Christian Muslim Conflict
The conflict between the Christians and the Muslims, between 1098 and 1229, was
the result of political unrest; which was fueled the Muslims migrating into the

Christian holy lands, lead by Pope Urban II and carried on, throughout latter
centuries by his followers. What follows is a story of war, holy visions,unholy
alliances, promises made with fingers crossed, sieges and slaughters, the
details of which fill volumes. Christianity, in its infancy, was a very
threatened state. It was enriched with radical ideas that called for the worship
of a single god in place of the many dieties that had ruled for centuries
before. These radical concepts took a while to sink in and become the root of
what would be the modern era. The world of the latter 9th century and early 10th
century was in a state of turmoil, resulting from the recent adoption of

Christianity as the official religion of the modern world. In order to cement
its hold on the masses, the political heads of the day decided to quell all
internal conflicts and unite against an enemy whose destruction would help to
further develop the hold that the Pope, and the church, had on the world. The

Muslims were originally a tight banded group of followers of Muhammad and the
religion of Islam. When the prophet Muhammad died, however, the group lost
itís center and thus began to unravel a little and disperse. The Muslims
slowly began to integrate into the Christian Ďholy landsí, threatening the
foundation of Christianity. This integration lead to unease and gave root to the
cause of the Crusades. It allowed for the Pope to issue official doctrine which
called for the removal of the muslims in a united effort by devout Christians. A
crusade is a holy war authorized, encouraged, and supported by the Pope in the
name of God and Christ. In order to justify a war, or the need for war, the Pope
proposed the issue as a defensive reaction to injury or aggression and as an
attempt to recover Christian territories lost to infidels. Pope Urban II
initiated the first crusade as an attempt to unite the conflicting Christian
territories against a single and foreign foe, the Muslims. Otto, better known as

Pope Urban II, was born around 1042 and died 29 July 1099. On 12 March 1088,

Otto was unanimously elected as Pope, taking the title of Urban II. His first
act was to proclaim his election to the world, and to acknowledge the princes
and bishops who had been loyal to Gregory, and ask for their continued
allegiance: he declared his intention of following the policy and example of his
great predecessor--"all that he rejected, I reject, what he condemned I
condemn, what he loved I embrace, what he considered as Catholic, I confirm and
approve". The First Crusade began in 1095 after the Byzantines, threatened
by Seljuk power, appealed to Pope Urban II for military aid. Pope Urban, hoping
to divert the Christian kings and princes from their struggles with each other,
and perhaps also seeing an opportunity to reunite the Eastern and Western
churches, called for a "Truce of God" among the rulers of Europe and
urged them to take the Holy Land from the Muslims. Interestingly enough, Pope

Urban II died before he could see Jerusalem fall to his crusaders. There was
also the Byzantine empire, ruling from Constantinople, whose emperor at this
time was Alexius Comnenus. To his East, the Turks were rapidly encroaching on
his empire, and had begun attacking pilgrims on their way to - and in -

Jerusalem, causing him great distress. He wrote to his friend Robert, the Count
of Flanders, in 1093, telling him about supposed atrocities committed by the

Turks on the Christian pilgrims, and Robert passed this letter on to Pope Urban

II. Urban, an opportunist, saw this as a perfect way to solve some of his local
problems. He personally promoted a Holy Crusade to reclaim the Holy Lands from
the barbarian Turks. Thus, the First Crusade was launched in 1095. The warriors
of the crusades were known as the crusaders. It was a mixed group of people:
civilians, soldiers, noblemen, mercenaries, adventurers, and peasants. Anybody
that felt religiously compelled could become a solider in the crusades. All that
was required to begin their journey towards their religious callings was to make
a public vow, which was not distinguishable from, and was always based on, the
vow to make a pilgrimage; crusaders and pilgrims had the same legal status,
being temporarily subjected to church courts and enjoying ecclesiastical
protection of their