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October 10, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10252

Marking The Anniversary Of Saladin's Conquest Of Jerusalem, Muslim Intellectuals, Islamists Express Hope, Conviction That Muslims Will Reconquer Jerusalem

October 10, 2022
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 10252

On October 2, 2022, hundreds of Muslim intellectuals and Islamists online marked the anniversary of the 1187 conquest of Jerusalem by Saladin, the Muslim sultan of Egypt and Syria who took the city from the Crusaders. Many of those who commented on the anniversary circulated videos and posters produced by the Qatar-based-and-funded TV channel Al-Jazeera marking the anniversary and providing historical details about the conquest. In recent years, the channel has taken to marking historical Islamic conquests, especially by Qatar's Islamist ally Turkey, on social media. As they marked the anniversary, the users expressed their hope and conviction that Muslims will take over Jerusalem again sooner or later.     

Commenting on an Al-Jazeera poster about Saladin's conquest of Jerusalem, titled "Saladin enters Jerusalem as a liberator and conqueror," Secretary-General Of The International Union Of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) 'Ali Al-Qaradaghi tweeted: "In the anniversary of our grandfather Saladin. Today, the policy of arrogance backs the dancing in our sacred places, the distorting of our creeds and when a war takes place, they threaten to strike with chemical [weapons], which they have done and waged a first and a second world war and they are beating the drums of a third war in the world despite its wealth of knowledge, it is still in need of a richness of conscience. Show us one of you who is like our Saladin."[1]

In another tweet, Dr. Al-Qaradaghi stressed that "Allah's promise that Al-Quds will be liberated will definitely take place" and he reminded the reader that while the Muslims were divided during Saladin's time, he managed to unite them and return them to their Sunni identity.[2]

On October 3, 2022, Algerian veteran Al-Jazeera anchor Khadija Benguennak shared an Al-Jazeera poster titled "The Liberation Of Al-Aqsa" and commented "The anniversary of the liberation of the city of Jerusalem by Muslim commander Saladin. [The Islamic] ummah generates resistance fighters, activists, and conquerors. With Allah's promise, it will generate pious men of the kind of Saladin."[3]

Qatari prominent writer Jaber Al-Harami, who has over 900,000 followers on Twitter mentioned Saladin's conquest of Jerusalem in a tweet in which he used the hashtag "the promise of the hereafter," which is a reference to Quran 17:107: "And We said to the Israelites after him: Dwell in the land: and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both together in judgment." He then wrote: "The situation in the city of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque was much worse when Saladin took it over on October 2, 1187 and liberated it from the Crusaders. They hung crosses [in Al-Aqsa] and turned it into a churche and horse stable and they turned mosques into churches. The future liberator will be able to wash it with perfumes as Saladin did."[4]

Al-Harami wrote several other tweets under the same hashtag, including one in which he shared a video showing hundreds of Jewish worshippers inside the Cave of the Patriarchs or Al-Ibrahimi Mosque and wrote: "Settlers performing dances and Talmud rituals inside Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil. This situation will not continue. There is a light at the end of the tunnel."[5]

Majed Abdulhadi, another Al-Jazeera veteran journalist, also used the hashtag "the promise of the hereafter" and marked the anniversary of the conquest of Jerusalem in a tweet posted on October 2, 2022. Praising the Palestinian youth who use the Internet and social media to defend the Palestinian issue, Abdulhadi shared one of his reports on the dispute over the houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, and wrote: "After 835 years of the conquest of Jerusalem by Saladin, the 5G Palestinians are challenging the conviction of the founding fathers of Israel and are leading the battle against the new chapters of the Palestinian Nakba."[6]

Along the same line, Moroccan Twitter user Abd Al-Aziz Al-Maghribi, who has over 15,000 followers, posted a tweet in which he marked the anniversary of Saladin's conquest of Jerusalem and prayed to Allah to "grant Jerusalem another Saladin to liberate it from the Zionist occupation."[7]

The "Islamic World" Twitter account, which has over 180,000 followers, shared a quote by the Istanbul-based Palestinian Islamist Mokhles Barzaq in which he said: "On this day, the army of Saladin liberated Bait Al-Maqdis after being desecrated for over 88 years by the Crusaders. It is time now to cleanse it."[8]

