Realpolitik and Jihad: Najm al-Din Ilghazi's Relations with the Early Crusader States
Ahmet Yesevi University
263 - 296
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This study evaluates the policies of the Artukid emir of Mardin and Aleppo, Najm al-Dīn Ilghāzī, against the Crusader states. In the literature, Ilghāzī is commonly regarded as an emir who won a victory against the Franks of Antioch, but then wasted the golden opportunity to take it for lack of vision. On the other hand, on account of this policy that was directed at preserving his interests and included collaborating with Franks, it is rejected that his clashes with them could be regarded as jihād. This study first shows that the emir's strategies were consistent and directed at certain practical aims from the start, and that his "failure" to attempt taking Antioch stemmed from a judicious strategy. The second part argues that although Ilghāzī thus applied a pragmatic policy and sometimes collaborated with the Franks, this did not necessarily prevent him from regarding his clashes with them as jihād.