Relativism and Wars of Religion
A consistent theme of many historians and pundits, including the President of the United States, has been a comparison of the Crusades with that of the oppression currently being visited on Christian areas in the Middle East by Muslims.
What is often omitted is that prior to 500 CE, the lands now part of modern day countries including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and of course Israel, were all Christian. We could also mention countries who had non-Christian, non-Muslim religions in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and a host of others. So what happened in the period from 500 to the tenth century when the Crusaders arrived? These lands were conquered. Native rulers were displaced and destroyed. Local populations were brought under subjugation and in many cases were forced to convert to Islam.
And yet the claim that the Crusades were a quest to liberate these lands and bring back the "original" religion of Christianity is also specious. In Egypt it was the Alexandrian Cyril who practiced a form of intolerance against non-Christians. Christianity was the not first religion in Palestine and for that matter neither was Judaism though it was indisputably the first religion of Abraham.
If the historian wants to proceed down the road of original ownership than tens of millions had better prepare to hand swathes of the United States back to Native Americans though there seems to be a reluctance to do so. Rather the issue is where in the mid 2010s, does a high measure of religious intolerance exist irrespective of what happened 1,000 or even 150 years ago.
Today members of the Christian church, the Jewish Synagogue, and the Hindu Temple are not expediting mass destruction against civilian population as has been seen in Bali, Mosul, Mumbai, London, Paris, and New York. Rather these acts that have been perpetuated in the past 20 years have come in the name of a single religion. Casting historical relativism against this reality merely clouds the issue.