Islamic Jihad (holy war) and the Christian Crusades
It is a historical fact that in the ten years that Muhammad lived in Medina (622-632), he either sent out or went out on seventy-four raids, expeditions, or full-scale wars.
In October to December 630, after the conquest of Mecca in January 630, Muhammad launched a Jihad or holy war to Tabuk, a city in the north of Saudi Arabia today. Early Muslim sources say Muhammad gathered an army of 30,000 men and 10,000 horsemen under the banner of Islam. On his way north, Muhammad extracts (or extorts) "agreements"—without provocation—from smaller Christian Arab tribes to pay the jizyah tax to avoid being attacked and killed.
In the first few centuries after Muhammad’s death, his disciples countinued the Muslim Jihad by swinging a sword or by forcing a city’s surrender with a large army backing up the peace treaty and the jizya tax. When the Muslims fought over Jerusalem and conquered other cities, they were following the example of their prophet Muhammad.
Those Muslims who slashed and burned and forced conversions did not wander off from Muhammad or the origins of Islam, but followed it closely, as do the ISIS Jihadists of today, for Muhammad’s Quran is filled with references to jihad and qital, the latter word meaning only fighting, killing, warring, and slaughtering.
After Jesus’ death and Resurrection, his disciples in the first three centuries did not swing a sword to conquer or convert but simply preached the love of God. Jesus never used violence; neither did he call his disciples to use it. Jesus taught His disciples to turn the other cheek and that His kingdom was not of this earth. It is not until the fourth century that Constantine hijacked Christianity to conquer and to force conversions to Christianity.
But it was not until 1095 that the the Roman Catholic Pope Urban II in Italy decided that the "turn the other cheek" policy was not working after he received a plea for military help from the ambassador of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I, in Constantinople, due to the Islamic threat against the Christians in Constantinople, Turkey. This resulted in the Roman Catholic Pope Urban II in Italy calling for the first crusade. The immediate goal was to guarantee pilgrims access to the holy sites in the Holy Land under Muslim control. His long-range goal was to reunite the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom after their split with the pope as head of the united Church.
Hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics from many different classes and nations of Western Europe became crusaders by taking a public vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the church. Pope Urban II claimed that anyone who participated was forgiven of their sins. In addition to demonstrating devotion to God, as stated by the Catholic Church, participation satisfied feudal obligations and provided opportunities for economic and political gain.
When the Medieval Christians fought over earthly ground, they abandoned the example of Jesus Christ. Though European Crusaders may have been sincere, they wandered off from the origins of Christianity when they slashed and burned and forced conversions.
Aganist an evil adversary like Satan and ISIS of today, the do nothing policy does not seem at all practical, if we wish to live under Christianity. Did Jesus really mean for "turn the other cheek" to mean a do nothing policy and not to defend ourselves? I don't think so, for why would He tell His disciples to by a sword if he did not ever want them to use it?