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Multiculturalism and Islam
Chronicles (Rockford Institute) ^ | 2/1999 | by Srdja Trifkovic

Posted on 09/16/2001 9:16:54 PM PDT by Coyote


Multiculturalism and Islam:
Liberal Fiction and Historical Truth

by Srdja Trifkovic

"Some say there is an inevitable clash between Western civilization and Western values, and Islamic civilizations and values. I believe this view is terribly wrong. False prophets may use and abuse any religion to justify whatever political objectives they have--even cold-blooded murder. Some may have the world believe that almighty God himself, the merciful, grants a license to kill. But that is not our understanding of Islam. . . . There are over 1,200 mosques and Islamic centers in the United States, and the number is rapidly increasing. The six million Americans who worship there will tell you there is no inherent clash between Islam and America. Americans respect and honor Islam."

And so, on September 21, 1998, at the United Nations, President Clinton declared the quest by our ruling establishment for a "moderate Islam" officially over. If "six million Americans" believe in something, that in itself is taken as proof that their ideals include religious tolerance, kindness to strangers, and aversion to violence. Like the unicorn or phlogiston, however, "tolerant Islam" can be defined and visualized, but it cannot be made real. In the name of "diversity," we are required to praise alternative religions, but Islam itself cannot tolerate diversity without ceasing to be what it is.

To the ruling post-Christian elite, this notion is unbearable. Having no faith themselves (except the baby boomers' belief in their own uniqueness), they do not take Islam's faith seriously.  Smugly observing the demise of Christian belief and culture on both sides of the Atlantic, they trust the combined efforts of television, the Big Mac, and the public education system to make little Muhammad and Azra into carbon copies of Johnny and Chelsea.

It may not work. Contrary to Mr. Clinton's "understanding of Islam," this peculiar creed has been synonymous with violence and intolerance since its earliest days. Like Bolshevism and Nazism, Islam is part religion and part ideology, and it seeks to impose uniformity of thought and feeling on the faithful, and to subjugate and ultimately to destroy its non-adherents.

The beginnings of Muhammad's public career are little known to most Westerners. A non-Muslim reading the Koran, however, might conclude that Muhammad's career was marked by a long string of killings, armed robberies, and rape, interspersed by a series of inspired pronouncements of varying coherence. Outsiders--the Jews of Medinah, or Muhammad's Arabic kinsmen who were reluctant to accept his self-proclaimed divinity--could testify to his unique concepts of justice and mercy.

When, in A.D. 626, for instance, six of Muhammad's henchmen murdered an elderly Jew by the name of Abu Rafi in his sleep, they argued afterwards whose weapon had actually ended the victim's life. The prophet decided that the person who owned the sword that still had traces of food on it was entitled to the credit. Abu Rafi had just finished his dinner before falling asleep, and the fatal slash went through his stomach.

If Abu Rafi's murder was a kind of Kristallnacht, Muhammad's attack against the tribe of Banu-'I-Mustaliq, later in that same year, was a decisive step towards Endloesung. His followers slaughtered many tribesmen and looted thousands of their camels and sheep; they also kidnapped 500 of their women. The night after the battle, Muhammad and his brigands staged an orgy of rape. As one Abu Sa'id Khudri remembered, a slight problem needed to be resolved first: In order to obtain ransom from the surviving tribesmen, the Muslims had pledged not to violate their captives.

We were lusting after women and chastity had become too hard for us, but we wanted to get the ransom money for our prisoners. So we wanted to use the Azl [coitus interruptus]. . . . We asked the Prophet about it and he said: "You are not under any obligation to stop yourselves from doing it like that."

The members of the last surviving Jewish tribe in Medinah, Banu Qurayzah, were even less fortunate. Muhammad offered the men conversion to Islam as an alternative to death; upon their refusal, all 900 were decapitated in front of their enslaved women and children. The women were subsequently raped; Muhammad chose as his concubine one Raihana Bint Amr, whose father and husband were both slaughtered before her eyes only hours earlier.

