Archive for the ‘dhimmitude’ Category

Taqqiyah in Practice

May 11, 2011

Constantinople was attacked, and under the energetic and ruthless Sultan Mehmet II, the Ottomans began the siege of the Byzantine capital in April 1453 – this despite the fact that at his accession to the Sultanate in 1451, he had sworn on the Qur’an to the Byzantine embassy that he would respect the latter’s territorial integrity. tObviously, an oath to an infidel meant nothing. There is no way that the siege of Constantinople could be classified as ‘defensive’ jihad: rather, it was an unprovoked act of aggression. Hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, the city fell on Monday 28 May 1453. It should be noted that on 6 April Mehmet II had sent Emperor Constantine XI a message, the terms of which the latter declined, ‘declaring that, as Islamic law prescribed, every citizen would be spared if the city would surrender without resistance.’ The implication was clear: if the city resisted, the lives of its residents would be forfeit.

Smith, Michael Llewellyn, The Fall of Constantinople, in History Makers magazine No. 5, (London, Marshall Cavendish, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1969), p. 190, quoted, The Massacres of the Khilafah, Walter Short

Islam, Slavery and Dhimmitude

May 8, 2011

When Amr conquered Tripoli (Libya) in 643, he forced the Jewish and Christian Berbers to give their wives and children as slaves to the Arab army as part of their jizya. From 652 until its conquest in 1276, Nubia was forced to send an annual contingent of slaves to Cairo. Treaties concluded with the towns of Transoxiana, Sijistan, Armenia, and Fezzan (Maghreb) under the Umayyads and Abbasids stipulated the annual dispatch of slaves from both sexes…Musa b. Nusayr brought back thirty thousand prisoners from his expeditions to Spain (714)

(Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam – From Jihad to Dhimmitude, pp. 108-109.) quoted Samuel Green

Maimonides on Islamic treatment of the Jews

January 13, 2011

There is a claim that the Jews were much better treated under Islam than under their Christian counterparts. Whilst the ‘Christians’ are far from a model of toleration, the current clamour in certain quarters of Western academia (and obviously by Muslim propagandists) to paint dhimmitude as some benevolent, protective apparatus for religious minorities, must be treated with great scepticism.

Maimonides (1135-1204), wrote to the Jews of Yemen, who were then experiencing severe persecution at the hands of their Muslim rulers. In it, Maimonides describes his assessment of the treatment of the Jews at the hands of Muslims:

… on account of our sins God has cast us into the midst of this people, the nation of Ishmael [that is, Muslims], who persecute us severely, and who devise ways to harm us and to debase us…. No nation has ever done more harm to Israel. None has matched it in debasing and humiliating us. None has been able to reduce us as they have…. We have borne their imposed degradation, their lies, their absurdities, which are beyond human power to bear…. We have done as our sages of blessed memory have instructed us, bearing the lies and absurdities of Ishmael…. In spite of all this, we are not spared from the ferocity of their wickedness and their outbursts at any time. On the contrary, the more we suffer and choose to conciliate them, the more they choose to act belligerently toward us.

Maimonides, “Epistle to the Jews of Yemen”, translated in Stillman, Norman. The Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America. (1979), pp. 241–242 See also Martin Gilbert’s In Ishmael’s House

Conversion to Islam, payment of the poll tax, or death

September 15, 2009

Under the ‘Code/Ordinance/Pact’ of Umar Jews and Christians lived as dhimmis paying a poll-tax (jizya) to the Muslim state as an expression of their submission. (Many documents say they should experience some kind of humiliation while making the payment – e.g. by being struck on the neck). They were not allowed to build new churches or synagogues or repair those in areas occupied by Muslims. They were not allowed to display the cross outside churches or to hold public religious processions outside. Their clothes should be different from the clothes worn by Muslims. Often they had to wear a badge to mark them out from Muslims, and sometimes they were required to shave their heads. They were forbidden to ride on horses, and had to ride on mules or donkeys. They were required to show respect to Muslims-for instance, by giving up their seats to them.

It is (for them to choose between) conversion to Islam, payment of the poll tax, or death. Ibn Khaldun (1333-1406), Arab historian.

Colin Chapman, Cross and Crescent: Responding to the Challenge of Islam (Leicester, IVP, 1995), pp. 284-5, 287.