Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: Crusades

3 Comparative Analysis of the Treatment of the Success of the First Crusade in Modern Arab and Western Historiography

Authors: Oleg Sokolov

Abstract:

Despite the fact that the epoch of the Crusades ended more than 700 years ago, its legacy still remains relevant both in the Middle East and in the West. There was made a comparison of the positions of the most prominent Western and Arab medievalists of XX-XXI centuries, using the example of their interpretations of the success of the First Crusade. The analyzed corpus consists of 70 works. In the modern Arab Historiography, it is often pointed out that the Seljuks' struggle against the crusaders of the First Crusade was seriously hampered by the raids of the Arab Bedouin tribes of Jazira. At the same time, it is emphasized that the Arab rulers of Northern Syria were ‘pleased’ with the defeats of the Turks and made peace with the Crusaders, refusing to fight them. At the same time it is usually underlined that the Fatimid aggression against the Turks led both the first and the second to defeat from the Crusaders and became one of the main reasons for the success of the First Crusade and the Muslims' loss of Jerusalem in 1099. The position of Western historians about the reasons for the success of the First Crusade differs significantly. First of all, in the Western Historiography, it is noted that the deaths of the Fatimid and Abbasid Caliphs and the Seljuk Sultan between 1092 and 1094 years created political vacuum just before the crusaders appeared in the Middle East political arena. In 1097-1099, when the Crusaders advanced through Asia Minor, Syria and Palestine to Jerusalem, there was an active internecine struggle between the parts of the Seljuq state that had broken up by that time, and the crusaders were not perceived as a general threat of all Muslims of this region at that time. It is also pointed out that the main goals of the Crusaders - Antioch, Edessa, and Jerusalem - were at that time periphery since the main struggle for power in the Middle East was at this time in Iran. Thus, Arab historians see the lack of support from Arabs of Syria and Jazira and the aggression from Egypt as a crucial factors preventing the Seljuks from defeating the Crusaders, while their Western counterparts consider the internal power struggle between the Seljuks as a more important reason for the success of the First Crusade. The reason for this divergence in the treatment of the events of the First Crusade is probably the prevailing in much of Arab historiography, the idea of the Franks as an enemy of all peoples and religions of the Middle East. At the same time, in contemporary Western Historiography, the crusaders are described only as one of the many military and political forces that operated in this region at the end of the eleventh century.

Keywords: Arabs, Crusades, historiography, Turks

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2 Westernization of Islamic Culture, A Historical Analysis

Authors: Saidalavi Kannattippadi

Abstract:

It is a culture based study on revealing how the indebtedness of the west belongs to the moral and scientific culture of Islam, even to such a way to be said there was no room for renaissance and the enlightment of the west without the active intervention of the Islamic culture in thoughts and activities of the European thinkers. The study focuses on the exact causes that led the west to the renaissance and goes through analyzing each of historical evidences for confirming the continuous cultural assimilations that occurred between east and west, through transmissions of knowledge, translations of unique treatises, study trips and so on. The west had deeply influenced by the thought and culture of Islam after having a long bitter experience from the blind rituals and customs introduced by the church and was expecting for a movement that can raise them upwards from the bankruptcy of morality and spirituality. The sequence of crusades and voyages of thinkers from west to eastern wards made the western people aware of the best culture ever found in the world as in name of Islam and they become ready to assimilate its notable cultural values and to borrow its cultural achievements. The west had two types of influences from the Islam; moral and scientific. the uprooting of untouchablitlity and racism from western society and their accepting the ideologies of equality and fraternity are moral influence and the innumerable inventions and discoveries found in modern science and technology are the scientific influences. Without the frantic efforts of Muslims in translating, modifying and commenting the science and philosophy of the Greek the west would not have even a chance to peep to the cultural values of the Greek. Here the Muslims are the guides and channels through which the west got educated and well cultured. The study also briefly sheds light on the cultural achievements of Muslims in material science, human science, etc.

Keywords: cultural assimilation, culture and civilization, indebtedness, Muslim world, west, translation, transmission

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1 Religious Discourses and Their Impact on Regional and Global Geopolitics: A Study of Deobandi in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan

Authors: Soumya Awasthi

Abstract:

The spread of radical ideology is possible not merely through public meetings, protests, and mosques but even in schools, seminaries, and madrasas. The rhetoric created around the relationship between religion and conflict has been the primary factor for instigating global conflicts – when religion is used to achieve broader objectives. There have been numerous cases of religion-driven conflict around the world be it the Jewish revolt between 66 AD and 628 AD or the 1119 AD the Crusades revolt or during the Cold War period or the rise of right-wing politics in India. Some of the major developments which reiterate the significance of religion in the contemporary times include: (1) The emergence of theocracy in Iran in 1979 (2) Resurgence of world-wide religious beliefs in post-Soviet space. (3) Emergence of transnational terrorism shaped by twisted depiction of Islam by the self proclaimed protectors of the religion. Therefore this paper is premised in the argument that religion has always found itself on the periphery of the discipline of International Relations (IR), and has received less attention than it deserves. The focus of the topic is on the discourses of ‘Deobandi’ and its impact both on the geopolitics of the region- particularly in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan- and also at the global level. Discourse is a mechanism in use since time immemorial and has been a key tool to mobilise masses against the ruling authority. With the help of field surveys, qualitative and analytical method of research in religion and international relations, it has been found that they are numerous madrassas that are running illegally and are unregistered. These seminaries are operating in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, relation between religion and geopolitics was highlighted when there was a sudden spread of radical ideas, finding support from countries like Saudi Arabia (who funded the campaign) and Pakistan (which organised the Saudi funds and set up training camps, both educational and military). During this period there was a huge influence of Wahabi theology on the madrasas which started with Deoband philosophy and later became a mix of Wahabi (influenced by Ahmad Ibn Hannabal and Ibn Taimmiya) and Deobandi philosophy, tending towards fundamentalism. Later the impact of regional geopolitics had influence on the global geopolitics when the incidents like attack on the US in 2001, bomb blasts in U.K, Indonesia, Turkey, and Israel in 2000s. In the midst of all this, there were several scholars who pointed towards Deobandi Philosophy as one of the drivers in the creation of armed Islamic groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan. Hence this paper will make an attempt to understand the trend as to how Deobandi religious discourses originating from India have changed over the decades, and who the agents of such changes are. It will throw light on Deoband from pre-independence till date to create a narrative around the religious discourses and Deobandi philosophy and its spill over impact on the map of global and regional security.

Keywords: Deobandi School of Thought, radicalization, regional and global geopolitics, religious discourses, Whabi movement

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