Middle East Conudrum

It was after a thirty year war that continental Europe came on to the negotiation table to sign a truce. The Peace of Westphalia resulted in two major developments: first, the nation sate system; second, freedom of religion. The turbulent region of Middle East is devastated by the ravages of ethnic, sectarian and political problems. Moreover the regional and international proxy wars have exacerbated the crisis. Enter ISIS, a so called terrorist sate, has taken hold of the key strategic locations of the Syria and Iraq. Furthermore, tight grip of the Arab dictators on their countries is loosening which has resulted in one of the most brutal dictatorial regimes in the region. All these factors demand a political solution to a growing human crisis in Near East Firstly, the sectarian conflict in Iraq has worsened since the US led invasion of Iraq. The shiittes, though majority have mostly been living under the Sunnite minority in Iraq. The Baath part of saddam Hussain was a military junta which ruled the country before 2003. Alienating the Sunnite population, the Iraqi government paved the way for violent revolt of Sunnite and in some cases the former Baath party workers. Al-Qaida used this confusion to its own advantage by making a foot base first in syria and then in Iraq.
The curious mix of ethnic and sectarian violence has added fuel to already burning middle east. Belonging to a minority ,the partisan government of Asad family belongs to alwi branch of Shiite tree ; whereas, the former Baat part was a Sunnite led military junta, former ruling over Sunnite majority whereas latter ruling over a Shiite majority. The situation changed , however, after the American invasion on Iraq. The military elements , of former Baath party , now the self prescribed warriors of Islam , led a successful revolt against Iraqi government.With their allies gone, Iraqi government was unable to check the isis advance. The Syrian government was soon threatened by the bold projections of isis into its own territories. Rather to pacify its population, the Bashar ul asad used force onits own population. To support its arab ally, Iranian government started supporting his regime .

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia have extended its support to Syrian rebels; whereas, the iranian government has given arms to Iraqi Shia militias. Further, the regional and international proxies on both sides have failed to deliver a negotiated settlement. The old cold war politics has come to its play. Putin has not only delivered material support to Syrian regime but also provided military personnel to defend the incumbent president. On the other hand, the iraqu government has been supported by the American and NATO alliance on its fight against isis.To this mix the entry Ethnic Kurds ,though snit, but fighting purely on national terms have evoked a Turkish response. With problem of its own Kurdish elements, the Turkish military has a launched a offense to not only stop isis but also to deny the kurds a defacto state in Iraq and Syria. This jungle of warlordism requires taming.

To borrow a liberal metaphor, the jungle needs to be turned into a zoo. How can we achieve a peace in middle east because what happens to Iraq happens to arab world and what happens to Arab world happens to all of Islamic world. We need to use the auspices of both regional and international organizations, both humanitarian and political , to broker a peace deal. The totalitarian regimes need to give into democratic aspirations of their people but only through a peaceful transitions. International community needs to play a constructive not a destructive role in this affair. The regional players should respect the territorial integrity of sovereign states. What middle east needs is another Westphalia.

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Mughals in Paintings : Part 1

This post only explores the history of Mughal empire through a visual aesthetics of medieval era 

Mughal dynasty ruled India from 1526 to 1857. Mughals rulers have from turko_mongol ancestry. The first rule of the dynasty was Babur who defeated the Ibrahim of Lodhi Dynasty ,ruler of Delhi,  in the first battle of Panipat  in 1526 .

Painting of Babur

Painting of Babur

1 battle of panipat .Babur

1 battle of panipat .Babur

After the death of Babur his only son Humayun succeded him. He was overthrown by a brilliant military general Sher Shah Suri ,who tried to establish his own rule in India by defeated the emperor and forced him to take refuge in Persia . After the death of Sher Shah Humayun marched back to India and restored the monarchy

painting_of_humayun

painting_of_humayun

Humayun in exile

Humayun in exile

Humayun marched back to reclaim his throne

Humayun marched back to reclaim his throne

Humayun died shortly after his return to India leaving his son to sit on the throne of India at the young age of 13.Akbar tried to reconcile with the majority of the native population , who were Hindus, by abolishing Jizya (a tax on the non -Muslims) and taking steps to promote Hindus to the highest ranks of the government.Akbar launched a successful military campaign which resulted in the annexation of the various princely states with the Mughal Empire . In his reign Mughal foreign foreign relations improved with the other powers of the time.

