Hidden Aspects of Muslim and Christian Relations in the Crusader States Open Access
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This thesis examines the meeting of Near Eastern Muslims and Western European Christians in the 11th and 12th century Latin Crusader Kingdoms. As the crusaders were by definition enemies of the Islamic religion, and settled for several generations in the midst of the Islamic world, they were forced to adopt increasingly more complex and tolerant views of religious `others.' A religiously mixed culture of Christian and Islamic elements began to form, which I shall here attempt to demonstrate and analyze.I will track the early history of this period with an account of the European development of Islamophobia in the 9th-11th centuries based on historical record. After the First Crusade created Latin nations in the Eastern Mediterranean in 1099, the role of Islam in the psyche of the crusaders began to change as they became acclimatized to Islamic cultures and practices. Using primarily eyewitness testimonies from both Christian and Muslim sources, I will expose what can be deduced about these people's attitudes on Islam in the Crusader States. After describing the recapture of the city of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1087, there will be a short conclusion outlining patterns and progressions of interreligious relations.