Victor Sharpe
August 17, 2010
Do you know what a dhimmi is?
By Victor Sharpe

Ask one hundred people in the United States what a dhimmi is and perhaps two or three might know. In Europe the number would be slightly higher because of latent memories of battles fought against invading Moslem armies over the span of hundreds of years.

We now have the specter of triumphant Islam building a giant mosque mere yards from Ground Zero in New York City where Islamic fanatics, in the name of Allah, destroyed the World Trade Center and the two magnificent towers. The mosque will rise to thirteen or more stories and overlook the blasted hole in the ground that was once a symbol of America's freedom and technical ingenuity.

If this outrage is allowed to be built, it will not be a symbol of Muslim outreach to non-Moslems; it will be a sickening insult to the victims of Islamic barbarism and a tangible rallying cry to millions more jihadists who will see it as Islam's victory over a vanquished United States of America. This then will be the 21st century revenge of resurgent Islam over those who centuries ago beat back the many previous Islamic invasions and attempted Muslim conquests of Europe.

In 732, Charles Martel led his Frankish forces at Tours to victory against an Islamic invasion of France, which nearly destroyed Christian Europe. Similarly, Islam was ousted from Spain in 1492 after an occupation of the Iberian Peninsula by the Moslems for hundreds of years.

In Italy, Islamic power was brought to an end when the heavy Turkish galleys were defeated by Venetian galleasses at the great naval battle of Lepanto in 1571. And the Moslem Ottoman power, which at its height again threatened Europe, was barely turned back at the gates of Vienna on 11 September 1683 by a coalition of European armies.

These were four major defeats by Europe of Islamic attempts of conquest and subjugation set against a history of victorious Moslem invasions and conquests that has been the hallmark of Islam since its founding in the seventh century.

But what of the peoples and nations that fell under Islamic occupation? For them the story was one of forced conversions to Islam, slavery, death, and the Islamic institution of dhimmitude.

This is the word that describes the parlous state of those who refused to convert to Islam and became the subjugated non-Muslims who were forced to accept a restrictive and humiliating subordination to a superior Islamic power and live as second-class citizens in order to avoid enslavement or death. These peoples and populations were known as dhimmis, and if such a status was not humiliating enough, a special tax or tribute, called the jizya, was imposed upon them and upon all dhimmis.

Dhimmitude is the direct outcome of jihad, which is the military conquest of non-Islamic territory mandated by Allah as a spiritual obligation for every individual Moslem and Moslem nation.

From its beginnings in the seventh century, Islam spread through violent conquest of non-Moslem lands. In the eighth century, a formal set of rules to govern relationships between Moslems and non-Moslems was created based upon Moslem conquests of non-Moslem peoples. These rules were based upon jihad, which established how the Moslems would treat the conquered non-Moslems in terms of their submission to Islam.

Jihad can be pursued through force or other means such as propaganda, writing, or subversion against the perceived enemy. The so-called enemies are those who oppose the establishment of Islamic law or its spread, mission, or sovereignty over them and their land. The building of mosques on or near the site of an Islamic victory against non-Moslems is a tangible expression of Islamic triumphalism.

The Al-Aksa mosque in Jerusalem built upon the very site of the two ancient Jewish Temples is a stark example. The great Haggai Sophia church in Constantinople was converted into a mosque when the Ottoman Turks destroyed the city, renaming it Istanbul. Similarly, the Greek Catholic cathedral in Nicosia, Cyprus, was converted into a mosque when the Turks invaded northern Cyprus in 1974. They still remain in occupation. These are just three examples of the thousands of churches and synagogues converted into mosques over the centuries by victorious and triumphal Islam.

Propaganda and subversion are the very means now being employed against the West and Judeo-Christian civilization, and Islamists have shown themselves to be brilliantly adept at manipulating the gullible and uninformed Western media in pursuit of their aims of world domination.

As I have written in previous articles, non-Islamic lands are considered the dar al-harb, the "house of war," until they submit to Islamic rule and enter the dar al-Islam. The perceived enemy of Islam by Moslem authorities fall into three categories: those who resist Islam with force, those living in a country that has a temporary truce with Islam, and those who have surrendered to Islam through the ultimate foolishness of exchanging land for a so-called peace.

The belief that Moslem Arab powers respond to overtures of peace by ending their aggression is but a mirage in the desert. This is proven time and again to be a delusion and is, in fact, a classic example of the mindset and behavior of the dhimmi.

A non-Moslem community forced to accept dhimmitude is condemned to live in a system that will only protect it from jihad if it is subservient to the Moslem master. In return, it is guaranteed limited rights under a system of discriminations that it must accept, or face forced conversion, slavery, or death.

In the early years of the Islamic conquests, the "tribute" or jizya was paid as a yearly poll tax, which symbolized the subordination of the dhimmi. Later, the inferior status of Jews and Christians was reinforced through a series of regulations that governed the behavior of the dhimmi. Jews and Christians were awarded a different status than other faiths. They were considered to be under protection as 'people of the book.' People of non-monotheistic faiths, pagans, or atheists were simply to be exterminated.

According to Mitchell G. Bard, who has written extensively on the subject and produced the excellent rebuttal to Arab and pro-Arab propaganda in his book Myths and Facts writes: " ... dhimmis, on pain of death, were forbidden to mock or criticize the Koran, Islam or Muhammad, to proselytize among Moslems or to touch a Moslem woman (though a Moslem man could take a non-Moslem as a wife)."

