Monday, April 28, 2014

Bat Ye'or and Barack Obama

Michael L.

doves1Bat Ye'or and American president Barack Obama seem to be in fundamental disagreement.

In his Easter message last Sunday, April 20, the president claimed that the “common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.”

Well, that is a very nice sentiment, now isn't it?

But, is it true?

Bat Ye'or is a public scholar of Middle Eastern history and the history of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish relations in that part of the world since the 7th century.  Her books include Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (2005), Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide (2001), The Decline of Eastern Christianity: From Jihad to Dhimmitude (French: 1991, English: 1996), and The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam (French: 1980, English: 1985).

Esteemed British historian, Martin Gilbert, has called her "the acknowledged expert on the plight of Jews and Christians in Muslim lands."  (Sir Martin Gilbert, A History of the Twentieth Century, Volume III: 1952–1999, p. 127.)

Describing the difference between the Lands of Islam (Dar al-Islam) and the Lands of War (Dar al-Harb) within classical Islamic doctrine, she tells us the following:
The inhabitants of the lands of war are people to be fought because they oppose the introduction of Islamic law to their country. These infidels have no rights, their person and their posessions are licit – to employ the usual formula – for any Muslim whomsoever he may be. This explains the murders and assassinations of civilians on the roads when occasion presents itself. Their very existence is considered illegal. The infidels from a land of temporary truce are in a state of a respite between two wars.

The dhimmis are former harbis who have moved from one category - the domain of war (the dar al-harb) - into the category of being a ‘protected’ people (within the dar al-Islam). They have brought the jihad which threatened them to an end thanks to the magic formula: ‘land in return for the peace and security of dhimmitude’. They have ceded their land in exchange for protection. Islamic law defines their rights which it protects under certain specific conditions (by the dhimma). This means that the non-Muslim has no rights beyond those specified and protected by Islamic law. This law is the source of non-Muslim rights. Today, in all the societies mobilized by jihad, this is the interpretation which prevails – and even in Egypt.
This is, of course, not to suggest that all Muslims everywhere wish to hold non-Muslims in a state of persecution and submission.  It is, however, to acknowledge that the submission of non-Muslims is essential to basic Islamic doctrine, as it is found in the Koran and the Hadiths.  Furthermore, the contemporary Arab-Muslim world within the Middle East is replete with examples of mobs burning down Christian churches, kidnapping Christian women for the purposes of forced conversion, or gang-raping women in Tahrir Square to the cries of "Alahu Akbar!"

I am sorry, but there is little in Islam to suggest that the love of one's neighbor is a central Islamic doctrine.

The purpose of saying so is not to maliciously denigrate Islam.  The purpose of saying so is to acknowledge the obvious.  It is to face reality.

In any case, no one is going to convince people who have heard the imams and the ayatollahs screaming for the blood of the Jews and the infidels that Islam is a religion of peace devoted to loving one's neighbors as oneself.

That is Christian doctrine.

Whatever else anyone might say about the founder of the faith of Islam, Muhammad was no pacifist.

He was a chieftain and a warrior and a mystic, but he was no lover of peace, nor an advocate for peace.  Judaism is concerned primarily with justice.  The teachings of Jesus are primarily concerned with peace.  The teachings of Muhammad are concerned primarily with submission, which is the very meaning of the word Islam.

Barack Obama knows this.


  1. Again, while it's not everyone's cup of tea, Andrew Bostom's "Sharia versus Freedom" is a deeply researched and cited source for the medieval and later history of Islamic enslavement and oppression of non Muslims in the Muslim world. His primary sources are contemporaneous with the events he writes about. So when discussing how for instance the Almoravids treated Jews at the time he's using sources from the Almoravid period, often from the very same Muslim bureaucrats at the time.

  2. Also I'm left scratching my head what anyone thinks the relevance of Easter IS to Hundus, Sikhs, Jews, Shinto, Buddhists, Confucians and so on. I for one care very little about Easter and don't worry at all what the message of it 'is supposed to be'. After all this is the religion that for hundreds of years held pogroms called 'Passion Plays' in celebration of their holiday.

    But with full disclosure I don't support these 'interfaith events' at all. Of any kind. In the words of Hank Hill

    You're not making Christianity better you're just making rock and roll worse.

  3. Y'know, Trudy, it wasn't all that long ago that I was sitting in the office of a well respected professor of Jewish and Middle Eastern studies who admonished me that my pronouncements concerning Islam were overblown.

    I would like to have another conversation with that particular instructor because in my opinion he is down-playing the role of dhimmitude in the lives of Jews throughout the Middle East between the 7th and 20th centuries.

    My guess is that the reason he does so is because he is involved with community outreach work and therefore wants to smooth things over as much as reasonably possible.

    I have no such considerations.