This same man is explicitly upheld by all Muslims everywhere--from Los Angeles to Sarajevo, from Marseilles to Chechnya--as the paragon of godly, morally impeccable behavior, to be admired and emulated until the end of time. The prevalence of his name among Muslim men is symbolic of the covenant. His behavior, and that of his followers, was sanctioned in Muhammad's prophetic revelation, and duly recorded in his holy book:

And all married women are forbidden unto you except those captives whom your right hand possesses. It is a decree of Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that you seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. . . . [Koran 4:24]

Non-Muslims who look for mercy and compassion from these quarters will search in vain. Muhammad explicitly forbade his followers to make friends of Christians and Jews, and warned them of the sanction for disobedience: "He among you who taketh them for friends is one of them" (Koran 5:5 1). But as the marauders could derive no material benefit from corpses, the lives of the conquered could be spared if they agreed to pay a hefty tribute to the Muslims. In his own lifetime, Muhammad thus established the model for subsequent relations between Islamic conquerors and their Christian or Jewish subjects.

The option of conversion was always available, and to be on the right side of Allah--and of history, as it seemed for a long time--was not too demanding. God, the creator and sustainer of the world, rewarded all those who expressed their worship in prayer, almsgiving, and self-purification and above all in unquestioning obedience to Muhammad. That "God is great, and that there is no God but God" was easily grasped by the nomadic tribes of the desert and, later, of the steppe.

Underdeveloped culturally and socially, the nomads had few theological and logical qualms about Muhammad's claim that he was the sole spokesman for the authentic "religion of Abraham," a religion that had been corrupted by Jews and Christian alike. Since Jerusalem was, for the time being, out of reach, Muhammad audaciously attributed to Abraham the founding of the old pagan sanctuary, the Ka'bah, which housed a piece of black meteoric rock that became the Muslims' holy of holies. Later, non-Arab converts would translate "the crude and casual assertions of the Prophet" into a coherent teaching.

Between Muhammad's death in A.D. 626 and the second siege of Vienna, just over a thousand years later, Islam expanded--at first rapidly, then intermittently--at the expense of everything and everyone in the way of its warriors. But Islamic models of culture and society represented by the horsemen who swept across three continents in the decades after Muhammad's death were unable to induce the heirs of Christian Middle Eastern, and Indian civilizations to attune their values and ways of life to the true faith.

There have been times when some Muslim lands were fit for a civilized man to live in. Baghdad under Harun ar-Rashid in the eighth and early ninth centuries or Cordova under Abd ar-Rahman in the tenth come to mind, but these brief periods of civilization were based on the readiness to borrow from earlier cultures, to compile, translate, learn, and absorb--a bit like America before the closing of its mind. These cultural awakenings happened in spite of the spirit of Islam, which--unable to engender interesting ideas of its own--rejected others as a threat.

In subsequent centuries, cross-fertilization of elements from diverse regions and traditions became increasingly difficult: Islam was accepted or rejected in its entirety, regardless of local custom or tradition. An unprecedented rigidity was introduced into the relations between civilizations, reflecting the fundamental tenet of Islam--accurately restated a decade ago by Bosnia's president, Alija Izetbegovic, in his Islamic Declaration--that "there can be no peace between Islam and other forms of social and political organization."

Unleashed as the militant faith of a barbarian war-band, Islam turned its boundary with the outside world into a perpetual war zone. For a long time, the outcome of the onslaught was in doubt. The early attack on Christendom reached as far west as Tours, and almost enabled the Koran--in Gibbon's memorable phrase--to be "taught in the schools of Oxford" to a circumcised people. The last attempt in pre-modern times, going through the Balkans, took the sultan's Janissaries more than half-way from Constantinople to Dover. On both occasions, the tide was checked, but its subsequent rolling back took decades, even centuries.

For the millions of Christians and Jews engulfed by the deluge, those were centuries of quiet desperation interrupted by the regular pangs of agony. The materially and culturally rich Christian civilization of Byzantium and its budding Slavic offspring in Serbia and Bulgaria were reduced to dhimmis, "people of the Book," whose advantage over pagans was that their life and earthly goods were ostensibly safe for as long as they submitted to Islamic rule. That rule rested on the two pillars of Islamic ideology and political practice--jihad and Shari'a--that provided the quasi-legal framework for institutionalized oppression of the infidels.

The story of the non-Muslims' experiences under Islamic rule is as politically incorrect to tell, and therefore as little known in today's America, as the remarkable life of Muhammad himself. At first, the choice of the vanquished seemed to be not "Islam or death" but "Islam or super-tax," but over time Shari'a ensured the decline of Eastern Christianity, the sapping of the captives' vitality and capacity for renewal. The practice of devshirme, the annual "blood levy" of Christian boys to be trained as Janissaries, and the spiking of infidels were among its more obvious consequences.

