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History behind the Crusades as the Crusaders consider a name change

The Crusaders are currently considering a name change in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack. 

Following the March 15 attacks on two Christchurch mosques that left 51 people dead, concerns were raised over the Super Rugby franchise's use of imagery referring to the medieval Crusades - a series of religious wars between Christians and Muslims.

TVNZ1's Q+A took a deeper look at the history behind the Christian Crusaders that fought Muslim armies. 

Auckland University's Dr Lindsay Diggelmann, a medieval and religious history specialist, said that Christian pilgrims were able to still visit Jerusalem for hundreds of years while it was under Muslim control, however in the 11th Century there were reports pilgrims were being mistreated. 

Dr Diggelmann said there was violence from both sides, with religion then being part of the fabric of society.

In 1099, Christians took back Jerusalem in the first crusade. In 1187, Kurdish general Saladin took back Jerusalem from Christian control. 

Dr Diggelmann was asked his thoughts on if the rugby team's name should be changed.

"Nobody could know what was going to arise, but it has. Things change and I do think it's time to look at an alternative," he said. 

In April, NZ Rugby boss Steve Tew said the organisation is considering a name change for the team.

"We are asking Research First to look into two possible options moving forward - retaining the 'Crusaders' name but changing the branding and associated imagery; or undertaking a complete rebranding, including the name and all imagery," Tew said.

Watch the full clip here. 

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Whena Owen discovers what the medieval religious wars were really all about. Source: Q+A

Q+A is on TVNZ1 on Mondays at 9.30pm, and the episode is then available on TVNZ OnDemand and as a podcast in all the usual places.

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Whena Owen discovers what the medieval religious wars were really all about. Source: Q+A


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