Dhimmitude: Today: Georgetown

Georgetown University Incident

With little notice Bat Ye'or and David G. Littman were each asked by three student associations to give a 30 minute talk on October 22, 2002 at Georgetown University, on the theme: The Ideology of Jihad, Dhimmitude and Human Rights. The student associations were: Jewish Student Association, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, Georgetown Israel Alliance, The Lecture Fund.

Bat Ye'or based her address on a one hour lecture she gave at Brown University, October 10, 2002. (See under "Debate on History"). David G. Littman enlarged his former testimony to the US Congressional Human Rights Caucus on February 8, 2002.

Jihad and dhimmitude are loaded subjects. They cover the whole spectrum of Muslim relations to non-Muslims in the theological and political field, since both are united in Islam. From the 8th century, these subjects induced countless treatises, analyses, and comments in theological, legal and political publications. For a millennium they have determined Islamic rules and policy related to these specific fields: at the local level toward non-Muslim communities, and also in the international domain. In contemporary Muslim states, this legacy of the past still influences collective behavior and law.

Non-Muslims also have reacted to Muslim views and policies toward them, as they are the very target of jihad and of dhimmitude. So one finds differing views of a conflictual relationship, rather than a unilateral, monolithic, dogmatic opinion.

Since the 1960s, certain Muslim countries have restored some traditional constraints concerning the dhimmis, causing grave concern regarding universal human rights standards. As the field of human rights is an important part of international relations, it is also affected by the traditional Islamic view toward non-Muslims, and to the principles of secularism, modernization, and the universality and equality of human rights. The conflict of opinions and values related to human rights issues is particularly evident at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. David G. Littman, an experienced NGO representative at the Commission, has analysed the consequences of diverse and conflictual human rights declarations, often labeled "Cultural Relativism."

The lectures were vehemently opposed by Muslim students, more than half of the 70 to 80 present. They were requested by the moderator to ask questions rather than make long comments, but few questions were asked. Instead noisy arguments were voiced on the accuracy of the facts and the sources, although the names of the Muslim jurists were provided. A firm tone was necessary to stop the ongoing discourses of these students, in place of questions. Some Jewish and Christian students joined the protesting Muslim students to whom they apologized profusely.

The situation at Georgetown University was developing according to the classical dhimmitude pattern, but it was not in Cairo nor in Riyadh, but in Washington, DC, the capital of the United States. The history and contemporary manifestations of jihad and dhimmitude were censored in an American university by Muslim students, who imposed their monolithic version of Islamic perfection. Some non-Muslim students were remorseful for having involuntary provoked an historical account that was sacrilegious to Muslim ears. They humbly apologized then and later for an Islamic system of war and oppression against Jews and Christians. In their dhimmi terror, they even vilified the lecturers in letters later published in the university newspaper, The Hoya. They reproached the speakers for having "made offensive implications regarding Islam" and having omitted to stress "pure, harmonious Islam" - a form of devotional plea for daring to examine forbidden subjects.

Thus, a curtain was lifted at Georgetown - unveiling the conditioning to dhimmitude on an American campus - since only dhimmis could praise the jihad ideology that destroyed and still despises them.

The texts below written by Muslim students illustrate two major and important points inherent to Muslim negationism:

  1. the refusal to accept the legitimacy of the historical testimony given by the victims of the jihad/dhimmitude system, whose liberty to judge their own history is totally negated. Muslim negationism obliged them to praise a policy that aims - under the label of tolerance - their own dispossession and oppression, thereby gaining from the victims, its own moral self-justification.

  2. In her lecture, Bat Ye'or stressed that the ideology and rules of jihad constitute a specialized domain of Islamic civilization. Accusations by Muslim students that their religion has been abused by a historical account amounts to a recognition that they themselves have rooted these institutions in their religion, not the lecturer. Such a censorship aims at neutralizing the defence of those targeted by jihad, forcing them to praise a system that denies their liberty.

Georgetown University

Theme: The Ideology of Jihad, Dhimmitude and Human Rights

(Moderator: Prof. Alan Parra - Human Rights Law)


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