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Saladin (1137/38 - 1193) was a Muslim Kurd, who became the ruler over several Muslim territories and who during wars with Christian Crusaders captured Jerusalem.

In response, the Third Crusade was launched. The crusade was weakened by internal conflicts, despite this reversing many of Saladin's conquests of Christian areas, but it failed to recapture Jerusalem, although the peace treaty gave unarmed Christian pilgrims and merchants the right to visit the city.

Saladin has been praised in both Christian and politically correct sources, for reasons such as his claimed mercifulness.

A less politically correct view is that Christians believed that "They were fighting God’s battle. How could they lose? It must be because they had offended so grievously that God had sent this Muslim to chastise them. To explain to themselves the shocking fact that Jerusalem was once more in Muslim hands, they idealised their enemy. [...] seemed to his European contemporaries the very flower of chivalry, but he decapitated helpless prisoners [...] And so to Jerusalem. Saladin had announced that he would take it by the sword: “The men I will slaughter, and the women I will make slaves.” But he changed his mind. He needed money more than blood. He allowed Christians to buy their freedom, and so his reputation for mercy was formed."[1]

Another description on those captured at Jerusalem: "Reginald of Châtillon, Saladin’s enemy whom he personally killed; over two hundred Knights Hospitaller and Templar Knightly Orders whom he ordered to be killed; and many crusaders whom he ransomed. The remaining captured Christians were sold on the local slave markets."[2]

See also

  • Al-Andalus
  • Crusades - Including on less politically correct views on the causes of the failure of the crusades.

External links