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Misleading Religion

             When the term crusade is used in the media, people tend to think that it is in reference to a "holy war." However this is far from the truth. Throughout time wars have been waged with the claims of a religious purpose, but if looked at more closely, the actual wars were fought because of political reasons and mainly just to obtain land. Wars and other such conflicts have been fought for land and political reasons and not religion.
             Starting in 1096, a series of wars called the crusades was fought between Muslims and Christians for control of the holy land. A crusade is a war fought with a religious purpose and at the calling of a religious leader. In this case the Catholic pope was the one who called for the crusades. "As Christianity grew, many Europeans wanted to visit the holy lands, such as Jerusalem and Bethlehem, where Jesus lived and was crucified," (Doherty). "The Seljuqs were less welcoming than the earlier Muslim rulers had been to Catholics who wanted to visit these holy sites," (Ellwood) "At the same time, the Muslim religion was gaining followers throughout North Africa and what is now the Middle East As these two religions grew, there was conflict between their followers over areas of the Middle East that were sacred to both religions," (Doherty) In addition, the advance of the Seljuqs posed political and economic threats to the Latin-speaking parts of Western Europe.(Ellwood) Although the Catholics were technically fighting against Muslim armies, the Crusaders found excuses to attack, plunder, and rape others, many of whom had no sufficient means of defense. However, the main outcome of the crusades would seem to be senseless spending, misery, and tense relations between Catholics and Muslims.
             Conflict began in Bosnia in 1991 and in 1992, when Bosnia declared independence from Yugoslavia. The Conflict included ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia by Serb military and police.

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