Deus vult (Classical Latin for "God wills") was the battle cry by the Crusaders at the declaration of the First Crusade by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095 when the Byzantine Empire requested help in defense from the Seljuk invasion of Anatolia. The phrase appears variously as Dieu le veut (French), Deus lo vult, etc.
Deus lo vult is the motto of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Roman Catholic order of chivalry.
Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan used the expression for his argument of "the dominion of Christ" as "essentially imperial" and that "Christianity and warfare" had a great deal in common: "'Deus vult!' say I. It was the cry of the Crusaders and of the Puritans and I doubt if man ever uttered a nobler [one]."
The phrase has been occasionally used on social media by adherents of the alt-right movement since the mid-2010s. It has been among phrases spray-painted onto the walls of mosques in an act of vandalism, as well as by many individuals involved in memes.
- Morwood, J: A Dictionary of Latin Words and Phrases, page 46. Oxford University Press, 1998
- Alfred Thayer Mahan, "Some Neglected Aspects of War," 1907, in Unilateral Force in International Relations, (eds. Karsten, Peter, & Hunt, Richard N., Garland Publishing, New York & London, 1972), p 12.
- Christopher Mathias (2016-10-21). "Two Arkansas Mosques Defaced With Racist, Islamophobic Graffiti". The Huffington Post.
- Ishaan Tharoor (2016-11-16). "ISIS wants to fight a holy war. So do some Trump supporters". The Washington Post.
- Noel K. Gallagher (2016-11-03). "Graffiti of Crusades' rallying cry investigated as possible hate crime at USM". Portland Press Herald.
- Ashitha Nagesh (2016-12-17). "Vandals spray paint mosque with anti-Muslim slogans from the Crusades". The Metro.
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