Portrait_of_Akbar_by_Manohar

Elephants were used as military weapon

Elephants were used as military weapon

Akbar 's army besieging a city with the help of Mughal artillery

Akbar ‘s army besieging a city with the help of Mughal artillery

Akbar receiving his son and heir

Akbar receiving his son and heir

Jahngir was an idealist and a hopeless romantic . His love with a courtesan is still considered to be an epic love story in subcontinent. He was liberal ruler who , like his father, carried on the policy of tolerance towards other communities.

Portrait of emperor Shah Jahan

Portrait of emperor Shah Jahan

Celebrations at the accession of Jahangir

Celebrations at the accession of Jahangir

Mughal Diplomacy : Jahangir & Abbas I of Persia

Mughal Diplomacy : Jahangir & Abbas I of Persia

His son, Shah Jahan followed in his footsteps and also became a great lover. He built the famous Taj mahal for his dead wife Mumtaz Mehal.

images

the court of Shah Jahan

the court of Shah Jahan

Textbook Version of the History of Pakistan

( This is satirical piece which explores the textbook version of the History of Pakistan )

The text book version of the history which is being taught in Pakistani schools conveniently leaves some facts out of the picture while emphasizing others.  As a student, I have been taught an education curriculum which starts from the ancient civilizations of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa whose sole purpose is to tell that we are very different from Ganges civilization. So Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa can also be point added to our long list of two nation ideology   Invasion of Sind, by young Muhammad Bin Qasim comes next, who conquered Sind to help a damsel in distress. Next comes in line the great Mehmood Ghaznavi who attacked India and the territories that now include Pakistan , 17 times to establish the reign of peace. Iqbal’s Favourite Ayyaz was Mehmood’s slave turned brother which was a very loyal subject. This tells us the lesson that being loyal as a slave can revive the good old days for us. the next chapter includes Dehli Sultans who were good and wise rulers who kept the majority of Indians who happen to be Hindus kept in line by using strict disciplinarian measures. Yes, they were also the great Muslims too.

The next chapter in our history and Pakistan studies books is about the Mughals. Mughals were great architects and lovers, if you don’t believe it just look at Taj Mahal , Red Fort and Shahi Qila Lahore and their harem  . First come Babur, who defeated his counterpart in the famous first battle of Panipat and established the noble and pious Mughal dynasty. Babur was succeeded by his son Humyun who was a weak ruler due to his love for trinity of evil women, luxury, and infidels. Akbar, God damn him, was not such a pious ruler. He tried to rule justly over both Hindus and Muslims which made many Muslims question his sanity. The topic of Jodha Akbar is not included in our history textbooks because it was an unholy matrimony and just a political alliance and not something worth of troubling our young minds with. Jahangir was a great lover, first he seduced Anar Kali by his princely charms then his love exploits include the marriage with Noor jahan . His son, Shah Jahan followed in his footsteps and also became a great lover. He built the famous Taj mahal for his dead wife and made a huge change in the architecture of tombs by first time introducing a new shape to bury the dead since the times of pyramids in ancient Egypt..There is some western propaganda about spending huge sums of money on a building but not on the welfare or education of the people which is a total lie. After making this wonder there was no left over money to spend on frivolities like welfare of the masses. Next came the true Muslim ruler, Aurangzeb, his first noble ordeal was to imprison his father and to kill his brother in the name of Islam. A few of his other achievements include the numerous assassination, unnecessary expansion of the Mughal Empire and emptying his treasury. He was the last great ruler of Mughal Empire and is considered a saint for his numerous atrocities.

Next mughal rulers were weak so therefore we only mention their weakness in our textbooks.

Invasion of Nadir Shah of Iran, expansion Maratha Empire and Sikh Intrusions to Delhi left mughal baffled .The central authority of the mugahls weakened, which led to the establishment of hundreds of the small and big princely states. In between all of this mayhem there was second and third battle of Panipat .Students particularly fell victim in remembering the name of belligerents and the dates.

