The Dhimmi: An Overview
Definition: The status of People of the Book (Jews and Christians) under Islamic rule.
Pakistan: anti-Christian legislation
Dhimmi: A brief overview 7th-21st century. The notion of Dhimmitude, originating in the 7th century, still applies today to non-Muslims under Islamic rule-whether Jews or Christians, whether in Saudi Arabia or in Sudan. Dhimmitude began in 628 CE when Mohammed and his forces conquered the Jewish oasis at Khaybar. They massacred many of the Jews and forced the rest to accept a pact ("Dhimma") which rendered them to an inferior status relative to their Muslim conquerors. Over the centuries, the ideology of Dhimmitude expanded into a formal system of religious apartheid.
Institutionalized apartheid. In Shari'a law, there are official discriminations against the Dhimmi, such as the poll-tax or jizya.
No legal rights. Jews may not testify in court against a Muslim and have no legal right to dispute or challenge anything done to them by Muslims. There is no such thing as a Muslim raping a Jewish woman; there is no such thing as a Muslim murdering a Jew (at most, it can be manslaughter). In contrast, a Jew who strikes a Muslim is killed.
Humiliation and vulnerability. Jews and Christians had to walk around with badges or veils identifying them as Jews or Christians. The yellow star that Jews had wear in Nazi Germany did not originate in Europe. It was borrowed from the Muslim world where it was part of the apartheid system of Dhimmitude.
Conditional protection. The protection of the Dhimmi is withdrawn if the Dhimmi rebels against Islamic law, gives allegiance to non-Muslim power (such as Israel), refuses to pay the poll-tax, entices a Muslim from his faith, or harms a Muslim or his property. If the protection is lifted, jihad resumes. For example, Islamists in Egypt who pillage and kill the Copts do so because they no longer pay their poll-tax and therefore are no longer protected.
Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights
I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy. Thomas Paine
Excerpts from Will Durant's The Age of Faith Pages 162-186 Pub. 1950
Religion and History
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