But now the Vatican, under the new leadership of Pope Benedict the 16th, has come out fighting. At a conference that portrays the Crusades as wars fought with the "noble aim" of regaining the Holy Land for Christianity, the Crusades were re-placed in their proper context:
Professor De Mattei noted that the desecration of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Muslim forces in 1009 had helped to provoke the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century, called by Pope Urban II.
He said that the Crusaders were "martyrs" who had "sacrificed their lives for the faith". He was backed by Jonathan Riley-Smith, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University, who said that those who sought forgiveness for the Crusades "do not know their history".
And that, my friends, is of the utmost importance to us all, here in the West: Know your history!!!
[UPDATE] Heads up to Dutch readers: Ferdy of the NL blog De Leestafel informs me that there's a Dutch language alternative to Spencers PIG and Bostoms 'Legacy of Jihad': 'Islam en christendom' by prof. Urbain Vermeulen (NL). Ferdy has a short impression (again in NL) of this Dutch 'colleague' of PIG and Legacy.