« Last post by Rohzek on Today at 11:16:55 AM »
First off, just because someone issued an apology, it does not therefore remove them from the guilt of their crimes. Additionally, Pope Innocent III's behavior was inconsistent. He condemned the Fourth Crusade, but had no problem installing a Latin Patriarchate and supporting a violent regime in the form of the Latin Empire. This shouldn't be particularly surprising considering he also launched a violent campaign against the Cathars.
Secondly, your whole notion of a war between two religions is just plain wrong. The Crusaders and the Byzantines all negotiated and allied with Muslim powers fairly often. Many times, they would ally with Muslims to fight other Christians. There never was this clash of civilizations that people like to imagine these days. That's a false narrative.
Why was Syria majority Christian at the time of the First Crusade? Well because Muslim rule wasn't brutal up to that point as most people like to believe. Additionally, I think that is very telling that the first established Crusader state was built upon the conquest of an independent Christian power: Edessa. As for Egypt, yes, about 50% of its population was Christian at the time of the First Crusade. The demographic shift began in the Middle East for a variety of reasons. First, the crusaders themselves. Their acts of intolerance in the name of God gave incentive to the revolutionary Mamluk regime to massacre the Christian populace in the 13th and 14 centuries. Second, the Church of the East rose in high prominence in the Ilkhanate of Persia after the fall of the Abbasid Caliphate to the Mongols. The khan's mother was a Nestorian Christian and as such he often favored Christians over Muslims. In a society built upon a caste system of faith, this didn't sit well with most of his subjects. So when the Ikhanate within a generation converted to Islam, policies of persecution and pogroms of hatred erupted that practically destroyed the Church of the East. The decline of Christians in the Middle East is much more complicated than the simple "clash of civilizations" narrative.