From the Jawa Report:
Today we have a reminder that the Crusades were not an unprovoked example of Christian Imperialism against the Middle East. But a reaction to the spread of Islam by the Sword against Christian Europe.
They said it. They are proud of it:
Qatari Educational Software on Islamic Conquests in Europe
Animated videos posted on the Internet teach children about Islamic conquests in Europe. The videos were produced as educational software for “Boys and Girls,” the children’s section of the Qatari government-owned Internet portal Islamweb.net. A large number of the portal’s educational videos were posted on various YouTube accounts. One video discusses the conquest of Al-Andalus, which was “in order to spread the light of Islam.” “This is how Islam entered Al-Andalus, where it built a great civilization,” an animated character says. Another video describes the conquest of Belgrade, “the fortified city that was the pride of Europe.” The videos were posted on the Internet in February 2016.
Tariq bin Ziyad — The conqueror of Spain
Burn your boats, said Tariq bin Ziyad while addressing his small army after entering Spain through sea in 711 A.D. The order was instantly followed by his forces despite a huge army of opponents ready to attack them.
This ultimate trust in Allah and a strong determination to fight for a just cause was aptly demonstrated by Tariq, apparently giving birth to the above-mentioned maxim.
“My Dear brothers, we are here to spread the message of Allah. Now, the enemy is in front of you and the sea behind. You fight for His cause. Either you will be victorious or martyred. There is no third choice. All means of escape have been destroyed,” he thundered while addressing his forces before the battle began. The victory of Islam following the acts of valor, as well as piety, was imminent.
Tariq bin Ziyad was a new convert to Islam from the Berber tribe of Algeria. He was said to be a freed slave.
Islam provided high status even to slaves. Salman Farsi, Bilal ibn Rabah and Zaid ibn Harithah were slaves before being freed during time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Salman Farsi was appointed Governor of Madayen. Bilal was known for his beautiful voice with which he called people to their prayers. Zaid led a force during the Battle of Mauta. Even in the later period, the Mamalik (slaves) ruled Egypt and Qutubuddin Aibak established his dynasty in India and ruled for centuries.
Tariq bin Ziyad is believed to be belonging to the Ash-Shadaf Berber tribe from North Africa. He was probably born in 50 AH. Historian Ibn Idhari, however, states that he was from the Ulhasa tribe. Ibn Khaldun has written that the Ulhasa tribe was found on both sides of the Tafna river in Tlemcen, Algeria.
Tariq bin Ziyad is considered to be one of the most important military commanders in the Iberian history. It is said that he saw the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in his dream who saying: “Take courage, O Tariq! And accomplish what you are destined to perform.” Then he saw the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and his companions entering Andalus.” Tariq awoke with a smile, and from that moment, he never doubted his victory. He led a small force from Morocco in 711 AD and landed on the high rock which is called Jabal-Al-Tariq (Gibralter) after his name in Spain.
The army of Tariq, comprising 300 Arabs and 10,000 Berber converts to Islam, landed at Gibraltar. King Roderic of Spain amassed a force of 100,000 fighters against the Muslims. Tariq called for reinforcements and received an additional contingent of 7,000 cavalrymen under the command of Tarif bin Malik Naqi (after whom Tarifa is named in Spain).
When Tariq bin Ziyad found the Muslim ranks a bit nervous in the face of the large enemy in front of them, he ordered the ships to be burned and then delivered the historic and stirring address to the Mujahedeen. The two armies met at the battlefield of Guadalete where King Roderic was defeated and killed on Ramadan 28, 92 AH.
The defeated Spanish army retreated toward Toledo. Tariq bin Ziyad divided his troops into four regiments for a hot pursuit. One regiment advanced toward Cordoba and subdued it. The second captured Murcia and the third advanced toward Saragossa. Tariq himself moved swiftly toward Toledo. The city surrendered without resistance. King Roderic’s rule came to an end in Spain.
Upon hearing the grand victory, Commander Musa bin Nusair rushed to Spain with another large force of 18,000. The two generals occupied more than two-thirds of the Iberian Peninsula In rapid succession, Saragossa, Barcelona and Portugal fell one after another. Later, the Pyrenees was crossed and Lyons in France was occupied. Spain remained under Muslim rule for more than 750 years, from 711 to 1492. In its swiftness of execution and completeness of success, Tariq’s expedition into Spain holds a unique place in the medieval military annals of the world.
