By VICTOR SHARPE—
Ask people in the United States what a dhimmi is and perhaps a handful might know. In Europe, and as far as India and the far east, the number would be higher because of latent memories of battles fought against invading Moslem armies across the span of centuries.
For a while there was the specter of triumphant Islam building a giant mosque mere yards from Ground Zero in New York City where Islamic fanatics, in the name of Allah, destroyed the World Trade Center and brought the two magnificent towers down in a cascade of horror.
The mosque would have risen to thirteen or more stories and overlooked the blasted hole in the ground that was once a symbol of America’s freedom and technical ingenuity.
If this outrage had been built, it would not have been a symbol of Muslim outreach to non-Moslems; it would have been a sickening insult to the victims of Islamic barbarism and a tangible rallying cry to millions more jihadists who would see it as Islam’s victory over a vanquished United States of America.
This would have been the 21st century revenge of resurgent Islam over those who centuries ago beat back the many previous Islamic invasions and attempted Muslim conquests of non-Muslim lands.
In 732, Charles Martel led his Frankish forces at Tours to victory against an Islamic invasion of France, which nearly destroyed Christian Europe. Similarly, Islam was ousted from Spain in 1492 after an occupation of the Iberian Peninsula by the Moslems for hundreds of years.
In Italy, Islamic power was brought to an end when the heavy Turkish galleys were defeated by Venetian galleasses at the great naval battle of Lepanto in 1571. And the Moslem Ottoman power, which at its height again threatened Europe, was barely turned back at the gates of Vienna on 11 September 1683 by a coalition of European armies. A previous 9/11.
These were four major defeats by Europe of Islamic attempts of conquest and subjugation set against a history of victorious Moslem invasions and conquests that has been the hallmark of Islam since its founding in the seventh century.
But what of the peoples and nations that fell under Islamic occupation? For them the story was one of forced conversions to Islam, slavery, death, and the Islamic institution of dhimmitude.
This is the word that describes the parlous state of those who refused to convert to Islam and became the subjugated non-Muslims who were forced to accept a restrictive and humiliating subordination to a superior Islamic power and live as second-class citizens in order to avoid death.
These peoples and populations were known as dhimmis, and if such a status was not humiliating enough, a special tax or tribute, called the jizya, was imposed upon them and upon all dhimmis.
Dhimmitude and Shariah law are the direct outcomes of jihad, which is the conquest of non-Islamic territory mandated by Allah as a spiritual obligation for every individual Moslem and Moslem nation.
From its beginnings in the seventh century, Islam spread through violent conquest of non-Moslem lands. In the eighth century, a formal set of rules to govern relationships between Moslems and non-Moslems was created based upon Moslem conquests of non-Moslem peoples. These rules were based upon jihad, which established how the Moslems would treat the conquered non-Moslems in terms of their submission to Islam.
Jihad can be pursued through force or other means such as propaganda, writing, or subversion through Shariah law against the perceived enemy. The so-called enemies are those who oppose the establishment of Islamic law or its spread, mission, or sovereignty over them and their land. The building of mosques on or near the site of an Islamic victory against non-Moslems is a tangible expression of Islamic triumphalism.
The Al-Aksa mosque in Jerusalem – built upon the very site of the two ancient Jewish Temples – is a stark example. The great Haggai Sophia church in Constantinople was converted into a mosque when the Ottoman Turks destroyed the city, renaming it Istanbul. It is now a museum.
Similarly, the Greek Catholic cathedral in Nicosia, Cyprus, was converted into a mosque after the Turks invaded northern Cyprus in 1974. They still remain in illegal occupation having driven out the Greek Cypriots and turned churches into mosques. And Obama is the close friend of Turkey’s Islamist leader, Tayip Recip Erdogan.
These are just three examples of the thousands of churches, synagogues, as well as Hindu, Buddhist and Bahai temples, converted into mosques over the centuries by victorious and triumphal Islam.
Propaganda and subversion are the very means now being employed against the West and Judeo-Christian civilization, and Islamists have shown themselves to be brilliantly adept at manipulating the gullible West in pursuit of their aims of world domination.
As I have written in previous articles, non-Islamic lands are considered the dar al-harb, the “house of war,” until they submit to Islamic rule and enter the dar al-Islam, the “house of Islam.”
Moslem authorities perceive enemies of Islam fall into three categories: those who resist Islam with force, those living in a country that has a temporary truce with Islam, and those who have surrendered to Islam through the ultimate foolishness of exchanging land for a so-called peace.
The belief that Moslem Arab powers respond to overtures of peace by ending their aggression is but a mirage in the desert. This is proven time and again to be a delusion and is, in fact, a classic example of the mindset and behavior of the dhimmi.
A non-Moslem community forced to accept dhimmitude is condemned to live in a system that will only protect it from jihad if it is subservient to the Moslem master. In return, it is guaranteed limited rights under a system of discriminations that it must accept, or face forced conversion or death.
In the early years of the Islamic conquests, the “tribute” or jizya was paid as a yearly poll tax, which symbolized the subordination of the dhimmi. Later, the inferior status of Jews and Christians was reinforced through a series of oppressive regulations that governed the behavior of the dhimmi.