The British period started from the establishment of East India Company. Once British paid taxes to Indians to trade, later they started collecting taxes form Indians for trade. “Company Bahudur” which translates into the brave company, perfected the golden rule of, “divide and rule”. In 1757 the British defeated the Nawab (Lord) of Bengal and gained the first foothold in India, which was due to the treachery of some army officers in his ranks. According to our textbooks, this was actually the wrath of God and not the combination of discipline and better technology of the British. Later a nuisance was created by Tipu Sultan, who was only succumb, by the British after their treacherous diplomatic alliances with the neighbor princely states which were later consumed by the colonial giant by using the same treatment. There is almost a consensus between the desi writers in India and Pakistan, which is itself a strange thing, that the British victories had nothing to do with their bravado or military genius of the British forces but were actually the result of monsoon. Pakistani textbooks mention nothing about his earlier defeats which lead to the final siege of his capital in which he was killed. You may wonder if he was doing so great then what went wrong which led to his eventual demise, but you are wrong in thinking because first of all a student is not to think but to remember . Second it is not the scope of the textbook to discuss the short comings of the Muslim rulers. Our textbook mention no Hindus or Sikhs in their freedom struggles against the colonialism .Once asked about this, one of the authors of a textbook said, on the condition of  keeping his name confidential that it is the duty Indian authors to promote their own heroes not ours and it can also tone down the hate between two sates which could be totally against the spirit of the books.

The war of independence of 1857 also commonly known as Indian mutiny culminated the struggle against the British tyranny .Books mention numerous reason for the starting of the war but fail to mention good reasons for the failure of revolt. Maybe it was due to new rules of engagement by the British in which elephants were kept out War Theater. Some authors claim that the war was lost before it even started because English forces cheated by using technology in an otherwise conventional warfare

Age of Discovery: The Two Nation Theory 1857-1940

The search for the two nation theory begins from this period of time. It is believed that the intelligentsia of newly founded Pakistan sat together after the independence and read each and every statement of the Muslims Hindu and British leadership alike to gather all the quotations for two nation theory which now boast the collection of 4 to 6 quotes.

Now I would like to mention a few short bibliographies of our forefathers being taught in our course books

Allama Iqbal

He was a great philosopher and poet .He wrote poetry in Urdu and Persian. His Urdu poetry is so difficult that some Pakistanis believe it to be some kind of Persian dialect. The main themes in his poetry include ego (Khudi), greatness of early generations of Muslims  and Gabriel his favorite buddy. He is also credited with one or two vague quotes about establishing a Muslim state in India.

Sir Syed Ahemd Khan

The old pictures of a man with huge beard are known to be of Syed Ahmed khan.His major contribution to the freedom struggle includes establishing a chain of few schools much like beacon house ,roots and APS but on much smaller scale. He told Muslims to get foreign education, learn English and obey English rule. Unlike the infamous Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq who are still abused for colluding with British, he is considered a to be hero to work alongside the British. He was nobody in Delhi before the war broke out, after that he made something of himself. He was a prolific writer who publish everything that he had written along with some of other people’s work

An Essay on Quaid e Azam   (10/10)

Quaid e Azam was born as Muhammad Ali Jinnah on 25 December 1876. He was the son of Poonjah Jinah .He went to England to get higher education. He was married before his visit to abroad as it was the tradition in those days to save the young lads from getting into the trouble of falling in for “Gori Maims”. He came back and started practicing law. He was, is and will be the greatest lawyer to ever live on the face of earth. He joined Indian National Congress to pursue peace but was disappointed to see that Congress only wanted to free India from English rule. He also joined Muslim League, at that time it was known as All India Muslim League which has nothing to do with the Q League of today. Rattanbai fell in love with Quaid because he was the most handsome, good looking and the tallest man in the whole world .At this stage, he was further disappointed by the conditions in India. He went back to England to relax and chill. When he came back he envisioned a new country in a dream. In 1940 he announced that a new country for Muslims is in making .He worked day and night to make Pakistan. On August 14, 1947 Pakistan came to be, only due to the efforts of one man and little tiny bit help from AIML

After the independence of Pakistan he made a lot of speeches in which the speech of 11 August 1947 is of no importance to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He also introduced a lot of new government organizations which went bad and rogue after the death of great Quaid except the chivalrous armed forces of Pakistan which have saved our country on numerous occasions. He died on 11 September 1948, maybe of some conspiracy either of western or domestic nature.

In the last I’ll be talking about the history of Pakistan

Sind

Muhammad Bin Qasim invaded Sind in 712. After that there is no mention of Sind in the history books before the birth of Quaid e Azam.

Punjab

Islam spread through saints in this area who opted for Sufi poetry to spread their message. By the way, there is no mention that the famous saint patron of Lahore Data Gunj Bakkhsh came with army of Mehmood, the warlord of Ghazni. Lahore and Multan were and still are the major cities of Punjab. The next reference about Punjab comes as the birthplace Allama Iqbal. A few books mention some kind of Sikh era in Punjab but it is portrayed more of as fiction then as reality ,  so student don’t bother to inquire about it.

