HISTORY This Week
Saladin Takes Back the Holy City
September 20, 1187. It’s daytime outside the walls of Jerusalem. Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt, ponders his next attack. His troops encircle and lay siege to the city. They vastly outnumber the Crusader knights inside, and Saladin’s on the cusp of a victory he never dreamed possible. He can order his men to attack the city. Killing those who stand in their way and enslaving the rest. But, Saladin has a problem. Balian of Ibelin leads the Crusader defenses within the city walls. He threatens to destroy Muslim holy sites if Saladin attacks. The Sultan must make a choice. One that will impact his legacy, the lives of thousands, and the future of Jerusalem. What does Saladin choose?
Special thanks to our guest, Dr. Suleiman Mourad, Professor of Religion at Smith College and author of Ibn Asakir of Damascus: Champion of Sunni Islam at the Time of the Crusades.