Yousef Analyses Kingdom of Heaven and Presents Historical Comparisons of Western Intervention in Middle East Affairs

/ / University-News

A research article authored by Dr Nisreen Yousef of the English Language and Literature Department at Middle East University, titled ‘Kingdom of Heaven: The one-state solution and western military intervention in the Holy Land’, was published by the Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies.

The researcher argued that in Kingdom of Heaven, Ridley Scott creates historical analogies between Saladin’s capture of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade on one hand, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the American-led ‘War on Terror’ on the other. Through her critical analysis of Scott’s work, the researcher found that he promotes western intervention in Middle East affairs by striking quite an elaborate historical analogy.

The researcher noted that Scott is highly convinced of the myth of religious violence, which was challenged by the Roman Catholic theologian William Cavanaugh in his book The Myth of Religious Violence. The myth suggests that secular violence is rational and useful, whereas religious violence is irrational and dangerous.

The researcher discussed Scott’s fixation with the idea of a ‘just war’ according to which the use of force can be legitimate. She highlighted that in Kingdom of Heaven, Scott portraits the ongoing ‘War on Terror’ as an incarnation of European colonial ‘civilising missions’ towards ‘less-civilised’ nations.