The book, "The Saint and the Sultan: the Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi’s Mission of Peace examines a little known encounter between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malik al-Kamil of Egypt during the Crusades.In 1219, in the midst of disastrous Fifth Crusade, Francis crossed enemy lines to gain an audience with al-Kamil, the sultan of Egypt and a nephew of the great Muslim warrior Saladin, in his camp on the banks of the Nile. Francis, who opposed the warfare, hoped to bring about peace by converting the sultan to Christianity. He didn’t succeed, but came away from the peaceful encounter with revolutionary ideas that called for Christians to live harmoniously with Muslims....
If the greatest Christian saint since the time of the apostles had opposed the Crusade and peacefully approached Muslims at a time when they were supposed to be mortal enemies, that action can inspire and instruct us today. So should the fact that al-Kamil, a great sultan of Egypt and a nephew of Saladin, was so tolerant of Christians that he allowed one of them to preach to him in the midst of a Crusade. The story of Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malik al-Kamil says there is a better way than resentment, suspicion and warfare. It opens the door to respect, trust and peace.
It needs to be told anew.
- Paul Moses"