Incarnate Word University’s doomed Crusader
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 (thanks to urthshu for the link) 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 jihads 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:
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 IWU has every reason to avoid litigation, but it’s ironic that they are scrapping the “Crusader” name in an effort to be culturally and spiritually sensitive at a time when the historical enemies of the Crusaders, the mujahedin, are pressing forward aggressively all over the world — with little concern about being culturally or spiritually sensitive to the concerns of their historical and present-day non-Muslim victims. Given today’s global climate, one might even have expected (despite the historic sins of the Crusaders, which I do not mean to mitigate) “Crusaders” to start popping up in various places, committed to defending their homes and families from jihad aggression. But instead, even Crusader mascots are rapidly disappearing.
I am not advocating formation of Crusader groups. But I do think that the rush of schools like IWU 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 the facts of the case) the origin of conflict between Muslims and Christians upon the evil Crusaders.