Jihad begot the Crusades

May 4th, 2005

The New York Times’ Alan Riding recently opined that 

“…[The C]rusades were waged, [by] European monarchs, lords, knights and their armies of devout followers to fight - and settle - in an area stretching between what is today Syria and Egypt. The Muslims responded  [emphasis added] with their own sporadic jihads until finally, by 1291, the Christians had been driven out.”

He further lauds the fact that in Ridley Scott’s new film portrayal of the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven  

“…Mr. Scott and his screenwriter, William Monahan, have tried to be balanced. Muslims are portrayed as bent on coexistence until Christian extremists ruin everything.” [emphasis added] 

Little wonder then that the jihadist organization CAIR,  waxed enthusiastic about the film following an advanced screening. Unfortunately, such ahistorical claptrap has become standard fare for journalistic and even pseudo-scholarly “summary assessments” of The Crusades, with perhaps the most egregious example of the latter being this reductio ad absurdum commentary by John Esposito, the doyen of academic apologists for Islam:

Five centuries of peaceful coexistence elapsed before political events and an imperial-papal power play led to centuries-long series of so-called holy wars [emphasis added] that pitted Christendom against Islam and left an enduring legacy of misunderstanding and distrust. [1]

In Islam and Dhimmitude,  (2002) Bat Ye’or analyzed Esposito’s summary account of the first half millennium of jihad conquests. Bat Ye’or notes how Esposito completely,

“…ignores the concepts of jihad and dar al-harb…” [2], and  she highlights the “thematic structure” of Esposito’s selective overview, typical of the prevailing modern apologetic genre: [3]
…historical negationism, consisting of suppressing or sketching in a page or a paragraph, one thousand years of jihad which is presented as a peaceful conquest, generally welcomed by the vanquished populations;  the omission of Christian and, in particular, Muslim sources describing the actual methods of these conquests: pillage, enslavement, deportation, massacres, and so on;  the mythical historical conversion of "centuries" of "peaceful coexistence", masking the processes which transformed majorities into minorities, constantly at risk of extinction; an obligatory self-incrimination for the Crusades…”

Inundated by such disingenuous apologetics Westerners have remained largely ignorant of jihad—the Islamic war of conquest. Thus the chattering classes, confused all too easily by superficial similarities, equate jihad with the Crusades. In fact, there are many fundamental differences between the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad, and the Crusades, as they derive from widely divergent religions and civilizations.

Jihad, as a nascent ideology, originated from the putative military activities of Muhammad himself, described in the Muslim sacred texts.  September 622 C.E. marks a defining event in Islam- the hijra. Muhammad and a coterie of followers (the Muhajirun), persecuted by fellow Banu Quraysh tribesmen who rejected Muhammad’s authenticity as a divine messenger, fled from Mecca to Yathrib, later known as Al-Medina (Medina). Gil notes that Muslim sources described Yathrib as having been a Jewish city founded by a Palestinian diaspora population which had survived the revolt against the Romans. [4] Distinct from the nomadic Arab tribes, the Jews of the north Arabian peninsula were highly productive oasis farmers. These Jews were eventually joined by itinerant Arab tribes from southern Arabia who settled adjacent to them and transitioned to a sedentary existence.

Following Muhammad’s arrival, he created a “new order”, as described by Gil, [5]

…establishing a covenant between the tribes which imposed its authority on every clan and its members, [which] soon enabled him to attack the Jews and eventually wipe out the Jewish population of the town. Some were banned from the towns, others were executed, and their property-plantations, fields, and houses- was distributed by Muhammad among his followers, who were destitute refugees from Mecca. He also used the former property of the Jews to establish a war fund, setting up a well-equipped army corps of cavalry troops the likes of which had never before been seen on the Arabian peninsula. Muhammad evidently believed in the capacity of this army, imbued with fiery religious belief, to perform great and sensational feats of valor.

Richard Bell summarized Muhammad’s final interactions with the Jews and Christians of Medina, and northern Arabia. His analyses, based upon the sacred Muslim texts (i.e, Qur’an, hadith, and sira),  authoritative Qur’anic commentaries, and the narratives of Muslim chroniclers of early Islam, also underscored the theological basis for the “Great Jihad”: [6]

His relations with the Jews form a part of all biographies of Muhammad, for they worked out to a bitter and savage conclusion in the course of his first few years residence in Medina…Shortly after the Battle of Badr a Jewish tribe, the Bani Qainuqa, were deprived of their goods, and expelled from Medina. The Bani Nadir were similarly expelled some two years later, and finally the Bani Quraiza were besieged, and, after capitulation at discretion, were slaughtered, their goods confiscated, their women and children enslaved. This bitter hostility was no doubt due to the annoyance which the opposition of the Jews caused him…in Muhammad’s mind there also rankled the old feeling that the Jews had misled him in regard to what the Revelation contained, and having discovered that Jesus had been a prophet to the Bani Isra’il whom the Jews had rejected, he may have in his own mind justified his harsh dealing with them by the reflection that they were renegades who had already more than once rejected the Divine message…But when Muhammad’s power began to spread in Arabia his attitude towards the Christians soon began to cool. Any real alliance or even peaceful accommodation was indeed impossible from the first. Muhammad complains (Q.2:113/114) that neither Jews nor Christians will be satisfied with him until he follows their milla or type of religion. It was just as impossible for him to make concessions…Thus the relationship with the Christians ended as that with the Jews ended- in war...We know that before the end of his life Muhammad was in conflict with Christian populations in the north of Arabia, and even within the confines of the Roman [Byzantine] Empire. What would have happened if he had lived we do not know. But probably the policy which Abu Bakr carried on was the policy of Muhammad himself. There could have been no real compromise. He regarded himself as vicegerent of God upon earth. The true religion could only be Islam as he laid it down, and acceptance of it meant acceptance of his divinely inspired authority…The Hijra and the execution of the Divine vengeance upon the unbelievers of Mecca had given the immediate occasion for the organization of such a warlike community. The victory of Badr confirmed it. This is what it had grown to, a menace to whatever came in its way. Muhammad could bide his time, but he was not the man to depart from a project which had once taken hold of his mind as involved in his prophetic mission and authority. He might look with favor upon much in Christianity, but unless Christians were prepared to accept his dictation as to what the true religion was, conflict was inevitable, and there could have been no real peace while he lived.

Within several centuries of Muhammad’s death in 632 C.E., based upon the “proto-jihad” campaigns he waged in Arabia, Muslim jurists and theologians formulated the institution of permanent jihad war against non-Muslims for the submission of the known world to Islam.

The essential pattern of the jihad war is captured in the great Muslim historian al-Tabari’s  recording of the recommendation given by Umar b. al-Khattab to the commander of the troops he sent to al-Basrah (636 C.E.), during the conquest of Iraq. Umar (the second “Rightly Guided Caliph”) reportedly said: [7]

Summon the people to God; those who respond to your call, accept it from them, (This is to say, accept their conversion as genuine and refrain from fighting them) but those who refuse must pay the poll tax out of humiliation and lowliness. (Qur’an 9:29) If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency. Fear God with regard to what you have been entrusted.

Jihad was pursued century after century, because jihad, which means “to strive in the path of Allah,” embodied an ideology and a jurisdiction. Both were formally conceived by Muslim jurisconsults and theologians from the 8th to 9th  centuries onward, based on their interpretation of Qur’anic verses [8] (for e.g., 9:5,6; 9:29; 4:76-79; 2: 214-15; 8:39-42), and long chapters in the Traditions (i.e., “hadith”, acts and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, especially those recorded by al-Bukhari [d. 869] [9] and Muslim [d. 874] [10]). The consensus on the nature of jihad from all four schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence (i.e., Maliki, Hanbali,  Hanafi, and Shafi’i) is clear:

Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (d. 996), Maliki jurist [11]

Jihad is a precept of Divine institution. Its performance by certain individuals may dispense others from it. We Malikis [one of the four schools of Muslim jurisprudence] maintain that it is preferable not to begin hostilities with the enemy before having invited the latter to embrace the religion of Allah except where the enemy attacks first. They have the alternative of either converting to Islam or paying the poll tax (jizya), short of which war will be declared against them.

Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), Hanbali jurist [12]
Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought. As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped and their likes, they shall not be killed unless they actually fight with words (e.g. by propaganda) and acts (e.g. by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare).

From (primarily) the Hanafi school (as given in the Hidayah of Shaikh Burhanuddin Ali of Marghinan, d. 1196) [13]

It is not lawful to make war upon any people who have never before been called to the faith, without previously requiring them to embrace it, because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith, and also because the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war… If the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax, it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do.

al-Mawardi (d. 1058 ), Shafi’i jurist [14]

…The mushrikun [infidels] of Dar al-Harb (the arena of battle) are of two types: First, those whom the call of Islam has reached, but they have refused it and have taken up arms. The amir of the army has the option of fighting them…in accordance with what he judges to be in the best interest of the Muslims and most harmful to the mushrikun… Second, those whom the invitation to Islam has not reached, although such persons are few nowadays since Allah has made manifest the call of his Messenger…it is forbidden to…begin an attack before explaining the invitation to Islam to them, informing them of the miracles of the Prophet and making plain the proofs so as to encourage acceptance on their part; if they still refuse to accept after this, war is waged against them and they are treated as those whom the call has reached…

Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), jurist (Maliki), renowned philosopher, historian, and sociologist, summarized these consensus opinions from five centuries of prior Sunni Muslim jurisprudence with regard to the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad: [15]

In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force... The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense... Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.

