The Stance of the Fatimids towards the Crusades Name: Course: Professor: Institution: City and State: Date: The Stance of the Fatimids towards the Crusades The Fatimid Empire that is located in Egypt is a Muslim kingdom that ruled the Middle East before the invasion of the crusaders in the country in 1100…
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Jerusalem, which was a Christian group, wanted to end the ruling of the region by the Muslims who had controlled the region for numerous periods. The war against the crusades, which was known as the Jihad, lacked organization and diplomacy because of social, religious, and political differences among the Fatimid Muslims (Hillenbrand, 1999). At times, the Fatimids supported the crusades while at other times they opposed the Christian movement. This essay will analyze the different stances taken by the Fatimid Empire towards the crusades. An analysis of the religious origin and differences among the Fatimids is essential because it will help in understanding the stance of the group towards the crusades. Muslims lived as one religious group when they were ruled by Prophet Mohammed before his death in 632 AD (Carl, 1977). However, when the prophet died, his followers split into two groups on the basis of misunderstandings concerning his successor. The groups were the Shia who believed that the prophet’s successor was Ali, and the Sunni who claimed that the spiritualist had not named anyone to succeed him as the leader. The Shia established the Fatimid Empire by holding onto their belief that Ali was their leader after Mohammed and following the teachings and the rulings of their new spiritualist. The Shia gained fame in the muslim lands of the Middle East when the Ismaili Shiites in the region supported their religious and political beliefs (Brett, 2007). The group built their empire in Tunisia where they had acquired full support then extended to the entire region (Poole, 1968). The rise of the Shia in the Muslim region and the support that they gained from the Ismaili Shiites split their ideologies and those of the Sunni further. The Seljuks who supported the Sunni became open enemies of the Fatimids (Andrea, 2003). The enmity of the groups developed from being only religious into political and social such that they exclaimed their opposition in public. While the enmity of the Fatimid and Seljuks rose, the Fatimid Empire extended its ruling to Egypt from Tunisia. The group founded an empire in Cairo, in Egpyt, a location that made it possible for them to rule in the whole of the Middle Easter region including Syria, Palestine, Baghdad, Arabia, and the highlands of the Mediterranean (Adib-Moghaddam, 2008). The first crusade took place in Egypt in 1096 when Pope Urban 11 urged Christians to conquer Muslims in the region. The Pope urged Christians to abandon their homes and help in the fight against Muslims so that they could recover Jerusalem from this religion. Christians wanted to recover Jerusalem from the Muslims because it is their Promised Land in the bible (Carl, 1977). The land of Jerusalem was fertile and it produced plenty of food that fed the inhabitants of the town while people from other regions of Europe died from hunger and poverty. Having persuaded the Europeans, the first crusade was made of soldiers from France, Italy, Normandy, and Flanders (Poole, 1968). The first crusade was so organized that the Fatimids were incapable of defending themselves from the brutality and massacres of the European soldiers. The Muslims were incapable of defending themselves partly because they lacked organization like the soldiers of the first crusade, and also because they misunderstood the aim of the arrival of Christians in their land. The misunderstanding of the Christians’
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