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Re: 14 July 1099

>On the 14th of July 1099 AD The Crusaders Jerusalem captured Jerusalem  in
>the First Crusade, after laying of siege for seven  weeks.  The Crusaders,
>in the name of God them promptly began slaughtering the city's Muslim and
>Jewish population.
>A Christian, Frankish, kingdom of Jerusalem was set up.  The kingdom was
>under constant threat from Turkish forces, it lasted only about 50 years

After which it became a romantic cause perdue.

>Popular opinions do not like to have it's mythologies to be obscured by
>The idea of Holy War was not  a Christian concept.

It was Augustine of Hippo who promulgated the concept of a just war in his
City of God:
 "The commandment forbidding killing was not broken by those who have
 waged wars on the authority of God, or those who have imposed the
 death-penalty on criminals when representing the authority of the state,
 the justest and most reasonable source of power."


Augustine's City of God was written between 413 and 426,
long before Mohammed was born.

Later (mid-13th century), Aquinas elaborated on Augustine's just war theory:

``I answer that, In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary.

``First, the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to
be waged. For it is not the business of a private individual to declare
war, because he can seek for redress of his rights from the tribunal of
his superior. Moreover it is not the business of a private individual
to summon together the people, which has to be done in wartime. And as
the care of the common weal is committed to those who are in authority,
it is their business to watch over the common weal of the city, kingdom
or province subject to them. And just as it is lawful for them to have
recourse to the sword in defending that common weal against internal
disturbances, when they punish evil-doers, according to the words of the
Apostle (Rm. 13:4): "He beareth not the sword in vain: for he is God's
minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil"; so too,
it is their business to have recourse to the sword of war in defending
the common weal against external enemies. Hence it is said to those who
are in authority (Ps. 81:4): "Rescue the poor: and deliver the needy
out of the hand of the sinner"; and for this reason Augustine says:
"The natural order conducive to peace among mortals demands that the
power to declare and counsel war should be in the hands of those who
hold the supreme authority."

``Secondly, a just cause is required, namely that those who are
attacked, should be attacked because they deserve it on account of some
fault. Wherefore Augustine says: "A just war is wont to be described
as one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished,
for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects,
or to restore what it has seized unjustly."

``Thirdly, it is necessary that the belligerents should have a rightful
intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance
of evil. Hence Augustine says: "True religion looks upon as peaceful
those wars that are waged not for motives of aggrandizement, or cruelty,
but with the object of securing peace, of punishing evil-doers, and
of uplifting the good." For it may happen that the war is declared by
the legitimate authority, and for a just cause, and yet be rendered
unlawful through a wicked intention. Hence Augustine says: "The passion
for inflicting harm, the cruel thirst for vengeance, an unpacific and
relentless spirit, the fever of revolt, the lust of power, and such like
things, all these are rightly condemned in war."''


These principles of Augustine and Aquinas appear much like the ones
that are cited in today's newspapers regarding what to do about terrorism.

> Holy War (Jihad)  is
>enshrined in the Koran or Qu'ran the belief is that  religious war brought
>glory to God and immediate entry to Paradise for the faithful who lose their
>lives. Chapter 3, verse 169: Muslim nations had pressed their Jihad through
>Northern Africa and well into Europe long before the Crusades were dreamed
>of.  A strong defence by the Carolingians stopped them.

The Carolingians were fighting under Augustine's just war theory,
like many a war before then.

Jihad actually means struggle or exertion.  It is recommended by the Koran
as mostly an interior struggle to follow the teachings of the Koran.
It can take external forms such as scriptural interpretation or lawmaking.


(That last source, by the way, is for Muslims in India, which is a country
with one of the biggest Muslim populations in the world and which just
elected a Muslim president.)

Jihad can also take the form of a literal war, just as Christian interior
struggle can take the external form of Augustine's just war.  As you know,
Popes and saints gave Crusaders exoneration from sins they had committed
or might commit in the course of a Crusade, so they would go to heaven.

Either concept can be abused.  For example, the Koran does not permit
an armed jihad to be called by a private individual, only by a state
(same as Aquinas and Augustine's first point).  Of course, that hasn't
stopped some individuals from crying jihad.

>The word Crusade comes from the Latin "crux" which translates as cross

And its use dates back at least to the crusades, when soldiers and others
would "take the cross" to go fight for their religion.


John S. Quarterman <jsq@quarterman.org>

>ref The Catholic Encyclopaedia, Volume VIII
>The Oxford History of Medieval Europe ed G, Homes 1988

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