What were the Crusades all About?
The recent Hollywood epic Kingdom of Heaven has provoked a flurry of articles re-evaluating the crusades. According to the Director, Ridley Scott, the Knights Templar were the “right-wing or Christian fundamentalists of their day.” Scott, who describes himself as an agnostic, has gone on record stating: “If we could just take God out of the equation, there would be no f…. problem!” Reinforcing popular stereotypes about the crusades, Scott’s politically correct, anti-Christian 'Kingdom of Heaven' has been described by Professsor Jonathan Riley-Smith, one of the foremost authorities on the crusades, as “Osama Bin Laden’s version of history” which “will fuel the Islamic fundamentalists.”
The popular misconceptions about the crusades are that these were aggressive wars of expansion fought by religious fanatics in order to evict Muslims from their homeland, and force conversions to Christianity. Those who really believe any of that betray their ignorance of history.