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tv   Jerusalem City of Faith and Fury  CNN  August 14, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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that people believe that they must possess it absolutely. >> the palestinian/israeli conflict that we are experiencing today, you've seen it experienced in jerusalem for thousands of years. >> for the jews, jerusalem is where solomon built the holy temple. >> for christians, this is the place where jesus was crucified. >> for muslims, jerusalem is where the prophet muhammed made the night journey. >> people who are said to have conquered the world have swept through this city. >> no other individual changed the landscape in the way herod the great did. >> saladin was determined to take on the christians and throw them out of jerusalem. >> at a time of ottoman/islamic rule, the british badly wanted to control the holy land. >> the main case of the arabs is
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against the british government policy in palestine. >> we are the only people in the world homeless and stateless. >> for israelis, the creation of the state of israel is seen as a miracle. and of course for the palestinians, it's a great disaster. >> the history of jerusalem, a very complicated story. and if you don't know it in its complexity, it's very hard to understand what's going on there today. >> the past is never dead. and if there is a city in the world to which that applies, it's jerusalem. ♪
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over a thousand years have passed since the time of herod and by 1187 a.d., the world is a different place. the jewish people live in exile across europe and africa as two religions dominate the middle east. >> christianity has its beginnings as the breakaway movement within judaism. this main central figure is a jew, jesus. and then it becomes a full-fledged religion all its own because jesus is the person who begins to talk about different ways of practicing the faith. islam started in 610 of the common era when the prophet
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muhammad essentially emerged in mecca, telling his tribesmen that he is a prophet sent from god. gradually he built around himself a group of followers that became stronger and stronger over time until in 629, he was able to conquer mecca and control most of western arabia. >> jerusalem is caught in the middle of these two faiths. >> jerusalem is a holy city for christians. this is the place where jesus died, where he walked the via dolorosa. he was crucified outside of the city. >> on many medieval christian maps, jerusalem is actually portrayed as being right at the center of the world. you have africa to the south, asia to the north, europe to the west. they literally imagined jerusalem to be the nave el of
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the world. >> for muslims, it's the site of the prophet's night journey and his ascent to heaven. >> from the dome of the rock in jerusalem, the prophet ascended on a horse with wings to heaven, where he visited with several prophets. he receives a commandment of how muslims should pray. that's just very symbolic and significant for muslims, and it showcases how important jerusalem is to muslim worship, but also muslim identity. >> muslim leaders ruled jerusalem from 638 until the first crusade in 1099 a.d. >> jerusalem is the focal point of the first crusade. the aim is to recover christ's city from the hands of the muslims. >> and jerusalem fell in 1099. and the crusaders were able to control a huge part of syria and palestine, and they established the kingdom of jerusalem.
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and essentially they banned the muslims from living in the city. >> of course the muslims of the region want to throw out the westerners. >> and so this is what prompted the rise of saladin, to take back jerusalem from the christians who had taken it from the muslims. >> saladin was a kurd, an ethnic kurd, who was born in the city of tikrit. >> he's famous for his generosity. in fact, his administrators say, we've got to hide money from him because if he knows he's got it, he's going to give it away. >> saladin wants to conquer jerusalem. but in order to conquer jerusalem, he's first got to unite all of the disparate arab armies into one. meaning he spent a lot of his
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career fighting against other muslims. >> he would say, ideally i don't want to fight you. you should come on my side. we need that combined strength to take on the christians, throw them out of jerusalem, and recover it for islam. >> but many choose war. >> so one of the tensions in saladin's life is the tension between saying i'm the hero of sunni islam, and the fact that he spends quite a long time fighting his fellow sunni muslims in creating that empire. >> he said to his son later, don't get used to killing. don't get into killing. don't believe in killing because blood never sleeps. >> we shouldn't confuse our desire to transform saladin into this middle eastern sage.
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he was a general, a brutal general. that's what saladin was. >> saladin uses both diplomacy and violence to forge his empire. and as he prepares to finally attack jerusalem, the crusader kingdom is in turmoil. >> the politics of the kingdom of jerusalem are horrendously complicated. we have different factions. we have vendettas. we have warring families. it's a little bit like "the godfather," an episode of "game of thrones," and even an easter mass all rolled into one. >> and a new ruler has just emerged on the throne, guy of lusignan. >> guy of lusignan comes from a noble family in the west of france. he's a bit of swashbuckling character. we know he's daring and attractive, good-looking. >> here you have this brash,
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young warrior, but way too inexperienced to be a proper king, becoming ruler of the entire kingdom of jerusalem. >> when saladin amasses his forces in northern palestine, king guy's inexperience is quickly put to the test. >> saladin was very shrewd in sort of provoking the christians to come out of the safety of jerusalem to meet them further north. >> guy of lusignan felt like this was his chance to strike at saladin's army once and for all. if he could win, it would be a huge victory. if not, it could be disastrous.