Muslim rule was a major boon to local residents. No properties or estates were confiscated. Instead, the Muslims introduced an intelligent system of taxation, which soon brought prosperity to the peninsula and made it a model country in the West. The Christians had their own judges to settle their disputes. All communities had equal opportunities for entry into the public services. The Jews and the peasants in Spain received the Muslim armies with open arms. The serfdoms that prevailed were abolished and fair wages were instituted. Taxes were reduced to a fifth of the produce. Anyone who accepted Islam was relieved of his slavery. A large number of Spaniards embraced Islam to escape the oppression of their masters. The religious minorities, the Jews and the Christians, received the protection of the state and were allowed participation at the highest levels of the government.
As result of Muslim rule, Spain became a beacon of art, science and culture for Europe. Mosques, palaces, gardens, hospitals and libraries were built. Canals were repaired and new ones were dug. New crops were introduced from other parts of the Muslim empire and agricultural production increased. Andalus, as Spain was called by Muslims, became the granary of the West. Manufacturing was encouraged and the silk and brocade work of the peninsula became well known in the trading centers of the world. Cities increased in size and prospered.
Cordoba, the capital, became the premier city of Europe and by the 10th century, had over one million inhabitants. A Christian historian writes: “The Moors (Muslims) organized that wonderful kingdom of Cordova, which was the marvel of the Middle Ages, and which, when all Europe was plunged in barbaric ignorance and strife, alone held the torch of learning and civilization bright and shining before the Western world.”
Caliph Walid bin Abdul Malik invited Musa bin Nusair and Tariq bin Ziyad to Damascus. But when they reached the capital, the caliph was on death bed. He honored them lavishly but he passed away soon. Caliph Sulaiman succeeded him in Feb. 715 and he turned against the two commanders and deprived them of all amenities. Tariq died in Damascus in 720 in anonymity. Caliph Sulaiman was a vengeful ruler.
One thought on “Qatar: Islamic Conquest of Spain and Belgrade Was “Glorious””
(At the risk of turning into Don Laird, here’s a long one – sorry)!
The muslim PR game called “The Crusades:”
The Muslim Game:
Muslims love talking about the Crusades, and Christians love apologizing for them. To hear both parties tell the story, one would believe that Muslims were just peacefully minding their own business in lands that were legitimately Muslim, when Christian armies decided to wage holy war and “kill millions.”
Every part of this myth is a lie. By the rules that Muslims claim for themselves, the Crusades were perfectly justified, and the excesses (though beneath Christian standards) pale in comparison with the historical treatment of conquered populations at the hands of Muslims.
The crusades are quite possibly the most misunderstood event n European history.
The Crusades were in every way a defensive war. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression – an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.
The West may now dominate the Islamic world, but that has only been the case since the late 18th century, when a young general, Napoleon Bonaparte, conquered Egypt and temporarily imposed French rule. This initial European penetration into one of the heartlands of Islam was “a terrible shock” to Muslims, says historian Bernard Lewis. Until then, they had thought of themselves as the victors in the Crusades.
That assumption is understandable. Muslim rulers held the preponderance of power as far as Europe was concerned until the 17th century and had done so, more or less, since the Prophet Muhammad issued Islam’s initial declaration of war against other religious faiths in the seventh century. The Prophet wrote the Christian Byzantine emperor and the Sassanid emperor of Persia to suggest they surrender to his rule because, well, their day was done.
“I have now brought God’s final message,” the Prophet declared. “Your time has passed. Your beliefs are superseded. Accept my mission and my faith or resign or submit … you are finished.”
This claim propelled the armies of Islam to take on the rest of the world.
Muslim armies charged out of the Arabian Peninsula to conquer Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt – all of which, as part of the late Roman Empire, were officially Christian. By the eighth century, Christian North Africa was under Muslim control.
Islam soon swept into Europe, grabbing Spain, Portugal and southern Italy. In the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks conquered much of Asia Minor, or Turkey.
Here are some quick facts about the Crusades:
The first Crusade began in 1095, 460 years after the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies, 457 years after Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies, 453 years after Egypt was taken by Muslim armies, 443 after Muslims first plundered Italy, 427 years after Muslim armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople, 380 years after Spain was conquered by Muslim armies, 363 years after France was first attacked by Muslim armies, 249 years after Rome itself was sacked by a Muslim army, and only after centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions of Christians. By the time the Crusades finally began, Muslim armies had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.
Europe had been harassed by Muslims since the first few years following Muhammad’s death.
As early as 652, Muhammad’s followers launched raids on the island of Sicily, waging a full-scale occupation 200 years later that lasted almost a century and was punctuated by massacres, such as that at the town of Castrogiovanni, in which 8,000 Christians were put to death. In 1084, ten years before the first crusade, Muslims staged another devastating Sicilian raid, burning churches in Reggio, enslaving monks and raping an abbey of nuns before carrying them into captivity.
