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Salamun Alaikum (Peace be upon you)




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Copyright 2009 Joseph A Islam: Article last modified 14th March 2012





The 12th century Kerak castle in Kerak, Jordan remains one of the largest crusader castles in the region of the Levant (Bilad ash-Shaam). It has also witnessed the besiege of the city by Salah ud-din (Saladin) after an incident by particular Crusaders that continually broke treaties of peace. Salah ud-din later recaptured Palestine which had been taken from the Fatimid Egyptians by a crusader expedition nearly a century earlier.





Picture Copyright Joseph Islam. All rights reserved



Picture Copyright Joseph Islam. All rights reserved



Picture Copyright Joseph Islam. All rights reserved




War and campaigns instituted in the name of religion are not a modern concept but its ugly, ferocious and unrelenting prevalence has wiped out communities in merciless blood baths throughout the passage of time. In the name of God, monotheists have often fought against each other in ruthless aggression. 

Studying the crusader castle, one couldn't but help question how the different adherents of fundamentally one monotheistic Abrahamic faith could be the cause of such countless bloody wars.

Not a murmur from anyone, yet the very existence of such a Crusade fortification seemed to me to capture the voice of a slice of history with screams that were very real, the pounding of metal swords against the human flesh that were very real and countless atrocities all in the name of religion. Its very desolate walls seemed to remain a signet to a very bloody past by warmongers bent on transgression.


Sadly, prospects of an everlasting peace in particular regions of the Levant today still remain just as elusive.





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Satan's guile is indeed immense.


 "Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor will you find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies)." 



"He said: "Because you have thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way"


012:100 (Part)

"...after Satan had sown enmity between me and my brothers...."



"And let not the Satan prevent you; surely he is your open enemy"

History captures great feats by those that have attempted to leave a legacy which proved worthy of recognition in the face of adversity. No doubt Salah ud-din finds himself in such a hall of fame, even respected by his enemies. His statue nearby, a befitting reminder of his respect which has long captured the psyche of those that know of him through the eyes of the chroniclers.



Picture Copyright Joseph Islam. All rights reserved



Sometimes battles are fought in the memory of the past, in the name of those that exist no more, rather than seeking peace for a future for those that will one day live.


"What is Jerusalem? Your holy places lie over the Jewish temple that the Romans pulled down. The Muslim places of worship lie over yours. Which is more holy? The wall? The Mosque? The Sepulchre? Who has claim? No one has claim. All have claim!"   [1]




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[1] KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (2005), Director: Ridley Scott, Writer: William Monahan, Film quote by character Balian of Ibelin speaking to the people of Jerusalem. Available at [online]  [Accessed] 13th March 2012




Joseph Islam

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