Dhimmitude: History: Dhimmitude

Dhimmitude in History

Dhimmitude can only be understood in the context of jihad, because it originates from this ideology. Infidels who submit without fighting to the Islamic armies, are granted a pledge of security. They are protected from the jihad laws against infidels which command killing, slavery, ransom or deportation for the enemies. Peace and security for non-Muslims are recognised only after their submission. Protection status is provided through the Islamization of conquered lands.

Rules of dhimmitude

The vanquished non-Muslims peoples are granted security for their life and possessions, as well as a relative self-autonomous administration and limited religious rights according to the modalities of the conquest. These rights are subject to two conditions: the payment of a poll tax (the jizya) and submission to the provisions of Islamic law.

The concept of toleration is linked to a number of discriminatory obligations in the economic, religious and social fields, imposed by the shari'a on the dhimmis. The transgression by the dhimmis of some of these obligations, abolished their protection, and threaten them with death or slavery. Dhimmis suffered many legal disabilities intended to reduce them to a condition of humiliation, segregation and discrimination. These rules, established from the eight to nine centuries by the founders of the four schools of Islamic law, set the pattern of the Muslim's community's social behavior toward dhimmis.

Jews and Christians are referred to as the People of the Book, they share the same legal status, while other religious group - like the Zoroastrians for instance - were more despised and treated harsher.

Dhimmitude covers more than a millennium of Christian and Jewish history, as well as of other groups. It is a comprehensive civilization encompassing customs, legislation, social behavior. Numerous laws were enacted over the centuries by the Muslim authorities, to implement its principles. It was abolished during the 19th -20th centuries under European pressure and colonization of Arab countries.

Today the resurgence of traditional Islam revitalizes the spirit of jihad against the dar al-harb and of dhimmitude for the non-Muslim minorities.

  • Islam and the Jews: The Status of Jews and Christians in Muslim Lands, 1772 CE. From Jewish History Sourcebook. The rules of dhimmitude obligatory under Islamic law, for Jews and Christians (dhimmis) living in Islamized lands, as explained by an Egyptian judge in 1772.

  • The Jizyah Tax: Equality And Dignity Under Islamic Law?. Article by Walter Short. An examination of Islamic law regarding Jews and Christians based primarily on the Qur'an and the Sunnah. Since the Muslims in the West and the Muslim world uphold the principle of an Islamic State with Shari'ah Law as the ideal society, the author examines the place of non-Muslims, if the Caliphate was ever restored and applied in the West.

  • Islam and Dhimmis: Rejoinder. Article (1987) by Bat Ye'or in response to an article (1986) by Prof. Mark Cohen (Princeton University) in The Jerusalem Quarterly

  • Aspects of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Article (1979) by Bat Ye'or, Wiener Library Bulletin (Institute of Contemporary History, London)

  • Oriental Jewry and the Dhimmi image in contemporary Arab nationalism (1979). Lecture by Bat Ye'or at Jews College, London (Sept. 5, 1978) organised by The Jews in Arab Lands Committee. Chairman of the seminar: The Rt. Hon. Sir Harold Wilson

  • Dhimmi Peoples: Oppressed Nations (1978). Four articles by Bat Ye'or written for journals in Bruxelles before President Anwar Sadat's Nov. 1977 visit to Jerusalem. Trans. from French (1977). Published by Editions de l'Avenir (Geneva) for the Centre d'Information et de Documentation sur le Moyen-Orient (Geneva)

  • Zionism in Islamic Lands: The Case of Egypt. Article (1977) by Bat Ye'or, Wiener Library Bulletin (Institute of Contemporary History, London)

  • Protected Peoples under Islam (1976). Article by David G. Littman and Bat Ye'or, Centre d'Information et de Documentation sur le Moyen-Orient (Geneva). Quotations from a number of sources, and documents on North African Jewry in the 19th century

  • Islam and Dhimmitude. Where Civilizations Collide (Introduction), by Bat Ye'or. From the book published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press/Associated University Presses (2002)

  • Jews under Muslim Rule in the late Nineteenth Century. A Wiener library Bulletin article (1975) by David G. Littman, providing some original source documents from the archives of the Alliance Israélite Universelle (Paris), translated from the French. They illustrate the harsh reality of dhimmitude under Muslim rule for the Jews in Tunisia, Libya and Morocco from 1864-1911.

  • Jews under Muslim Rule--II: Morocco 1903-1912. A Wiener Library Bulletin article (1976) by David G. Littman, with AIU source documents before French colonization. They vividly illustrate the humiliation, misery and exposure to physical violence which was still the lot of the Moroccan Jewish dhimmis 100 years ago. (Dedicated to Professor H.Z. Hirschberg, d. 1976).

  • Jews under Muslim Rule: The Case of Persia. A Wiener Library Bulletin article (1979) by David G. Littman providing an overview of the Persian Jewish condition from antiquity. AIU source documents from 1873-1910 show how the individual and communal degradation and oppression of the dhimmi Jews were more pronounced where the shi'a doctrine ruled in Persia, before the Pahlavis (1925-1979), and also in the Yemen.

  • Mission to Morocco (1863-1864). Chapter 3 (pp. 171-229) by David G. Littman, in The Century of Moses Montefiore (ed. by Sonia and V.D. Lipman, published for the Littman Library of Jewish Civilzation in Association with the Jewish Historical Society of England by Oxford University Press, 1985). A detailed description of Sir Moses Montefiore's visit to Morocco, illustrating the daily condition of dhimmitude in Morocco. It provides an overview of the situation of Moroccan Jewry in previous centuries, and later, down to the French occupation in 1912.

  • Myths and Politics: Origin of the Myth of a Tolerant Pluralistic Islamic Society. Lecture by Bat Ye'or (August 31, 1995) at a Symposium on the Balkan War (Chicago, Illinois) under the auspices of the Lord Byron Foundation For Balkan Studies and The International Strategic Studies Association.

  • The Persecution of Christians Under Islam: An Historic Overview, by Virginia Tschanz, The Lion, July 2000, P4

  • The Decline of Eastern Christian Communities in the Modern Middle East, by Bat Ye'or. Lecture of November 11, 1996 at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Middle Eastern Unit and The Faculty of Humanities. Chair: Dr. David Satran (Department of Comparative Religion)

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