By the time of the classical Muslim historian al-Tabari’s death in 923, jihad wars had expanded the Muslim empire from Portugal to the Indian subcontinent. Subsequent Muslim conquests continued in Asia, as well as on Christian eastern European lands. The Christian kingdoms of Armenia, Byzantium, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, and Albania, in addition to parts of Poland and Hungary, were also conquered and Islamized. When the Muslim armies were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683, over a millennium of jihad had transpired. [16] These tremendous military successes spawned a triumphalist jihad literature. Muslim historians recorded in detail the number of infidels slain or enslaved, the cities and villages which were pillaged, and the lands, treasure, and movable goods seized. Christian (Coptic, Armenian, Jacobite, Greek, Slav, etc.), as well as Hebrew sources, and even the scant Hindu and Buddhist writings which survived the ravages of the Muslim conquests, independently validate this narrative, and complement the Muslim perspective by providing testimonies of the suffering of the non-Muslim victims of jihad wars. [17]

From its earliest inception, through the present, jihad has been central to the thought and writings of prominent Muslim theologians and jurists. The precepts and regulations elucidated in the 7th through 9th centuries are immutable in the Muslim theological-juridical system, and they have remained essentially unchallenged by the majority of contemporary Muslims. The jihad is intrinsic to the sacred Muslim texts, including the divine Qur’anic revelation itself, whereas the Crusades were circumscribed historical events subjected to (ongoing and meaningful) criticism by Christians themselves. Unlike the espousal of jihad in the Qur’an, the constituent texts of Christianity, the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, do not contain a form fruste institutionalization of the Crusades. The Bible sanctions the Israelites conquest of Canaan, a limited domain, it does not sanction a permanent war to submit all the nations of humanity to a uniform code of religious law. Similarly, the tactics of warfare are described in the Bible, unlike the Qur’an, in very circumscribed and specific contexts. Moreover, while the Bible clearly condemns certain inhumane practices of paganism, it never invoked an eternal war against all of the world’s pagan peoples.

The Crusades as an historical phenomenon were a reaction to events resulting from over 450 years of previous jihad campaigns. At the close of the 11th century, particularly after the crushing Byzantine defeat by the Seljuk Turks at Manzikert in 1071, Christendom, including Europe, was under existential threat by a confluence of Muslim advances. To the West, the Almoravid Berber Muslim tribes drove into Spain and pushed northward, pillaging and massacring the Christian populations they encountered. In the East, following their victory at Manzikert, the Seljuks put Armenia to fire and sword, and within a decade they had conquered three-fourths of Asia Minor. By 1090 C.E., Grousset has observed [18],

…Turkish Islam having almost entirely driven the Byzantines out of Asia [Minor], was preparing to pass over into Europe. [i.e., from the East]

Finally, in the Holy Land (i.e., Palestine) itself, the Muslim yoke under the Seljuks had become particularly onerous for the indigenous Christian (and Jewish) population, as well as Christian pilgrims. Both the native and pilgrim populations were subjected to forced conversions, kidnappings, and murder in an atmosphere of overall insecurity for the life and property of non-Muslims. Michael the Syrian, the 12th century Jacobite patriarch of Antioch, reproducing earlier contemporary sources in his famous Chronicle, summarized the prevailing conditions for Christians in Palestine, as follows: [19]

As the Turks were ruling the lands of Syria and Palestine, they inflicted injuries on Christians who went to pray in Jerusalem, beat them, pillaged them, levied the poll tax at the gate of the town and also at Golgotha and the [Holy] Sepulchre; and in addition, every time they saw a caravan of Christians, particularly of those from Rome and the lands of Italy, they made every effort to cause their death in diverse ways. And when countless people had perished as a result, the kings and counts were seized with [religious] zeal and left Rome; troops from all these countries joined them, and they came by sea to Constantinople [First Crusade (1096-99)].

The late Jacques Ellul’s penetrating analysis of the jihad [20] argued convincingly that in fact, 

…the idea of a holy war is a direct product of the Muslim jihad. If the latter is a holy war, then obviously the fight against Muslims to defend or save Christianity has also to be a holy war. The idea of a holy war is not of Christian origin. Emperors never advanced the idea prior to the appearance of Islam. 

Ellul’s thesis is confirmed when one examines more closely the jihad conquests of the Iberian peninsula, Asia Minor, and Palestine, as well as the imposition of Muslim rule in these regions (particularly the Iberian peninsula and in Palestine), prior to the onset of the Crusades.

Jihad conquests and early Muslim rule on the Iberian peninsula

The Iberian peninsula was conquered in 710-716 C.E. by Arab tribes originating from northern, central and southern Arabia. Massive Berber and Arab immigration, and the colonization of the Iberian peninsula, followed the conquest. Most churches were converted into mosques. Although the conquest had been planned and conducted jointly with a faction of Iberian Christian dissidents, including a bishop, it proceeded as a classical jihad with massive pillages, enslavements, deportations and killings. Toledo, which had first submitted to the Arabs in 711 or 712, revolted in 713. The town was punished by pillage and all the notables had their throats cut. In 730, the Cerdagne (in Septimania, near Barcelona) was ravaged and a bishop burned alive. In the regions under stable Islamic control, subjugated non-Muslim dhimmis -Jews and Christians- like elsewhere in other Islamic lands – were prohibited from building new churches or synagogues, or restoring the old ones. Segregated in special quarters, they had to wear discriminatory clothing. Subjected to heavy taxes, the Christian peasantry formed a servile class exploited by the dominant Arab ruling elites; many abandoned their land and fled to the towns.  Harsh reprisals with mutilations and crucifixions would sanction the Mozarab (Christian dhimmis) calls for help from the Christian kings. Moreover, if one dhimmi harmed a Muslim, the whole community would lose its status of protection, leaving it open to pillage, enslavement and arbitrary killing. [21]
By the end of the eighth century, the rulers of North Africa and of Andalusia had introduced rigorous Maliki jurisprudence as the predominant school of Muslim law. Thus, as Evariste Lévi-Provençal, observed, three quarters of a century ago: [22] 
The Muslim Andalusian state thus appears from its earliest origins as the defender and champion of a jealous orthodoxy, more and more ossified in a blind respect for a rigid doctrine, suspecting and condemning in advance the least effort of rational speculation.

Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq provides these illustrations of the resulting religious and legal discriminations dhimmis suffered, and the accompanying incentives for them to convert to Islam: [23]

A learned Moslem jurist of Hispanic Christian descent who lived around the year 1000, Ahmed ibn Said ibn Hazm (father of the famous mid-eleventh-century author Ibn Hazm) gives glimpses, in several of his juridical consultations, of how the freedom of the “infidels” was constantly at risk.  Non-payment of the head-tax by a dhimmi made him liable to all the Islamic penalties for debtors who did not repay their creditors;  the offender could be sold into slavery or even put to death.  In addition, non-payment of the head-tax by one or several dhimmis – especially if it was fraudulent – allowed the Moslem authority, at its discretion, to put an end to the autonomy of the community to which the guilty party or parties belonged.  Thus, from one day to the next, all the Christians in a city could lose their status as a protected people through the fault of just one of them.  Everything could be called into question, including their personal liberty…Furthermore, non-payment of the legal tribute was not the only reason for abrogating the status of the “People of the Book”;  another was “public outrage against the Islamic faith”, for example, leaving exposed, for Moslems to see, a cross or wine or even pigs.

…by converting [to Islam], one would no longer have to be confined to a given district, or be the victim of discriminatory measures or suffer humiliations…Furthermore, the entire Islamic law tended to favor conversions. When an "infidel" became a Moslem, he immediately benefited from a complete amnesty for all of his earlier crimes, even if he had been sentenced to the death penalty, even if it was for having insulted the Prophet or blasphemed against the Word of God: his conversion acquitted him of all his faults, of all his previous sins. A legal opinion given by a mufti from al-Andalus in the ninth century is very instructive: a Christian dhimmi kidnapped and violated a Moslem woman; when he was arrested and condemned to death, he immediately converted to Islam; he was automatically pardoned, while being constrained to marry the woman and to provide for her a dowry in keeping with her status. The mufti who was consulted about the affair, perhaps by a brother of the woman, found that the court decision was perfectly legal, but specified that if that convert did not become a Moslem in good faith and secretly remained a Christian, he should be flogged, slaughtered and crucified…

Al-Andalus represented the land of jihad par excellence. Every year (or multiple times within a year as “seasonal” razzias [ghazwa]) raiding expeditions were sent to ravage the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, bringing back booty and slaves. Andalusian corsairs attacked and invaded along the Sicilian and Italian coasts, even as far as the Aegean Islands, looting and burning as they went. Many thousands of non-Muslim captives were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the caliph kept a militia of tens of thousand of Christian slaves, brought from all parts of Christian Europe (the Saqaliba), and a harem filled with captured Christian women. Bat Ye’or summarizes these events as follows: [24]

Breaking out of Arabia and from the conquered regions- Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine-these successive waves of immigrants settled in Spain and terrorized southern France. Reaching as far as Avignon, they plundered the Rhone valley by repeated razzias. In 793 C.E., the suburbs of Narbonne were burned down and its outskirts raided. Calls to jihad attracted the fanaticized hordes in the ribats (monastery-fortresses) spanning the Islamo-Spainish frontiers. Towns were pillaged and rural areas devastated. In 981, Zamora and the surrounding countryside in the kingdom of Leon suffered destruction and the deportation of four thousand prisoners. Four years later, Barcelona was destroyed by fire and nearly all its inhabitants massacred or taken prisoner; several years after its conquest in 987, Coimbra remained desolate; Leon was demolished and its countryside ruined. In 997, Santaigo de Compostela was pillaged and razed to the ground. Three years later, Castille was put to fire and sword by Muslim troops and the population, captured in the course of these campaigns, enslaved and deported. The invasions by the Almoravides and the Almohades (eleventh to thirteenth centuries), Berber dynasties from the Maghreb, reactivated the jihad.

