When you hear Muslims complain of imperialism or the Crusades, you should have a good laugh at their boundless hypocrisy, as Islam under the Arabs and the Turks has been the by leaps and bounds the most imperialistic force in history, spreading far and wide by the sword. May 21 is an important day in that history, as it marks the day in 878 A.D. that Syracuse was conquered by an invading Islamic army, starting what would be two centuries of Islamic rule in Sicily.
The invasion began under Ziyadat Allah, the Aghlabid Emir of Tunisia about 826 A.D. and was strongly contested by the native Sicilians, then subjects of Christian Byzantium. The Christians spent the next two centuries as second class citizens in their own land. As dhimmis, "they had to pay a tax, Jizya and had limitations placed on their occupations, dress and ability to participate in public affairs." Moreover, "[m]any churches were converted to mosques and severe limitations were placed on public displays of Christianity."
This Muslim conquest lasted until the 11th century, when the progeny of the Vikings, Norman mercenaries, were hired to retake Sicily. Led by Roger I, several hundred mercenary Norman knights succeeded in 1078 A.D. Nonetheless, understand that, to this day, the radicals of Islam claim an absolute right to rule Sicily. As explained by Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch:
Why do Muslim terrorists attack in Jammu-Kashmir? Because they can. The Muslim claim to Kashmir differs from their claim to all of India (or for that matter to Spain (Al-Andalus), to Israel, to Sicily, to the Balkans, to Bulgaria, to Rumania, to Hungary, and to all the areas once dominated by Muslims) only in the ability to push that claim. Of course, in the jihadist view the entire world in the end must submit to Islam and be dominated by Islam -- though non-Muslims may, should they accept what many Muslims continue to believe is perfectly just, live under those unambiguous conditions of humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity whose sum is the status we now describe as "dhimmitude".
Any land area, even within the Western countries where Muslims come to dominate, will by many of them be regarded as "Muslim land." The claims made by various local Muslims may seem comical to us, such as that for the "Caliphate" in Cologne, or the insistence that certain areas in Malmo or Rotterdam or Muslim-populated towns in France are not to be treated as any longer under the control of representatives of the Infidel nation-state, but they are quite serious. That seriousness is being demonstrated even now both by Muslims and by the representatives (police, firemen, teachers) of that nation-state, who are often too afraid not to comply with the Muslim demands that they stay out of what is no longer their territory. . . .
This is a very old war, defending against Muslim / Arab imperialism. And it is one that our grandchildren will be fighting long after we perish if something is not done, whether militarily or in the war of ideas, to break this imperialistic motive once and for all.