Before I answer this myth, I would like to ask a question; even if Muslim angst over the crusades of almost a thousand years ago was the cause of modern Muslim aggression, what right would they have to nurse such rancor? What double standard allows the Muslims to bemoan the Christian crusaders efforts to retake their Holy Land and yet persist in trying to exterminate the Jewish presence in Israel?
Did not the Muslims themselves invade all of the territory that today makes up the majority of the Muslim Middle East? Did they not by fire and sword take Christian territories for themselves and slay, force into dhimmi or sell into slavery the inhabitants of those lands? Do they not seethe with anger and bemoan the presence of Israel and burst with covetousness to take back what they call “occupied land”?
If anyone has a claim to the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, surely it is the Jewish people, over both the Christian and Muslim people. The Jews had been in the land for at least 500 years before the tiny Christian sect first sprang up and over a thousand years before any Muslim raider tread the soil of the Holy Land. When the first Crusade entered into Jerusalem the Muslim presence was relatively new compared with the time it had been inhabited by both Christian and Jews.
When the Christians owned it, they mistreated the Jews. When Islam controlled it, they also mistreated the Jews. Maybe it’s time to let the Jews have their land and city back. The Muslims have their Mecca, and Mohammad never stepped a foot inside Jerusalem except in a dream.
What am I missing here that makes all other invasions into new territories or former territories barbarous and unfair, while the Muslim armies came into existence for that purpose and have done little else in past history but practice such forays for themselves? Are they alone allowed such aggressions? So it would seem. Are their motives alone never questioned? Apparently not, and modern scholarship mirrors the enlightenment scholars (if you could call them that) in falling over themselves to placate the Muslim self-righteousness and indignation.
Why is Muslim “expansionism” holy while the rest of the world’s invasions, even into territory to which they once had a claim, are considered the devil himself? It would be utter hypocrisy for a Muslim to hold a grievance over the actions of the Christian crusaders of the Middle Ages and perhaps that is why, in fact, they never did. At least up until the end of the 19th century.
No record of deep Islamic grief can be found prior to this and Stark notes that it seems to be a product of and reaction to the British and French activities in the Middle East after World War I. (Stark 2009) And even if there were a legitimate record of long held Muslim grief over the crusades, it should be discussed in context with the Muslim aggression that preceded them. To do anything less is dishonest and cowardly and only feeds the creation of historic mythology of the kind educators should deplore. It also feeds the Muslim sense of self-pity, covetousness and intolerance of the presence of the Jew in his land, and encourages them to continue their futile crusades to, as they have said, annihilate the Jewish nation and drive them into the sea.