[Part 1 of this article can be found here]
Jihad conquests and early Muslim rule in Syro—Palestine
Moshe Gil, in his seminal analysis A History of Palestine, 634—1099,� emphasizes the singular centrality that Palestine occupied in the mind of its pre—Islamic Jewish inhabitants, who referred to the land as 'al—Sham.' Indeed, as Gil observes, the sizable Jewish population in Palestine (who formed a majority of its inhabitants, when grouped with the Samaritans) at the dawn of the Arab Muslim conquest were '...the direct descendants of the generations of Jews who had lived there since the days of Joshua bin Nun, in other words for some 2000 years...'.  He also explodes the ahistorical thesis of scholars who, 
...perceive an ethnic motivation behind the [jihad] conquests.� They see Arabs everywhere: even the Canaanites and the Philistines were Arabs, according to their theories.� This applies to an even greater degree to the population of Palestine and Syria in the seventh century, who were certainly Semites.� Thus, according to their claims, the conquering Arab forces in the course of their battles, actually encountered their own people or at least members of their own race who spoke the same language...This is of course a very distorted view: Semitism is not a race and only relates to a sphere of language.� The populations met along the route of battle, living in cities or the country side, were not Arabs and did not speak Arabic.� We do know of Bedouin tribes at that time who inhabited the borderlands and the southern desert of Palestine, west of the Euphrates (Hira) in the Syrian desert, Palmyra, and elsewhere.� But the cultivated inner regions and the cities were inhabited by Jews and Christians who spoke Aramaic.� They did not sense any special ties to the Bedouin; if anything it was the contrary.� Their proximity and the danger of an invasion from that quarter disturbed their peace of mind and this is amply reflected both in the writings of the Church Fathers and in Talmudic sources.
Gil concludes that views of the jihad conquest of Palestine expressed in the sources from the vanquished, indigenous non—Muslim populations, 
...reflect the attitude of the towns and villages in Palestine quite accurately; the attitude of a sedentary population, of farmers and craftsmen, toward nomads whose source of income is the camel and who frequently attack the towns, pillage and slaughter the inhabitants, and endanger the lives of the wayfarer.� These sources completely contradict the argument...to the effect that the villagers and townsmen in Palestine accepted the invasion of those tribes bearing the banner of Islam with open arms of their so—called racial affinity.
Bat Ye'or summarizes the Arab Muslim conquest of Palestine as follows: 
...Abu Bakr organized the invasion of Syria [Syro—Palestine] which Muhammad had already envisaged. He gathered tribes from the Hijaz, Najd, and Yemen and advised Abu Ubayda, in charge of operations in the Golan, to plunder the countryside, but due to a lack of adequate weaponry, to refrain from attacking towns. Consequently, the whole Gaza region up to Cesarea was sacked and devastated in the campaign of 634. Four thousand Jewish, Christian, and Samaritan peasants who defended their land were massacred. The villages of the Negev were pillaged by Amr b. al—As, while the Arabs overran the countryside, cut communications, and made roads perilous. Towns such as Jerusalem, Gaza, Jaffa, Cesarea, Nablus, and Beth Shean were isolated and closed their gates. In his sermon on Christmas day 634, the patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, lamented over the impossibility of going on pilgrimage to Bethlehem, as was the custom because the Christians were being forcibly kept in Jerusalem: 'not detained by tangible bonds, but chained and nailed by fear of the Saracens,' whose 'savage, barbarous and bloody sword' kept them locked up in the town...Sophronius, in his sermon on the Day of the Epiphany 636, bewailed the destruction of the churches and monasteries, the sacked towns, the fields laid waste, the villages burned down by the nomads who were overrunning the country. In a letter the same year to Sergius, the patriarch of Constantinople, he mentions the ravages wrought by the Arabs. Thousands of people perished in 639, victims of the famine and plague that resulted from these destructions.
The countryside [in Syro—Palestine, Iraq, Persia, and Armenia] suffered constant razzias, while those who escaped the sword swelled the contingents of enslaved women and children, shared out among the soldiers after the deduction of the fifth [share of the 'booty'] reserved for the caliph.
According to [the Muslim chronicler] Baladhuri (d. 892 C.E.), 40,000 Jews lived in Caesarea alone at the Arab conquest, after which all trace of them is lost...
The 10th century Jacobite chronicler Michael the Syrian wrote that the ongoing Arab razzias and expeditions in Syro—Palestine (as well as Iraq, Persia, and Armenia), were characterized by repeated, and systematic pillage: 
The Taiyaye [Arabs] grew rich, increased and overran [the lands] which they took from the Romans [Byzantines] and which were given over to pillage.
And following the surrender of the city of Damascus, he notes: 
Umar [b. al—Khattab] sent Khalid [b. Walid] with an army to the Aleppo and Antioch region. There, they murdered a large number of people. No one escaped them. Whatever may be said of the evils that Syria suffered, they cannot be recounted because of their great number; for the Yaiyaye [Arabs] were the great rod of God's wrath.
