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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Looking Ahead to the Crusades

As a reminder the last debate question for the society in May is RESOLVED: The Crusades Should be Celebrated.

This debate is appropriately timed with the release of Ridley Scott's (of Gladiator fame) new movie about the Crusades titled Kingdom of Heaven.

kingdomThe film is based on real characters of the three-century Crusades, including Balian of Ibelin, a Crusader knight who led the defense of Jerusalem in 1187, and the Muslim leader Saladin, who defeated him. Apart from history, you may remember Saladin as the great Muslim hero who Saddam wanted to emulate (Saladin was also from Tikrit...although Saladin was also a Kurd).

The film is destined to be controversial because as this NY Times Column comments, the great Muslim hero and merciful Salidin is depicted in some places as an unmerciful warmonger:

Near the end of the film the script describes the Muslim army as advancing on Jerusalem. Saladin says: "Not one alive. Not one," as the advancing soldiers cry, "Allah!"

The Times resident Isamic commentator did not like the script either:

Mr. Fadl argued that the movie would reinforce negative attitudes toward Muslims in America. "In this climate how are people going to react to these images of Muslims attacking churches and tearing down the cross and mocking it?" he asked.

Of course this is just the script. Who knows what will make the final cut.

Nevertheless, the film should be a must see for all JAS members attending the May debate.