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one way we're making a difference. king guy has rallied his army outside the walls of jerusalem and marched north. but while he is less experienced than the great muslim leader, king guy believes his army is invincible as long as they fight beneath the true cross. >> when the crusaders captured jerusalem in 1099, they discovered the relic of the true cross. it's a small piece of wood that
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people said, this is from where jesus was crucified. >> the true cross was supposed to have miracle powers that would give soldiers and anyone who carried that into battle the power to win over their enemies. >> as the crusaders set out, saladin is very well prepared. he has a huge army. he has a lot of water. he has a lot of military supplies. and he also takes the precaution of spoiling the wells that are on the route. >> this was july, so very hot in northern palestine, very dry. saladin ordered his men to burn dry grass, and the wind was blowing westward, so all the smoke and the heat went the direction of the crusader army. >> thus causing them to choke, to swelter, to suffer even more. to add and to compound to the chaos, they're beating their drums really loudly.
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♪ ♪ >> the result was so catastrophic for the crusaders, thousands of soldiers were killed. the king of jerusalem was captured.
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>> saladin has king guy brought before him. and king guy, of course, is certain that he's going to be killed, but saladin doesn't do that. >> saladin has the true cross. he says that to him, it's a worthless piece of wood. but he's well aware it's something that the christians really want back. >> so i don't think you can equate it with any loss of money because it surpasses any money you can imagine. >> so it's vital to have it as a good bargaining tool, and it will be used in negotiations between muslims and crusaders for decades to come. >> but saladin decides to free guy of lusignan, perhaps signaling to the crusaders that he's magnanimous and he's someone the crusaders can trust and negotiate with.
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>> once saladin has crushed the crusaders at the battle of hattin, the way to jerusalem is open. >> saladin waited a few days before he moved into the city because he wanted the symbolism of a specific day, that is the 2nd of october, 1187. it happened to be the anniversary of the prophet muhammad's night journey into jerusalem. >> but at the moment that saladin emerges victorious at the battle of the horns of hattin, anyone living in the city of jerusalem must have feared for their lives because throughout the period of the crusades, there had been a number of sieges, battles, and even mass slaughters. so there was definitely fear of retribution and that any transfer of the city from one power to the other would be accompanied by mass bloodshed. >> the classic story is the first crusader of 1099 burst into the city, and they did an astoundingly terrible thing to the muslims. they killed every man, woman, and child in an orgy of destruction.
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they beheaded them. they cut their hands off. they literally rode with their horses deep in blood up their legs. so it was one of the great crimes of religious fanaticism in all of history, an unforgivable moment. >> but saladin didn't go in and slaughter all of the christians who were in there. he was a noble warrior, and so he allowed all of the christians to live. >> saladin decides that christians would be allowed to leave on payment of a ransom, and anyone who can't pay, would be enslaved. >> but some of the churchmen walk out carrying enormous amounts of sort of valuable objects, jeweled objects, precious objects that are clearly worth a lot of money. >> those church leavers were those church leerz were only interested in taking as
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much as they could carry with them as possible, and they left the poor in the city as prisoners to saladin. and that made saladin very, very angry. so saladin just let them go, essentially gave up on collecting any ransom from them. >> but saladin's main priority after finally conquering jerusalem is to reclaim the haram al sharif with the al aqsa mosque at its center. >> now he had to transform the entire haram back into an islamic space and repair everything that was damaged in one way or another by the crusaders or due to crusader use. >> the rock upon which the prophet ascended to heaven has been covered with marble. that is stripped off. there's various images of christian religious figures on the walls. they're removed or covered. and most symbolically of all perhaps, there's a big cross on top of where the dome of the rock is. and people climb up, and they pull it down. you might say the berlin wall, toppling the statue of saddam
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hussein. it's a big sign that islam has recovered jerusalem. >> saladin, himself, got down on his hands and knees and cleaned the temple mount with rosewater to purify it again as an islamic shrine. >> while saladin focuses on jerusalem, the crusaders have regrouped under the command of king guy. >> saladin allowed king guy to go freely on the condition that he sail across the sea, meaning he goes back to france from whence he came. guy is not so naive. he recognizes that he still has another card to play. >> he goes to this little island about two miles offshore and comes back and says, i've been overseas. >> in allowing him to live, saladin unwittingly allowed king guy to reconstitute his army.
