The Crusades in Context

by Paul Stenhouse MSC PhD

Fr Stenhouse, an expert on the Middle East and editor of Annals Australasia, debunks the constantly repeated claim that Christians and Muslims lived in peace until the Crusades.

CURRENT wisdom would have it that ‘five centuries of peaceful co-existence’ between Muslims and Christians were brought to an end by ‘political events and an imperial-papal power play,’ that was to lead to a ‘centuries-long series of so-called “holy-wars” that pitted Christendom against Islam, and left an enduring legacy of misunderstanding and mistrust.’[1] A school textbook, Humanities Alive 2, for Year 8 students in the Australian State of Victoria, carries the anti-Christian/anti-Western argument further:

Those who destroyed the World Trade Centre are regarded as terrorists… Might it be fair to say that the Crusaders who attacked the Muslim inhabitants of Jerusalem were also terrorists. [2]

Muhammad died in Medina on June 8, 632 AD. The first of the eight Crusades to free the Holy Places in Palestine from Muslim control and offer safe passage to the Holy Land for Christian pilgrims, was called only in 1095. At the risk of sounding pedantic, the period in question is not ‘five centuries’, but four hundred and sixty-three years; and those years, we contend, were not characterized by ‘peaceful coexistence’.[3]

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one nation’s Mark Latham Leads Charge to Save Australia Day

One of the strange things about politics today is the attempt by Left-wing activists to demonise ‘nationalism’.

For normal people, loving one’s country is a natural feeling. It gives them a sense of belonging, the comfort of having a clear national identity.

Most Australians are proud of our country’s achievements. For many decades, this was the unifying purpose of Australia Day: celebrating the greatness of our nation and the Western civilisation that arrived here on 26 January 1788.

We know Australia is a wonderful place because so many people from overseas want to come here (often by any means possible).

But in recent years, the Green-Left has tried to turn Australia Day into a day of division. They want to ‘change the date’ or even abandon the celebrations altogether.

The Australia-haters have come from within. They want to make us feel guilty about our love of country and ashamed of our national day. Read on…

Waugh on the merits

Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh was born in 1903 to upper-middle-class Anglicans who lived in a suburb of London. He attended a boarding secondary school (Lancing College), read history at Oxford, published his first book (a biography of the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti) at age twenty-four, then his first novel a year later. Waugh married that same year (1928), divorced after two years, and converted to Catholicism. After the first marriage was declared null, he married a Catholic by whom he had seven children. He served honorably but ineffectively as an infantry officer in World War II, and was to publish thirteen novels, as well as seven travel books, three biographies, a volume of autobiography, and numerous essays and book reviews. Lionized in the 1920s as a trendy man of fashion, he became increasingly conservative in politics and churchmanship and notorious for his truculent contempt for the sham enthusiasms of modernity. He died on Easter Sunday, 1966, at his house in Somerset. Read on…

Soros – the end point was never homosexual marriage

The money behind the transgender movement

Billionaire George Soros opens his wallet to transform America

Three years ago (2013), a Supreme Court ruling paved the way for gay marriage.

After it, the mainstream media had one question: What was next for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement? They had, after all, won the big fight. In addition, many corporations had adopted policies barring discrimination based on sexual orientation, and two of America’s most watched shows at the time “Modern Family” and “Glee” featured openly gay characters.

“I really do believe [the Supreme Court ruling] is the domino that is going to tip over the rest of the dominoes,” Wilson Cruz, an LGBT activist, told CNN at the time. “Do not get in the way of this train, because it will run you over.”

To ensure things ran full-steam ahead, billionaire George Soros, through his Foundation to Promote Open Society, dedicated at least $2.7 million to the cause that year, according to his tax returns.

Some Republicans at the time mistakenly thought the LGBT movement had reached its pinnacle, that the culture wars had ended. They thought the party could now focus on fiscal concerns, which weren’t nearly as divisive.

But that was foolish — the LGBT movement was just getting fired up, and Soros-affiliated groups were already plotting their next prize. Read on…

The Philosophy of  Roger Scruton

Mervyn F. Bendle is one of Australia’s foremost conservative intellectuals. He frequently contributes to Quadrant magazine and Quadrant Online, Australia’s foremost organ for the display of conservative thought. Quadrant‘s importance is highlighted by the constant attempts of Australia’s dominant leftist class to shut it down. It is a magazine that belongs in the library of every philosophical conservative. The article below is a survey of the philosophy of the world’s foremost conservative intellectual Roger Scruton. There could hardly be a more readable survey and introduction to Scruton’s thought than this article. Lovers of the writings of Edmund Burke will recognise Burke’s deep influence on Scruton.

