Friday, January 02, 2009

1,000th Anniversary of the Adherents of the Religion of Peace’s destruction of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre

This year is the 1,000th anniversary of the destruction of The Church of the Holy Sepulchre by Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the Islamic Fatimid ruler based in Egypt. Though not the immediate cause of Western (Christian) military reaction, it is interesting to note that this provocation by Muslims against Christians occurs 86 years before the first papal call for a Crusade in 1095.

Constructed in A.D. 326 on the orders of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, the church is where the New Testament says that Jesus was crucified and is said to also contain the place where Jesus was buried (the sepulchre). It passed from the control of the Christian Eastern Romans (or Byzantines) to the Muslin Arabs in A.D. 638. On October 18, 1009, Caliph Al-Hakim’s orders for the complete destruction of the church were carried out. It is believed that Al-Hakim was aggrieved by the scale of the annual Easter pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Though not the immediate casus belli for the Crusades, the Muslim destruction of the Church in 1009 serves as a clear refutation of the claim that the later Crusades were an unprovoked and imperialistic adventure perpetrated by the bad Europeans against innocent and peaceable Muslims.

1 comment:

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