Gil further elaborates on the initial wave of jihad conquests, and details the lasting destruction they wrought: 
...at the time of the conquest, Palestine was inhabited by Jews and Christians....The Arab tribes were to be found in the border areas, in keeping with arrangements made with the Byzantine rulers....one can assume that the local population suffered immensely during the course of the war [i.e., jihad conquests] and it is very likely that many villages were destroyed and uprooted in the frontier regions, and that the lot of these local populations was very bitter indeed.� It appears that the period of the conquest was also that of the destruction of the synagogues and churches of the Byzantine era,� remnants of which have been unearthed in our own time and are still being discovered.� The assumption is based both on what is said in a few Christian sources...and on Muslim sources describing 'Umar's [Umar b. al—Khattab] visits to al—Sham.� There is no doubt that one of the main purposes of these visits was to establish order and put an end to the devastation and slaughter of the local population...Towns in the western strip and the central strip (the region of the red sand hills and the swamps) in the Sharon, decreased from fifty—eight to seventeen !� It is estimated that the erosion of the soil from the western slopes of the Judaean mountains reached — as a result of the agricultural uprooting during the Muslim period — the gigantic extent of 2,000 to 4,000 cubic meters....We find direct evidence of the destruction of agriculture and the desertion of the villages in the fact that the papyri of Nessana are completely discontinued after the year 700.� One can assume that at the time the inhabitants abandoned the place, evidently because of the inter—tribal warfare among the Arabs which completely undermined the internal security of the area.
An archaeological analysis by Naphtali Lewis emphasizes that the distress of the inhabitants was exacerbated after the year 700. Conditions became unbearable, due to the general political situation and worsening attitudes toward the dhimmis, rendering the Negev a wasteland. 
It was precisely at this period in the Caliphate of Abd—al—Malik and his sons (685—743 C.E.) that the Arab state embarked on a new, nationalistic policy. The official records of Islam began to be kept in Arabic...and non—Arabs began to be eliminated from government service. With this Arabization of rule came increasing fiscal burdens for the Christians—burdens which they could now no longer escape by conversion to Islam...[This] may well have rendered life impossible for the villagers of the Negev, who had already before...had occasion to complain of fiscal oppression. In the period of their prosperity...the production of the Negev villages was supplemented by financial assistance from the Byzantine Emperors, in the form of stipends and emoluments paid the military settlers; in the first half—century of Arab rule, which terminated this positive support but otherwise changed conditions little, life could apparently still be sustained— and where life is even barely bearable people are generally reluctant to leave their homes; but when the government changed its policy and began to make conditions as a result become increasingly difficult, life in the southern desert became impossible and the Negev villages disappeared...growing Arab strength...drove out the Negev inhabitants; the weakness of central authority in the area would result from the growing depopulation and relapse into nomadism.
Finally, Gil has translated these observations by the 10th century Karaite commentator Yefet b. 'Ali expressing awareness of the fact that there was great destruction in Palestine and that there were places which remained uninhabited, while there were other places to which people returned and settled: 
...the places which were completely destroyed so that no memory of them remains, like Samaria...and the second...are the places which have been destroyed and ruined, but despite this there are guards and people living there, such as Hebron and others...
Gil also captures the stark, unromantic reality of Muslim ruled Palestine during this era which included—the initial jihad conquest and establishment of Arab Muslim rule, from 634 to 661; Umayyad—Damascene rule, from 661 until 750; Abbasid—Baghdadian rule, from 750 through 878; Turco—Egyptian rule— Tulunids and Ikshidids— from 878 until 970— "interrupted" by Abbasid—Baghdadian rule again, between 905 and 930; nearly two generations of war including numerous participants, the dominant party being the Fatimids, from 970 through 1030; just over 40—years of Fatimid—Egyptian rule, between 1030 and 1071; and a generation of (Seljuq) Turkish (or 'Turcoman') rule encompassing most of Palestine, from 1071 until 1099. 
Dramatic persecution, directed specifically at Christians,  included executions for refusing to apostasize to Islam� during the first two decades of the 8th century, under the reigns of Abd al—Malik, his son Sulayman, and Umar b. Abd al—Aziz. Georgian, Greek, Syriac, and Armenian sources report both prominent individual and group executions (for eg., sixty—three out of seventy Christian pilgrims from Iconium in Asia Minor were executed by the Arab governor of Caesarea, barring seven who apostasized to Islam, and sixty Christian pilgrims from Amorion were crucified in Jerusalem). 
The Abbasids moved the capital city from Damascus (seat of the Umayyad Empire) to Baghdad, absorbed much of the Syrian and Persian culture, as well as Persian methods of governance, and ushered in a putative "Golden Age." Gil and Bat Ye'or� offer revealing assessments of this 'Golden Age' dhimmitude and its adverse impact on the conquered, indigenous Jews and Christians of Palestine. Under early Abbasid rule (approximately 750—755 C.E., perhaps during the reign Abul Abbas Abdullah al—Saffah) Greek sources report orders demanding the removal of crosses over Churches, bans on Church services and teaching of the scriptures, the eviction of monks from their monasteries, and excessive taxation.  Gil notes that in 772 C.E., when Caliph al—Mansur visited Jerusalem, 
..he ordered a special mark should be stamped on the hands of the Christians and the Jews. Many Christians fled to Byzantium.
