Avenging the Crusades: West’s Hatred and Propaganda Against the Muslim World
One of the French learned writers Count Henri Decastri wrote in his book entitled
L’Islam, Impressions et Études, Le Comte Henry de Castries, pg. 40-43; Librairie Armand Colin, Paris, 1907
“I cannot imagine what the Muslims would say if they heard the tales of the medieval ages and understood what the Christian orators used to say in their hymns even those which emerged before the 12th century emanated from one concept which was the cause of the crusaders (or crusades?), these hymns were filled with hatred towards the Muslims due to the total ignorance of their religion. As a result of those hymns and songs, hatred against their religion became fixed in people’s minds, and the erroneous ideas deeply rooted, some of which are still carried nowadays. Everyone used to regard the Muslims as polytheists, disbelievers, idol worshippers and apostate.”
This is how the Christian clergy in Europe describes the Muslims and their religion. The allegations laid down against Islam in the medieval ages to incite the feelings of hatred and animosity against the Muslims were horrible. It has had its effect on the Christian world, eventually leading to the ‘Crusades’ which lasted for two centuries (11th to 13th centuries) resulting in the defeat and humiliation of the Christians. Muslim conquest of the West began in the 15th century when the Islamic state entered Constantinople. In the 16th century, Muslims swept across southern and eastern Europe and carried Islam to its peoples. Millions of inhabitants of Albania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and other countries embraced Islam in the process. Once again, the animosity generated before the crusades and strengthened by the defeat therein was revived and the Orientalist concept emerged, which was concerned at the time with resisting the Muslim armies, halting the pace of Islamic conquest and lessening the threat of the overpowering Muslims.
Having defeated in direct confrontation in crusades, Christians now devised indirect ways to penetrate and weaken the Muslim world taking the form of missionaries disguised as the ambassadors of peace and learning. Deeply rooted animosity in their minds and hearts prompted all Christians in Europe to send their missionaries to the Muslim lands in the name of science and culture. The missions took the shape of schools, clinics, associations and clubs. The Europeans devoted unlimited resources and huge efforts to the missionary work. They combined their efforts and methodology despite their political differences and diverse interests. People and states were united behind the missionary effort since it was conducted as a joint venture of their consuls, ambassadors, delegates and missionaries.
It was this residual hatred of crusades harbored by the westerners (especially in Europe and more so in Britain) leading to their wickedly malicious attitude towards the Islamic world that eventually brought about the humiliation of Muslims in their own homelands. General Allenby said in 1917 when he entered Al-Quds (Jerusalem): “Only today the crusades ended”. This was simply a genuine expression of what he really felt. It reflected the hatred and malice he harbored and the same could be said about every European that fought in the battles – cultural or military – against the Muslims. It perfectly befits such people what Allah says in glorious Qur’an: “Hatred had already appeared from their mouths, what their breast conceal is far worse.” (Al Imran 118). What Allenby said was indeed most loathsome, and what his country Britain harbored secretly was even greater without doubt; this goes without saying for every European.
This malice and hatred has existed ever since the days of the crusades and it is still perpetuated today. What we see in terms of oppression, humiliation, colonization, and exploitation − in addition to the political aspect – is in fact an act of brutal revenge, directed particularly against the Muslims. It was for this purpose that the missionary associations were established under the pretext of enlightening the world. Their aim was to preach the Christian religion and to arouse suspicions in the Muslims about their own religion, thereby leading them to hold it in disdain within their hearts and to blame their own failures on it. Moreover, the associations had political motives also, colonialism being their real agenda. They were sent beforehand to prepare people mentally to accept the superiority of the westerners so as to ease their control over them under colonial rule. The consequences were in fact horrendous on both accounts as they reached to unexpected proportions. The missionary movements were founded on the basis of wiping out Islam by libeling it, by creating problems and misgivings about it and about its rules, in order to come between the people and the way of Islam and to alienate Muslims from their faith. Following these missionary movements came the orientalist movements which had the same target and the very same objectives.
This inherited animosity resulting from shameful defeat in the crusades is the thing that kindles hatred in the hearts of westerners against the Muslims till now. It is the one that portrays Islam, to Muslims and non-Muslims, as being the bogeyman, or as the demon arresting the progress of humanity. This in fact is an expression of their fear of Islam which they want to conceal behind their hateful tactics through their “blame the victim” technique, for they know that if Islam gets deeply implanted in the hearts and minds of the people, it would signal the end of the hegemony of the disbelieving colonial powers over the Islamic world, and the return of the Islamic state once again resuming the responsibility of carrying the message of Islam to the world, for they know that if people would get to the real Islamic teachings, they will take no time to embrace it and if once it gets to its feet, no power in the world can resist its progress, and the centuries long work and efforts of the missionaries would eventually go in vain, bringing out only grief and sorrow for them.
It is this age-long fear to be overpowered by the truth of Islam turned into bias and hatred that supports any anti-Islamic movement in whatever form it may be. One can find any western scholar researching Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Communism without any hatred or prejudice at all. Whereas, if he were to research Islam malice, hatred, and contempt would soon appear despite the fact that Muslims have been their victims for centuries now. Other religions of the world are generally searched for finding out whatever good they possess, whereas the search into Islam is generally marred by the creepy sense of finding faults with it for the sake of which all ethics are compromised while misinterpreting its teachings to achieve the desired target. The western clergy, backed by the colonialists, still actively conspire against Islam and they will never abate from libeling Islam and the Muslims and from degrading the Prophet of Islam Muhammad (pbuh) and His Companions, or from slandering the history of Islam and of the Muslims. The bottom line for West’s incessant hatred and propaganda against Islam is to take revenge upon Muslims as well as to kill any potential threat so as to strengthen the hold of colonialists since Islam is the only system that has the power and potential to beat them.