Abstract Prof. Dr. Taef el-Azhari (Qatar): The Crusades in Arab Culture and Media. Shaping Future Generations

How do the Middle Ages and the crusades still influence the Arab collective memory and mind today through education and media? What were the Arab reactions when US President Geoge W. Bush called the American answer to 9/11 a crusade? What can be said about the stir it caused in the Muslim world? Former Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also called the NATO attack on Libya a crusade -  a wording that was strongly opposed by Dr. Qaradaw and other Muslim leaders like al-Azhar. To shape the mind of our children and to encourage younger generations to follow the ideal of a legendary Muslim leader the Qatar foundation for example produces cartoons like ‘Saladin’ (see also contribution of Jonathan Phillips). The Arab film art production sees the crusades as a historical constant and uses it to condemn the Jewish-Israeli settlements in Palestine. Thereby it provoces the Jewish-Israeli confrontation even more. The political-religious and historical implications of the crusades still shape our minds regarding the the past as well as the present. It is obviously necessary to find new  ways for a better intercultural understanding and for a more peaceful world.