Sunday, December 4, 2011



In Martin Gilbert's In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands, we learn that dhimmitude was formally codified under the eighth Umayyad Caliph, Omar Abd al-Azziz, during his reign between 717 and 720 CE.

Guided by a deep and sincere piety, Abd al-Azziz laid out rules that were aimed specifically at setting the Muslim and non-Muslim communities clearly apart. He did this in a pact known as the Covenant of Omar... (pg. 31)

The root of Arab-Muslim antipathy toward the Jewish people, and thus the root of the Arab conflict with the Jews in the Middle East, is Muslim religious discrimination dating back 14 centuries to the time of the Prophet.

The terms of dhimmitude, of second and third class citizenship among Christians and Jews within Muslim society, included the following:

First and foremost among these conditions, dhimmis had to pay the jizya tax to the local ruler and accept the condition of ahl al-dhimma.

As we saw earlier, the purpose of the jizya was not merely to rob dhimmis of resources, but to humiliate them in order that they might know their lowly place within Muslim society.

Caliph al-Amir described the jizya tax as a means of discrimination and humiliation, not merely a source of income... The payment of the tax by a Muslim on behalf of a dhimmi 'will not be tolerated.' It had to 'exacted from him directly in order to vilify and humiliate him, so that Islam and its people may be exalted and the race of infidels brought low. (pg. 22)


There could be no building of new synagogues or churches. Dhimmis could not ride horses, but only donkeys; they could not employ a Muslim. Jews and Christians alike had to wear special hats, cloaks and shoes to mark them out from Muslims... A dhimmi could not - and cannot to this day - serve in a Muslim court as witness in a legal case involving a Muslim... men could enter public bathhouses only when they wore a special sign around their neck distinguishing them from Muslims... Sexual relations with a Muslim woman were forbidden, as was cursing the Prophet in public - an offense punishable by death. (pgs. 32 - 33)

The Jews spent 13 HUNDRED YEARS living under these conditions and while dhimmitude at its worst was far better than, oh, say, the Holocaust, it still represents one of the great enduring and unacknowledged crimes against humanity for which the Muslim world has never apologized nor in any way sought to make recompense.

That being the case, I would think that we can consider Israel, itself, to be compensation for centuries of Jewish humiliation, murder, and abuse under Islamic colonial imperialism, except for the fact that Israel emerged despite the best Arab efforts to prevent it.

Here, let us listen to the great Muslim poet Abu Ishaq, from the eleventh century:

Bring them down to their places and
Return them to the most abject station.
They used to roam around us in tatters
Covered with contempt, humiliation and scorn.
They used to rummage amongst the dung heaps for a bit of filthy rag
To serve as a shroud for a man to be buried in...

Do not consider that killing them is treachery.
Nay, it would be treachery to leave them scoffing. (pg. 49)

In order to understand the Arab conflict with the Jews in the Middle East it is absolutely imperative to move beyond the intensely restrictive partisan politics of the progressive-left that seeks to demonize and defame the Jewish state, and thus the Jewish people, in their de facto alliance with the Radical Jihad.

What we are seeing at this historical moment is the rise of Islamism throughout the Middle East due, in part, to the complicity of the Democratic Party and the president of the United States. Political Islam is grounded in al-Sharia and at the heart of al-Sharia is dhimmitude for non-Muslims.

Given the long history of Arab savagery toward Jews and Christians in the Middle East under Islam, any reasonable person might raise an eyebrow at the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the more general advancement of the Radical Jihad in places like Turkey, Tunisia, Sudan, Libya, and Morocco during the Obama administration.

One of the fascinating things about this political moment is in the way that the Democratic Party and the progressive movement absolutely refuse to acknowledge the obvious, which is that the wrongly named "Arab Spring" is really the Radical Jihadi Spring. This is a huge moment in world history, yet it will go almost completely unremarked upon by ideologically blinkered progressives who seem to feel a political imperative to ignore the Jihad (and, yes, I am well aware of the alternative meanings of that word) despite 9/11 and the various other acts of murder that have taken place over the last decade in its name.

All I can say is G-d bless Israel and G-d bless the United States, because there are so few other places where Jewish people can live as Jews and be accepted by the larger society. In the Arab Middle East there were, for many, many centuries, thriving Jewish communities in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Yemen, but those communities have been driven out by the Jihad.

There is nothing left and even when, very recently, a Jewish man returned to Libya after the fall of Qaddafi, he was chased out of his home country by Muslims.

And all of this, my friends, represents a verboten and suppressed context within which to view the ongoing Palestinian-Arab assault on the Jews of Israel. It is impermissible to discuss this within progressive-left venues like Daily Kos, but one cannot even begin to understand the conflict without at least some recognition of one of the most brutal crimes against humanity that the world has ever seen as both Christians and Jews suffered under the boot of Islamic imperialism for 13 centuries.

Thankfully, as I like to remind people, The Day of the Dhimmi is Done and, needless to say... Israel Thrives.


  1. I am struck by the contrast between what is purported to be the Muslim attitude for Muslims living within a community which includes non-Muslims and Jews living within a community that includes non-Jews. (I apologize for the "purported" part. I just hesitate to accept as fact what an outsider says about how another group thinks. I'm not disputing the accuracy of th author's findings. But I know nothing about his biases.)

    Since the diaspora, there has been no Jewish majority anywhere. Yet Jews have survived building their own communities, without (with minor exceptions) forcing our own lifestyles and traditions on others. We built (and continue to build) our own little shtetls. Nobody is forced to observe our religious or community traditions. Let us have our cemetaries, and shuls, and kosher butchers, and leave us the fuck alone. No humiliation for outsiders.

    Just sayin.

  2. I think that Gilbert is actually pretty balanced.

    He acknowledges that however rotten dhimmitude was, it still was better than all the pogroms and persecutions from the Christian world.

    On the other hand, however benign dhimmitude sometimes was, it was never nearly as good for Jews as the "progressive emancipation and acceptance accorded to Jews in the democratic West during the last three centuries." (pg. xxi)

  3. All this needs is the "walk in another's shoes test." If any non-Jew would feel this is the way they would like to be treated by the "99%" then more power to them. Reality says most would not.

  4. Off-topic:

    Must Watch

    Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) rips Obama administration for opposing Iran sanctions

  5. Doesn't Gilbert say that it was never as bad as Europe at its worst or as good as Europe at its best. Or was that Lewis?

  6. It was Gilbert following Lewis.

    In fact, he quotes Bernard Lewis in the introduction.

    Did you know that at one point they were actually forcing Jewish men to wear shirt sleeves that drooped to the ground in order to make them look ridiculous?

    How interesting, btw, that it was right when dhimmitude ended that the local Arabs began rioting with the encouragement of the Mufti.