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saladin has finally reclaimed jerusalem as a muslim
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city. but in focusing all of his attentions on the holy city, he has overlooked a crucial threat. >> saladin didn't kill every christian in jerusalem. he allowed all the christians to go back to the port through which they came in, and the major port city at the time was akko. >> the city of acre, or modern-day akko on the northern coast of present-day israel, was an entry point for the maritime trade that flourished across the mediterranean. >> it was the actual economic and political capital of the crusader project in the middle east. it was very important for them because the port of acre is huge. the city is large. >> king guy has not gotten any men, but he knows that he has to give them a target, something to fight for, and he decides to attack the city of acre. >> if they could capture it, they could defend the coast,
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then, and mount a charge on jerusalem. without acre, they really had very little hope of doing it. >> learning of the attack, saladin marches the full might of his army to acre. >> but what saladin is not counting on is european crusaders on ships coming towards him in droves, with one of those soldiers being one of the most ferocious warriors of all time -- richard the lionheart. king richard i of england may very well be the polar opposite of saladin. he kills and leaves the dead bodies around so that other people are afraid of him. >> he's fearless.
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he's incredibly energetic. he's efficient, and he's a flamboyant character. >> he has the irony of being a bad son, a bad brother, an absent king, but a brilliant military strategist. >> richard was much more a kind of person who would react on the basis of instinct rather than thinking. >> this is why he's called lionhearted. he fights brutally and ruthlessly. >> when king richard arrives in palestine, he was a very, very powerful figure. king guy essentially became a footnote. nobody bothered about who he was, what he was doing, because it didn't matter. >> both saladin and king richard believe that jerusalem belongs to their faiths. for christians, jerusalem is a place of pilgrimage. for muslims, jerusalem is a place of pilgrimage.
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>> the crusades are often remembered with this romantic glow, with all the chivalry and the bravery of all the knights, but it was the least romantic event of those times. how do you sell an ugly war? you have to tell stories of how noble it is. you tell people the city where jesus was raised from the dead, it was being defiled by muslims. >> after the fall of jerusalem, the people in the west are told that saladin is the son of satan. >> that struck at the heart of every christian because they could say, hey, i might not understand economics, and i might not understand politics, but you start messing with jesus, and now i'm going to go fight. >> the third crusade was carried out mostly by men who had grown up on stories of the first crusade. they had grown up on these stories of daring and commitment
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to the cause and service to god, service that was heroic and larger than life. >> and also if you went on one of these crusades, you could have an indulgence, and indulgences are something that forgives your sins on earth. and so for many, this became an important piece of why they went on crusades. it was like, let's go take back the holy land, the land that jesus walked on. and secondarily, i can get all of my sins forgiven. >> richard descends on acre with 8,000 soldiers. he seizes control of king guy's army and launches the third crusade. >> richard the lionheart is an impatient man. he is not just going to hold the city under siege and wait for the people to starve out.
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so what he does is he swings around the backside of the city and busts in. and by doing this, he's able to drive saladin's forces out of the city. >> saladin makes a number of desperate efforts to break into acre to relieve the siege. he's leading from the front, but he is unable to break through into acre. >> the result of the battle of acre is that rich the lionheart does something that no one else has been able to do. he hands saladin his first loss at the hands of crusaders. saladin is forced to retreat,
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and now the crusaders, after almost being wiped out of the holy land, are now reconstituted, re-energized, reinvigorated, and now they're ready to recapture jerusalem. lisa here, has had many jobs. and all that experience has led her to a job that feels like home. with home instead, you too can become a caregiver to older adults. apply today. you're clearly someone who takes care of yourself. so why wait to screen for colon cancer? because when caught in early stages, it's more treatable. i'm cologuard. i'm noninvasive and detect altered dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers even in early stages. tell me more. it's for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your prescriber or an online prescriber
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king richard has won a crushing victory at the port city of acre, and saladin has no choice but to negotiate a surrender. >> saladin agrees to return the true cross, the crusaders' great talisman, to them. he will pay an enormous financial sum. they will release large numbers of prisoners, and they will also surrender all the arms and ships that they have. >> but saladin wants the muslims who had been trapped in acre to be returned to him safely. we're talking about almost 3,000. so saladin and richard reach a deal. >> but saladin is very slow at fulfilling the terms of surrender at acre. >> richard's army had traveled long and far. they were tired. richard, himself, realizes that he can't stay in the holy land
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forever. so by stalling and by not paying the ransom, saladin was in a sense not just buying time for himself, but also hoping that some of richard's armies would simply turn and go home. >> richard realizes that saladin is prolonging the fulfillment of the terms of the surrender of acre. and the longer this goes on, the more suspicious he gets. >> he flew into a fit of rage, something that he was known to do. he took the hostages, and he marches them out to a promontory outside of the city of acre and in front of saladin's eyes, he has them executed in cold blood. it's a terribly ruthless, brutal thing to do. >> it's something that utterly, of course, devastates saladin, completely catches him unawares. he tries to rescue the people, but it's too late. he's devastated. his secretary said he cries as a mother bereft of his child.
