Jihad and Dhimmitude: Victimless Islamic Institutions? - December 3, 2002 by Bat Ye'or, Andrew G. Bostom

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Extract:Excerpt from the end

Dhimmitude was abolished during the 19th and 20th centuries under European military pressure, or by direct European colonization. However we see now the return of the spirit of jihad, and its corollary institution, dhimmitude, in the wars in Sudan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Algeria, and, Israel and in global terrorism, including the 9/11 attacks directed at the United States. Non-Muslim minorities suffer from grave discrimination in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and in countries, which apply the shari’a law or whose constitutions recognize that the shari’a is the main source of the law. The principles of "protection" and "toleration" integral to the system of dhimmitude are opposed to the values expressed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which stress the equality of all human beings and the inalienability of their rights. In stark contrast, the principles of "protection" and "tolerations" embodied in dhimmitude and shari’a law, emerge from a war of conquest. Only conditional, limited rights are conceded to the vanquished, and these rights can be revoked by the dominant group.

At present, unfortunately, the simple reference to the written rules of jihad and dhimmitude- which impose killings, slavery, deportation and "protection"/subjugation -- according to specific contingencies -- can provoke a violent reaction from those in the Muslim intelligentsia.

Recently, for example, direct quotations from these Medieval laws -- considered as obligatory for infidels -- from highly respected Muslim writers, such as al-Mawardi, caused an uproar at Georgetown University, as well as slanderous accusations. There is a dire need for some courageous, meaningful movement in Islam to emerge that completely renounces the active Islamic institutions of jihad against the infidels, and dhimmitude, openly acknowledging the horrific devastation they have wrought on non-Muslims for well over a millennium, through the present. Nothing short of an Islamic Reformation and Enlightenment may be required, which completely secularizes Islam, and acknowledges non-Muslims as fully equal human beings, not "infidels", or "dhimmis".

Bat Ye'or, born in Egypt, is a researcher and writer on the condition (dhimmitude) of Jews and Christians in Islamic countries. She has contributed a singificant amount of original scholarship to this field of study. See www.dhimmitude.org.