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'Defenders of the West' author: Crusades were a response to Muslims who launched ‘brutal holy wars’ against Christians

Remember when FIFA banned England football fans from wearing Christian crusader-style costumes ahead of the World Cup in Qatar because it could be considered "offensive against Muslims"?

Turns out the reason is more complex than you might think — at least according to Raymond Ibrahim, an author and expert on Islamic history and doctrine, who says the most misunderstood aspect of the Crusades is the notion that they were offensive wars of aggression.

Ibrahim's latest book, Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam, takes a second look at the historical revisionism surrounding the Crusades when the Roman Catholic Church and European powers fought religious wars for more than 200 years between 1095 and 1291 to regain control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land under Islamic rule.

“We are not told that four centuries earlier Islam erupted out of Arabia and violently conquered three-quarters of what was once the Christian world, including all of ...