The Image of the Crusade Woman through Islamic Writings Contemporary with the Crusades

The Image of the Crusade Woman through Islamic Writings Contemporary with the Crusades

By Brahim EL Kadiri Boutchich

International Journal of Central Asian Studies, Vol.5 (2000)

Introduction: I found out that we agreed on many points and diverged on many others because of our different perspective and analysis. However, I must say that I have benefited a great deal from his way of reading the sources. Bearing in mind that the results of any research are but the beginning of a new one, I hope that my paper will add new things to the topic of the Crusade woman in Bilad Asham during the Crusades.

The Crusades were a real opportunity for Muslims and Christians to co-habit, deepen their knowledge of each other, and discover each others customs and traditions. Prior to this period, there were only travels and trade that enabled Muslims and Christians to get acquainted, but with the settlement of Christians in Bilad Asham , Muslims could have a clearer idea about the European society. So, Muslim Historians who were contemporary with the Crusades wrote some impressions about the Crusade society, especially about the Crusade woman.

The difficulty that faces the researcher who relies on Muslim sources, however, remains in the fact that Muslim historians did not deal with the topic of the Crusade woman in itself, but they just referred to it in the flow of news reporting on the Crusades, Muslim historians gave flashes in different references with no linking thought, hence making it strenuous on the researcher to gather the scattered texts and to order them carefully.

Nevertheless, the importance of Muslim writings lies in the fact that the authors were contemporaries with the Crusades, cohabited with the Crusade woman in Bilad Asham, got in contact with her, talked to her, and registered in their books what they saw and heard about her. Thus, their writings are considered original documents with a great degree of importance.

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