As ISIS tore through the regions of Syria and Iraq, they brought with them a caustic and terrible ideology, one obsessed with appropriating history to their own benefit. The Crusades, a nearly two-hundred-year period encompassing one of the most romanticized epochs in history, stands out in ISIS philosophy as a subject of bitter contention and inspiration. Throughout their propaganda, ISIS employs their Crusader mythos, a self-contained worldview based on their belief that the Crusades never actually ended and, indeed, that ISIS is today waging a war of survival and ultimate victory against the final crusade.
This idea of a continuous Crusade of East versus West represents for ISIS a war that spans most of history, nearly a thousand years of true Muslim civilization fighting against all others. To this effect, ISIS labels its Western opponents modern-day Crusaders and its nearer Middle Eastern enemies Crusader lackeys, including even Al-Qaeda. Present in all forms of ISIS media, from digitally crafted, gruesome execution videos to prohibitions of Apple products, this belief of waging unending war against the Crusaders and their followers frames ISISs entire existence as they march, retreat, and fight against what they believe is the war of the end times.
Throughout this book, the academic concepts of propaganda will be discussed, the most poignant stories of the Crusades told, and the long and bloody evolution and utilization of the Crusades in modern propaganda will be analyzed and brought to light.