Dhimmis were excluded from public office and armed service, and were forbidden to bear arms. They were not allowed to ride horses or camels, to build synagogues or churches taller than mosques, to construct houses higher than those of Muslims or to drink wine in public. They were not allowed to pray or mourn in loud voices as that might offend the Moslems.

The dhimmi had to show public deference toward Moslems, always yielding them the center of the road. The dhimmi was not allowed to give evidence in court against a Moslem, and his oath was unacceptable in an Islamic court. To defend himself, the dhimmi would have to purchase Moslem witnesses at great expense. This left the dhimmi with little legal recourse when harmed by a Moslem.

Dhimmis were also forced to wear distinctive clothing. In the ninth century, for example, Baghdad's Caliph al-Mutawakkil designated a yellow badge for Jews, setting a precedent that would be followed centuries later by Nazi Germany.

By the twentieth century, the status of the dhimmi in Moslem lands had not significantly improved. H.E.W. Young, British Vice-Consul in Mosul, wrote in 1909:

"The attitude of the Muslims toward the Christians and the Jews is that of a master towards slaves, whom he treats with a certain lordly tolerance so long as they keep their place. Any sign of pretension to equality is promptly repressed."

The concept of jihad is not something now discarded by Islam as a quaint belief appropriate to the distant past. On the contrary, it is a cardinal belief in the 21st century for Moslems based upon Koranic injunctions. It is believed in by millions of Moslems around the Third world, as much as by Moslems living in America, Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It is a belief, passionately held, that one day the entire world will become Islamic and accept completely the will of Allah.

It is vital, therefore, that the general public in every non-Moslem country be made aware that Moslems consider themselves in a perpetual state of war with their non-Moslem neighbors. If Islamic armies are unable to defeat what they consider the infidels (that means you and me), then a period of "truce" exists, which has several conditions. These include allowing Islam to be propagated, the building of numerous mosques, and if a non-Moslem nation forbids it or rejects mass proselytizing to Islam, then that nation will be considered as subject to holy jihad.

Sheikh Zayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaida's second in command, recently invited America to embrace Islam. The invitation is always given, according to some experts, prior to a major assault upon the infidel nation, because any rejection is considered by Moslems as an empirical reason to wage war upon the non-Moslem state in this case the United States of America.

It is nearly impossible for sophisticated and secularized Western elites to understand or accept such medieval concepts, let alone the idea that a religious war is being waged against them. But their dismissal and amused disregard of what is taking place is as calamitous as that exemplified by the myopic politicians in Britain and America before the Second World War.

The lone voice in the wilderness at that time, Winston Churchill, appealed in vain to the political leaders who had not the ears to hear or the eyes to see the growing fascist menace during the 1930s posed by Germany and Italy. He called one such British politician an epileptic corpse, and reached back through his prodigious memory to find a poem, which characterized the failure of the Baldwin government in 1935 to re-arm. The apt poem was "The Clattering Train," which could equally be applied to the later appeasement of Hitler by Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax and today's appeasement of Islam.

Those in charge of the clattering train, the axles creak and the couplings strain.

The pace is hot and the points are near and sleep has deadened the driver's air.

The signals flash in the night in vain, for death is in charge of the clattering train.

Western notions of peaceful co-existence between states, of human rights and democracy, are all alien to the bin-Ladens and Zawahiris of the Islamic world. Hezbollah, Iran's fanatical president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hamas, Al Qaida, ad nauseum, all reject Judeo-Christian civilization as being in theological error. For them, the entire human race must embrace Allah's pre-eminence, and the Moslem believer is the divine instrument to bring about the "Umma" (worldwide Moslem community) in whatever way possible, including warfare and terror.

Jihad
has reappeared as a way of wiping out the humiliation the Arab and Moslem world has felt as Western power became ascendant, especially after the defeat of the Ottoman Turkish Empire at the end of the First World War.

With a fabulous and never ending flow of petrodollars pouring into Arab and Moslem coffers, the belief among Moslems is that the time is now right for Islam to reassert itself in dominating the world and bringing it to Allah through all-out war, including nuclear war, if necessary.

The corollary to jihad is dhimmitude. This is what appeasement by non-Moslems to Islamist threats, demands, and terror leads to. Winston Churchill would have been shocked but not surprised at the craven appeasement displayed by today's elitists in the Western political echelons and, sadly, among too many U.S. politicians and leaders.

Today, America is seduced by the unholy trinity of political correctness, multiculturalism, and diversity. These idiocies hobble the minds of too many officials and politicians so that they are incapable or unwilling to prevent the pernicious introduction into America of stealth Islamic Sharia law or win effectively on the battlefield against jihadists in the Middle East, Afghanistan, or wherever this terrifying struggle may take us.

It is in marked contrast to the manner in which an earlier existential Islamic threat to Europe hundreds of years ago was defeated decisively at Tours, Sicily, Iberia (Spain and Portugal), Lepanto, and Vienna.

But without a similarly decisive defeat of present day Islamist aggression and Islamo-fascism, we may all be faced, sooner than we might think, with the choice of forced conversion to Islam or subservience and wretchedness as dhimmis.

Better, therefore, for us all to be aware of the facts and not be dummies.

© Victor Sharpe

 

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Victor Sharpe

Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer with many published articles and essays in leading national and international conservative websites and magazines... (more)

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