KP

The first time we hear about KP is as a border dispute more commonly known as Durand Line. Formerly known as NWFP (North Western Frontier Province) , because of its geographical location it is believed by some to a frontier province in the north west of British India.

Baluchistan

Sorry no record was found.

Kashmir

Kashmir was unlawfully bonded in a forceful marriage with India. Since the ancient times the valley of Jammu and Kashmir is the integral part of Pakistan. A same kind of claim is also put forward by India which is not the acceptable version in Pakistani textbooks.

History of Pakistan

From Quaid to trembling democracy 1948-1958

It is mentioned in every textbook that Pakistan is now the “promised land” of the “chosen people “after the fall Israelites from the eyes of Gods. Quaid was the philosopher king as mentioned by the Plato. After him, much like what happened after Aurangzeb, his successors fought with each other over the politics of Pakistan. It is said in some ancient chronicles of that time that angels help the first constitutional assembly of Pakistan to draft Objective Resolution as the pretext of the constitution. But the constitution of 1956 was not so fortunate; it died as an infant just two years after its birth.

Conclusion

  • Politicians are a treacherous race
  • Law making is a difficult time and taking process
  • Pakistan is no less then America as nobody in America knows who killed Kennedy, we Pakistani people also don’t know about the murderer of Liaqaut Ali Khan.
  • Bureaucracy is of no use.
  • Our foreign policy can be summarized as

We love China, China loves us back (strictly platonic love)

We hate India, India hates us back (divorced)

We love Muslim countries (bros before hos)

A for Allah, A for aid, A for America, A for Afghanistan

General Ayub

Pakistan army could not anymore be the mere spectator. General Ayub has the moral, legal, social, religious ……..  Responsibility to save Pakistan form clutches of the democratically elected corrupt politicians. General Ayaub was also the Mujahid e Awal in indo-pak war of 1965

Contributions

Made one unit

Gave Pakistan a new constitution of 1962

Made new press laws to curb the freedom of speech

Pakistan was able to defeat enemy aggression of a much larger Indian army. Pakistani Armed forces were now in a position to recapture Delhi and reestablish the Muslim empire on Mughal grounds. According to few neutral sources this is a lie but our books clearly mention the golden rule of spotting a liar which states “who says you that you are a liar is actually a liar himself”,which says a lot.

General Yayha and peaceful fall of Bangladesh

There was a peaceful transition of power from a General Ayub to General Yayha. Pakistan had successfully developed and adapted an undemocratic form of government system. General Yahayha was a drunk and fool. He appointed military personnel as the governor general of Bengal colony.

A few clarifications

Pakistani armed forces are comprised of saints so the baseless allegations of rape and genocide against them are baseless

We were not defeated in Bangladesh by any standards to save the countless lives of enemy combatants in an unnecessary war, we voluntarily surrendered our arms (obviously it was western pressure if we would have fought we would have won the war. Note here the same principle of grammar composition is involved ,if ali would have studies ali would have passed the exams)

The Bolshevik Bhutto

Mr. Bhutto is considered to be of Pakistani origin and the only communist to own thousands of acres of land   .In his famous speech Mr Bhutto claimed to drink a little to avoid drinking human blood. This does not tell us anything about whether Mr. Bhutto was a vampire or not. Mr. Bhutto was the father of Benazir Bhutto, the future prime minister of Pakistan. He established the new democratic party/dynasty of Bhutto which has ruled intermittently with House of Nawaz /democratic part known as PMLN. He is also famous for hosting OIC meeting in Lahore. Some conspiracy loving historians say that the west could not see Muslim block so they …..(the text is missing due to the legal spying of NSA).

Mr. Bhutto himself conducted elections and made sure that free and fair election would only result in his victory. After angry protest against the rigging in the elections, So , once again to save the country army took over . Here the most famous dictum associated with history repeats itself is rejected.

By applying a logical principle

If Army takes over, elections are rigged (1970s)

Elections are rigged (2014)

Therefore, Army takes over (2015)

As it did not happen, hence we can reject the hypothesis

General Zia ul Haq

He is also known as the father of the extremism. His first act as the non-democratically elected ruler was to hang Mr. Bhutto. As per the military tradition of his predecessors he also conducted free and fair elections. He considered himself as the savior and avatar of some dead Muslim general. Despite not fighting any real war he is credited by some for defeating the USSR in Afghanistan , thus ending the cold war and bringing peace and prosperity to not only the Pakistan but to the whole world. He is also the jihadist per excellence to reinvent the concept of Jihad.He is the only Pakistani dictator to successfully export the two nation theory to Afghanistan

There are others in Pakistan who claims general Zia to be the anti-Christ. They blame the general to bring intolerance to otherwise an already intolerant society. Feminists and human right activists believe him to be incarnation Hitler

He is not related to the cricketers Inzama ul Haq and Misbah ul Haq.

