In the aftermath of Isis setting a Jordanian fighter pilot on fire, Obama stated that such hideous actions (as well as the goals and values of Isis) were not representative of Islam.
He then stated that Christians did terrible things, such as the Crusades and the Inquisition. He then turned his attention to blaming America for slavery and segregation.
A month after 9/11, Bill Clinton made similar arguments about the Crusades, particularly when the Crusaders took Jerusalem during the First Crusade.
Why did both of them make such statements? Was it an attempt to contain hatred of Muslims? Or was it an attempt to blame Christians (and Western Civilization in general) for the world’s problems and draw attention away from atrocities committed by Muslims?
But instead of feeling guilty for any wrongs committed in the past, one should instead give them a close examination.
First, although not every Muslim might approve of killing non-Muslims, a significant portion of the Muslim world does. In addition, a large portion of the Muslim world favors sharia law (including slavery and cruel punishments) and worldwide Islamic conquest.
Second, the Crusades took place not only because the Muslims were inflicting harm upon Christians in the Holy Land, but also because Muslim expansion had become a threat to the Byzantine Empire, which in turn pleaded to the Pope for help in defeating the Muslims. Thus, the Crusades were an overdue response to Muslim aggression.
And as for Clinton blaming 9/11 on the sack of Jerusalem during the First Crusade, it should be noted that such tactics (no matter how brutal) were accepted in those days. In fact, it was nothing new, for it had been going on in previous centuries. Any city or fortification that refused to surrender would be subject to an all-out massacre. Any invading army (regardless of its religion) had resorted to such brutality. And although Christian nations would eventually eliminate the notion of killing everyone within a resisting city, that was not the case with the Muslim world.
Third, it is not clear which Inquisition Obama was referring to: the Inquisition established by the Roman Catholic Church, or the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions? These institutions were done away with ages ago, and in the case of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, they were established to serve their respective countries, not the Church.
Fourth, slavery was not invented by Christianity, nor was it limited to Christianity (including America for that matter). It had been around since Ancient Times, and took place throughout the entire world. And while the West eliminated slavery in the Nineteenth Century, the Muslim world continues the practice to this day.
As for the African slave trade, there were actually four different slave trades: the Atlantic slave trade (West-Central Africa), the Portuguese slave trade (East Africa), the Trans-Sahara slave trade (the northern portion of Africa), and the Indian Ocean slave trade (East Africa). The Atlantic and Portuguese slave trades were destined for the Americas, but were abolished in the Nineteenth Century. The Trans-Sahara and Indian Ocean slave trades were later done away with, but the concept of slavery has not died out in the Muslim world, since Islam condones slavery.
Fifth, segregation and discrimination were done away with decades ago in America, whereas it is continued throughout the Muslim world (e.g. non-Muslims being treated as second-class citizens, women having less rights than men).
Thus, America (and all of the West for that matter) might not be perfect, but they are better places to live in than anywhere throughout the Muslim world.