Society was sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines, with the Arab tribes at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the Berbers who were never recognized as equals, despite their Islamization; lower in the scale came the mullawadun converts and, at the very bottom, the dhimmi Christians and Jews. The Andalusian Maliki jurist Ibn Abdun (d. 1134) offered these telling legal opinions regarding Jews and Christians in Seville around 1100 C.E.: [25]
No…Jew or Christian may be allowed to wear the dress of an aristocrat, nor of a jurist, nor of a wealthy individual; on the contrary they must be detested and avoided. It is forbidden to [greet] them with the [expression], “Peace be upon you’. In effect, ‘Satan has gained possession of them, and caused them to forget God’s warning. They are the confederates of Satan’s party; Satan’s confederates will surely be the losers!” (Qur’an 58:19 [modern Dawood translation]). A distinctive sign must be imposed upon them in order that they may be recognized and this will be for them a form of disgrace.
Ibn Abdun also forbade the selling of scientific books to dhimmis under the pretext that they translated them and attributed them to their co-religionists and bishops.  (In fact, plagiarism is difficult to prove since whole Jewish and Christian libraries were looted and destroyed). Another prominent Andalusian jurist, Ibn Hazm of Cordoba (d. 1064), wrote that Allah has established the infidels’ ownership of their property merely to provide booty for Muslims. [26]
In Granada, the Jewish viziers Samuel Ibn Naghrela, and his son Joseph, who protected the Jewish community, were both assassinated between 1056 to 1066, followed by the annihilation of the Jewish population by the local Muslims. It is estimated that up to five thousand Jews perished in the pogrom by Muslims that accompanied the 1066 assassination. This figure equals or exceeds the number of Jews reportedly killed by the Crusaders during their pillage of the Rhineland, some thirty years later, at the outset of the First Crusade. The Granada pogrom was likely to have been incited, in part, by the bitter anti-Jewish ode of Abu Ishaq a well known Muslim jurist and poet of the times, who wrote: [27]
Bring them down to their place and Return them to the most abject station. They used to roam around us in tatters Covered with contempt, humiliation, and scorn. They used to rummage amongst the dungheaps for a bit of a filthy rag To serve as a shroud for a man to be buried in...Do not consider that  killing them is treachery. Nay, it would be treachery to leave them scoffing.” [The translator then summarizes: ‘The Jews have broken their covenant (i.e., overstepped their station, with reference to the Covenant of Umar) and compunction would be out of place.]

The discriminatory policies of the Berber Muslim Almoravids, who arrived in Spain in 1086, and subsequently those of the even more fanaticized and violent Almohad Berber Muslims (who arrived in Spain in 1146-1147) caused a rapid attrition of the pre-Islamic Iberian Christian (Mozarab) communities, nearly extinguishing them. The Almoravid attitude towards the Mozarabs is well reflected by three successive expulsions of the latter to Morocco: in 1106, 1126, and 1138. The oppressed Mozarabs sent emissaries to the king of Aragon, Alphonso 1st le Batailleur (1104-1134), asking him to come to their rescue and deliver them from the Almoravids. Following  the raid that the King of Aragon launched in Andalusia in 1125-1126 in responding to the pleas of Grenada’s Mozarabs, the latter were deported en masse to Morocco in the Fall of 1126. [28] Dozy summarizes the events leading up, and surrounding the mass deportations, as
follows: [29]

…the Fakihs and the [Muslim] populace fostered against them [the Mozarabs] [an] envenomed hatred. In most towns they formed but a small community, but in the province of Granada they were still numerous, and near the capital they possessed a beautiful church, which had been built about 600 C.E. by Gudila, a [Visi]Gothic noble. This church was an offense to the Fakihs…they issued a fetwa decreeing its demolition. Yusuf [b. Tashifin, the Almoravid ruler] having given his approval, the sacred edifice was leveled with the ground (1099 C.E.). Other churches seem to have met with a similar fate, and the Fakihs treated the Mozarabs so oppressively that the latter at length appealed to Alfonso the Battler, King of Aragon, to deliver them from their intolerable burdens. Alfonso acceded to their request. In September, 1125, he set out with four thousand knights and their men -at-arms…Alfonso, did not however, achieve the results he aimed at…the ultimate object of the expedition had been the capture of Granada, and this was not effected. Upon the withdrawal of the Aragonese army, the Moslems cruelly avenged themselves on the Mozarabs. Ten thousand of the Christians were already out of their reach, for knowing the fate in store for them they had obtained permission from Alfonso to settle in his territories, but many who remained were deprived of their property, maltreated in endless ways, thrown into prision, or put to death. The majority, however, were transported to Africa, and endured terrible sufferings, ultimately settling in the vicinity of Saleh and Mequinez (1126 C.E.). This deportation was carried out by virtue of a decree which the Kady Ibn Rushd- grandfathter of the famous Averroes- had procured…Eleven years later a second expulsion took place, and very few were left in Andalusia.

The Almohads (1130-1232) wreaked enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations in Spain and North Africa. This devastation- massacre, captivity, and forced conversion- was described by the Jewish chronicler Abraham Ibn Daud, and the poet Abraham Ibn Ezra. Suspicious of the sincerity of the Jewish converts to Islam, Muslim “inquisitors” (i.e., antedating their Christian Spanish counterparts by three centuries) removed the children from such families, placing them in the care of Muslim educators. [30] Maimonides, the renowned philosopher and physician, experienced the Almohad persecutions, and had to flee Cordoba with his entire family in 1148, temporarily residing in Fez — disguised as a Muslim — before finding asylum in Fatimid Egypt. Indeed, although Maimonides is frequently referred to as a paragon of Jewish achievement facilitated by the enlightened rule of Andalusia, his own words debunk this utopian view of the Islamic treatment of Jews: [31]

..the Arabs have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us...Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they…

Jihad in Asia Minor

The modern historian Vacalopoulos has summarized the devastation wrought by the Seljuk jihad conquest of Asia Minor: [32]

At the beginning of the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks forced their way into Armenia and there crushed the armies of several petty Armenian states.  No fewer than forty thousand souls fled before the organized pillage of the Seljuk host to the western part of Asia Minor…From the middle of the eleventh century, and especially after the battle of Malazgirt [Manzikurt] (1071), the Seljuks spread throughout the whole Asia Minor peninsula, leaving terror, panic and destruction in their wake.  Byzantine, Turkish and other contemporary sources are unanimous in their agreement on the extent of havoc wrought and the protracted anguish of the local population… With the extermination of local populations or their precipitate flight, entire villages, cities, and sometimes whole provinces fell into decay… Other districts were literally transformed into wildernesses… Impenetrable thickets sprang up in places where once there had been luxuriant fields and pastures.    

The contemporary (primary) source narratives of Matthew of Edessa (12th century; d. after 1136), Samuel of Ani (d. 2nd half of 12th century), Anna Comnena (d. 1153), and an anonymous Georgian chronicler, describe the Seljuk campaigns which ravaged Armenia, Anatolia, and Georgia during the 11th and 12th centuries, as follows:
Matthew of Edessa
In the beginning of the year 465 [1015-16 C.E.] a calamity proclaiming the fulfillment of divine portents befell the Christian adorers of the Holy Cross.  The death-breathing dragon appeared, accompanied by a destroying fire, and struck the believers in the Holy Trinity.  The apostolic and prophetic books trembled, for there arrived winged serpents cone to vomit fire upon Christ’s faithful.  I wish to describe in this language, the first eruption of ferocious beasts covered with blood.  At this period there gathered the savage nation of infidels called Turks.  Setting out, they entered the province of Vaspuracan and put the Christians to the sword….Facing the enemy, the Armenians saw these
strange men, who were armed with bows and had flowing hair like women. [33]

During the year 551 [the date is wrong and could be 511,1062] of the Armenian era, the Turks under the command of three of Sultan Tughril [Beg]’s generals, called Slar Khorasan, Mdjmdj [Medjmedj] and Isulv, [brought about a torrent of blood on the Christian nation and they] invaded the district of Baghin in the Fourth Armenia and sacked it. From there [like a venomous snake], they moved into the adjacent districts of Thelkhum and Arghni, where they took the Christians by surprise and exterminated them. The massacre began on the 4th of the month of Areg, a Saturday, at the eighth hour of the day [there follows a vivid description of massacre that is not translated by Dulaurier. The translation into English has been made from Dulaurier’s French translation, with omissions reintegrated in square brackets]. [34]

Everywhere throughout the Cilicia, up to Taurus, Marash and Deluh and the environs, reigned agitation and trouble.  For populations were precipitated into these regions en masse, coming by the thousands and crowding into them.  They were like locusts, covering the surface of the land.  They were more numerous, I might add seven times more numerous, than the people whom Moses led across the Red Sea; more numerous than the pebbles in the desert of Sinai.  The land was inundated by these multitudes of people.  Illustrious personages, nobles, chiefs, women of position, wandered in begging their bread.  Our eyes witnessed this sad spectacle. [35]