The Westminster style of sporadic dynastical democracy was introduced in Pakistan in late 1980s. The order of the Succession is

Benazir Bhutto

The PPP government was dismissed after the charges of corruption

Nawaz Sharif

The PML government was dismissed after the charges of corruption

Benazir Bhutto

The PPP government was dismissed after the charges of corruption

Nawaz Sharif

The PML government was dismissed after the charges of corruption

 

A short history of the first dynasty of Roman Empire

Augustus : First of his name , defeated the love birds Mark Antony and Cleopatra and turned the republic into empire
Tiberius : Assassinated a lot of people to make sure that he remains as an emperor
Caligula : Mad and sexaholic
Claudius : Attacked and conquered England
Nero : was mad and burned down the Rome
(end of story)

Part 4 The Holy Wars , God Gain and Glory : Crusades

This article is the part of series about the conflicts between Europe and Asia since antiquity

  • Part 1 Greco-Roman world against Persia
  • Part 2 Arab Invasion of Europe ;  Al Andalus
  • Part 3 Christendom Strikes Back ; Reconquista
  • Part 4 The Holy wars ; Crusades
  • Part 5 The Mongol Horde
  • Part 6 Ottoman Intrusion
  • Part 7 Colonialism

Crusades were the military campaigns / migration of Eastern European nations to regain the control of “Holy Lands” motivated by the christian zeal and were sanctioned by the Catholic Church.Crusades spanned over a period of five centuries during the early middle ages.This was the revival of Eastern European powers after the the times of Roman Empire in which they wer e able to extend their dominion in  Middle East . The long lost Byzantine empire was the last Remanent of the glory of Rome . Byzantine guarded the western door of Europe for a Millennia first against the Persian empire and then against the Arab invasions of Rashidun and Omayyad period. During the late 900s Byzantine empire was unable to defend itself against the Muslim Seljuk Empire in Anatolin region , situated in modern day Turkey and looked towards their distant Catholic Brethren for help.

English: Byzantine empire before the Crusades ...

English: Byzantine empire before the Crusades Français : Empire byzantin à la veille des croisades (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Catholic Church at Vatican wanted to end the schism between the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity.The “pilgrim politics” for holy land also affected the clergy’s decision.Another factor was the new emerging “merchandise class ” of Europe which was looking for the new markets  The previous conquests of Iberian Peninsula by the Muslim forces left Europe vulnerable.But most importantly the spirit of expansion and adventurism fueled by  hatred and religious zeal were responsible for these military campaigns. The near east at the end of first thousand years was a battlefield in which sectarian schism of Muslim world played a major role. The central Abbasid dynasty was a mere puppet by now and switched sides depending on who was in power at that time.The ethnic divide in Muslim between Arabs , Persians ,Turks and Berbers of North Africa were involved in intermittent warfare for the supremacy in Islamic World  The Muslim world at that time was gradually moving towards decentralized state in which warlord one after another were able to carve out a dynasty which left the populace destitute weak and vulnerable to foreign invasions. Crusades was the name later given by historians to these wars .Muslim called their enemies as Franks whereas Christians called their enemies as Saracens. The First Crusade

  •  Council of Clermont

Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus called upon the help of Catholic world in war against the Seljuk Empire .Pope Urban II urged the masses to raise arms against the “unjustly” occupation of “Holy Lands” and free them from the clutches of Saracens in “Council of Clermont “. 620px-Passages_d'outremer_Fr5594,_fol._19r,_Concile_de_Clermont An excerpt from the speech of Pope Urban 2 ‘s speech a the Council of Clermont ; source Wikipedia

“Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with victory this war which should have been begun long ago. Let those who for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and relatives now fight in a proper way against the barbarians. Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul now work for a double honor.”

  • People’s Crusade

Peter the Hermit was a saint who gathered a large sum of people to fight and took his army of peasants for Holy lands through Byzantine territory.The people were pillaged the cities in their way but were in the end permitted through the byzantine territory. People’s crusade was an epic failure their army after the first pitched battle was brutally defeated by the Seljuk army .

