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The Day We Really Lost Jerusalem

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 As dawn broke across Jerusalem on the morning of the 11th of December, the world held its breath as the central players in a struggle stretching across continents prepared to take the stage.
In Masjid Al Aqsa, Fajr prayers had just ended. A sense of impending doom hung thickly in the air. The people had no way of knowing that this would be the last prayer in a free Al-Aqsa for more than a century. They had no idea that after today they would no longer be the masters of their own destiny. They could not know that they were about to become refugees in their own land.
The Turks had evacuated the city the night before. The Ottoman Empire was already struggling to survive under the combined assault of the British, French and Russian Empires. During this existential threat, the Arabs stabbed them in the back. They had valiantly fought on all sides, but slowly and surely, their defences crumbled one by one. Three times the Allied Expeditionary Forces had launched an all out assault on Gaza, and three times they were pushed back. But there is only so long you can take on the world and win. Gaza fell. The road to Jerusalem was clear.
In his private study in London, PM Lloyd George was ecstatic. Things had not been going well for the allies on the European front. Millions of lives had been lost fighting the Axis powers in the trenches of Europe and yet there was precious little to show for it. Jerusalem was just the Christmas present the people needed. At the same time, half away across the world, Sultan Mehmed Rashad – the 35th (and penultimate) Ottoman Sultan – was receiving the same news. His people had died in their hundreds of thousands too, but losing the holy land was the bitterest of blows. He slumped deeper into his chair, unaware that rather than rallying around him, many of his subjects were preparing to revolt instead.
Meanwhile, a young man had arrived in the British camp dressed in his traditional flowing Arab garbs. More than any other person, he had helped encourage the Arabs to revolt against the Ottomans. He had used his deep knowledge of Arabic and the bedouin culture to gain the trust of the Arabs. Crucially, he also had dreamt of following in the footsteps of the Crusaders and Knights that he read about in his childhood. He requested a change of clothes. Within seconds Lawrence of Arabia with his Arab clothes was gone and in his place there stood Colonel T. E. Lawrence – the last Crusader. His dream was about to come true.
Outside the walls of Jerusalem, General Edmund Allenby prepared himself for the defining moment of his career. He was a hard working soldier, but he was always left in the shade of other more senior war heroes like General Haig. No more. This was his moment. He got on his horse and rode up to Jaffa gate. There, to show his humility as a conquering leader – following the example of Umar (R) more than 1300 years ago – he got off his horse and walked into the city on his feet.
Jerusalem had fallen.
In the years that followed, there were periods of partial control, but the reality is that this was (and still is) mere appearance. 100 years later, we are more disunited than ever, we are more disorganised than ever and we are more lacking in leadership than ever. Unless we learn lessons from our past, we are condemned to repeat the same mistakes in the future.

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Dr. Muhammad Wajid Akhter - Doctor, Medical Tutor (Social Media, History & Medicine) - Islamic Historian - Founder of, and current board member to Charity Week for Orphans and needy children. www.charityweek.com - Council member, British Islamic Medical Association

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Aronno

    December 14, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Nice one! Jerusalem is the live circus of Arab’s (in extends, the Muslim’s) disunity, power struggle and subsequent control of pieces of lands curved by the enemy. But the rulers are the representation of masses and the way it is going in the society it is what we will get every time. So, it is time for self-correction and purification of heart and going back to Allah (SWT). Then the ball will roll to right direction. Salam.

  2. Avatar

    AJF

    January 7, 2018 at 12:53 PM

    Remember, it was the decision of the Ottoman rulers to join WWI on the side of the Axis powers (Germany, Austro-Hungary). Who knows what the Ottoman expected to gain in territory if they had won.

    Instead, they chose to back the wrong side.

    No one in their right mind feels sympathy for the Ottoman Turks, who spent the war years (1915-1917) conducting a wholesale genocide of their ancient Armenian population.

    Effectively, the Ottoman rulers committed a holocaust of Armenians and killed up to 1.5 million innocent people. The Ottoman were the Nazis of WWI. An empire that murders over a million of its subjects should cease to be an empire.

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#Current Affairs

Coronavirus And The Impetus To Close The Chinese-Run Concentration Camps

My Appeal to the International Community to Save the Lives of 3+ Million Uyghurs in China’s Concentration Camps

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According to Dr. Adrian Zenz, an independent researcher based in Germany who has testified on several occasions on Capitol Hill, the concentration camps in East Turkestan number up to 1,400 (8 Nov 2019, [1]). It has been estimated that the number of the Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic minorities being held in those concentration camps can add up to more than 3 million.