The following decade witnessed persistent acts of persecution as well. These details are provided by Gil: 
One source tells of a Muslim who converted to Christianity and became a monk, and renamed Christophorous. He was beheaded on 14 April 789. At around the same time, evidently, there was an Arab attack on the monastery of St. Theodosius, near Bethlehem. The monastery was pillaged, many of the monks were slaughtered and some escaped. The attackers also destroyed two churches near that monastery. A Church source tells about the suffering endured by the monasteries in the Judean mountains during the inter—tribal warfare which broke out in 796...While Bet Guvrin was being abandoned by its inhabitants, who were falling captive to the Arabs, assaults were being made in Ascalon, Gaza, and other localities. Everywhere there was pillage and destruction.
Bat Ye'or elucidates the fiscal oppression inherent in eighth century Palestine which devastated the dhimmi Jewish and Christian peasantry: 'Over—taxed and tortured by the tax collectors, the villagers fled into hiding or emigrated into towns.'  She quotes from a detailed chronicle of an eighth century monk, completed in 774: 'The men scattered, they became wanderers everywhere; the fields were laid waste, the countryside pillaged; the people went from one land to another'. 
The Greek chronicler Theophanes (as summarized by Gil) provides a contemporary description of the chaotic events which transpired after the death of the caliph Harun al—Rashid in 809 C.E., and the ensuing fratricidal war which erupted between the brothers al—Amin and al—Ma'mun. 
According to him [Theophanes] these events caused the Christians an enormous amount of suffering. Many churches and monasteries in Jerusalem and its environs were abandoned, such as those of Sts Cyriac, Theodosius, Chariton, Euthymius, and Mar Saba. Four years later, in 813, the disturbances broke out anew and many Christians, both monks and laity, fled from Palestine to Cyprus and Constantinople, where they found refuge from the Arabs' terrible persecution in those days of anarchy and civil war. Palestine was the scene of violence, rape, and murder.
Perhaps the clearest outward manifestations of the inferiority and humiliation of the dhimmis were the prohibitions regarding their dress "codes", and the demands that distinguishing signs be placed on the entrances of dhimmi houses. During the Abbasid caliphates of Harun al—Rashid (786—809) and al—Mutawwakil (847—861), Jews and Christians were required � to wear yellow (as patches attached to their garments, or hats). Later, to differentiate further between Christians and Jews, the Christians were required to wear blue. In 850, consistent with Qur'anic verses associating them with Satan and Hell,  al—Mutawwakil decreed that Jews and Christians attach wooden images of devils to the doors of their homes to distinguish them from the homes of Muslims. Bat Ye'or summarizes the oppression of the dhimmis throughout the Abbasid empire under al— Mutawwakil as '..a wave of religious persecution, forced conversions, and the elimination of churches and synagogues...' 
Paroxysms of violent persecution erupted yet again in October—November 923 C.E. according to the patriarch of Alexandria, Sa'id b. Bitriq, as well as two Muslim chroniclers [summarized by Gil]: 
...the Muslims attacked...in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (26 March 937) and set fire to the southern gates of Constantine's church and to half of the exedra, whereupon the Church of the Calvary and the Church of the Resurrection collapsed...According to al—Makin and al—Maqrizi, the Church of the Resurrection and the Church of the Calvary were also robbed of their treasures...It seems at the same time the Muslims attacked in Ascalon again. According to Yahya b. Sa'id, the assault was made on 'the great church there, known by the name of Mary the Green. They destroyed it and robbed it of all its contents and then set fire to it'...The bishop of Ascalon then left for Baghdad to get permission to rebuild the church, but he did not succeed. The church was left in ruins, for the Muslims who lived in Ascalon agreed amongst themselves that they would not allow it to be built again. As to the bishop, he never returned to Ascalon and remained in Ramla until his death.
During the early 11th century period of al—Hakim's reign, religious assaults and hostility intensified. As Gil notes, 
...the destruction of the churches at the Holy Sepulchre [1009 C.E.]� marked the beginning of a whole series of acts of oppression against the Christian population, which according to reliable sources, extended to coercion to convert to Islam.
Yahya b. Sa'id's description of the events surrounding the destruction of the Churches of the Holy Sepulchre is summarized by Gil: 
They dismantled the Church of the Resurrection to its very foundations, apart from what could not be destroyed or pulled up, and they also destroyed the Golgotha and the Church of St Constantine and all that they contained, as well as the sacred grave stones. They even tried to dig up the graves and wipe out all traces of their existence. Indeed they broke and uprooted most of them. They also laid waste to a convent in the neighborhood...The authorities took all the other property belonging to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and its pious foundations and all its furnishings and treasures.