Toward the beginning of the year 528 [1079-80] famine desolated….the lands of the worshippers of the Cross, already ravaged by the ferocious and sanguinary Turkish hordes.  Not one province remained protected from their devastations.  Everywhere the Christians had been delivered to the sword or into bondage, interrupting thus the cultivation of the fields, so that bread was lacking.  The farmers and workers has been massacred or lead off into slavery, and famine extended its rigors to all places.  Many provinces were depopulated; the Oriental nation [Armenians] no longer existed, and the land of the Greeks was in ruins. Nowhere was one able to procure bread. [36]

Samuel of Ani-The Taking of Ani by Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan (1064)
In 513 of the Armenian era [1064], at the time of the festival of the Virgin, on a Monday, the town of Ani was taken by the Sultan Alp Arslan [1063-73], who massacred its inhabitants, apart from the women and children whom he led into captivity. [37]

Anna Comnena
And since the succession of Diogenes the barbarians tread upon the boundaries of the empire of the Rhomaioi….the barbarian hand was not restricted until the reign of my father.  Swords and spears were whetted against the Christians, and also battles, wars and massacres.  Cities were obliterated, lands were plundered, and the whole land of the Rhomaioi was stained by blood of Christians.  Some fell piteously [the victims] of arrows and spears, other being driven away from their homes were carried off captive to the cities of Persia.  Terror reigned over all and they hastened to hide in the caves, forests, mountains and hills.  Among them some cried aloud in horror at those things which they suffered, being led off to Persia; and others who yet survived (if some did remain within the Rhomaic boundaries), lamenting, cried, the one for his son, the other for his daughter.  One bewailed his brother, another his cousin who had died previously, and like women shed hot tears.  And there was at that time not one relationship which was without tears and without sadness. [38]

Georgian Chronicler
The emirs spread out, like locusts, over the face of the land….The countries of Asis-Phorni, Clardjeth, up to the shores of the sea, Chawcheth, Adchara, Samtzkhe, Karthli, Argoueth, Samokalako, and Dchqondid were filled with Turks, who pillaged and enslaved all the inhabitants.

In a single day the burned Kouthathis, Artanoudj, the hermitages of Clardjeth, and they remained in these lands until the first snows, devouring the land, massacring all those who had fled to the forests, to the rocks, to the caves…

The calamities of Christianity did not come to and end soon thereafter, for the approach of spring, the Turks returned to carry out the same ravages and left [again] in the winter.  The [inhabitants] however were unable to plant or to harvest.  The land, [thus] delivered to slavery, had only animals of the forests and wild beasts for inhabitants.  Karthli was in the grip of intolerable calamities such as one cannot compare to a single devastation or combination of evils of past times.  The holy churches served as stables for their horses, the sanctuaries of the Lord served as repairs for the abominations [Islam].  Some of the priests were immolated during the Holy Communion itself, and others were carried off into harsh slavery without regard to their old age.  The virgins were defiled, the youths circumcised, and the infants taken away.  The conflagration, expending its ravages, consumed all the inhabited sites, the rivers, instead of water, flowed blood.  I shall apply the sad words of Jeremiah, which he applied so well to such situations: “The honorable children of Zion, never put to the test by misfortunes, now voyaged as slaves on foreign roads.  The streets of Zion now wept because there was no one [left] to celebrate the feasts.  The tender mothers, in place of preparing with their hands the nourishment of the sons, were themselves nourished from the corpses of these dearly loved.  Such and worse was the situation at that time…..”

As Isaiah said: “Your land is devastated, your cities reduced to ashes, and foreigners have devoured your provinces, which are sacked and ruined by barbarian nations.” [39]

J.B. Segal reviewed the destruction of the Christian enclave of Edessa in 1144-1146 C.E., during the Crusades, using primary source documentation: [40]

Thirty thousand souls were killed. Women, youths, and children to the number of sixteen thousand were carried into slavery, stripped of their cloths, barefoot, their hands bound, forced to run beside their captors on horses. Those who could not endure were pierced by lances or arrows, or abandoned to wild animals and birds of prey. Priests were killed out of hand or captured; few escaped. The Archbishop of the Armenians was sold at Aleppo…The whole city was given over to looting, ‘..for a whole year..’, resulting in ‘…complete ruin..’. From this disaster the Christian community of Edessa never recovered.

Finally, these two devastating jihad attacks (1144 and 1146 C.E.) on Edessa by the Seljuk Turks, which included the mass murder of non-combatants, were depicted in a graphic contemporary account by Michael the Syrian [41], as follows:

The Turks entered with their swords and blades drawn, drinking the blood of the old and the young, the men and the women, the priests and the deacons, the hermits and the monks, the nuns, the virgins, the infants at the breast, the betrothed men and the women to whom they were betrothed! …Ah! what a bitter tale!  The city of Abgar, the friend of Christ, was trampled underfoot because of our iniquity:  the priests were massacred, the deacons immolated, the subdeacons crushed, the temples pillaged, the altars overturned!  Alas! what a calamity!  Fathers denied their children; the mother forgot her affection for her little ones!  While the sword was devouring and everyone was fleeing to the mountaintop, some gathered their children, like a hen her chicks, and waited to die together by the sword or else to be led off together into captivity!  Some aged priests, who were carrying the relics of the martyrs, seeing this raging destruction, recited the words of the prophet:  “I will endure the Lord’s wrath, because I have sinned against Him and angered Him.”8  And they did not take flight, nor did they cease praying until the sword rendered them mute.  Then they were found at the same spot, their blood spilled all around them….
The Turks descended from the citadel upon those who had remained in the churches or in other places, whether because of old age, or as a result of some other infirmity, and they tortured them, showing no pity.  Those who had escaped from being suffocated or trampled [in the crush] and had left the city with the Franks were surrounded by the Turks, who rained down upon them a hail of arrows which cruelly pierced them through.  O cloud of wrath and day without mercy!  In which the scourge of violent wrath once again struck the unfortunate Edessenians.  O night of death, morning of hell, day of perdition! which arose against the citizens of that excellent city.  Alas, my brethren!  Who could recount or hear without tears how the mother and the infant that she carried in her arms were pierced through by the same arrow, without anyone to lift them up or to remove the arrow!  And soon, [as they lay] in that state, the hooves of the horses of those who were pursuing them pounded them furiously!  That whole night they had been pierced by arrows, and at daybreak, which was for them even darker, they were struck by the swords and the lances!... And then the earth shivered with horror at the massacre that took place:  like the sickle on the stalks of grain, or like fire among wood chips, the sword carried off the Christians.  The corpses of priests, deacons, monks, noblemen and the poor were abandoned pell-mell.  Yet, although their death was cruel, they nevertheless did not have as much to suffer as those who remained alive;  for when the latter fell in the midst of the fire and the wrath of the Turks, [those barbarians] stripped them of their clothing and of their footwear. Striking them with rods, they forced them – men and women, naked and with their hands tied behind their backs – to run with the horses;  those perverts pierced the belly of anyone who grew faint and fell to the ground, and left him to die along the road.  And so they became the prey of wild beasts, and then they expired, or else the food of birds of prey, in which case they were tortured.  The air was poisoned with the stench of the corpses;  Assyria was filled with captives.

Moshe Gil, in his seminal analysis A History of Palestine, 634-1099,  emphasizes the singular centrality that Palestine occupied in the mind of its pre-Islamic Jewish inhabitants, who referred to the land as “al-Sham.” Indeed, as Gil observes, the sizable Jewish population in Palestine (who formed a majority of its inhabitants, when grouped with the Samaritans) at the dawn of the Arab Muslim conquest were “…the direct descendants of the generations of Jews who had lived there since the days of Joshua bin Nun, in other words for some 2000 years…”. [42] He also explodes the ahistorical thesis of scholars who, [43]

…perceive an ethnic motivation behind the [jihad] conquests.  They see Arabs everywhere: even the Canaanites and the Philistines were Arabs, according to their theories.  This applies to an even greater degree to the population of Palestine and Syria in the seventh century, who were certainly Semites.  Thus, according to their claims, the conquering Arab forces in the course of their battles, actually encountered their own people or at least members of their own race who spoke the same language…This is of course a very distorted view: Semitism is not a race and only relates to a sphere of language.  The populations met along the route of battle, living in cities or the country side, were not Arabs and did not speak Arabic.  We do know of Bedouin tribes at that time who inhabited the borderlands and the southern desert of Palestine, west of the Euphrates (Hira) in the Syrian desert, Palmyra, and elsewhere.  But the cultivated inner regions and the cities were inhabited by Jews and Christians who spoke Aramaic.  They did not sense any special ties to the Bedouin; if anything it was the contrary.  Their proximity and the danger of an invasion from that quarter disturbed their peace of mind and this is amply reflected both in the writings of the Church Fathers and in Talmudic sources.
Gil concludes that views of the jihad conquest of Palestine expressed in the sources from the vanquished, indigenous non-Muslim populations, [44]

…reflect the attitude of the towns and villages in Palestine quite accurately; the attitude of a sedentary population, of farmers and craftsmen, toward nomads whose source of income is the camel and who frequently attack the towns, pillage and slaughter the inhabitants, and endanger the lives of the wayfarer.  These sources completely contradict the argument…to the effect that the villagers and townsmen in Palestine accepted the invasion of those tribes bearing the banner of Islam with open arms of their so-called racial affinity.