On February 5th, 2020, when the official Chinese government’s media were reporting that coronavirus death toll on mainland China was 600 – 700 [2], Tencent briefly listed 154,023 infections and 24,589 deaths from Wuhan coronavirus [3]. That is, the actual death toll is about 40 times higher than what the Chinese government reported. East Turkestan (known as Xinjiang) is far from the epicenter of the outbreak and just 55 cases have been reported in the region so far [4]. We can easily believe that the actual number of the people who fell victim to coronavirus in East Turkestan is tens of times more than the above figure.

Among those who died in Wuhan, 61% died in their homes. Currently, almost all the Uyghur population in East Turkestan is locked up in their homes. 

The situation of the 3+ million Uyghur concentration camp detainees is worse by several degrees. Keeping 3+ million Uyghur alive detainees is a complex, expensive and extremely difficult project. Are the 3+ million detainees still alive? Are they still being fed? How and from where? 

There is a real reason to fear a rapid spread of coronavirus in the controversial Chinese camps. “The virus spreads from person to person through droplets disseminated by sneezing or coughing, and confining large groups of people together, possibly without adequate access to germ-killing soap and water, will increase the likelihood of an outbreak.” [4] 

I have started to panic. Most Uyghurs in the United States have families there, and they are dealing with the camps and the virus, and we do not know if they have enough to eat, have masks and enough heat to survive.

“If the international community fails to pressure China to take adequate actions to prevent outbreaks in the region, the nature of its mass network of concentration and forced labor camps will add an entirely new dimension to China’s ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs.” [5]

“Uyghurs in the diaspora fear if the virus isn’t already in the camps, when it does reach them, the consequences will be catastrophic, leading to mass outbreaks and high mortalities very quickly given reports of overcrowding, starvation, forced labor, sexual abuse and torture in the camps. As China has largely ignored the issue of the virus spreading in the region and its crimes against humanity in the region are ongoing, it’s unlikely the Chinese government will allocate resources to address the issue.” [5]

I call for:

  1. UN to send a delegation to the region to find out if the concentration camp detainees are being provided with enough food and heat to survive.
  2. WHO to send a delegation to the region to evaluate the spread of the virus, assess the risks in the camps and take all measures necessary to prevent mass outbreaks and deaths. 
  3. WHO, the UN, international human rights groups, national governments and the rest of the international community to pressure China to close the camps and release the millions detained immediately as part of the global response to the coronavirus outbreak.
  4. Global health and humanitarian organizations to send medical supplies and teams to screen, diagnose and treat affected individuals in the Uyghur region including those in China’s concentration camps. (Items 2 – 4 are almost identical to those in [5])

[1] https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/detainees-11232019223242.html

[2]https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/cloneofcloneofchina-coronavirus-outbreak-latest–200207231158175.html

[3]https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3871594?fbclid=IwAR1k3x27tW2jNmmQzbaNOWtciIwlP3z70GWvj2XcRhestwB6T6l16pSqL18

[4] https://www.france24.com/en/20200212-exiled-uighurs-fear-spread-of-coronavirus-in-china-camps

[5]https://www.change.org/p/demand-china-release-3-million-uyghurs-before-coronavirus-outbreaks-in-concentration-camps?utm_content=cl_sharecopy_20183581_en-CA%3Av2&recruiter=53261213&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

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Civil Rights

Podcast: Lessons from the Life of Malcolm X | Abdul-Malik Ryan

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One of the things that happens with historical figures who continue to remain well-known and influential years after they can continue to speak for themselves is that others seek to speak for them.  Attempts are made to co-opt their legacy, either in sincere efforts for good or in selfish efforts for ideological or even commercial gain.  This is especially true of Malcolm X, who is not only a historical and political icon but in many ways a “celebrity” remembered by many primarily for his style and attitude.

The only real and meaningful tribute we can pay to Malcolm X is to follow his example. Click To Tweet

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Audio

Podcast: We Are All Slaves of Allah | Hakeemah Cummings

Guests
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Once, while in class at college, an Arab girl I was sitting next to said quite loudly to another, “Hey, give this paper to the ‘abdah” referring to a black girl in the class. I wondered if she was even aware of what she was saying in English. Did she think that ‘abdah translates to “black girl” and never thought of its true meaning? Did she think that I didn’t understand?

 

Read by Zeba Khan, originally posted here on Muslimmatters.org.

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