Crusaders and the Jews of EuropeSynagogue on Temple Mount Destroyed / Murder of Jews

“Such wise mercy was the prelude to an orgy of destruction that shamed Christendom and led to a jihad against the Crusaders as well as confirming the pogroms in Germany. There was a slaughter of the Muslims who had taken refuge in the al-Aqsa mosque, ‘more than seventy thousand of them,’ according to Ibn al-Qalanisi, although he exaggerated the numbers of the victims. And all the Jews that crowded into their synagogue were burned alive inside. Mistaking the al-Aqsa mosque for the Temple of Solomon, Raymond of Aguilers wrote a notorious account of what he had observed:

Wonderful sights were to be seen. Some of our men (and this was more merciful) cut off the heads of their enemies; others shot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers; others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. It was necessary to pick one’s way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared to what happened at the Temple of Solomon, a place where religious services are normally chanted. What happened there? If I tell the truth it will exceed your powers of belief. So let it be enough to say this much, at least, that in the Temple and porch of Solomon, men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed it was a just and splendid judgement of God that this place should be filled with the blood of the unbelievers since it had suffered so long from their blasphemies… This day will be famous in all future ages… it marks the justification of all Christianity and the humiliation of paganism.

Source: Sinclair, Andrew. Jerusalem: The Endless Crusade. New York: Crown Publishers, 1995, p. 55-56.