Bat Ye’or summarizes the Arab Muslim conquest of Palestine as follows: [45]

…Abu Bakr organized the invasion of Syria [Syro-Palestine] which Muhammad had already envisaged. He gathered tribes from the Hijaz, Najd, and Yemen and advised Abu Ubayda, in charge of operations in the Golan, to plunder the countryside, but due to a lack of adequate weaponry, to refrain from attacking towns. Consequently, the whole Gaza region up to Cesarea was sacked and devastated in the campaign of 634. Four thousand Jewish, Christian, and Samaritan peasants who defended their land were massacred. The villages of the Negev were pillaged by Amr b. al-As, while the Arabs overran the countryside, cut communications, and made roads perilous. Towns such as Jerusalem, Gaza, Jaffa, Cesarea, Nablus, and Beth Shean were isolated and closed their gates. In his sermon on Christmas day 634, the patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, lamented over the impossibility of going on pilgrimage to Bethlehem, as was the custom because the Christians were being forcibly kept in Jerusalem: ‘not detained by tangible bonds, but chained and nailed by fear of the Saracens,’ whose ‘savage, barbarous and bloody sword’ kept them locked up in the town…Sophronius, in his sermon on the Day of the Epiphany 636, bewailed the destruction of the churches and monasteries, the sacked towns, the fields laid waste, the villages burned down by the nomads who were overrunning the country. In a letter the same year to Sergius, the patriarch of Constantinople, he mentions the ravages wrought by the Arabs. Thousands of people perished in 639, victims of the famine and plague that resulted from these destructions.

The countryside [in Syro-Palestine, Iraq, Persia, and Armenia] suffered constant razzias, while those who escaped the sword swelled the contingents of enslaved women and children, shared out among the soldiers after the deduction of the fifth [share of the “booty”] reserved for the caliph.

According to [the Muslim chronicler] Baladhuri (d. 892 C.E.), 40,000 Jews lived in Caesarea alone at the Arab conquest, after which all trace of them is lost…

The 10th century Jacobite chronicler Michael the Syrian wrote that the ongoing Arab razzias and expeditions in Syro-Palestine (as well as Iraq, Persia, and Armenia), were characterized by repeated, and systematic pillage: [46]

The Taiyaye [Arabs] grew rich, increased and overran [the lands] which they took from the Romans [Byzantines] and which were given over to pillage.

And following the surrender of the city of Damascus, he notes: [47]

Umar [b. al-Khattab] sent Khalid [b. Walid] with an army to the Aleppo and Antioch region. There, they murdered a large number of people. No one escaped them. Whatever may be said of the evils that Syria suffered, they cannot be recounted because of their great number; for the Yaiyaye [Arabs] were the great rod of God’s wrath.

Gil further elaborates on the initial wave of jihad conquests, and details the lasting destruction they wrought: [48]

…at the time of the conquest, Palestine was inhabited by Jews and Christians….The Arab tribes were to be found in the border areas, in keeping with arrangements made with the Byzantine rulers….one can assume that the local population suffered immensely during the course of the war [i.e., jihad conquests] and it is very likely that many villages were destroyed and uprooted in the frontier regions, and that the lot of these local populations was very bitter indeed.  It appears that the period of the conquest was also that of the destruction of the synagogues and churches of the Byzantine era,  remnants of which have been unearthed in our own time and are still being discovered.  The assumption is based both on what is said in a few Christian sources…and on Muslim sources describing ‘Umar’s [Umar b. al-Khattab] visits to al-Sham.  There is no doubt that one of the main purposes of these visits was to establish order and put an end to the devastation and slaughter of the local population…Towns in the western strip and the central strip (the region of the red sand hills and the swamps) in the Sharon, decreased from fifty-eight to seventeen !  It is estimated that the erosion of the soil from the western slopes of the Judaean mountains reached – as a result of the agricultural uprooting during the Muslim period – the gigantic extent of 2,000 to 4,000 cubic meters….We find direct evidence of the destruction of agriculture and the desertion of the villages in the fact that the papyri of Nessana are completely discontinued after the year 700.  One can assume that at the time the inhabitants abandoned the place, evidently because of the inter-tribal warfare among the Arabs which completely undermined the internal security of the area.
An archaeological analysis by Naphtali Lewis emphasizes that the distress of the inhabitants was exacerbated after the year 700. Conditions became unbearable, due to the general political situation and worsening attitudes toward the dhimmis, rendering the Negev a wasteland. [49]
It was precisely at this period in the Caliphate of Abd-al-Malik and his sons (685-743 C.E.) that the Arab state embarked on a new, nationalistic policy. The official records of Islam began to be kept in Arabic…and non-Arabs began to be eliminated from government service. With this Arabization of rule came increasing fiscal burdens for the Christians-burdens which they could now no longer escape by conversion to Islam…[This] may well have rendered life impossible for the villagers of the Negev, who had already before…had occasion to complain of fiscal oppression. In the period of their prosperity…the production of the Negev villages was supplemented by financial assistance from the Byzantine Emperors, in the form of stipends and emoluments paid the military settlers; in the first half-century of Arab rule, which terminated this positive support but otherwise changed conditions little, life could apparently still be sustained- and where life is even barely bearable people are generally reluctant to leave their homes; but when the government changed its policy and began to make conditions as a result become increasingly difficult, life in the southern desert became impossible and the Negev villages disappeared…growing Arab strength…drove out the Negev inhabitants; the weakness of central authority in the area would result from the growing depopulation and relapse into nomadism.
Finally, Gil has translated these observations by the 10th century Karaite commentator Yefet b. ‘Ali expressing awareness of the fact that there was great destruction in Palestine and that there were places which remained uninhabited, while there were other places to which people returned and settled: [50]
…the places which were completely destroyed so that no memory of them remains, like Samaria…and the second…are the places which have been destroyed and ruined, but despite this there are guards and people living there, such as Hebron and others…

Gil also captures the stark, unromantic reality of Muslim ruled Palestine during this era which included-the initial jihad conquest and establishment of Arab Muslim rule, from 634 to 661; Umayyad-Damascene rule, from 661 until 750; Abbasid-Baghdadian rule, from 750 through 878; Turco-Egyptian rule- Tulunids and Ikshidids- from 878 until 970- "interrupted" by Abbasid-Baghdadian rule again, between 905 and 930; nearly two generations of war including numerous participants, the dominant party being the Fatimids, from 970 through 1030; just over 40-years of Fatimid-Egyptian rule, between 1030 and 1071; and a generation of (Seljuq) Turkish (or “Turcoman”) rule encompassing most of Palestine, from 1071 until 1099. [51]

Dramatic persecution, directed specifically at Christians, [52] included executions for refusing to apostasize to Islam  during the first two decades of the 8th century, under the reigns of Abd al-Malik, his son Sulayman, and Umar b. Abd al-Aziz. Georgian, Greek, Syriac, and Armenian sources report both prominent individual and group executions (for eg., sixty-three out of seventy Christian pilgrims from Iconium in Asia Minor were executed by the Arab governor of Caesarea, barring seven who apostasized to Islam, and sixty Christian pilgrims from Amorion were crucified in Jerusalem). [53]

The Abbasids moved the capital city from Damascus (seat of the Umayyad Empire) to Baghdad, absorbed much of the Syrian and Persian culture, as well as Persian methods of governance, and ushered in a putative "Golden Age." Gil and Bat Ye’or  offer revealing assessments of this “Golden Age” dhimmitude and its adverse impact on the conquered, indigenous Jews and Christians of Palestine. Under early Abbasid rule (approximately 750-755 C.E., perhaps during the reign Abul Abbas Abdullah al-Saffah) Greek sources report orders demanding the removal of crosses over Churches, bans on Church services and teaching of the scriptures, the eviction of monks from their monasteries, and excessive taxation. [54] Gil notes that in 772 C.E., when Caliph al-Mansur visited Jerusalem, [55]

..he ordered a special mark should be stamped on the hands of the Christians and the Jews. Many Christians fled to Byzantium.

The following decade witnessed persistent acts of persecution as well. These details are provided by Gil: [56]

One source tells of a Muslim who converted to Christianity and became a monk, and renamed Christophorous. He was beheaded on 14 April 789. At around the same time, evidently, there was an Arab attack on the monastery of St. Theodosius, near Bethlehem. The monastery was pillaged, many of the monks were slaughtered and some escaped. The attackers also destroyed two churches near that monastery. A Church source tells about the suffering endured by the monasteries in the Judean mountains during the inter-tribal warfare which broke out in 796…While Bet Guvrin was being abandoned by its inhabitants, who were falling captive to the Arabs, assaults were being made in Ascalon, Gaza, and other localities. Everywhere there was pillage and destruction.

Bat Ye’or elucidates the fiscal oppression inherent in eighth century Palestine which devastated the dhimmi Jewish and Christian peasantry: “Over-taxed and tortured by the tax collectors, the villagers fled into hiding or emigrated into towns.” [57] She quotes from a detailed chronicle of an eighth century monk, completed in 774: ‘The men scattered, they became wanderers everywhere; the fields were laid waste, the countryside pillaged; the people went from one land to another’. [58]

The Greek chronicler Theophanes (as summarized by Gil) provides a contemporary description of the chaotic events which transpired after the death of the caliph Harun al-Rashid in 809 C.E., and the ensuing fratricidal war which erupted between the brothers al-Amin and al-Ma’mun. [59]

According to him [Theophanes] these events caused the Christians an enormous amount of suffering. Many churches and monasteries in Jerusalem and its environs were abandoned, such as those of Sts Cyriac, Theodosius, Chariton, Euthymius, and Mar Saba. Four years later, in 813, the disturbances broke out anew and many Christians, both monks and laity, fled from Palestine to Cyprus and Constantinople, where they found refuge from the Arabs’ terrible persecution in those days of anarchy and civil war. Palestine was the scene of violence, rape, and murder.