In theory, the Crusades were provoked by the harassment of Christian pilgrims from Europe to the Holy Land, in which many were kidnapped, molested, forcibly converted to Islam or even killed. (Compare this to Islam’s justification for slaughter on the basis of Muslims being denied access to the Mecca pilgrimage in Muhammad’s time).
The Crusaders only invaded lands that were Christian.
They never attacked Saudi Arabia or sacked Mecca as the Muslims had done (and continued doing) to Italy and Constantinople.
The period of Crusader “occupation” (of its own former land) was stretched over less than two centuries. The Muslim occupation is in its 1,372nd year.
The period of Crusader “aggression” compresses to about 20 years of actual military campaign, much of which was spent on organization and travel.
(They were from 1098-1099, 1146-1148, 1188-1192, 1201-1204, 1218-1221, 1228-1229, and 1248-1250).
By comparison, the Muslim Jihad against the island of Sicily alone lasted 75 grinding years.
Christian Europe certainly fought back. In the eighth century, campaigns to recover the Iberian Peninsula began, but it wasn’t until the end of the 15th century that the Reconquista swept Islam out of Spain and Portugal. Other counterattacks were made, the most famous of which were the war-pilgrimages known as the Crusades.
In 1095, Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade. He urged Europeans to aid fellow Christians who were being slaughtered by Muslims. “They (the Muslim Turks) have invaded the lands of those Christians and have depopulated them by the sword, pillage and fire; they have lead away a part of the captives into their own country, and a part they have destroyed by cruel tortures.” The Crusader army marched deep into enemy territory to reclaim the ancient Christian cities of Nicaea and Antioch, and on July 15, 1099, Jerusalem.
Admittedly it wasn’t a pleasant reclamation. As was standard practice when a city resisted, much of population was slaughtered. That, however, doesn’t mean the threat to which the Crusades were a response wasn’t real.
The Crusades were a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two – thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam.
Unfortunately, subsequent Crusades over the next three centuries weren’t as successful. By the end of the 13th century, the Christian Crusaders had been chased from the Middle East. From then on the concern was no longer about reclaiming Christian homelands, but about saving Europe.
In 1453, Muslims captured the capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople (or Istanbul, as it is now known). In the late 15th century, Rome was evacuated when Muslim armies landed at Otranto in an unsuccessful invasion of Italy. By the 16th century, the Ottoman Turk Empire stretched from North Africa and Arabia to the Near East and Asia Minor. They penetrated deep into Europe, conquering Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, Croatia and Serbia. In 1529, the Ottomans laid siege to Vienna. Luckily for Europe, the siege failed; otherwise the door to Germany would have been open. It wasn’t until 1572, when the Catholic Holy League defeated the Ottoman fleet at Le panto, that Islam’s threat to the West finally ended, at least until the
late 20th century when the doors to Europe were once again opened to Muslims.
Unlike Jihad, the Crusades were never justified on the basis of New Testament teachings. This is why they are an anomaly, the brief interruption of fourteen centuries of relentless Jihad against Christianity that began long before the Crusades and continued well after they were over. Islam unquestionably won the Crusades, even though Europe was ultimately able to reassert itself and dominate the world. The reasons for this success are much debated, but it’s reasonable to conclude that the West won the war of ideas.
Notions of individualism and freedom, capitalism and technology, and, most of all, the West’s turn from theology to science, carried the day. Religion became in the West an essentially private concern. It is on this “modern” turn that the anti-Crusade attitude developed.
During the Protestant Reformation, when the authority of the Catholic church was under attack, the Crusades began to be regarded as a ploy by power-hungry Popes and land-hungry aristocrats. This judgment was extended by the Enlightenment philosophers, who used the Crusades as a cudgel with which to beat the church.
The Enlightenment view of the Crusades still holds sway. After the Second World War, with western intellectuals feeling guilty about imperialism and European politicians desperate to abandon colonial responsibilities, the Crusades became intellectually unfashionable.
Historian Steven Runciman reflected this attitude in his three-volume study, A History of the Crusades, published in the early 1950s. He cast the Crusades as “morally repugnant acts of intolerance in the name of God.”
Almost single-handedly Runciman managed to define the modern popular view of the Crusades.
The greatest crime of the Crusaders was the sacking of Jerusalem, in which 30,000 people were said to have been massacred. This number is dwarfed by the number of Jihad victims, from India to Constantinople and Narbonne, but Muslims have never apologized for their crimes and never will.
What is called ‘sin and excess’ by other religions, is what Islam refers to as the will of Allah.
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