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I was told of an incident where a French general in 1920 after having put down an anti-colonial uprising, supposedly went on to insult the grave of Saladin. I attempted to find a source for that belief but the nearest I come is an article that doesn't state sources which has the following claim:

Similarly, it has not forgotten either the content or the tone of the statements made by French General Henri Gouraud when he entered Damascus in July 1920. Striding to Saladin's tomb next to the Grand Mosque, Gouraud kicked it and exclaimed, "Awake Saladin, we have returned. My presence here consecrates the victory of the Cross over the Crescent."

Are there any reliable sources for this claim, or do we have some idea where it's originating from?

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Sort of like "Lafayette, we are here!" Only very, very different. – mmyers May 19 '11 at 15:47
@mmyers "Why don't they just eat cake?" also springs to mind. – Kit Sunde May 19 '11 at 15:59
There is a lot more english copies of this claim than french versions. – ogerard May 19 '11 at 17:21
The French won a conflict? I find that hard to believe! :) – Andrew Grimm May 20 '11 at 14:55
@Andrew Grimm - I was thinking that it would seem like I'm French bashing, but I got to this question by happenstance I swear! – Kit Sunde May 20 '11 at 15:46

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