Perhaps the clearest outward manifestations of the inferiority and humiliation of the dhimmis were the prohibitions regarding their dress "codes", and the demands that distinguishing signs be placed on the entrances of dhimmi houses. During the Abbasid caliphates of Harun al-Rashid (786-809) and al-Mutawwakil (847-861), Jews and Christians were required [60]  to wear yellow (as patches attached to their garments, or hats). Later, to differentiate further between Christians and Jews, the Christians were required to wear blue. In 850, consistent with Qur’anic verses associating them with Satan and Hell, [61] al-Mutawwakil decreed that Jews and Christians attach wooden images of devils to the doors of their homes to distinguish them from the homes of Muslims. Bat Ye’or summarizes the oppression of the dhimmis throughout the Abbasid empire under al- Mutawwakil as “..a wave of religious persecution, forced conversions, and the elimination of churches and synagogues…” [62]

Paroxysms of violent persecution erupted yet again in October-November 923 C.E. according to the patriarch of Alexandria, Sa’id b. Bitriq, as well as two Muslim chroniclers [summarized by Gil]: [63]

…the Muslims attacked…in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (26 March 937) and set fire to the southern gates of Constantine’s church and to half of the exedra, whereupon the Church of the Calvary and the Church of the Resurrection collapsed…According to al-Makin and al-Maqrizi, the Church of the Resurrection and the Church of the Calvary were also robbed of their treasures…It seems at the same time the Muslims attacked in Ascalon again. According to Yahya b. Sa’id, the assault was made on ‘the great church there, known by the name of Mary the Green. They destroyed it and robbed it of all its contents and then set fire to it’…The bishop of Ascalon then left for Baghdad to get permission to rebuild the church, but he did not succeed. The church was left in ruins, for the Muslims who lived in Ascalon agreed amongst themselves that they would not allow it to be built again. As to the bishop, he never returned to Ascalon and remained in Ramla until his death.

During the early 11th century period of al-Hakim’s reign, religious assaults and hostility intensified. As Gil notes, [64]

…the destruction of the churches at the Holy Sepulchre [1009 C.E.]  marked the beginning of a whole series of acts of oppression against the Christian population, which according to reliable sources, extended to coercion to convert to Islam.

Yahya b. Sa’id’s description of the events surrounding the destruction of the Churches of the Holy Sepulchre is summarized by Gil: [65]

They dismantled the Church of the Resurrection to its very foundations, apart from what could not be destroyed or pulled up, and they also destroyed the Golgotha and the Church of St Constantine and all that they contained, as well as the sacred grave stones. They even tried to dig up the graves and wipe out all traces of their existence. Indeed they broke and uprooted most of them. They also laid waste to a convent in the neighborhood…The authorities took all the other property belonging to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and its pious foundations and all its furnishings and treasures.

Citing both Muslim (al-Quda’i, Ibn Khallikan, and Ibn Al-Athir) and non-Muslim (Bar Hebraeus) sources, Gil also describes the edicts al-Hakim imposed upon the Christians and Jews beginning in August 1011 C.E.: [66]

They were ordered to wear black turbans. The Christians had to wear a cross the length of a cubit and weighing five ratls around their necks around their necks; the Jews were obliged to wear a block of wood of similar weight…they had to wear some distinguishing mark in the bath-houses, and finally al-Hakim decided that there were to be separate bath-houses for their use…Ibn Al-Athir conveys…that al-Hakim ordered (after the destruction of the Chucrh of the Resurrection in Jerusalem…) that all the churches in the realm be destroyed, and this was done, and that the Jews and Christians were then to accept Islam, or emigrate to Byzantine lands. They were also obliged to wear special distinguishing signs. Many converted…Bar Hebraeus speaks of thousands of churches which were destroyed in the Fatimid kingdom at that time; the decree regarding the wearing of the cross around the neck was also, he says, a means of pressuring the Christians to convert. The wooden block the Jews were obliged to wear, had to be in the shape of a calf, as a reminder of the golden calf…

In a separate, focused analysis of the conditions of the dhimmis of Jerusalem, Gil concludes that during the early through the mid 11th century, the Jews suffered both economically and physically: [67]
Economic conditions in Jerusalem were rather harsh, and the yeshiva often issued urgent appeals for aid. Besides, there were frequent acts of oppression on the part of the Muslim authorities. Very often special heavy taxes were imposed, which aggravated the already precarious situation of both the yeshiva and the Jewish population of Jerusalem. It must be remembered that taxation in Jerusalem was probably different from that found in other parts of the Muslim world. It seems that Jews there had to pay a comprehensive lump sum for the whole Jewish population of the city, regardless of its numbers. When the population decreased as a result of wars and Bedouin upheavals, the burden on each individual became heavier. In such situations the yeshiva was forced to borrow money, against heavy interest, from wealthy Muslims. When the time of repayment arrived, Jewish notables were in danger of being imprisoned, as the yeshiva was not in a position to accumulate the funds it had to return. In some cases people were actually incarcerated and it took a great deal of effort to collect the funds necessary for their release. An example is the letter written by Abraham, the son and main assistant of Solomon b. Yehuda, head of the yeshiva, to the sons of Mevasser, a family of parnasim of Fustat, asking them to keep their promise to send the aid in time to pay the kharaj.
Muslim Turcoman rule of Palestine for the nearly three decades just prior to the Crusades (1071-1099 C.E.) was characterized by such unrelenting warfare and devastation, that an imminent “End of Days” atmosphere was engendered. [68] For example, Gil describes one of Atsiz b. Awaq’s jihad campaigns in Syro-Palestine at around 1077 C.E.: [69]
Then Atsiz advanced on Jerusalem from Damascus, placed the city under siege, and promised its inhabitants the aman; on this basis, the inhabitants opened the gates of the city to him. Atsiz prevailed over Jerusalem, completely ignoring his promise of aman, and went on a rampage. He slaughtered 3,000 people there…He also conducted campaigns of annihilation against Ramla, until all its people had fled, and against Gaza, where he murdered the entire population. He likewise massacred people in al-'Arish and elsewhere and wrought endless havoc in Damascus, where only 3,000 of the original 500,000 inhabitants had remained, due to starvation and scarcity. Jaffa, too, was attacked, and its governor…fled from the town to Tyre, together with all the city's inhabitants, while the walls of Jaffa were destroyed on Atsiz' orders.
A contemporary Russian chronicle cited by Gil indicates that the Turcomans,

“…destroyed and desolated the cities and the villages from Antioch to Jerusalem. They murdered, took captive, pillaged, set on fire; they destroyed churches and monasteries”. [70]
Gil notes that these observations are confirmed by Geniza documents, describing how, “…the Turcoman occupation denoted terrible calamities, such as the taking captive of the people of Ramla, the cutting off of roads, the obduracy of the commanders, the aura of anxiety and panic, and so on.” [71] He continues, “We do not know what Atsiz' attitude was to the Jewish population in 1078, during the cruel suppression of the uprisings and the destruction of towns, but the fact that from this date onwards, we barely find letters from Palestine (apart from Ascalon and Caesarea) in the Geniza documents, speaks for itself.” [72]
A contemporary poem by Solomon ha-Kohen b. Joseph, believed to be a descendant of the Geonim, an illustrious family of Palestinian Jewish religious leaders, speaks of destruction and ruin, the burning of harvests, the razing of plantations, the desecration of cemeteries, and acts of violence, slaughter, and plunder: [73]
They were a strange and cruel people, girt with garments of many colors,/Armed and officered-chiefs among ‘the terrible ones’-/And capped with helmets, black and red,/With bow and spear and full quivers;/And they trumpet like elephants, and roar as the roaring ocean,/To terrify, to frighten those who oppose them,/
And they are wicked men and sinners, madmen, not sane,/ And they laid waste the cities, and they were made desolate/And they rejoiced in their hearts, hoping to inherit./
He [God] also remembered what they had done to the people of Jerusalem,/ That they had besieged them twice in two years,/ And burned the heaped corn and destroyed the places,/ And cut down the trees and trampled upon the vineyards,/And surrounded the city upon the high mountains,/And despoiled the graves and threw out the bones,/And built palaces, to protect themselves against the heat,/And erected an altar to slay upon it the abominations;/And the men and the women ride upon the walls, Crying unto the God of gods, to quiet the great anger,/ Standing the whole night, banishing sleep,/While the enemy destroy, evening and morning,/And break down the whole earth, and lay bare the ground,/ And stand on the highways, intending to slay like Cain,/ And cut off the ears, and also the nose,/And rob the garments, leaving them stand naked,/ And also roar like lions, and roar like young lions;/ They do not resemble men, they are like beasts,/ And also harlots and adulterers, and they inflame themselves with males,/ They are bad and wicked and spiteful as Sodomites./ And they impoverished the sons of nobles, and starved the delicately bred./ And all the people of the city went out and cried in the field,/ And covered their lips, silent in their pains,/ And they had no mercy on widows, and pitied not the orphans.
Gil concludes that as a result of the Turcoman jihad, [74]
Palestine was drawn into a whirlpool of anarchy and insecurity, of internal wars among the Turks themselves and between them (generally in collaboration with the Arab tribes) and the Fatimids. Here and there, in one or another area, a delicate state of balance was arrived at for a few years. By and large, however, the Turcoman period, which lasted less than thirty years, was one of slaughter and vandalism, of economic hardship and the uprooting of populations. Terrible suffering, eviction and wandering, was the par¬ticular lot of the Jewish population, and chiefly its leadership, the Pal¬estinian yeshiva.
Gil offers this sobering overall assessment from his extensive, copiously documented analysis of the initial period of Muslim rule of Palestine, from 634 to 1099 C.E.:

