The First Crusader invasion of Muslims lands
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On July 8, 1099 AD, as part of the First Crusader invasion of Muslims lands, 15,000 Christian soldiers marched in a religious procession around Bayt al-Moqaddas as its Muslim defenders looked on. Bayt al-Moqaddas was then under the rule of the Fatemid Ismaili Shi’ite Muslim Dynasty of Egypt-North Africa. Because of disunity in Muslim ranks, coupled with the underestimation of the designs of the enemies, this holy Islamic city was seized by the Crusaders, who massacred as many as 70,000 men, women, and children of various ethnicities, including Arab, Iranian, Turkish and Kurdish. It took 88 years for the Muslims to close ranks and liberate Bayt al-Moqaddas in 1187 under a united Muslim force of Arabs, Iranians, Kurds, and Turks.
On July 11, 1174 AD, Amalric, the ruler of the usurper Latin kingdom of Jerusalem (established in Bayt al-Moqaddas and Palestine by European invaders), died after a 11-year reign during which he attempted several unsuccessful attacks on Fatemid Egypt, by forming alliances with some of the local Syrian and Turkic Amirs, who were ready to betray fellow Muslims for paltry gains – like the present day Arab regimes which are serving Zionist interests.
In 1171, three years before Amalric’s death, the Kurdish general, Salah od-Din, who was appointed vizier in Cairo by the young Fatemid caliph, al-Adid, deposed his benefactor and seized Egypt. Amalric was succeeded by his 13-year old leprous son, Baldwin IV, with Raymond III, Count of the occupied Lebanese region of Tripoli (Tarabolous) as regent and William of the occupied Lebanese region of Tyre (Sour) as chancellor. During his 11-year reign, Baldwin used to constantly raid Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian cities, as far as Damascus, but without permanent success.
In 1177, he launched a surprise attack and routed almost the entire army of Salah od-Din, who was lucky to escape alive from the battlefield. As the historian Ibn Jubayr writes, Baldwin IV, in view of his mean nature, was called by Muslims as “al-Khinzir” (the Swine). Two years after his death, Salah od-Din led a united army of Kurds, Turks, Arabs and Iranians, to liberate Bayt ol-Moqaddas, thus ending the 87-year illegal existence of the Crusader kingdom.