Citing both Muslim (al—Quda'i, Ibn Khallikan, and Ibn Al—Athir) and non—Muslim (Bar Hebraeus) sources, Gil also describes the edicts al—Hakim imposed upon the Christians and Jews beginning in August 1011 C.E.: 
They were ordered to wear black turbans. The Christians had to wear a cross the length of a cubit and weighing five ratls around their necks around their necks; the Jews were obliged to wear a block of wood of similar weight...they had to wear some distinguishing mark in the bath—houses, and finally al—Hakim decided that there were to be separate bath—houses for their use...Ibn Al—Athir conveys...that al—Hakim ordered (after the destruction of the Chucrh of the Resurrection in Jerusalem...) that all the churches in the realm be destroyed, and this was done, and that the Jews and Christians were then to accept Islam, or emigrate to Byzantine lands. They were also obliged to wear special distinguishing signs. Many converted...Bar Hebraeus speaks of thousands of churches which were destroyed in the Fatimid kingdom at that time; the decree regarding the wearing of the cross around the neck was also, he says, a means of pressuring the Christians to convert. The wooden block the Jews were obliged to wear, had to be in the shape of a calf, as a reminder of the golden calf...
In a separate, focused analysis of the conditions of the dhimmis of Jerusalem, Gil concludes that during the early through the mid 11th century, the Jews suffered both economically and physically: 
Economic conditions in Jerusalem were rather harsh, and the yeshiva often issued urgent appeals for aid. Besides, there were frequent acts of oppression on the part of the Muslim authorities. Very often special heavy taxes were imposed, which aggravated the already precarious situation of both the yeshiva and the Jewish population of Jerusalem. It must be remembered that taxation in Jerusalem was probably different from that found in other parts of the Muslim world. It seems that Jews there had to pay a comprehensive lump sum for the whole Jewish population of the city, regardless of its numbers. When the population decreased as a result of wars and Bedouin upheavals, the burden on each individual became heavier. In such situations the yeshiva was forced to borrow money, against heavy interest, from wealthy Muslims. When the time of repayment arrived, Jewish notables were in danger of being imprisoned, as the yeshiva was not in a position to accumulate the funds it had to return. In some cases people were actually incarcerated and it took a great deal of effort to collect the funds necessary for their release. An example is the letter written by Abraham, the son and main assistant of Solomon b. Yehuda, head of the yeshiva, to the sons of Mevasser, a family of parnasim of Fustat, asking them to keep their promise to send the aid in time to pay the kharaj.
Muslim Turcoman rule of Palestine for the nearly three decades just prior to the Crusades (1071—1099 C.E.) was characterized by such unrelenting warfare and devastation, that an imminent 'End of Days' atmosphere was engendered.  For example, Gil describes one of Atsiz b. Awaq's jihad campaigns in Syro—Palestine at around 1077 C.E.: 
Then Atsiz advanced on Jerusalem from Damascus, placed the city under siege, and promised its inhabitants the aman; on this basis, the inhabitants opened the gates of the city to him. Atsiz prevailed over Jerusalem, completely ignoring his promise of aman, and went on a rampage. He slaughtered 3,000 people there...He also conducted campaigns of annihilation against Ramla, until all its people had fled, and against Gaza, where he murdered the entire population. He likewise massacred people in al—'Arish and elsewhere and wrought endless havoc in Damascus, where only 3,000 of the original 500,000 inhabitants had remained, due to starvation and scarcity. Jaffa, too, was attacked, and its governor...fled from the town to Tyre, together with all the city's inhabitants, while the walls of Jaffa were destroyed on Atsiz' orders.
A contemporary Russian chronicle cited by Gil indicates that the Turcomans,
'...destroyed and desolated the cities and the villages from Antioch to Jerusalem. They murdered, took captive, pillaged, set on fire; they destroyed churches and monasteries'. 
Gil notes that these observations are confirmed by Geniza documents, describing how, '...the Turcoman occupation denoted terrible calamities, such as the taking captive of the people of Ramla, the cutting off of roads, the obduracy of the commanders, the aura of anxiety and panic, and so on.'  He continues, 'We do not know what Atsiz' attitude was to the Jewish population in 1078, during the cruel suppression of the uprisings and the destruction of towns, but the fact that from this date onwards, we barely find letters from Palestine (apart from Ascalon and Caesarea) in the Geniza documents, speaks for itself.' 
A contemporary poem by Solomon ha—Kohen b. Joseph, believed to be a descendant of the Geonim, an illustrious family of Palestinian Jewish religious leaders, speaks of destruction and ruin, the burning of harvests, the razing of plantations, the desecration of cemeteries, and acts of violence, slaughter, and plunder: 
They were a strange and cruel people, girt with garments of many colors,/Armed and officered—chiefs among 'the terrible ones'—/And capped with helmets, black and red,/With bow and spear and full quivers;/And they trumpet like elephants, and roar as the roaring ocean,/To terrify, to frighten those who oppose them,/
And they are wicked men and sinners, madmen, not sane,/ And they laid waste the cities, and they were made desolate/And they rejoiced in their hearts, hoping to inherit./
He [God] also remembered what they had done to the people of Jerusalem,/ That they had besieged them twice in two years,/ And burned the heaped corn and destroyed the places,/ And cut down the trees and trampled upon the vineyards,/And surrounded the city upon the high mountains,/And despoiled the graves and threw out the bones,/And built palaces, to protect themselves against the heat,/And erected an altar to slay upon it the abominations;/And the men and the women ride upon the walls, Crying unto the God of gods, to quiet the great anger,/ Standing the whole night, banishing sleep,/While the enemy destroy, evening and morning,/And break down the whole earth, and lay bare the ground,/ And stand on the highways, intending to slay like Cain,/ And cut off the ears, and also the nose,/And rob the garments, leaving them stand naked,/ And also roar like lions, and roar like young lions;/ They do not resemble men, they are like beasts,/ And also harlots and adulterers, and they inflame themselves with males,/ They are bad and wicked and spiteful as Sodomites./ And they impoverished the sons of nobles, and starved the delicately bred./ And all the people of the city went out and cried in the field,/ And covered their lips, silent in their pains,/ And they had no mercy on widows, and pitied not the orphans.