These facts do not call for much interpretation; together they simply form a picture of almost unceasing insecurity, of endless rebellions and wars, of upheavals and instability…

The brutal nature of the Crusader’s conquest of Palestine, particularly of the major cities, beginning in 1098/99 C.E., has been copiously documented. [76] However, the devastation wrought by both Crusader conquest and rule (through the last decades of the 13th century) cannot reasonably be claimed to have approached, let alone somehow “exceeded”, what transpired during the first four and one-half centuries of Muslim jihad conquests, endless internecine struggles for Muslim dominance, and imposition of dhimmitude. As Emmanuel Sivan has observed, regarding Crusader dominion,
considerations appear to have outweighed religious fanaticism and, when it came to the peasantry, the ‘infidel children of the devil’ in the villages were spared. It was clear to the Crusaders that they were themselves too few to dispense with the labor of local …farmers in cultivating the soil. [77]
Moreover, we cannot ignore the testimony of Isaac b. Samuel of Acre (1270-1350 C.E.), one of the most outstanding Kabbalists of his time. Conversant with Islamic theology and often using Arabic in his exegesis, Isaac nevertheless believed that it was preferable to live under the yoke of Christendom rather than that of Islamdom. Acre was taken from the Crusaders by the Mamelukes in 1291 in a very brutal jihad conquest described by Runciman: [78]
Soon the Moslem soldiers penetrated right through the city, slaying everyone, old men, women and children alike. A few lucky citizens who stayed in their houses were taken alive and sold as slaves, but not many were spared. No one could tell the number of those that perished…Some prisoners were freed and returned to Europe after nine or ten years of captivity…Many women and children disappeared for ever into the harems of Mameluk emirs. Owing to the plentiful supply the price of a girl dropped to a drachma a piece in the slave market at Damascus. But the number of Christians that were slain was greater still…As soon as Acre was in his power, the Sultan (al-Ashraf Khalil) set about its systematic destruction…The houses and bazaars were pillaged, then burned; the buildings (of the Orders) and the fortified towers and castles were dismantled; the city walls were left to disintegrate. When the German pilgrim, Ludolf of Suchem passed by some forty years later, only a few peasants lived amongst the ruins of the once splendid capital…
Accordingly, despite the precept to dwell in the Holy Land, Isaac b. Samuel fled to Italy and thence to Christian Spain, where he wrote: [79]
The word ziz in Arabic is derogatory, for when they wish to say in that tongue, ‘Strike him upon the head,’ ‘Give him a blow upon the neck,’ they say zazzhu (‘hit him’)…Indeed, on account of our sins they strike upon the head the children of Israel who dwell in their lands and they thus extort money from them by force. For they say in their tongue, mal al-yahudi mubah, ‘it is lawful to take money of the Jews.’ For, in the eyes of the Muslims, the children of Israel are as open to abuse as an unprotected field. Even in their law and statutes they rule that the testimony of a Muslim is always to be believed against that of a Jew. For this reason our rabbis of blessed memory have said, ‘Rather beneath the yoke of Edom [Christendom] than that of Ishmael.’ They plead for mercy before the Holy One, Blessed be He, saying, ‘Master of the World, either let us live beneath Thy shadow or else beneath that of the children of Edom (a Talmudic verse)


It is ahistorical and frankly absurd to separate the Crusades from the anti-Christian jihad wars that antedated and precipitated them.   Four and one-half centuries of devastating jihad conquests (i.e., 632-1095 C.E.), and the cruel imposition of dhimmitude on the vanquished, primarily Christian populations, finally engendered a sustained, organized and violent response when Christendom perceived its very survival to be imperiled. Jacques Ellul has characterized the origins and effects of this transformation: [80]

…the Crusade is an imitation of the jihad. Thus the Crusade includes a guarantee of salvation. The one who dies in holy war (i.e., jihad) goes straight to Paradise, and the same applies to the one who takes part in a Crusade. This is no coincidence; it is an exact equivalent. The Crusades, which were once admired as an expression of absolute faith, and which are now the subject of accusations against the Church and Christianity, are of Muslim, not Christian origin…The nonviolence of Jesus Christ changes into a war in conflict with that waged by the foe. Like that war, this is now a holy war.

The devastating Islamic institution of jihad must be acknowledged, renounced, dismantled, and relegated forever to the dustbin of history, by Muslims themselves. As Professor Walid Phares, in a frank, astute commentary entitled “Jihad is Jihad”, noted: [81]

In the Christian world, modern Christians outlawed crusading; they did not rewrite history to legitimize themselves. Those who believe that the jihad holy war is a sin today must have the courage to de-legitimize it and outlaw it as well. 

Andrew G. Bostom, MD, MS is an Associate Professor of Medicine and author of the forthcoming The Legacy of Jihad published by Prometheus Books.


[1] John Esposito, Islam The Straight Path, New York, 1994; quoted in Bat Ye'or, Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide, Cranbury, NJ.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2001, p. 314
[2] Bat Ye'or, Islam and Dhimmitude, p. 314
[3] Bat Ye'or, Islam and Dhimmitude, p. 315-16.
[4] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 11.
[5] Gil, A History of Palestine, p. 11. See also, Moshe Gil. “The Constitution of Medina: A Reconsideration”, Israel Oriental Studies, Vol. 4, 1974, pp. 44-66. Gil concludes the following, on pp. 64-65:
Through his alliance with the Arab tribes of Medina the Prophet gained enough strength to achieve a gradual anti-Jewish policy, despite the reluctance of his Medinese allies, who had formerly been those of the Jews…Muslim sources have developed a tradition about a treaty between Muhammad and the Jews, be it this document or a lost one, as presumed by some modern scholars. Elsewhere, it is declared in complete sincerity that Muhammad, without invoking any treaty, simply asked the B. Qaynuqa before taking action against them, to accept Islam…The document, therefore, was not a covenant with the Jews. On the contrary, it was a formal statement of intent to disengage the Arab clans of Medina from the Jewish neighbors they had been allied with up to that time.

