Twenty-twenty has been an interesting year for national monuments. In America, statues have been toppled on public squares everywhere, even as President Trump declares a heroic past beneath the stony visages of Mount Rushmore. In Russia, victory over Nazi Germany has been commemorated by the construction of a cathedral—one of the largest in the world—whose consecration brought President Putin alongside Patriarch Kirill. And in Turkey—once the heartland of Eastern Christendom, the majestic Hagia Sophia has now been designated by President Erdogan a national mosque. Continue reading
In my previous post I noted that among several causes for radical Islam’s hatred of the west there is the legacy of the crusades, the series of wars fought by Christians against the Muslim Arabs during the middle ages.
It is striking that in the statement issued by ISIS following the recent attacks in Paris the authors claimed to be visiting a kind of revenge on what they called “crusaders.” It is obviously a fantastic stretch of the imagination to equate the average Parisian of the twenty first century with the crusaders of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The difference in mentalité could not be greater. Continue reading