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The University of the Incarnate Word, a Christian school in San Antonio, Texas, has scrapped its nickname, “Crusaders,” and the accompanying mascot. The university’s website has a long and involved explanation for the change, encompassing the history of the Crusades and more. This history, rather predictably, doesn’t mention the 450 years of jihad that had overwhelmed Christian lands in the Middle East and North Africa before any Crusade was contemplated.

But ultimately the Crusader name goes down the memory hole at Incarnate Word in an effort to be “culturally and spiritually sensitive” and to avoid litigation.

The site explains: “One of the main reasons for the change, besides the desire to be more culturally and spiritually sensitive, is to avert the potential for future litigation for discrimination and/or harassment. The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division has repeatedly ruled that harassment is itself discrimination. Numerous federal and state rulings have cited the ‘Hostile Public Accommodations Environment’ Harassment Law relative to American Indian mascots and nicknames. The Public Accommodations Law is a civil-rights law requiring officials to refrain from offending anyone based on race, religion gender or sexual orientation.”

Certainly UIW has every reason to avoid litigation, but it’s ironic that they are scrapping the “Crusader” name in an effort to be sensitive at a time when the historical enemies of the Crusaders, the warriors of jihad (mujahedeen), are pressing forward aggressively all over the world ? with little concern for the sensitivities of their historical and present-day non-Muslim victims.

In Britain last week, for example, a group of mujahedeen got involved in sports, but they weren’t playing the game. Ten suspected Islamic terrorists were arrested just before they had planned to blow themselves amid a crowd of nearly 70,000 people at a soccer game between two popular teams, Manchester United and Liverpool. The terrorists had bought tickets for various spots around the stadium so they could cause the greatest possible amount of chaos and carnage.

Here in the United States, meanwhile, a trial date of Nov. 3 has been set for Hemant Lakhani, who was arrested in August. The indictment against him says, according to CNN, that he tried to sell shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles to terrorists groups, explaining that they “‘could be used most effectively in terrorist attacks against commercial aircraft in the United States if 10 to 15 commercial aircraft were shot down simultaneously at different locations throughout the country.’ According to federal prosecutors, he boasted of sales to terrorist groups and thought he had struck a deal to sell a missile to a Somali group seeking to launch a ‘jihad’ against a U.S. commercial airline.”

Also last week, a jihadist attack on the U.S. Embassy and other targets in Amman, Jordan, was foiled. The plot involved the unleashing of poison chemicals that would have killed upwards of 80,000 people. According to the New York Post, “The authorities said a group of 10 suspects planned to pack the truck bombs with deadly cocktails of 71 lethal chemicals – including blistering agents, nerve gas and choking agents – and then simultaneously crash them into their targets.”

Meanwhile, the radical Muslim group known as the Al Haramain Brigades claimed responsibility for last week’s successful attack in Riyadh. A statement from the group said that they, not al-Qaida, did the job – al-Qaida, they explained, was busy battling “Crusaders.”

Haven’t they heard? There are no Crusaders. We’re too sensitive for that now. But all the sensitivity displayed by Christian schools and all the statements from American Muslim advocacy groups explaining that jihad doesn’t mean what the mujahedeen around the world say it means, have not stopped or even slowed these jihadist activities. One might expect a school with the nickname Crusaders to wear the sobriquet proudly, as an emblem of their determination to resist the worldwide jihad that is advancing both by force of arms and by subversion from within.

No such luck at UIW. I think the rush of schools like UIW to disavow any connection to Crusaders is part of a larger tendency to remain in denial about the jihad aggression that threatens so many in the world today and manifests an acceptance of the Islamic view of history (which has been aggressively thrust upon the West in recent decades) that blames (contrary to fact) the origin of conflict between Muslims and Christians upon the Crusaders.

The University of the Incarnate Word is searching for a new nickname now. One person posted a suggestion to the Jihad Watch website: “Lemmings.”



Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and the author of “Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West” (Regnery Publishing), and “Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter Books).

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