[6] Bell, Richard. The Origin of Islam in its Christian Environment, London, 1926, pp. 134-135; 151; 159-161.
[7] Al-Tabari, The History of al-Tabari (Ta’rikh al rusul wa’l-muluk), vol. 12, The Battle of Qadissiyah and the Conquest of Syria and Palestine, translated by Yohanan Friedman, (Albany, NY.: State University of New York Press, 1992), p. 167.
[8] The Noble Qur’an
[9] Translation of Sahih Bukhari
[10] Translation of Sahih Muslim
[11] Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani, La Risala (Epitre sur les elements du dogme et de la loi de l'Islam selon le rite malikite.)
Translated from Arabic by Leon Bercher. 5th ed. Algiers, 1960, p. 165.
[12] Ibn Taymiyyah, in Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam, p. 49
[13] From the Hidayah, vol. ii.
p. 140, excerpted in Thomas P. Hughes,  “A Dictionary of Islam”,  “Jihad” pp. 243-248. London, United Kingdom.: W.H. Allen, 1895.
[14] Al- Mawardi, The Laws of Islamic Governance [al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah], London, United Kingdom.: Ta-Ha, 1996, p. 60.
[15] Ibn Khaldun, The Muqudimmah. An Introduction to History, Translated by Franz Rosenthal. New York, N.: Pantheon, 1958, vol. 1, p. 473.
[16] Harry W. Hazard,  Atlas of Islamic History, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1951.
[17] Al-Tabari, The History of al-Tabari (Ta’rikh al rusul wa’l-muluk), vol. 12; vol. 13, The Conquest of Iraq, Southwestern Persia, and Egypt. Translated by G.H.A. Juynboll, (Albany, NY.: State University of New York Press, 1989); Al-Baladhuri, The Origins of the Islamic State (Kitab Futuh al-Buldan), translated by Philip K. Hitti, New York.: Columbia, 1916; Al-Kufi, The Chachnãmah, Part I: Giving the Mussulman period from the Arab conquest to the beginning of the reign of the Kalhorahs, translated by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg, Delhi Reprint, 1979; Elliott and Dowson, A History of India As Told by Its Own Historians, Vols. 1-8, 1867-1877, (reissued Delhi Reprint, 2001); Kanhadade Prabandha, translated, introduced and annotated by V.S. Bhatnagar, New Delhi, 1991; Biography of Dharmasvamin (Chag lotsava Chos-rje-dpal), a Tibetan Pilgrim, English translation by G. Roerich, Patna,  1959; Mary Boyce, “Chapter Ten- Under the Caliphs”, pp. 145-162, in Zoroastrians-Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Routledge, London, 2001; Michael Morony. Iraq After the Muslim Conquest, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1984, pp. 190-196, 381-382; Dimitar Angelov.
“Certain aspects de la conquete des peuples balkanique par les Turcs”, in Les Balkans au moyen age. La Bulgarie des Bogomils aux Turcs, London: Variorum Reprints, 1978, pp. 220-275; A.E. Vacalopoulos, Origins of the Greek Nation-The Byzantine Period, 1204-1461, New Brunswick, N.J., 1970, pp. 59-85; Speros Vryonis, Jr., The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century, Berkeley, CA.: University of California Press, 1971, pp.69-287; K.S. Lal, The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India, New Delhi.: Aditya Prakashan, 1992, pp. ; K.S. Lal, “Jihad Under the Mughals”, from Theory and Practice of Muslim State in India, New Delhi, Aditya Prakashan, 1999, pp.62-68; Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine, 634 -1099, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 11-74;  Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, Cranbury, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996, pp. 43-60; Demetrios Constantelos. “Greek Christian and other accounts of the Moslem conquests of the near east”, in Christian Hellenism : essays and studies in  continuity and change. New Rochelle, N.Y.: A.D. Caratzas, 1998, pp. 125-144.
[18] Rene Grousset. The Epic of the Crusades. English translation by Noel Lindsay, New York: Orion Press, 1970, p.8.
[19] Michael the Syrian. from Chronique de Michel Le Syrien,  Edited and translated from the Syriac by Jean-Baptiste Chabot, Paris, 1899-1905, Vol. 3, p. 182; English translation in Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Cranbury, New Jersey, 1996, p. 292-293.
[20] Jacques Ellul. The Subversion of Christianity. English translation by Geoffrey Bromiley, Grand rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1986, p. 102.
[21] Evariste Levi-Provencal, Histoire de l’Espagne Musulmane, Paris, 1950, Vol. 1; and Dufourcq, Europe Medievale sous Domination Arabe, see especially chapter 1, “Les Jours de Razzia et d’Invasion.”
[22] Levi-Provencal, Histoire de l’Espagne Musulmane, p. 150.
[23] Dufourcq, Europe Medievale sous Domination Arabe, pp. 50, 194,196
[24] Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity, pp. 49-50.
[25] Georges Vajda, “À propos de la situation des Juifs et des Chrétiens à Séville au début du XIIe siècle”, Revue des Études Juives, 1935, Vol. 99, pp. 127-129.
[26] Roger Arnaldez,  “La guerre sainte selon Ibn Hazm de Courdoue,” in. Etudes d’Orientalism Dediees a la Memoire de Levi-Provencal,  Paris,  Vol. 2, 1962, pp. 445-59.
[27] Moshe Perlmann, “Eleventh Century Andalusian Authors on the Jews of Granada,” Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, 1948-49,  Vol. 18, pp. 286-87.
[28] Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq. “Les Mozarabes du XIIe siecle et le pretenduEveque’ de Lisbonne”, Revue d’Histoire et de Civilisation du Maghreb, 1968, Vol. 5, pp. 125-126.
[29] Reinhart Dozy. Spainish Islam: A History of the Muslims in Spain, London, 1915 (reissued by Kessinger Publishing), pp. 721-722.
[30] H.Z. Hirschberg, A History of the Jews of North Africa, Leiden, 1974, Vol. 1, pp. 123-129.
[31] Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi-Jews and Christians Under Islam, Cranbury, NJ.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985, p. 351.
[32] A.E. Vacalopoulos. Origins of the Greek Nation- The Byzantine Period, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1970, pp. 61-62.
[33] Matthew of Edessa. From Edouard Dulaurier. Recherches sur la Chronologie Armeninne, Technique et Historique. Ouvrage formant les Prolegomenes de la Collection Intitulee Bibliotheque Historique Armenienne. Paris, Imprimerie Imperiale, 1859, Vol. 1, pp. 40-41. English translation in Speros Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the 11th through the 15th Century, Berkeley, CA, University of California Press, 1971 (1986 Paperback), pp. 80-81.
[34] Matthew of Edessa. From Edouard Dulaurier. Recherches sur la Chronologie Armeninne, Technique et Historique. Ouvrage formant les Prolegomenes de la Collection Intitulee Bibliotheque Historique Armenienne. Paris, Imprimerie Imperiale, 1859, Vol. 1, p. 296; English translation in Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Cranbury, New Jersey, 1996, p. 292. 
[35] Matthew of Edessa. English translation in Speros Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism,p. 170.
[36] Matthew of Edessa. English translation in Speros Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism, pp. 181-182.
[37] Samuel of Ani. From Tables Chronologiques, Marie Felicite Brosset. Collection d’Historiens Armeniens. Paris, Geuthner, 1874-1876, Vol. 2, p. 297; English translation in Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Cranbury, New Jersey, 1996, p. 292.
[38] Anna Comnena, Anne Comnene. Alexiade, text etabli et traduit. B. Leib, Paris, 1937-1945,Vol. 3, p. 229; English translation in Speros Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism,p. 164.
[39] Marie Brosset. Histoire de la Georgie, St. Petersburg, 1849, Vol. 1, pp. 346-350; English translation in, Speros Vryonis, Jr. “Nomadization and Islamization in Asia Minor”, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 1975, Vol. 29, pp. 50-51. Vryonis (p.51) comments further, regarding the pattern of depredations by the nomadic Turks,
In the spring they began to ascend the mountains of Somkheth and Ararat, where they again found the necessary pasturage and relief from the heat. But at no time did they cease to raid and devastate the adjoining territories of their Christian neighbors for booty and prisoners

[40] Segal, J.B. Edessa- The Blessed City, Oxford University Press, 1970, pp. 252-254
[41] Chronique de Michel Le Syrien,  Edited and translated from the Syriac by Jean-Baptiste Chabot, Paris, 1899-1905, Vol. 3, pp. 261-262; 270-271. English translation by Michael J. Miller.
[42] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 2.
[43] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, pp. 14-15.
[44] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 20.
[45] Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, pp. 44, 47;  “Islam and the Dhimmis”,  The Jerusalem Quarterly, 1987, Vol. 42, p. 85.
[46] Chronique de Michel Le Syrien, [Michael the Syrian] Edited and translated from the Syriac by Jean-Baptiste Chabot, Paris, 1899-1905, Vol. 2, p. 418; English translation in Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 47.
[47] Michael the Syrian, Chronique, Vol. 2, p. 421; English translation in Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 47.
[48] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, pp. 61, 169.
[49] Naphtali Lewis, “New Light on the Negev in Ancient Times”, Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 1948, Vol. 80, Pp. 116-117.
[50] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p 170.
[51] Gil,  A History of Palestine, 634-1099A, pp. 420-21.
[52] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 477, footnote 50, Gil takes great exception to Claude Cahen’s negationist assessment of Christian persecution during the initial 450 years of Muslim suzerainty in Palestine:
[Claude] Cahen [Bulletin de la faculte des letters de Strasbourg, 29 (1950), 122; idem, Past and Present, 6(1954), 6f] claims that Muslim rule, in general, saw a period of peace and security, and that the sole persecution of the Christians recorded under Islam occurred during al-Hakim’s rule. This is an apologetic and incomprehensible approach which ignores the facts.
[53] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 473.
[54] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 473.
[55] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 473.
[56] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 474.
[57] Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 74.
[58] Chronique de Denys de Tell-Mahre, translated from the Syriac by Jean-Baptiste Chabot (Paris, 1895), part 4, p. 112 [English translation in: Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 74.]
[59] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 474-75.
[60] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 159
[61] Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p.159; Q16:63- “By God, We (also) sent (Our apostles) to peoples before thee; but Satan made, (to the wicked) their own acts seem alluring: he is also their patron today, but they shall have a most grievous penalty”; Q5:72-“They do blaspheme who say: ‘Allah is Christ the son of Mary.’ But said Christ: ‘O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’  Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.” Q58:19- “The devil hath engrossed them and so hath caused them to forget remembrance of Allah. They are the devil's party. Lo! is it not the devil's party who will be the losers?”. In both- 850 and 907/8, , the Abbasid Caliphs al-Mutawwakil, and al-Muqtadir, respectively, decreed that Jews and Christians either attach wooden images (al-Mutawwakil) or drawings (al-Muqtadir)  of devils to the doors of their homes to distinguish them from the homes of Muslims. Tabari (d. 923), cited in Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 186;  Ibn al-Jawzi, cited in Gil, A History of Palestine, p. 159, note 32.
[62] Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 84.
[63] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, pp. 475-76.
[64] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 375.
[65] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 373.
[66] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 376.
[67] Moshe Gil, “Dhimmi Donations and Foundations for Jerusalem (638-1099)”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 37, 1984, pp. 166-167.
[68] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 415.
[69] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 412.
[70] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 415.
[71] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 416.
[72] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 416.
[73] Julius Greenstone, in his essay, “The Turcoman Defeat at Cairo” The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 22, 1906, pp. 144-175,  provides a translation of this poem [excerpted, pp. 164-165] by Solomon ha-Kohen b. Joseph [believed to be a descendant of the Geonim, an illustrious family of Palestinian Jews of priestly descent], which includes the poet’s recollection of the previous Turcoman conquest of Jerusalem during the eighth decade of the 11th century. Greenstone comments (p. 152), “As appears from the poem, the conquest of Jerusalem by Atsiz was very sorely felt by the Jews. The author dwells at great length on the cruelties perpetrated against the inhabitants of the city…
[74] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 420.
[75] Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, pp. 420-21.
[76] For example, Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades- Vol. 1- The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Cambridge, 1951, Pp. 286-87; Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 827 notes, “The Christians violated their promise to the inhabitants that they would be left alive, and slaughtered some 20,000 to 30,000 people, a number which may be an exaggeration…”
[77] Emmanuel Sivan, “Palestine During the Crusades”, in A History of the Holy Land, edited by Michael Avi-Yonah, Continuum, New York, 2001, p. 244.
[78] Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades- Vol. 3-The Kingdom of Acre, Cambridge, 1955, Pp. 419-21.
[79] Isaac b. Samuel of Acre. Osar Hayyim (Treasure Store of Life) (Hebrew). Ms. Gunzburg 775 fol. 27b. Lenin State Library, Moscow. [English translation in, Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam, Pp. 352-54.
[80] Ellul. The Subversion of Christianity, p. 103.
[81] Walid Phares, “Jihad is Jihad”, The Palestine Times, November, 1997.