Jews and Christians were awarded a different status than other faiths. They were considered to be under protection as ‘people of the book.’ People of non-monotheistic faiths, pagans, or atheists were simply to be exterminated.
According to Mitchell G. Bard, who has written extensively on the subject and produced the excellent rebuttal to Arab and pro-Arab propaganda in his book Myths and Facts writes: ” … dhimmis, on pain of death, were forbidden to mock or criticize the Koran, Islam or Muhammad, to proselytize among Moslems or to touch a Moslem woman (though a Moslem man could take a non-Moslem as a wife).”
Dhimmis were excluded from public office and armed service, and were forbidden to bear arms. They were not allowed to ride horses or camels, to build synagogues or churches taller than mosques, to construct houses higher than those of Muslims or to drink wine in public. They were not allowed to pray or mourn in loud voices as that might offend the Moslems.
The dhimmi had to show public deference toward Moslems, always yielding them the center of the road. The dhimmi was not allowed to give evidence in court against a Moslem, and his oath was unacceptable in an Islamic court. To defend himself, the dhimmi would have to purchase Moslem witnesses at great expense. This left the dhimmi with little legal recourse when harmed by a Moslem.
Dhimmis were also forced to wear distinctive clothing. In the ninth century, for example, Baghdad’s Caliph al-Mutawakkil designated a yellow badge for Jews, setting an odious precedent that would be followed centuries later by Nazi Germany.
By the twentieth century, the status of the dhimmi in Moslem lands had not significantly improved. H.E.W. Young, British Vice-Consul in Mosul, wrote in 1909:
“The attitude of the Muslims toward the Christians and the Jews is that of a master towards slaves, whom he treats with a certain lordly tolerance so long as they keep their place. Any sign of pretension to equality is promptly repressed.”
The concept of jihad is not something now discarded by Islam as a quaint belief appropriate to the distant past. On the contrary, it is a cardinal belief in the 21st century for Moslems based upon Koranic injunctions.
The extermination and genocide of Christians in the Middle East – just like the Turkish genocide against the Christian Armenians in 1915 – is happening now: even as you read this.
Jihad is believed in by millions of Moslems around the Third world, as much as by Moslems living in America, Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It is a belief, passionately held, that one day the entire world will be forced to accept Islam and the will of Allah.
It is vital, therefore, that the general public in every non-Moslem country be made aware that Moslems consider themselves in a perpetual state of war, however outwardly peaceful they may sometimes appear to their non-Moslem neighbors.
If Islamic armies are unable to defeat what they consider the so-called infidels, then a period of “truce” exists, which has several conditions. These include allowing Islam to be propagated, the building of numerous mosques, and the requirement of Shariah law co-equal with civil law. If a non-Moslem nation forbids it, then that nation will be considered subject to violence through “holy” jihad.
It is nearly impossible for sophisticated and secularized Western elites to understand or accept such medieval concepts, let alone the idea that a 7th century religious war is being waged against them.
But their dismissal and amused disregard of what is taking place is as calamitous as that exemplified by myopic politicians in Britain and America before the Second World War.
The lone voice in the wilderness at that time, Winston Churchill, appealed in vain to the British political leaders who had not the ears to hear or the eyes to see the growing fascist menace during the 1930s posed by Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.
Western notions of peaceful co-existence between states, human rights and democracy, are all alien to the imams, mullahs and assorted tyrants of the Islamic world.
Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, ad nauseum, all consider Judeo-Christian civilization as being in theological error.
For them, the entire human race must embrace Allah’s pre-eminence, and the Moslem believer is the divine instrument to bring about the “Umma” (worldwide Moslem community) in whatever way possible, including warfare and nuclear terror.
Jihad has reappeared as a way of wiping out the humiliation the Arab and Moslem world has felt as Western power became ascendant, especially after the defeat of the Ottoman Turkish Caliphate at the end of the First World War.
With a fabulous and never ending flow of petrodollars pouring into Arab and Moslem coffers, the belief among Moslems is that the time is now right for Islam to reassert itself in dominating the world and bringing it to Allah through all-out war, including nuclear war, if necessary.
The corollary to jihad is dhimmitude. This is what appeasement by non-Moslems to Islamist threats, demands, and terror leads to. Winston Churchill would have been shocked but not surprised at today’s craven appeasement or even empathy towards Islam displayed by elitists in the Western political echelons – not least by Barack Hussein Obama.
Today, America is seduced by the unholy trinity of political correctness, multiculturalism, and diversity. These idiocies hobble the minds of too many officials and politicians so that they are incapable or unwilling to prevent the pernicious introduction into America of stealth Islamic Sharia law or win effectively on the battlefield against jihadists in the Middle East, Afghanistan, or wherever this terrifying struggle may take us.
It is in marked contrast to the manner in which an earlier existential Islamic threat to Europe hundreds of years ago was defeated decisively at Tours, Sicily, Iberia (Spain and Portugal), Lepanto, Vienna, Greece and in the Balkans.
But without a similarly decisive defeat of present day Islamo-Nazi aggression, we may all be faced, sooner than we might think, with the choice of forced conversion to Islam or subservience and wretchedness as dhimmis.
Better, therefore, for us all to be aware of the facts and not be dummies.
Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer and author of several books including The Blue Hour, a collection of short stories, and Volumes One, Two and Three of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.