409px-PeoplesCrusadeMassacre

  • Princes’ Crusades

The main army composed of four main factions led by the legendary leaders Hugh of Vermandois, Godfrey, Raymond, and Bohemond approached Byzantium capitol Conatantinole in 1607. They vowed that they will restore the Holy Lands

740px-First.Crusade.MapThese army were provided military assistance by the Alexios and were reinforced by the remaining forces of people’s crusade.

  • Siege of Nicaea
  • Battle of Dorylaeum
  • Siege of Antioch

Antioch was an important city which surrendered to crusaders and was important in gaing control of Jerusalem

  • Siege of Jerusalem

The newly found long lost holy relics were great morale boosters in European camps .The Muslims in the city were unable to defend themselves against the foreign invasion and found no help of the Fatimid of Egypt.According to Muslim sources after the conquest of  Jerusalem Muslim population in the city was massacred in the process of ethnic cleansing to establish the new Christian State of Jerusalem .

800px-Crusade_of_1101_v1.svg

  • Crusade of 1101

A few dukes of Christendom of who left crusade after the early difficulties and some who were inspired by the success of crusading campaigns in middle east left Europe for the nascent state of Jerusalem but were annihilated in Asia Minor by Seljuks .

The first crusade was probably the most successful campaign in all of the crusades.Crusaders were able to maintain few duchies in heart of Muslim land for next several centuries

435px-Near_East_1135.svg

The Second Crusade

Pope Eugene 3 announced second crusade after the fall county of Edessa. Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany marched towards east separately.

548px-SecondCrusade_EnThe combined German and Frankish army gathered in Antioch to attack Damascus a Syrian stronghold.Zangi’s two sons Saif ud Din Ghazi , the governor of Mosul and Noor ud Dim Muhammad , the overner of Aleppo hurried to reach Damascus to defend it against crusaders.The crusading army was unable to gain any materiel gains  in Middle East .

800px-Siege_of_Damascus

The only success of this crusade was the fall of Lisbon on western front after the three centuries of Muslim rule in 1147.

Siege_of_Lisbon_-_Muslim_surrender

The Third Crusade ; The Kings Crusades

After the second crusade Zengi dynasty was able consolidate its power in Syria.Muslims were now able  to reconqure the Acre, Jaffa and most importantly the Jerusalem. After this came the staunch response of Christendom in the form of great army led by the stalwarts of Europe.

Saladin ; Sultan Salah ud Din Ayyubi 1174-93

Saladin has two aims one to unite the Islamic world  of Sunnite of Abbasids dynasty in Mesopotamia  and Shiite of Fatimid dynasty in Egypt and the second to drive out crusaders from Syria and Palestine.First he achieved with little difficulty and second he did by engulfing crusading states from Stria in north and Egypt from south.

The battle of Hittin was a turning point in crusades christian forces were defeated and Muslims recaptured Jerusalem on October 9, 1187 after a hundred year of christian rule.

Aged emperor of Germany Fredrick Barbarossa , the king of France , Philip Augutus , Richard the lion Hearted , King of England and Duke of Austria gathered the largest number of forces to attack the Muslim world.Although crusaders were able to reverse most of Saladin’s conquests but were unable to capture Jerusalem the most precious prize of  all.

\Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa was drowned while crossing the Saleph river the king drowned and most army went back disheartened at the death their liege

441px-Crusader_States_1190.svgRichard was able to capture the city of Acre even after a staunch resistance from Saladin.Richard was fairly successful in his campaign against Saladin’s forces .But the failure to capture Jerusalem caused another crusade.Both sides felt the results as unsatisfactory.But now the fate was sealed for christian middle east although the coastal states were able to maintain their presence for next few centuries  but were now no more threats to the Muslim world.

The_Crusader_States_(1200)

Fourth Crusade and Sack of Constantinople

This time a new route through Egypt was employed by the crusaders to attack Jerusalem now in Muslim hands but the goal of conquering Jerusalem turned into sack of Constantinople. The fourth crusade was the high point of eastern and western schism .The Byzantium capitol was although regained by the  Greeks after a half century but the they were never able to fully recover.