Gil concludes that as a result of the Turcoman jihad, 
Palestine was drawn into a whirlpool of anarchy and insecurity, of internal wars among the Turks themselves and between them (generally in collaboration with the Arab tribes) and the Fatimids. Here and there, in one or another area, a delicate state of balance was arrived at for a few years. By and large, however, the Turcoman period, which lasted less than thirty years, was one of slaughter and vandalism, of economic hardship and the uprooting of populations. Terrible suffering, eviction and wandering, was the par�ticular lot of the Jewish population, and chiefly its leadership, the Pal�estinian yeshiva.
Gil offers this sobering overall assessment from his extensive, copiously documented analysis of the initial period of Muslim rule of Palestine, from 634 to 1099 C.E.: 
These facts do not call for much interpretation; together they simply form a picture of almost unceasing insecurity, of endless rebellions and wars, of upheavals and instability...
The brutal nature of the Crusader's conquest of Palestine, particularly of the major cities, beginning in 1098/99 C.E., has been copiously documented.  However, the devastation wrought by both Crusader conquest and rule (through the last decades of the 13th century) cannot reasonably be claimed to have approached, let alone somehow 'exceeded', what transpired during the first four and one—half centuries of Muslim jihad conquests, endless internecine struggles for Muslim dominance, and imposition of dhimmitude. As Emmanuel Sivan has observed, regarding Crusader dominion,
...practical considerations appear to have outweighed religious fanaticism and, when it came to the peasantry, the 'infidel children of the devil' in the villages were spared. It was clear to the Crusaders that they were themselves too few to dispense with the labor of local ...farmers in cultivating the soil. 
Moreover, we cannot ignore the testimony of Isaac b. Samuel of Acre (1270—1350 C.E.), one of the most outstanding Kabbalists of his time. Conversant with Islamic theology and often using Arabic in his exegesis, Isaac nevertheless believed that it was preferable to live under the yoke of Christendom rather than that of Islamdom. Acre was taken from the Crusaders by the Mamelukes in 1291 in a very brutal jihad conquest described by Runciman: 
Soon the Moslem soldiers penetrated right through the city, slaying everyone, old men, women and children alike. A few lucky citizens who stayed in their houses were taken alive and sold as slaves, but not many were spared. No one could tell the number of those that perished...Some prisoners were freed and returned to Europe after nine or ten years of captivity...Many women and children disappeared for ever into the harems of Mameluk emirs. Owing to the plentiful supply the price of a girl dropped to a drachma a piece in the slave market at Damascus. But the number of Christians that were slain was greater still...As soon as Acre was in his power, the Sultan (al—Ashraf Khalil) set about its systematic destruction...The houses and bazaars were pillaged, then burned; the buildings (of the Orders) and the fortified towers and castles were dismantled; the city walls were left to disintegrate. When the German pilgrim, Ludolf of Suchem passed by some forty years later, only a few peasants lived amongst the ruins of the once splendid capital...
Accordingly, despite the precept to dwell in the Holy Land, Isaac b. Samuel fled to Italy and thence to Christian Spain, where he wrote: 
The word ziz in Arabic is derogatory, for when they wish to say in that tongue, 'Strike him upon the head,' 'Give him a blow upon the neck,' they say zazzhu ('hit him')...Indeed, on account of our sins they strike upon the head the children of Israel who dwell in their lands and they thus extort money from them by force. For they say in their tongue, mal al—yahudi mubah, 'it is lawful to take money of the Jews.' For, in the eyes of the Muslims, the children of Israel are as open to abuse as an unprotected field. Even in their law and statutes they rule that the testimony of a Muslim is always to be believed against that of a Jew. For this reason our rabbis of blessed memory have said, 'Rather beneath the yoke of Edom [Christendom] than that of Ishmael.' They plead for mercy before the Holy One, Blessed be He, saying, 'Master of the World, either let us live beneath Thy shadow or else beneath that of the children of Edom' (a Talmudic verse)
It is ahistorical and frankly absurd to separate the Crusades from the anti—Christian jihad wars that antedated and precipitated them.�� Four and one—half centuries of devastating jihad conquests (i.e., 632—1095 C.E.), and the cruel imposition of dhimmitude on the vanquished, primarily Christian populations, finally engendered a sustained, organized and violent response when Christendom perceived its very survival to be imperiled. Jacques Ellul has characterized the origins and effects of this transformation: 
...the Crusade is an imitation of the jihad. Thus the Crusade includes a guarantee of salvation. The one who dies in holy war (i.e., jihad) goes straight to Paradise, and the same applies to the one who takes part in a Crusade. This is no coincidence; it is an exact equivalent. The Crusades, which were once admired as an expression of absolute faith, and which are now the subject of accusations against the Church and Christianity, are of Muslim, not Christian origin...The nonviolence of Jesus Christ changes into a war in conflict with that waged by the foe. Like that war, this is now a holy war.
