How Saladin became a hero in the West-He defeated the crusaders—and inspired a legend

Source: The Economist

The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin. By Jonathan Phillips.Yale University Press

THE WEST has few Muslim heroes but, astonishingly, a 12th-century jihadist is one of them. Saladin broke onto the Middle East’s map in a drama not unlike the recent eruption of Islamic State. Born on the banks of the Tigris, he carved out an emirate which by his death in 1193 stretched from the modern-day borders of Tunisia to Yemen, Turkey and Iran. Powerful realms fell like matchsticks before him. He ended the crusaders’ 88-year reign in Jerusalem, reducing their kingdom to a few fortress towns dotted along the coast of the Levant.

Read Further

Suggested reading and viewing

BBC Video: Saladin: Who taught Europe the Ethics of War

How Islam Taught Medieval Christian Europe Religious and Political Tolerance

The Muslim Times’ Collection on Islam’s Condemnation of Terrorism

 

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