800px-Crusaders_attack_Constantinople

The Fifth Crusade

The goal was the same as always to acquire the holy lands.This time the army consisted of mostly German and Hungarian forces .Crusaders were able to acquire the guarantee of safe passage through Anatolian region controlled by Sultanate of Rum by allying them on their side.A two pronged war against Ayubids had a few successes in earlier period of the campaign but the march in Egypt was disastrous as the crusading force was decimated by the flood and surrendered to Muslims forces of Egypt.Capturing_Damiate

The Sixth Crusade

Frederick II,  the holy Roman Emperor and monarch Germany lay his claim to Kingdom of Jerusalem because of his marriage to its princess.Despite not being officially sanctioned by the Holy Roman Catholic Church Fredrick took his army Jerusalem and was able to capture the holy city . But the crusading army was not able to maintain control of the city for more than 15 years.This war showed European princely elite that individual nations can conquer orient .

Al-Kamil_Muhammad_al-Malik_and_Frederick_II_Holy_Roman_Emperor

The Seventh Crusade

Louis IX of France from 1248 to 1254 crusaded against the Islamic world though he was later proclaimed as saint by few but was utterly defeated by Ayyubid Sultanate in Egypt.1024px-Seventh_crusade

The Eighth Crusade

The French monarch  Louis IX attacked the Muslim possessions in Africa but the attack was a failure mainly due to the pandemic that left the French camp without its fighters . A truce was signed between the Muslim Ruler of Tunis and French monarch  Louis IX .

SmrtLudvika91270

The Ninth Crusade

Muslim world was in a precarious situation in the middle of thierteenth century .The Mongol horde was able to capture  Baghdad and Egypt faced a challenge of both crusaders and mongols whereas the reconquista in Iberian peninsula was virtually completed.If Baibars the general of the slave dynasty of Mamluks would not have defeated the Mongols and Crusaders , the whole Muslim world from east to west would have been overrun by the non believers.

640px-EdwardICrusadeMap

The last major crusade was actually the part of eighth crusade the English prince Edward I despite his few success was unable to have a lasting impact and ended in a truce .

Aftermath 

The crusades were a gory episode of religious fanaticism in middle ages .Eastern Europe motivated by the “Papal Bulls” attacked Muslim middle east  .The Seljuk were in a constant war against the Byzantium and the crusading forces.Byzantium was unable to recover from the Muslim advance into Anatolia and the aid of their fellow Christian brothers turned into their ultimate doom.The Kingdom of Castille , Aragon ,Leon and Navarre were able to drive out the Moorish occupants from Iberia.the crusades saw feudal Europe eventually transforming into a amalgam of nation states.The papal authority saw it high point in crusades and commanded the hearts and swords of Eastern Europe.The minor sects in Europe were now finally finished as part of western crusades, but at the end of crusades its become evident that the Christendom is becoming more secular.Some might argue that the crusades were the precursors of modern day colonialism.

608px-Last_Crusader

The Muslim world soon forgot the crusades and their memories faded away.Crusades were a result of the weakening of Arab hegemony in Islamic world . Arab world was unable to recover from the crusades and mongol invasion. This was the first low point of Islamic history as the second came during the colonialist era . But Muslims soon recover and the three great dynasties rose far away from the earlier power center  and these were Ottoman Empire of Anatolia and Eastern Europe , Mughal Empire in India and Safavid Empire in Persia.

A Few Good Seasons Based On Historical Fiction

Rome

IMDb rating   8.9

Year              2005-2007

seasons        2

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The Black Adder Series

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Black-Adder 1       IMDb  rating    8.3       year     1983

Black-Adder 2       IMDb  rating     8.8      year    1986

Black-Adder 3       IMDb  rating     8.8      year    1988

Black-Adder 4       IMDb rating     8.8       year    1989

The Tudors

IMDb Rating    8.2

Year                2007-2010

Seasons          4

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Borgia

IMDb Rating       7.9

Years                 2011–

Seasons             3–

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The White Queen

IMDb        7.8

Year         2013

Seasons   TV mini-series

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Spartacus: War of the Damned

IMDb                    8.7

Year                     2010-2013

Seasons              3

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Part 3 The Ballad of East and West : Christendom Strikes Back ; Reconquista

350px-Taifas770px-Taifas2

This article is the part of series about the conflicts between Europe and Asia since antiquity

  • Part 1 Greco-Roman world against Persia
  • Part 2 Arab Invasion of Europe ;  Al Andalus
  • Part 3 Christendom Strikes Back ; Reconquista
  • Part 4 The Holy wars ; Crusades
  • Part 5 The Mongol Horde
  • Part 6 Ottoman Intrusion
  • Part 7 Colonialism

The split mandate ;The rise and fall of first Taifa Spain 

1031 -1095

By the end of 1031 Spain was divide into the petty kingdoms of both Muslims and Christians origins who were always in a constant state of warfare with each other

