English football fans dressed in Crusader outfits have been turned away from the FIFA World Cup contest in Qatar, an Arabic country on the Persian Gulf and bordering on Saudi Arabia.

The problem appears to be that some Islamic people still feel sensitive about the Christian attempts to defend their traditional holy sites over a period of two centuries, from 1095 to 1291.

Iman Atta, spokesman for Tell Mama, a British project that monitors Islamic hate, urged English fans not to behave insensitively. A similar message came from the British government. Interestingly, clothes approximating Saracen attire are not discouraged in Britain or other Western countries. Indeed, diversity of culture in actively promoted and criticism of diversity punished by government and private agencies.

A remarkable feature of the event is that English football fans demonstrated deep historical awareness of their own national history. England was one of several European countries that sent Crusaders to the Holy Land. St George costumes are more popular at English football games that are Crusader garb, though this imagery also relates to the Middle East, because St George was born in Cappadocia, in modern-day Turkey, and died in Lydda, in modern-day Israel. He was adopted as the English patron saint in 1327, just 36 years after the Crusades ended.