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>> with richard's merciless message sent, he turns his full attention to jerusalem. >> richard realized that his best bet to build an attack against jerusalem is to march further south and try to take all the coastal cities because in this way, he can block jerusalem from any kind of serious enforcement from the west. >> as richard the lionheart and his army moves down the coast, saladin loses battle after battle after battle. >> this is richard as a great lethal warrior, sort of scattering people in front of him. for saladin, it's yet another setback, another humiliation. >> you can imagine a man who's used to winning victory after victory now finding himself losing, and not only losing but losing to this small ragtag army of crusaders.
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>> the best thing he can do is to retreat to safe ground and guard his most cherished possession, and that's the city of jerusalem. >> the crusade is all about recovering jerusalem. but what really worries richard is when you capture jerusalem, what do you do with it? >> one of the challenges that richard and his army faced was the fact that jerusalem had these big defensive walls, and the only way to get through it was to attack it with their siege engines. it worked at acre, but if they destroy the walls of jerusalem, who's going to defend it? richard recognizes that it may not be in the best interest to simply bust through the gates and tear down the city walls. >> so richard surprises saladin by wielding a new weapon, diplomacy. >> richard sent the message to saladin, asking him to surrender jerusalem, and saladin obviously refused.
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>> and in their correspondence, they're each making that claim to one another, citing their scriptures, explaining why the city of jerusalem is so deep ly important to each side. but it's a great example of how important the city is symbolically, physically, and emotionally to christians and to muslims. >> their negotiations are some of the most fascinating negotiations that take place because they're exactly like a modern peace negotiations between the israelis and the palestinians, for example. they say essentially, you think jerusalem's yours, and we think jerusalem's ours. >> saladin declines to meet richard in person. he says it's not proper that leaders should meet, and if we don't make an agreement, we may then fight again.
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>> so the person who tried to negotiate for peace was the brother of saladin. the name of saladin's brother is al adil. >> al adil is also known as saphadin to the crusaders. by all accounts, he is equally skilled as saladin, but he's his younger brother, so he had fewer opportunities to show that. >> saphadin is a man of courtesy, of culture. he enjoys talking with richard about music, about singing, about hunting. it's part of a positive relationship that's formed between the two of them. and in the course of the negotiations, there is a radical solution put forward by richard at one stage, and that involves his sister. >> joanna is richard the lionheart's sister, who happens to be the queen of sicily. and when her husband dies, richard stops by sicily on the way to the holy land and picks her up.
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>> joanna is a bargaining chip. during this time period, it's important to realize that much like the women of the old testament, the ways in which royal women are treated are about the ways in which marriages can achieve alliances. >> richard proposes to offer his sister, joanna, in marriage to saladin's brother, al adil. the agreement would give the christians possession of the coastal lands. the muslims would have gotten most of the hinterlands, and then the capital, jerusalem, would have been jointly ruled by joanna, richard's sister, and al adil, saladin's brother. >> but it all hinges on saladin agreeing to the compromise.
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saladin vetted it with his advisers in the court, and they all said okay. they sent word back to richard that, we have a deal. >> but before it can be finalized, the crusader camp learns about the agreement. >> everyone was shocked by it. the only two people who really accepted it were richard the lionheart and saladin himself. the christians were all appalled by richard's idea. >> people's absolute belief in the spiritual significance of jerusalem inevitably raises the stakes when there is conflict. it just makes confrontation or discussion even that much sharper. >> in order to save face, richard feels it's important to add as part of his demands the proviso that al adil converts to christianity. saladin responds by saying, well, joanna should convert to islam.
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neither side is really willing to give on that point. >> the treaty fell apart, and no peace was made. ♪ >> it would have been obviously a transformative event if al adil and joanna had married because that proposal essentially floated a great idea, and that is coexistence. it would have been an inspiring moment, and it would have probably played a role today in the way palestinians and israelis negotiate over the fate of jerusalem. >> with any hope of compromise gone, conflict is now inevitable. both sides prepare for battle. >> saladin's personally taking charge, being involved in moving stones to help prepare the walls to face the siege that they expect. but he has managed to refortify jerusalem. he's polluted all the wells around the city as well, and he's very, very worried indeed.
