved their writing skills in poetry as they gained new ideas from the western imperialists.