How often in modern “progressive” conversations are the Crusades used as the go-to example of religious zealotry gone wrong? Characterized as bloodthirsty, authoritarian, wealth-seeking conquests issued by autocratic decree of Pope Urban II, most people use the Crusades as the reason why religion is bad and Christians are hypocritical.
But how often do people consider the moral validity of the Muslim conquests? Ever even heard of the Muslim conquests? They were bad. You should know that the Crusades were largely a reaction to the very extensive and violent Muslim conquests which took millions of Christian, Jewish, and Zorastrian, European, Middle Eastern, and North African lives (and slaves). It’s the reason Christianity is known as a European religion today, because it was all but wiped out by Islam everywhere else. Not all that surprisingly it’s still going on today.
Stefan Molyneux (notably an atheist) has some enlightening perspective on the context in which we should consider the Crusades: