Salah ad-Deen al-Ayubi (Part-6)

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Colonialism
The next European counterattack came at the hands of the colonialist forces which were pushed by the Industrial Revolution to seek fresh pastures in the Old World.They sought markets for their goods, sources of raw materials, and a supply of cheap human labour.This took the form of slaves taken by force from Africa and transported across the sea in a process that remains a dark stain on the history of the conflict between Europe and the East, to which huge numbers of Muslims in Africa fell victim.This wave which was led by Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, and Germany to some extent, continued until the early decades of the twentieth century. The Muslim world was its primary victim;in fact it was its only victim if we exclude small areas inhabited by non-Muslim majorities. Its economic goals, driven as they were against a Crusader background, were expressed in more than one incident, and offered evidence in more than one case. British Prime Minister William Gladstone expressed it clearly when he addressed Parliament, holding a copy of the noble Qur'an in his hand, "So long as this is in the hearts and minds of the Egyptians, we will never be able to defeat them."30

When the British crusader general entered Jerusalem in victory after the First World War and was received with great honour by the allies of the British, he could not conceal his crusader resentment against Islam and the Muslims; he expressed his joy and happiness as a victorious crusader leader who had conquered Jerusalem and Palestine and brought it under the crusader British Mandate, saying,

"Now the Crusades are over."31 With this statement he declared that the aim of the Crusades, to occupy Jerusalem and impose Crusader authority on it and on Palestine had been achieved.He was stating that the Crusades, which continued for two centuries,during which Jerusalem and Palestine were occupied in 492 AH and liberated by the Muslims in 583 AH, had not achieved their goal until the First World War. The Crusaders achieved their goal when they took over Palestine and Jerusalem. The French crusader general went to the tomb of Salah ad-Deen in Damascus where he said at the graveside, "Now we have come back, Saladin."32

The Crusades continued and did not stop. Britain gave a homeland to the Jews in Palestine, where a Jewish state was established. They took the necessary administrative and military steps to establish this state, training the Jews in the use of weapons and arts of war, and supplying them with weapons; they even gave them some of the British army's weapons, specifically when Britain announced the end of the British Mandate in Palestine on 15th May 1948. They even handed over many Palestinian cities and towns to the Jews, who announced the establishment of the Jewish state, but at the same time they forbade the Muslim Palestinians to train in the use of weapons or to keep weapons, and they inflicted unjust punishments on any Palestinian who kept weapons or military equipment. Execution was a common punishment; thousands of Muslim mujahideen were hanged on the gallows of the British crusaders during that period, and tens of thousands were thrown into prison.33 These events coincided with the colonialist movement and were closely connected to the Christian missionary movement, both Protestant and Catholic, the centres of which were spread throughout the length and breadth of the Muslim world. These missionaries paved the way for colonialism by means of their various activities; they also enjoyed a lot of help and advantages under colonialist authority.

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