At the heart of Islam’s mission is tawhid, the concept of absolute, indivisible divine Oneness. Before Allah’s (swt) revelation to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Jews and Christians had strayed from this teaching, which was at the core of all of the messages of all of the countless prophets sent to humanity. Jews fell into the error of seeing the one and only God as merely their own tribal idol — one god among many. They have stubbornly continued to confuse their tribal identity with the universal divine Creator. Christians, for their part, fell into the error of confusing the Prophet ‘Isa (a) with the one unique God. This led to such erroneous doctrines as the trinity and, later, secular humanism, the false worship of the merely human.
Just five years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Muslim armies defeated the Byzantines, and Khalifah ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab formally liberated al-Quds. The seemingly improbable Muslim liberation of Jerusalem/al-Quds was made possible by the sectarianism, mutual persecutions, and oppressions that had become endemic under the Byzantines. Christians persecuted Christians based on arcane sectarian dogmas. Christians persecuted Jews; Jews persecuted Christians (and slaughtered tens of thousands of them when Persian conquests gave them the chance). The Byzantine emperor who presided over all this strife, and indeed contributed to it, taxed his subjects into penury.
For these and other reasons, the Muslim liberation of al-Quds was welcomed or tolerated by a significant portion of the Byzantine population. These Jewish and Christian sympathizers, who viewed the coming of Islam as liberation from oppression, were proven right when the new Muslim rulers proceeded to live simply, lower taxes, and enforce religious toleration. The Muslims soon set to work rebuilding al-Masjid al-Aqsa, and a few short years later, the magnificent Dome of the Rock, which has stood as a symbol of divine unity — and as Islam’s greatest historical and architectural monument — ever since.
Muslim stewardship of Jerusalem/ al-Quds has existed almost as long as the religion of Islam itself. It is a symbol of tawhid in the realm of earthly affairs. Muslims, professing divine Oneness while tolerating and protecting other faiths, have for the most part proved just and able guardians of the holy city and its sacred sites.
Only two bloody historical interludes have interrupted Muslim stewardship of the Holy Land: the Medieval Christian crusades, and today’s ongoing Zionist genocide. Both of these two ill-fated ventures represent blasphemous betrayals of the perpetrators’ own core religious values.
Christians claim to follow a prophet known as the Prince of Peace — a prophet who taught absolute non-attachment to worldly power and material goods. Yet the Crusaders took greed and indiscriminate mass murder to new levels of barbarism. The nominally Christian Crusaders, on their way to the Holy Land, massacred Jewish communities while sparing a few survivors from the banking elites, who (at swordpoint) taught the Crusaders the fine arts of usury. The result was the world’s first international “Christian” usury syndicate, the Knights Templar. Then when they arrived in Jerusalem/al-Quds, the Crusaders massacred all of the inhabitants they could find — men, women, and children alike. As Karen Armstrong writes in Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths,
The streets literally ran with blood. “Piles of heads, hands, and feet were to be seen,” says the Provençal eyewitness Raymond of Aguiles. He felt no shame: the massacre was a sign of the triumph of Christianity, especially on the Haram, “If I tell the truth it will exceed your powers of belief. So let it suffice to say this much, at least, that in the Temple and the Porch of Solomon, men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed, it was a just and splendid judgment of God that this place should be filled with the blood of unbelievers since it had suffered so long from their blasphemies.”
Today’s even bloodier Jewish-Zionist conquest and ethnic cleansing of the Holy Land — which, like the Crusades, has been perpetrated with the help of an international usury syndicate — follows the Crusader example of betraying the invaders’ own core religious principles. Judaism has always taught that the Jewish “return” to the Holy Land would be accomplished by God, not man. Heretics like Shabtai Tsvi and Jacob Frank taught that Jews should make it happen themselves, rather than waiting for God; but they were satanists, not Jews, and their teachings were repudiated by a consensus of rabbinical authorities. This rejection of Zionism as a satanic heresy remained central to majoritarian Judaism until the 1940s.
It was only after World War II that the shock effect of German crimes against Jews jolted the global Jewish community into relinquishing this central tenet of its religion and embracing the crimes of Zionism. Today, a small remnant of faithful Jews, Naturei Karta, upholds the traditional Jewish faith; while the vast majority of those who call themselves Jews have retreated from that faith, many of them embracing one variety or another of Zionist idolatry.
Today, the 9/11-instigated 32-million-Muslim genocide against Israel’s enemies, alongside recent attempts to secure total Zionist hegemony over Jerusalem/al-Quds, have brought us to a level of barbarism, division, and strife far beyond that of the medieval Crusades. The Holy City, long a symbol of unity-in-diversity under Muslim rule, has become an emblem of hatred and disunity under Zionism. Ironically, this is happening at a moment when communications technologies have brought the world together, allowing us all to witness the chaos as it unfolds.
How should Muslims react to this appalling situation? The key concept is unity. We must remain devoted to tawhid and work for unity on the pan-Islamic and human levels. We must make every effort to unite with all fellow Muslims — and with justice-loving non-Muslims as well — in defense of al-Quds. Differences of race, language, nationality, and religious school of thought should be de-emphasized and put on the back burner as we come together to defend the Holy Land.
Al-Masjid al-Aqsa is built on the site where the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ascended through the heavens during his night journey to the Divine Presence. On the way he had friendly meetings with the earlier prophets including Musa, considered by Jews the founder of Judaism, and ‘Isa (a), considered by Christians the founder of Christianity. Al-Masjid al-Aqsa thus represents the coming together, in peaceful self-submission to the one God, of the founding figures of the three main branches of Middle Eastern monotheism… and by extension, the coming together in friendship of all monotheists.
This is not the vision of Zionism. The Jewish Zionist movement openly professes its aim to destroy al-Masjid al-Aqsa and build a blood sacrifice temple in its place. The completion of their blood sacrifice temple, they believe, will coincide with the arrival of a Zionist Messiah to rule the world, imposing global Jewish-Zionist hegemony, from that site.
The Christian Zionist movement has a slightly different aim. They believe that by building the blood sacrifice temple, Zionists will “force God’s hand” and compel Him to send Jesus(a) back to earth to wage nuclear war and kill all Jews along with the majority of the rest of the human race.
Obviously both the Jewish Zionist and Christian Zionist plans for the Holy Land are unholy, indeed satanic. They aim at strife and division, not peace and unity. They will insha’Allah be defeated in our lifetime, and Jerusalem/al-Quds will reassume its place as a beautiful symbol of peace, friendship, and unity on earth under the One God.
Dr. Kevin Barrett is a US-based journalist, commentator, and radio broadcaster. He hosts the TruthJihad radio program as well as manages the VeteransToday website.