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Old June 24 2013, 05:06 PM   #28
Christopher
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Re: Living witness, Implausible?

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
The time scale on the episode bothers me a bit, to be honest. 700 years is a LONG time to hold a grudge. The Crusades are still a semi-sore subject in the Middle East but you don't hear people starting a riot over them.
In a sense, you do -- because a lot of people in the Middle East see European interventions like the imposed nationbuilding after WWI or the CIA overthrow of Mossadeq in Iran or Bush's invasion of Iraq as just more of the same bad behavior Europeans have been engaging in since the Crusades. Indeed, the whole reason that jihadists like al-Qaida were able to get a foothold for their tactics at all was because they were able to argue that the West was still engaged in a crusade, an attempt to forcibly suppress Islam and impose Western values and religion. Strictly speaking, jihad is only permitted in self-defense, to protect the Islamic community from outsiders seeking its subjugation or destruction, so jihadists justify their aggression by claiming that Western policies in the Mideast have that goal, that they're effectively a renewed Crusade. (Indeed, there was one point where George W. Bush unthinkingly referred to the fight against al-Qaida as a crusade, and he and his foreign-policy team had to walk that back as quickly and firmly as possible because it was so inflammatory to Mideastern ears.)

So yes, it's entirely possible for one culture to hold a grudge against another for centuries, especially if the two cultures have subsequent, ongoing clashes that can be interpreted as continuations of the same original conflict.
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