The devastating Islamic institution of jihad must be acknowledged, renounced, dismantled, and relegated forever to the dustbin of history, by Muslims themselves. As Professor Walid Phares, in a frank, astute commentary entitled 'Jihad is Jihad', noted: 
In the Christian world, modern Christians outlawed crusading; they did not rewrite history to legitimize themselves. Those who believe that the jihad holy war is a sin today must have the courage to de—legitimize it and outlaw it as well.�
Andrew G. Bostom, MD, MS is an Associate Professor of Medicine and author of the forthcoming The Legacy of Jihad�published by�Prometheus Books.
 John Esposito, Islam The Straight Path, New York, 1994; quoted in Bat Ye'or, Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide, Cranbury, NJ.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2001, p. 314
 Bat Ye'or, Islam and Dhimmitude, p. 314
 Bat Ye'or, Islam and Dhimmitude, p. 315—16.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 11.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, p. 11. See also, Moshe Gil. 'The Constitution of Medina: A Reconsideration', Israel Oriental Studies, Vol. 4, 1974, pp. 44—66. Gil concludes the following, on pp. 64—65:
Through his alliance with the Arab tribes of Medina the Prophet gained enough strength to achieve a gradual anti—Jewish policy, despite the reluctance of his Medinese allies, who had formerly been those of the Jews...Muslim sources have developed a tradition about a treaty between Muhammad and the Jews, be it this document or a lost one, as presumed by some modern scholars. Elsewhere, it is declared in complete sincerity that Muhammad, without invoking any treaty, simply asked the B. Qaynuqa before taking action against them, to accept Islam...The document, therefore, was not a covenant with the Jews. On the contrary, it was a formal statement of intent to disengage the Arab clans of Medina from the Jewish neighbors they had been allied with up to that time.
 Bell, Richard. The Origin of Islam in its Christian Environment, London, 1926, pp. 134—135; 151; 159—161.
 Al—Tabari, The History of al—Tabari (Ta'rikh al rusul wa'l—muluk), vol. 12, The Battle of Qadissiyah and the Conquest of Syria and Palestine, translated by Yohanan Friedman, (Albany, NY.: State University of New York Press, 1992), p. 167.
 The Noble Qur'an http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/
 Translation of Sahih Bukhari http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/
 Translation of Sahih Muslim
 Ibn Abi Zayd al—Qayrawani, La Risala (Epitre sur les elements du dogme et de la loi de l'Islam selon le rite malikite.) Translated from Arabic by Leon Bercher. 5th ed. Algiers, 1960, p. 165.
 Ibn Taymiyyah, in Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam, p. 49
 From the Hidayah, vol. ii. p. 140, excerpted in Thomas P. Hughes,� 'A Dictionary of Islam',� 'Jihad' pp. 243—248. London, United Kingdom.: W.H. Allen, 1895.
 Al— Mawardi, The Laws of Islamic Governance [al—Ahkam as—Sultaniyyah], London, United Kingdom.: Ta—Ha, 1996, p. 60.
 Ibn Khaldun, The Muqudimmah. An Introduction to History, Translated by Franz Rosenthal. New York, N.: Pantheon, 1958, vol. 1, p. 473.
 Harry W. Hazard,� Atlas of Islamic History, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1951.
 Al—Tabari, The History of al—Tabari (Ta'rikh al rusul wa'l—muluk), vol. 12; vol. 13, The Conquest of Iraq, Southwestern Persia, and Egypt. Translated by G.H.A. Juynboll, (Albany, NY.: State University of New York Press, 1989); Al—Baladhuri, The Origins of the Islamic State (Kitab Futuh al—Buldan), translated by Philip K. Hitti, New York.: Columbia, 1916; Al—Kufi, The Chachn�mah, Part I: Giving the Mussulman period from the Arab conquest to the beginning of the reign of the Kalhorahs, translated by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg, Delhi Reprint, 1979; Elliott and Dowson, A History of India As Told by Its Own Historians, Vols. 1—8, 1867—1877, (reissued Delhi Reprint, 2001); Kanhadade Prabandha, translated, introduced and annotated by V.S. Bhatnagar, New Delhi, 1991; Biography of Dharmasvamin (Chag lotsava Chos—rje—dpal), a Tibetan Pilgrim, English translation by G. Roerich, Patna,� 1959; Mary Boyce, 'Chapter Ten— Under the Caliphs', pp. 145—162, in Zoroastrians—Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Routledge, London, 2001; Michael Morony. Iraq After the Muslim Conquest, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1984, pp. 190—196, 381—382; Dimitar Angelov. 'Certain aspects de la conquete des peuples balkanique par les Turcs', in Les Balkans au moyen age. La Bulgarie des Bogomils aux Turcs, London: Variorum Reprints, 1978, pp. 220—275; A.E. Vacalopoulos, Origins of the Greek Nation—The Byzantine Period, 1204—1461, New Brunswick, N.J., 1970, pp. 59—85; Speros Vryonis, Jr., The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century, Berkeley, CA.: University of California Press, 1971, pp.69—287; K.S. Lal, The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India, New Delhi.: Aditya Prakashan, 1992, pp. ; K.S. Lal, 'Jihad Under the Mughals', from Theory and Practice of Muslim State in India, New Delhi, Aditya Prakashan, 1999, pp.62—68; Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine, 634 —1099, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 11—74;� Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, Cranbury, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996, pp. 43—60; Demetrios Constantelos. 'Greek Christian and other accounts of the Moslem conquests of the near east', in Christian Hellenism : essays and studies in� continuity and change. New Rochelle, N.Y.: A.D. Caratzas, 1998, pp. 125—144.
