As Christians congregate all over the world to celebrate Christmas Eve, this is a great opportunity to remember the forgotten victims of historical Christian brutality. Christians like to portray themselves as peaceful and generous people, citing their charitable and missionary work, but history tells a different story.
The bloodthirsty Crusades began in 1095, and continued for hundreds of years, killing millions of innocent Muslims and tearing apart the Middle East. Many history scholars trace the motivations for modern Jihad back to these bloodthirsty massacres at the hands of European Christians. Just as many African Americans suffer from post-traumatic slave disorder, Muslims all over the world still feel the pain and suffering inflicted on their ancestors through the crusades, which has been passed down through the generations in the form of poverty, civil unrest and political strife. Muslims still have deep-seated emotions lingering from these terrible days, such as sadness, misery and anger, which often express themselves in the form of suicide bombings, stabbings and violent outbursts.
Insensitive right-wingers like to hold Muslims fully responsible for the crimes of a small minority, but in reality even the minority that engages in these activities is by large motivated by atrocities committed by Christians and Europeans against their kind. We need to use this time not simply to celebrate so-called Christian values, but also to remember those who have suffered the many atrocities of Christian zealots. We need to have an honest conversation about Christian privilege, in which Christians explore their unprocessed guilt and shame, and Muslims express their pain and anger. Until reparations are paid, it’s unlikely that Christian-Muslim relations will ever improve, and Christians either need to face up to this reality, or continue to endure blow back in the form of terrorist attacks, groping and raping by oppressed Muslims throughout the world.