The Christian Genocide of Jerusalem
And the Islamic ‘Revenge’
The Fall of Jerusalem
In the year 492 Hijri when the Christians conquered Baitul Maqdis (Jerusalem), they slaughtered 70,000 Muslims in Musjidul Aqsa. Giving a graphic account of the massacre of Muslims by the Crusaders, the Christian historian Michaud writes:
“The Saracens were massacred in the streets and in the houses. Jerusalem had no refuge for the vanquished. Some fled from death by precipitating themselves from the ramparts; others crowded for shelter into the palaces, the towers, and above all into their mosques, where they could not conceal themselves from the pursuit of the Christians. The Crusaders, masters of the Mosque of Omar, where the Saracens defended themselves for some time, renewed there the deplorable scenes which disgraced the conquest of Titus. The infantry and cavalry rushed pell-mell among the fugitives. Amid the most horrid tumult, nothing was heard but the groans and cries of death; the victors trod over heaps of corpses in pursuing those who vainly attempted to escape. Raymond d’Agiles, who was an eye- witness, says. ‘that under the portico of the mosque, the blood was knee-deep, and reached the horses’ bridles.”
Fulcher of Chartres, a Christian chronicler of that time, said:
“In this temple 10,000 were killed. Indeed, if you had been there you would have seen our feet coloured to our ankles with the blood of the slain. But what more shall I relate? None of them were left alive; neither women nor children were spared”
The Conquest of Jerusalem
Ninety years after the fall of Jerusalem into Christian hands, Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi (rahmatullah alayh) conquered this prized city. How did the magnanimous Sultan repay the butchery and massacre of 70,000 Muslims at the hands of the savage Crusaders almost a century ago? Describing the conquest of Jerusalem by Sultan Salahuddin, Steven Runcimman, a Christian, writes:
“Saladin had the city at his mercy. He could storm it when he wished…………Saladin, so long as his power was recognized, was ready to be generous, and he wished Jerusalem to suffer as little as possible. He consented to make terms and offered that every Christian should be able to redeem himself at the rate of ten dinars a man, five a woman and one a child……On Friday 2nd October, Saladin entered Jerusalem. It was the 27th day of Rajab……….The victors (i.e. the Muslims) were correct and humane.
Where the Franks, eighty-eight years before, had waded through the blood of their (Muslim) victims, not a building now was looted, not a person injured. By Saladin’s orders guards patrolled the streets and the gates, preventing any outrage on the Christians……. Then Saladin announced that he would liberate every aged man and woman. When the Frankish ladies who had ransomed themselves came in tears to ask him where they should go, for their husbands or fathers were slain or captive, he answered by promising to release every captive husband, and to the widows and orphans he gave gifts from his own treasury. His mercy and kindness were in strange contrast to the deeds of the Christian conquerors of the First Crusade.
The Orthodox Christians and the Jacobites remained in Jerusalem. Each had to pay a capitation tax in addition to his ransom, though many poorer classes were excused the payment. The rich amongst them bought up much of the property left vacant by the Franks’ departure. The rest was bought by Moslems and Jews whom Saladin encouraged to settle in the city. When the news of Saladin’s victory reached Constantinople the Emperor Isaac Angelus sent an embassy to Saladin to congratulate him and to ask that the Christian Holy Places should revert to the Orthodox Church. After a little delay his request was granted.”
This was the noble manner in which Sultan Salahuddin, the Conqueror of Jerusalem reciprocated the cold blooded massacre of 70,000 Muslims by the Crusaders 88 years before. In so doing, he was implementing the Qur’aanic command: "Ward off evil with what is beautiful."