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The Constitution and Inconsistencies in Burke’s Defence of the Glorious Revolution 1688

The publication of the Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), Burke’s uncompromising denunciation of French Revolutionary theory as antithetical to the British Constitution, dismayed many of Burke’s supporters and admirers, and gave deadly ammunition to his long time enemies – at least what they thought was deadly ammunition. At this time, Burke and his reputation were at a low ebb. Younger members of the House had taken to calling him ‘dinner bell’ because of his long tedious speeches, especially over the Warren Hastings impeachment. Among the avenues of attack were the charges of inconsistency and contradiction of which were the following.

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Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave Policy – was it really that mad?

Way back in August 2013, I posted a defence of Tony Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave Policy. I am posting it again because I still think it has merit – for any party to adopt. Indeed, Eva Cox, hardly an admirer of Abbott, commented in a Crikey article that it was ‘actually a very good idea.’

When Tony Abbott, then the leader of the Liberal Party and Opposition Leader, announced his Paid Parental Leave policy, people on all sides of the political spectrum were speechless. The Left, taken completely by surprise, were reduced to incoherent muttering because policy of this sort was their preserve, and Abbott’s was far more generous than the Labor Government’s. To make matters worse, Abbott’s policy was generous to an extent that nobody in Australian politics could have imagined. Politicians of the right and the business sector were affrighted by the enormous cost, but kept their reaction to a murmuring about how the hell such a scheme would be paid for. After all, Tony was their man and looked a good possibility for defeating the profligate Labor Government. There seemed to be hope on the left and the right that the whole thing would fall through and such a fantastical idea would remain just that – a fantasy. Such hopes were to be frustrated.

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THE SYRIAN REFUGEES: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

The March 2018 column of One Nation’s Mark Latham about the settlement of refugees continues to be current.

Refugee policy has become the ultimate form of virtue signaling. Left-wing elites think they can display their compassion and moral superiority by advocating for open borders. They gather at candle-lit vigils, urging our governments to take in an unlimited number of asylum seekers. Under the Rudd and Gillard Governments, this ended in the tragedy of 2,000 drowned at sea – the greatest humanitarian disaster in Australian history.

I remember a shouting match with my Labor colleague Anthony Albanese after the Tampa incident in 2001. He accused me of representing a racist electorate in Western Sydney that wanted to close our borders to people in need. I told him it had nothing to do with race and everything to do with the rule of law: how suburban Labor voters simply wanted an orderly, merit-based migration system, with no queue jumping.

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The Break-Up of Australia

Those of us who had serious reservations about the logic of the Mabo jugdment and where it would lead have been justified in our fears by the stage at which some Australians of Aboriginal ancestry (AOAAs) have brought their political campaign. Keith Windshuttle in his book The Break-Up of Australia (below) has shown just how far we other Australians have come in surrendering our country to a superior cast who feed on the toil of a servant population. The facts and statistics are frightening. If Australians don’t do anything else, they should at least read the two excerpts of the book Quadrant published . 

Australians are not being told the truth about the proposal for constitutional recognition of indigenous people. The goal of Aboriginal political activists today is to gain ‘sovereignty’ and create a black state, equivalent to the existing states. Its territory, com­prising all land defined as native title, will soon amount to more than 60 per cent of the whole Australian continent. Constitutional recognition, if passed, would be its ‘launching pad’.

As Quadrant’s Keith Windschuttle details in The Break-Up of Australia, recognition will not make our nation com­plete — it will divide us permanently.

Buy the book here.

Read the first of two excerpts: The Break-Up of Australia: Part I  
& Part II

culture through reason, natural feeling and the moral imagination

One of the best-known passages from Edmund Burke’s writing is his lament over the capture of the French royal family and their being force-marched twelve miles from the Palace of Versailles into Paris ‘amidst the horrid yells, and shrilling screams, and frantic dances, and infamous contumelies, and all the unutterable abominations of the furies of hell in the abused shape of the vilest of women.’

Burke’s lament was provoked not so much by this melancholy scene and the barbarism of the revolutionaries. It was rather the Revolution Society’s glorification at the Old Jewry of the bloody revolutionary action that moved him. In particular, the raptures of radical preacher Dr Richard Price proclaiming the victory of reason and the dawn of freedom nerved Burke’s pen to write several pages of soaring prose bemoaning far more the ideological defeat of European Christian culture than the tragic predicament of the Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

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