AbstractThe fall of Jerusalem to the Muslims in 1187 CE1 stood as a severe psychological jolt on the Christian West as they lost after an 88-year-long hegemony over Jerusalem. The subsequent preaching for Crusades invoked the Holy Land but each time the outcome turned to disappointment. The Fourth Crusade resulted in the sack of Constantinople, an act that Christians bemoaned as the crusaders became killers of their fellow Christians. The increasing schism between Byzantium and the Latin-West was coupled with the unity and expansion of the Muslims in the East to ultimately end crusader rule in the Levant with the fall of Acre in 1291. Notwithstanding, the crusading ideology persists today and is often echoed in Muslim as well as non-Muslim voices. The present paper re-tells the story with new insights based on contemporary scholarship on the Crusades following the fall of Jerusalem to Muslim forces. It focuses mainly on the military history and narrates about the ‘how’, ‘what’, and ‘why’ from the Third through to the Ninth Crusade. It also attempts to show that the Crusades were more than just confrontations since considerable cooperation and cultural exchange developed between the protagonists from the reign of Salah al-Dīn, particularly after the Third Crusade. The paper envisions that the current East-West dissent may be alleviated if scholars and policy makers on both sides attempt to find concrete examples of positive cooperation instead of highlighting instances of conflict from their historical perspectives.
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