 Rene Grousset. The Epic of the Crusades. English translation by Noel Lindsay, New York: Orion Press, 1970, p.8.
 Michael the Syrian. from Chronique de Michel Le Syrien,� Edited and translated from the Syriac by Jean—Baptiste Chabot, Paris, 1899—1905, Vol. 3, p. 182; English translation in Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Cranbury, New Jersey, 1996, p. 292—293.
 Jacques Ellul. The Subversion of Christianity. English translation by Geoffrey Bromiley, Grand rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1986, p. 102.
 Evariste Levi—Provencal, Histoire de l'Espagne Musulmane, Paris, 1950, Vol. 1; and Dufourcq, Europe Medievale sous Domination Arabe, see especially chapter 1, 'Les Jours de Razzia et d'Invasion.'
 Levi—Provencal, Histoire de l'Espagne Musulmane, p. 150.
 Dufourcq, Europe Medievale sous Domination Arabe, pp. 50, 194,196
 Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity, pp. 49—50.
 Georges Vajda, '� propos de la situation des Juifs et des Chr�tiens � S�ville au d�but du XIIe si�cle', Revue des �tudes Juives, 1935, Vol. 99, pp. 127—129.
 Roger Arnaldez,� 'La guerre sainte selon Ibn Hazm de Courdoue,' in. Etudes d'Orientalism Dediees a la Memoire de Levi—Provencal,� Paris,� Vol. 2, 1962, pp. 445—59.
 Moshe Perlmann, 'Eleventh Century Andalusian Authors on the Jews of Granada,' Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, 1948—49,� Vol. 18, pp. 286—87.
 Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq. 'Les Mozarabes du XIIe siecle et le pretendu 'Eveque' de Lisbonne', Revue d'Histoire et de Civilisation du Maghreb, 1968, Vol. 5, pp. 125—126.
 Reinhart Dozy. Spainish Islam: A History of the Muslims in Spain, London, 1915 (reissued by Kessinger Publishing), pp. 721—722.
 H.Z. Hirschberg, A History of the Jews of North Africa, Leiden, 1974, Vol. 1, pp. 123—129.
 Bat Ye'or, The Dhimmi—Jews and Christians Under Islam, Cranbury, NJ.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985, p. 351.
 A.E. Vacalopoulos. Origins of the Greek Nation— The Byzantine Period, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1970, pp. 61—62.
 Matthew of Edessa. From Edouard Dulaurier. Recherches sur la Chronologie Armeninne, Technique et Historique. Ouvrage formant les Prolegomenes de la Collection Intitulee Bibliotheque Historique Armenienne. Paris, Imprimerie Imperiale, 1859, Vol. 1, pp. 40—41. English translation in Speros Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the 11th through the 15th Century, Berkeley, CA, University of California Press, 1971 (1986 Paperback), pp. 80—81.
 Matthew of Edessa. From Edouard Dulaurier. Recherches sur la Chronologie Armeninne, Technique et Historique. Ouvrage formant les Prolegomenes de la Collection Intitulee Bibliotheque Historique Armenienne. Paris, Imprimerie Imperiale, 1859, Vol. 1, p. 296; English translation in Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Cranbury, New Jersey, 1996, p. 292.�
 Matthew of Edessa. English translation in Speros Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism,p. 170.
 Matthew of Edessa. English translation in Speros Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism, pp. 181—182.
 Samuel of Ani. From Tables Chronologiques, Marie Felicite Brosset. Collection d'Historiens Armeniens. Paris, Geuthner, 1874—1876, Vol. 2, p. 297; English translation in Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Cranbury, New Jersey, 1996, p. 292.
 Anna Comnena, Anne Comnene. Alexiade, text etabli et traduit. B. Leib, Paris, 1937—1945,Vol. 3, p. 229; English translation in Speros Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism,p. 164.
