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Letter: Faith and violence

Sir: The dubious honour of being "the greatest act of ethinic cleansing and barbarism in the Middle East in a thousand years" should go not to the Crusades but to the sack of Baghdad in 1258 by the Mongols under Hulagu; contemporary accounts speak of half a million killed in the fall of perhaps the greatest city in Eurasia.

Mongol godbothering took the form of shamanism; they were indifferent to the religion of those they butchered. Ironically, in 1260, the Crusaders saved Islamic Egypt by a policy of benevolent neutrality to the Mameluke army which defeated the Mongols in Palestine


Droitwich, Worcestershire