The Muslim Taifa States were

  • Banu Hammud of Malaga and Algeciras
  • Banu Ziri of Granada
  • Slav rulers of south eastern Spain
  • Banu hud of Sargossa
  • Banu Dhu;l –Nun of Toledo
  • Banu jahwar of cordova
  • Banu abbad of Seville

Christian kingdoms ; West to east

  • Kingdom of Galacia,
  • Kingdom of Leon,
  •  Kingdom ofCastile,
  • Kingdom ofNavarre,
  • Kingdom of Aragon
  • Kingdom of Barcelona

First round of Reconquista

Fernando  1 , the Count of Castile and king of Leon

Ferda1Leon_Sancha

  • War with Zaragoza 
  • War with Toledo
  • Reconquests in Portugal

Pope Gregory 6

Alfonso 6

Alfonso 6 and the fall of Toledo 1085

The African aid

The petty kingdoms of Spain were unable to defend themselves against their christian compatriots.They called for the help of Muslim kingdoms of North Africa.Almohad and Al Murabitun tried to halt the inevitable downfall of Muslim Spain But the northern Christendom was consistent to regain the whole peninsula in which they succeeded few centuries later.

Al-Murabitun / Almoravids Dynasty 1090-1145 and Al Mohad Dynasty 1145-1223

Battle of Sagarajas was a great success for the Muslim Spain it halted the process or reconquista for several generations

Almoravids dynasty

491px-Empire_almoravide

Another wave of North African Conquerors of

Al Mohad Dynasty 1145-1223

800px-Empire_almohade

Christian Reconquista begins again

Fall of Lisbon

Pope Eugene III authorized the crusade in the Iberian peninsula. army of the second crusade was aided the  King Afonso I of Portugal to capture Lisbon after 350 years of Muslim rule 1147

Siege_of_Lisbon_-_Muslim_surrender

Christian conquest in Eastern Spain

Conquest of Almeria,Lerida,fraga and the whole valley of Ebro.

The battle of Al Arcos

the battle was fought between Castile kingdoms and Al Mohads and resulted in Al Mohad victory and sent Shock waves through entire Spain (July 18, 1195)

Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa ; Almohad defeat at al- Uqab

This was an important milestone for conquistadors as after this Andalusian Muslims were unable to call for the foreign support of their Muslim brethren. the battle was fought between the Al Mohad army  under the command of The Caliph al-Nasir (Miramamolí )Christian forces of King Alfonso VIII of Castile were joined by the armies of his rivals, Sancho VII of Navarre, Peter II of Aragon and Afonso II of Portugal in battle. the battle was decisive victory for the Christian Alkalies  forces

Battle_of_Las_Navas_de_Tolosa

African conquers were unable to manage both African territories and Spain against Christians as well as Muslim rulers of Spain.Al Mohad  rulers eventually were driven out of Spain back into their African realm.

Almohads_after_1212

The third Taifa Spain

Now Christian zealot armies were invulnerable by the remaining Muslim duchies.

Reconquista completes

  • The treaty of Cazola 1179
  • The treaty of Almizra 1244

The Spanish Christians divide amongst themselves the noble ordeal of reconquering the Spain form the hand heathen moors

Portuguese Reconquest

  • Conquests of James 1

320px-Jaume_I_Palma

  • Conquest of Balearics
  • Conquest of Valencia
  • The expulsion of Muslims

Ferdinand 3 and the conquest of Al-Andalus

Fernando_III_de_Castilla_02

  • Conquest of Cordova
  • Conquest of jean
  • Conquest of Seville

During the mid of thirteen century virtually the whole Iberian Peninsula was reconquered except the Nasrid kingdom of Granada

Nasrid kingdom of Granada 1232-1492

The Nasrid kingdom was the last refuge of the Muslim masses being expelled from the other parts of Spain. The rulers of Nasrid  duchy were actually the client or fiefs of the Christian neighbors. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453 by the Muslim Ottoman Empire this situation got worsened for them.

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Ferdinand and Isabella were joint in the wholly matrimony which also combine the two states and resulted in the modern Spain. The last of Muslim principalities surrendered in 1492,In the same year Columbus was commissioned to discover Americas .The final phase of reconquista was now completed .A new era of prosperity and riches for Spain and Portugal started after this.

CastillaLeon_1360

Finally the era of Muslim Spain was come to an end .the Muslim population was put through the notorious Spanish inquisition .The Moriscos or the tamed Muslims eventually died out in the new most Catholic Spain.

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