A case study from the height of the Crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries illustrates that even the most brutal leaders can choose to compromise for stability.
There is an era that lends itself rather closer than the tired Nazi comparisons of Donald Trump. And it may have a far more useful message for us today.
A mosaic of King Roger II: we should celebrate his 12th-century example of inter-cultural collaboration.
Matthias Süßen/Wikimedia commons
A new production of the opera King Roger will open this week. At a time when Europe was charged with fear of the 'Muslim threat', this 12th century king collaborated with an Islamic scholar on an extraordinary project.
In seeking to understand the roots of Islamic State, we’ve tried to spread the net wide, but make no claim to being comprehensive or having the final word.
Reuters/Stringer; David Wise/Flickr; Reuters/Stringer; EPA/Sanjeev Gupta; Reuters/Fadi Al-Assaad; Royal Geographical Society/Wikimedia Commons; Reuters/Stringer; AAP/Asmaa Abdelatif; Reuters/Stringer
Our series on understanding Islamic State attempts to catalogue many of the forces and events that can arguably have played a part in creating the conditions necessary for these jihadists to emerge.
The Crusades evoke a romantic image of medieval knights, chivalry, romance and religious high-mindedness.
Representing even the Crusades as wars between Christians and Muslims is a gross oversimplification and a misreading of history.
A member loyal to Islamic State waves the group’s flag in Raqqa, Syria.
In seeking to link IS to earlier Islamic movements, Western commentators have associated the jihadist group with the medieval Ismailis, made famous in Europe by returning Crusaders as the Assassins.
Islamic State fighters on a tank take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province.
Despite what we're told, religion isn't inherently peaceful. People kill in the name of their religion, just as they love in its name.