The Crusaders must not change their name

Amongst all the silliness that is emanating after the appalling attack on Christchurch mosques last Friday, the Canterbury Crusaders are being told that they need to change their name. Exactly why is not clear. The crusades happened a thousand years ago, and incidentally, the Saracens effectively won 2 out of 3 of the crusades, eventually winning lasting control over Jerusalem. Yes, they were terrible, as all wars are, but they were a sign of their times, when religious fervour (along with a strong penchant for wealth) was the most important thing to preserve. Times, it seems, have not changed much at all. quote.

People are saying the Crusaders name, in the wake of what happened on Friday, is now problematic. Let’s face it, though: it always was.

But the ‘Crusaders’ always rang a little bit off-key, even when they turned into the powerhouse team of the Super Rugby competition. With their motif of crosses and riders brandishing swords above their head as if they were riding across the desert to do battle with their Muslim foes, you couldn’t help but think that someone whose ancestry dated back to the other side of that conflict would find it confusing at best, and threatening at worst. end quote.

It is a part of western history, and the name was never intended as an insult to modern-day Muslims. I guarantee a few of those Muslims living in Canterbury are actually Crusaders supporters. quote.

It is, however, a brand – and a very powerful one at that. The Crusaders have won Super Rugby nine times, have produced some of the greatest All Blacks, and have the most desirable talent-nurturing programme in the world. They are the symbol of a city that is still overcoming the last terrible tragedy to beset it. But, like everything else in New Zealand, Friday’s events have changed everything. end quote.

Last Friday’s events were a terrible tragedy. We all agree on that. Rewriting our history, however, will not bring 50 people back. It is madness. quote.

They can’t continue to be called the Crusaders, for no other reason than the fact that the man who killed 50 people with an assault rifle believed in perpetuating the conflict they are named after. It is now poison, pure and simple. Whatever gain made by keeping it will be completely overshadowed by the stigma attached to it forever.

eNd quote.

What drivel. The murderer was not trying to recreate the crusades. He attacked Muslims, not for their religion, but supposedly for their birth rate. It is completely different. quote.

I’ve spent time working at a Crusaders home game. The people there are friendly and helpful, and it’s obvious that the teams’ professional attitude runs deep among their organisation as a whole.

It’s no one at the Crusaders’ fault that they are named that way. Not the players, not the staff. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t change, and change now.


RNZ end quote.


Muslims who live in Canterbury have lived with the name for over 20 years, and it has caused no conflict up until now. Those people we saw grieving on TV at the weekend have much bigger things to think about. The Crusaders absolutely must NOT change their name. We must not give in to this nonsense. After all, as the writer seems to forget, Muslims were part of the crusades too.


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