Some propaganda aimed at Muslim soldiers was orchestrated by the German authorities in an attempt to undermine the Muslims’ allegiance to the Allies. As the Ottomans were fighting with the Germans, they alerted soldiers to the fact that they were fighting against fellow Muslims.There were even rumours spreading among soldiers that the German leader, Kaiser Wilhelm II, had converted to Islam!The Germans printed leaflets about how accommodating their camps are, and claimed that fighting with the Ottomans would be ‘jihad’ against the infidels. German posters portrayed Britain as the true enemy of the Muslims, enslaving the Indian Army. Britain noticed the danger this posed, so began to depict the Indian Army positively in its own propaganda.
Until recently, the story of Halbmondlager - ‘Half Moon Camp’ – was omitted from British history books.
This prisoner of war camp was established in eastern Germany to house Muslims.The detainees, about 5,000, were reportedly treated very well here. They lived in relative luxury, had access to religious books, were able to fast, and had visits from imams who delivered sermons. It was at this camp that Germany’s first purpose-built mosque was built, designed to resemble the Dome of the Rock (though the quality of building means it no longer exists).Up to 3,000 of the detainees were indeed recruited into the German Army to fight around the Middle East. As a general operation, though, the camp was not as much of a success as the Germans had hoped.