 Marie Brosset. Histoire de la Georgie, St. Petersburg, 1849, Vol. 1, pp. 346—350; English translation in, Speros Vryonis, Jr. 'Nomadization and Islamization in Asia Minor', Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 1975, Vol. 29, pp. 50—51. Vryonis (p.51) comments further, regarding the pattern of depredations by the nomadic Turks,
In the spring they began to ascend the mountains of Somkheth and Ararat, where they again found the necessary pasturage and relief from the heat. But at no time did they cease to raid and devastate the adjoining territories of their Christian neighbors for booty and prisoners
 Segal, J.B. Edessa— The Blessed City, Oxford University Press, 1970, pp. 252—254
 Chronique de Michel Le Syrien,� Edited and translated from the Syriac by Jean—Baptiste Chabot, Paris, 1899—1905, Vol. 3, pp. 261—262; 270—271. English translation by Michael J. Miller.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 2.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, pp. 14—15.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 20.
 Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, pp. 44, 47;� 'Islam and the Dhimmis',� The Jerusalem Quarterly, 1987, Vol. 42, p. 85.
 Chronique de Michel Le Syrien, [Michael the Syrian] Edited and translated from the Syriac by Jean—Baptiste Chabot, Paris, 1899—1905, Vol. 2, p. 418; English translation in Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 47.
 Michael the Syrian, Chronique, Vol. 2, p. 421; English translation in Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 47.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, pp. 61, 169.
 Naphtali Lewis, 'New Light on the Negev in Ancient Times', Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 1948, Vol. 80, Pp. 116—117.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p 170.
 Gil,� A History of Palestine, 634—1099A, pp. 420—21.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 477, footnote 50, Gil takes great exception to Claude Cahen's negationist assessment of Christian persecution during the initial 450 years of Muslim suzerainty in Palestine:
[Claude] Cahen [Bulletin de la faculte des letters de Strasbourg, 29 (1950), 122; idem, Past and Present, 6(1954), 6f] claims that Muslim rule, in general, saw a period of peace and security, and that the sole persecution of the Christians recorded under Islam occurred during al—Hakim's rule. This is an apologetic and incomprehensible approach which ignores the facts.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 473.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 473.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 473.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 474.
 Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 74.
 Chronique de Denys de Tell—Mahre, translated from the Syriac by Jean—Baptiste Chabot (Paris, 1895), part 4, p. 112 [English translation in: Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 74.]
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 474—75.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 159
 Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p.159; Q16:63— 'By God, We (also) sent (Our apostles) to peoples before thee; but Satan made, (to the wicked) their own acts seem alluring: he is also their patron today, but they shall have a most grievous penalty'; Q5:72—'They do blaspheme who say: 'Allah is Christ the son of Mary.' But said Christ: 'O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.'� Whoever joins other gods with Allah,— Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong—doers be no one to help.' Q58:19— 'The devil hath engrossed them and so hath caused them to forget remembrance of Allah. They are the devil's party. Lo! is it not the devil's party who will be the losers?'. In both— 850 and 907/8, , the Abbasid Caliphs al—Mutawwakil, and al—Muqtadir, respectively, decreed that Jews and Christians either attach wooden images (al—Mutawwakil) or drawings (al—Muqtadir)� of devils to the doors of their homes to distinguish them from the homes of Muslims. Tabari (d. 923), cited in Bat Ye'or, The Dhimmi, p. 186;� Ibn al—Jawzi, cited in Gil, A History of Palestine, p. 159, note 32.
 Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 84.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, pp. 475—76.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 375.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 373.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 376.
 Moshe Gil, 'Dhimmi Donations and Foundations for Jerusalem (638—1099)', Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 37, 1984, pp. 166—167.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 415.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 412.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 415.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 416.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 416.
 Julius Greenstone, in his essay, 'The Turcoman Defeat at Cairo' The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 22, 1906, pp. 144—175,� provides a translation of this poem [excerpted, pp. 164—165] by Solomon ha—Kohen b. Joseph [believed to be a descendant of the Geonim, an illustrious family of Palestinian Jews of priestly descent], which includes the poet's recollection of the previous Turcoman conquest of Jerusalem during the eighth decade of the 11th century. Greenstone comments (p. 152), 'As appears from the poem, the conquest of Jerusalem by Atsiz was very sorely felt by the Jews. The author dwells at great length on the cruelties perpetrated against the inhabitants of the city...'
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 420.
 Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, pp. 420—21.
 For example, Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades— Vol. 1— The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Cambridge, 1951, Pp. 286—87; Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine, 634—1099, p. 827 notes, 'The Christians violated their promise to the inhabitants that they would be left alive, and slaughtered some 20,000 to 30,000 people, a number which may be an exaggeration...'
 Emmanuel Sivan, 'Palestine During the Crusades', in A History of the Holy Land, edited by Michael Avi—Yonah, Continuum, New York, 2001, p. 244.
 Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades— Vol. 3—The Kingdom of Acre, Cambridge, 1955, Pp. 419—21.
 Isaac b. Samuel of Acre. Osar Hayyim (Treasure Store of Life) (Hebrew). Ms. Gunzburg 775 fol. 27b. Lenin State Library, Moscow. [English translation in, Bat Ye'or, The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam, Pp. 352—54.
 Ellul. The Subversion of Christianity, p. 103.
 Walid Phares, 'Jihad is Jihad', The Palestine Times, November, 1997.