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>> the loss of acre was a big blow to his ego, and it was a big blow to his reputation. if he were to lose jerusalem, everything would be lost. >> but just before the climactic battle, richard receives an alarming message. >> richard got negative news from england that his brother, john, is conspiring with philip, the king of france, to become king of england. >> richard is essentially pulled in two directions. either he goes back to reclaim his throne from his brother, john, or he stays longer in the holy land to solidify his holdings, retake jerusalem, and maintain his defenses. he can't do both at the same time. ultimately, he recognizes that if he stays one moment longer, he will be out of a kingdom. so he decides to go back. >> it's a cause of great anger and disquiet amongst the troops.
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but he sees it, it's the only realistic option. >> richard retreats to acre to begin the long voyage home, leaving the crusaders who remain in the holy land leaderless. >> so saladin took advantage of that. and when richard has to go back to england, saladin realized that was the time to strike and to launch an attack. >> saladin goes down to jaffa and besieges it. >> when king richard hears jaffa is under siege, he decides he must immediately return to the holy land once more. >> and the garrison are on the point of surrender when richard appears in a very sort of action figure way, jumps off his boat, wades ashore.
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>> he picks up any weapon he can find and begins battling against saladin and his army. >> richard is outnumbered three to one, but his ferocity is unmatched. >> you can have 20,000 soldiers, but you might be defeated by 200 of the soldiers because they were really the fighters . >> the way to imagine the end of
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the battle of jaffa is that scene from the end of "rocky" where they've just punched each other out and they're both exhausted and they both basically knock each other out and fall to the ground. >> when a truce is finally called, king richard collapses from exhaustion. richard the lionheart writes a letter to saladin that says you and we together are ruined. ♪ music playing. ♪ there's an america we build ♪ ♪ and one we explore one that's been paved and one that's forever wild but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure ♪ ♪
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the battle of jaffa defeated has depleted the christian and muslim armies, and kept king richard away from england for over two years. >> richard wrote a letter to saladin saying both our armies are exhausted. let's come to a resolution. saladin writes back to him saying fine, but i can't give you jerusalem. the muslims will never forgive me for that.
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>> after all is said and done, after all the bloodshed, we're going to have to agree to share the city of god. and that's what they settle on. >> an agreement is made. the treaty of jaffa. >> saladin and richard realize both that there is a limit to power and to war. the treaty of jaffa guaranteed that whatever the muslims at that time had in their control would remain in muslim hands. and whatever the crusaders had in their control would remain in crusaders' hands. >> the christians get jaffa and acre and the coast, and the muslims keep jerusalem and the inlands. >> the treaty of jaffa is the first official partition of palestine in history. >> after the treaty of jaffa,
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richard had to rush back to england to rescue his kingdom. but finally, in 1197, in the middle of a battle, he was hit by an arrow in his chest and was ultimately killed. richard was a great king who lived by the sword and died by the sword. >> at the end of the third crusade, saladin is able to return to damascus where he is given a hero's welcome. but he has spent years and years fighting, physically and mentally, he is shattered. and just six or seven months after richard has gone home, saladin falls ill. and on the 4th of march, 1193, the great hero of the near east dies. >> this was a man who united all
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of these muslim groups and took back jerusalem from the crusaders. and now what's going to happen to all these muslim groups that saladin united? >> his army is passed onto his warring sons, and so his family descends into internal warfare. when saladin die, muslim unity dies with him. >> i don't think the struggle between saladin and richard was ever a personal struggle. it was always a struggle for what jerusalem represents and what also the role as would-be liberators of jerusalem entail. >> with saladin, the desire to conquer jerusalem really did come from this deep conviction to control jerusalem, to control this holy site, to control the dome of the rock would move
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islam forward. >> the legacy of the crusades and jerusalem among the arabs in general is a horrible, horrible legacy. we have the way a european would remember it as a chapter of medieval europe, and there is also the way the arab or the muslim remembers it as a form of premodern colonial attack and occupation. >> jerusalem is a site that believers fought over whether those believers have been muslim or christian for years, because they believe that holding that land is important to their faith. >> if you are a believer, you believe absolutely your faith is the truth. so that's why in the case of jerusalem as holy city, people are absolutist. it's the only city on earth that exists on heaven and earth. it exists twice.
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and that gives it its special nature, but it also gives it its danger and its ugliness too, because it means that people believe that they must possess it absolutely. and that's jerusalem's tragedy. >> the british are half a world away, but their fascination with jerusalem only begins with king richard. it will be 725 years before they will get another chance to stake a claim to the holy city. jerusalem is the universal city, the chosen city, the holy city. that's its blessing, but it also gives it its danger and its


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