Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Scene From The Jihad, V

"Our purpose here is to give you news of what we have just done, to inform you of the utter catastrophe that has befallen you...You would have seen your knights prostrate beneath the horses' hooves, your houses stormed by pillagers and ransacked by looters...You would have seen the crosses in your churches smashed, the pages of the false Testaments scattered, the Patriarchs' tombs overturned. You would have seen your Muslim enemy trampling on the place where you celebrate mass, cutting the throats of monks, priests and deacons upon the altars...Since no survivor has come forward to tell you what happened, we have informed you of it, and since no-one is in a position to give you the good news that you have saved your life at a loss of everything else, we bring you the tidings in a personal letter."
-- The Mamluke Sultan Baybars, ultimatum to the Crusader strongholds after the fall of Antioch, 1268

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