President Obama was not the only one excoriating the Crusaders last week. “The criminal Crusader coalition aircraft bombarded a site outside the city of ar-Raqqah today at noon while the people were performing the Friday prayer,” declared a statement from the Islamic State.
What, you thought the Crusades ended hundreds of years ago? Not in the minds of our Islamist enemies. The Crusades continue today, just as sure as they began in 1095 — and in the terrorists’ narrative, Obama is the “Crusader in chief.”
Islamic radicals have long invoked the Crusades to justify violence against the West, including the 9/11 attacks. Osama bin Laden called his 1998 fatwa declaring war against America the “Declaration of the World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders.” In it, bin Laden wrote “Since God laid down the Arabian peninsula, created its desert, and surrounded it with its seas, no calamity has ever befallen it like these Crusader hosts that have spread in it like locusts.”
More recently, in October, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula issued a video featuring ex-Guantanamo detainee Ibrahim Suleiman al Rubaish , one of its chief ideologues, in which he condemns the “Zionist-Crusader campaign against our brothers in Iraq and [Syria].” In another recent video, “ Jihadi John” — the Islamic State terrorist seen in its decapitation videos — declared Obama the “dog of Rome” and promised, “With Allah’s permission, we will break this final and last crusade and the Islamic State will soon . . . begin to slaughter your people on your streets.”
So for the president of the United States to invoke the “terrible deeds” committed “in the name of Christ” during the Crusades is a major propaganda victory for the terrorists. It is the Islamists who constantly opine about the “terrible deeds” committed by the Crusaders. Now they have the man they call the lead Crusader — Obama himself — on tape admitting as much.
The Crusades ended hundreds of years ago; today the Islamic State is committing “terrible deeds” against the followers of Christ. When it takes over Christian neighborhoods, the Islamic State paints the letter “N” on the homes and businesses of Christians (marking them as followers of the Nazarene, a pejorative reference to Christians in Arabic) before confiscating them and giving them to Muslims. The movement recently opened a market called “Spoils of the Nazarenes” to sell the property looted from Christians. And Christians are being martyred. The Jerusalem Post reports that the Islamic State recently gave a group of Christian children, all under 15, a choice: convert to Islam or be beheaded. The children replied, “No, we love Yesua [Jesus].” So the Islamic State chopped off their heads. More than 250,000 Christians have been forced to flee their homes in Islamic State-controlled areas to escape a similar fate.
Obama’s speech was a slap in the face of the persecuted and a propaganda gold mine for the Islamists. So why did he do it? The New York Times reports that Obama’s aides said “The president wanted to be provocative in his remarks . . . urging people to see how the current brutality of the Islamic State . . . fits in the broader sweep of a global history.”
He was provocative all right. His remarks provoked a lot of legitimate questions, such as: Why does Obama have no problem declaring that “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” yet he has never once said that terrorists have “committed terrible deeds in the name of Allah” or “in the name of Islam”? In his prayer breakfast speech, Obama bent over backward to avoid using the word “Islamic” in reference to the terrorists. He will not even call it the “Islamic State,” the name that virtually every U.S. news organization uses. He said that “ISIL” killed “in the name of religion.” So the Islamic State kills “in the name of religion,” but Christians killed “in the name of Christ”?
Obama is willing to condemn by name what he considers Christian radicalism, but he still to this day refuses to condemn “Islamic radicalism” by name. You can’t defeat an ideology if you are unwilling to even name it. When the president of the United States watches Islamic terrorists burn a man alive in a cage and responds by saying we should not “get on our high horse” because “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ” it is a propaganda victory for the terrorists and a loss for persecuted Christians struggling to survive under the Islamic State’s brutal rule.