Expressing his conviction that Muslims will take over Jerusalem, Syrian writer and political analyst Yasser Saedaldine wrote: "We do not expect or hope... we are certain with Allah's permission... Jerusalem belongs to Islam, belongs to Islam, and belongs to Islam and the Arabs."[9]

Gaza-based Islamist Jihad Helles who has over 381,000  followers on Twitter expressed his hope that a similar conquest of Jerusalem would happen soon. In a tweet posted on October 2, 2022, he wrote: "On this day and 835 years ago leader Saladin liberated Jerusalem from the control of the Crusaders after 88 years of occupation, as Muslims were hopeless and thought it would never be restored. Soon, with Allah's permission, the day in which we express joy will come with the conquest of Jerusalem... "[10]

Using the hashtags "Saladin," "Jerusalem," "Israel," and "Palestine," the official Arabic Twitter account of the Turkey-based İlke News Agency shared quote by Palestinian Islamic Jihad official Fouad Qasim Arafat in which he stressed that "Saladin united the ummah and conquered Jerusalem with a generation who grew up on the teachings of Quran and Sunnah. By using these tools, Jerusalem can restore its freedom."[11]

Jordanian Islamist Osama Abu Bakr, who is also a member of the Jordan Islamic Scholars and the secretary general of the International Zakat Organization published a tweet on October 3, 2022, in which he marked the anniversary and called on Muslims to prepare for the "project of the promise of the hereafter" so that they can fulfil the prophecy of liberating Jerusalem which he described as "the compass of the believers, the linchpin of glory and dominance." He then asked Muslims "do you talk to yourselves about conquering? Do you talk to yourselves about invading?"[12]

On October 3, 2022, Twitter user Mohammad Al-Muzien, an agricultural engineer from Jordan, wrote after marking the anniversary of Saladin's conquest of Jerusalem: "I ask Allah to liberate it from the filthy Zionists soon."[13]

Palestinian professor of Andalusian Islamic history Yasmine Hamada also marked the anniversary using the hashtags "On this day," "Al-Aqsa is in danger," and "Saladin," saying: "Al-Aqsa Mosque was liberated from the filth of the Crusaders after 88 years of occupation and we are now in Palestine waiting for Saladin to liberate us one more time and rescue our Aqsa."[14]

Some Twitter users expressed their disappointment at Muslims who marked the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2 instead of celebrating the conquest of Jerusalem. For example, Twitter user Hafiz Abd Al-Raheem Al-A'zami who describes himself as "Islamic Scholar" posted a tweet in English saying: "1187 #October2. On this very day, #October 2, 1887 the first Qiblah of Bait al-Maqdis was liberated from the Crusader powers by the Ayyubid Sultan, Fatih Quds Sultan Salah al-Din Ayyubi. And alas some of us are busy with Gandhi Jayanti!"[15]

 

[1] Twitter.com/Ali_AlQaradaghi/status/1576931234525036545, October 3, 2022.

[2] Twitter.com/Ali_AlQaradaghi/status/1577153166562713601, October 3, 2022.

[3] Twitter.com/Benguennak/status/1576838501215006721, October 3, 2022.

[4] Twitter.com/jaberalharmi/status/1576930723084132353, October 3, 2022.

[5] Twitter.com/jaberalharmi/status/1576690691844894721, October 2, 2022.

[6] Twitter.com/majedabdulhadi/status/1576650435854995456, October 2, 2022.

[7] Twitter.com/abomariya7/status/1577189127442735104, October 4, 2022.

[8] Twitter.com/muslim2day/status/1576699010118987776, October 2, 2022.

[9] Twitter.com/yasser_saed/status/1576592077433241600, October 2, 2022.

[10] Twitter.com/jhelles/status/1576654865853403136, October 2, 2022.

[11] Twitter.com/ilkha_arabi/status/1576932575204978689, October 3, 2022.

[12] Twitter.com/Osama_AbuBakr/status/1576785731791437825, October 3, 2022.

[13] Twitter.com/MohamadAlMuzien/status/1576881406784856064, October 3, 2022.

[14] Twitter.com/CuteReemoo2008/status/1576546774294360065, October 3, 2022.

[15] Twitter.com/KhanAbdurrahim8/status/1576475395242676225, October 2, 2022.

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