The Templars' arabization - inspiring fantasy for today?

"In medieval times, European Christians had some access to information about real Muslim practices, but instead chose to believe in their own fantasies (regarding those Muslim practises). Many neo-Templars, confusing the fantasies of medieval Christians about medieval Muslims with reality have tried to emulate the medieval Templars.

They did so by propagating De Nogaret 's charges (brought forward during the Templar trials of 1307-1314, TN) through elaborate myth and ritual. Certainly, there is no proof in the Templar Rule that such practices ever existed among the historical Templars.

On the other hand, some groups have still preserved the original ideals of the Templars. This indicates that the desire, over the past three centuries, of some people to recreate themselves in the image of these medieval monks/knights is no fluke. The Templar ideal which gave so many fighters of the Middle Ages hope that they could attain Paradise still has the power to inspire people, and its new life comes from the historical Templars' arabization, both real and perceived. Both those who love, and those who hate, the Templars see the Order of the Temple as a cultural bridge between two faiths. This is a powerful image in an era which is plagued with religious and political fundamentalism.

Paradoxically, however, the historical Templars are also seen as religious fanatics, magical knights in a simplistic, manichaean world. Depending on the author, they are portrayed either as forces of Light, or demonic forces of chaotic evil. This, of course, does not coincide with the clear signs of the historical Templars' assimilation into local, Muslim culture, or with the dark, crypto-Muslim fantasies constructed by De Nogaret. Many neo-Templars, consequently, cloak the medieval Templars' arabization by setting its origins in the distant past, long before the birth of Islam.

This mutes the power of the recreated Templar ideal as a cultural bridge, however, and has led to Templarism in unlikely quarters (skinheads, the Ku Klux Klan, the German Nazis, etc.). Such willful blindness creates a dangerous synergy for certain types of people in today's society. The majority of neo-Templars are harmless, even benevolent, but the fringes of the movement bear watching."

This blog quotes a slightly adapted portion from the Conclusions of Stiles, Paula Regina, "BETWEEN TWO FAITHS: THE ARABIZATION OF THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR DURING THE CRUSADES" (1999). Open Access Master's Theses. Paper 1805. The illustration shows a Ceremony of OSMTH – Porto in Castelo de Vide, October 6, 2018; Three branches of the Order represented: OSMTH, OSMTHU, OSMTH – Regency (Porto), source.

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