The Crusades were often painted as evil characters, in particular, by the ardent church lovers. The fall of Papal power was unpalatable to the believers. Incidentally, these believers were not able to read the Bible which was kept under lock and key by the clergy.
The bloodthirsty crusaders initiated religious wars. The church is equally responsible for creating the enmity. Whether the Crusaders can be compared to Jihad or Hitler is a big question! It is ironical that Christians and Muslims unanimously believed that the Crusaders are good enough and better than those who suppressed them.
But the Reformation changed the entire concept. Martin Luther indirectly propagated that Muslims were responsible for sending the Turks to punish Christendom for its faithlessness. However, the Crusaders were not considered as dangerous elements during the post-Reformation as well as during the Enlightenment period. Even Muslims have not examined the Crusaders as a potential threat to Israel.
During the period spanning 150 years before 1254, the aim of the Crusaders was to liberate the Holy Land from Muslim control. Muslims were particular to bring the world under their control since the advent of their prophet. By then, the Seljuk Turks had taken control of Palestine and closed Jerusalem to both Jews and Christians. The attack of Constantinople spearheaded to see the fall of Roman Empire.
The ‘almighty’ Pope Urban II called of 1095 to defend the Christian West. The crusade was called as pilgrimage initially. Crusade is emanated from French word ‘crusade’ meaning “the way of the cross.” First Crusade saw the fall of Jerusalem, and other Crusader (1147-1149) reinforced it. The third Crusade was called to attempt recovery which led to the clash between the Muslim leader Saladin and Richard the Lionhearted.
The Fourth Crusade of 1202 was against Constantinople itself which divided both Empire and Church. During the next Crusades, Islamic forces destroyed the remnants of the Crusader territories.