When George W. Bush used the term "crusade against terrorism," it was not well recieved in the Muslim world. While most Americans interpreted "crusade" to mean "campaign" or "struggle," to Arabs the word conjured images of a holy war.
The Crusades were a series of eight wars waged by Catholics against Muslims during the Middle Ages. Osama bin Laden is calling the west "crusaders" in an effort to rile up his Muslim allies. Thomas Madden, author of "A Concise History of the Crusades," says the term "crusade" was not always a rallying point for Arabs. It has only been in the past 100 years that Muslim fundamentalists have revived the idea of the crusade in their criticism of the West.
Thomas Madden, author of "A Concise History of the Crusades"
R. Stephen Humphreys, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara
This program aired on September 25, 2001. The audio for this program is not available.