If any single factor made the Balkans what they are today -to take' a newsworthy example--it was the ordeal of five centuries of Muhammadan misrule. Modern attempts by some apologists for Islam in the West-notably, one Noel Malcolm--to present the sordid casino of Ottoman overlordship in southeast Europe as "tolerant," or even enlightened, are as intellectually dishonest as they are factually insupportable. Bat Ye'or's The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam gives the lie to that. To understand Islam's record with its non-adherents, one should compare it not to Judaism nor Christianity, but rather match it against modern totalitarian ideologies, notably Bolshevism and National Socialism. Each explicitly denied the legitimacy of any form of social, political, or cultural organization other than itself Stalin's forma mentis was different from that of Khomeini only in quantity, not in quality. The latter's statement that the Muslims have no choice but to wage "holy war against profane governments" until the conquest of the world has been accomplished was Khrushchev's "We shall bury you" wrapped in green instead of red. "Peaceful coexistence" was but jihad under another name. Islam, communism, and Nazism sought an eschatological shortcut that would enable the initiated to bypass the predicament of a seemingly aimless existence, while explicitly replacing Christian grace with the gnostic mantras of "surrender" ("Islam"), "dialectical materialism," "Volksgemeinschaft."

Nazism was the least coherent of the three; but it was among the Nazis (most notably with the architect of the holocaust, Heinrich Himmler) that Islam found its most willing promoters and collaborators in the pre-multicultural Europe. Himmler's hatred of "soft" Christianity was equal to his liking for Islam, which he saw as a masculine, martial religion based on the SS qualities of blind obedience and readiness for self-sacrifice, untainted by compassion for one's enemies. (While Hitler did not think much of Himmler's neo-pagan mysticism, he was happy to let Islam become the "SS religion.") By creating an SS division composed of Bosnian Muslims, Himmler sought to enhance the links between Nazi Germany and the Islamic world. One of his closest aides, Obergruppenfuhrer Gottlob Berger, stated that

a link is created between Islam and National-Socialism on an open, honest basis. It will be directed in terms of blood and race from the North, and in the ideological spiritual sphere from the East.

In his drive to recruit Muslims, Himmler enlisted the support of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, El Husseini, who went to the Nazi puppet state of Croatia in 1943 to encourage his Bosnian Muslim flock to fight for the Reich. More than 20,000 enlisted in the 13th SS Division, Hanjar (the Turkish curved sword). The number of Bosnian Muslim volunteers in Himmler's units reached 46,000 by September 1943. This exceeded the number of Bosnian Muslims serving with Tito's Partisans and Croatian Ustasas together.

Half a century later, post-Christian "liberal democracy" expects to neuter Islam by reducing it to yet another humanistic project in self-celebration. Foreign policy strategists in Washington pander to its geopolitical designs, throwing smaller Christian nations--Serbs and Greek Cypriots today, Bulgars and Greeks tomorrow--to the wolves, hoping to balance the books for half a century of America's "passionate attachment" in the Middle East. They do not seem to realize that such morsels will only whet the Islamic appetite, paving the way to a major confrontation in the next century.

One way to avoid this is to open the gates and give up, and Islam's proselytizers in the West are learning how to play the game. They act as if Islam were just another competitor in the marketplace of the secular political system, without giving up their ultimate claims and objectives. Islam enters the new millennium with a strong hand. For starters, it is "non-white," non-European, and non-Christian, which makes it a natural ally of the ruling Western elites. At the same time, it has an inherent advantage over Clinton, Blair, Schroder, and Chirac, who are unable to generate an emotional response among the hoi polloi for their tepid ideology of multicultural mediocrity. It also has an advantage over most established Christian denominations, since the latter are no longer even "the Tory Party at Prayer" but--at best--"the Social Workers at Therapy." Richly endowed with petro-dollars, Islam's public relations front will use the symbols and vocabulary of the Dominant Tendency, and wait for its implosion.

Islam should not be blamed for being what it is, nor should its adherents be condemned for maintaining their traditions: Luther would say that they kann nicht anders. We should not hate it, nor ban it. We should, however, blame ourselves for refusing to acknowledge the facts of the case, and failing to take stock of our options. Those who have lost their own faith have little right to point a finger at those who uphold theirs.

In the present state of Western weakness, this process may well lead further millions to the conclusion that we should all become Muslims, since our goose is cooked anyway, spiritually and demographically. Those of us who do not cherish that prospect should at least demand that our rulers present that option fairly and squarely. To pretend--as Mr. Clinton does--that Islam is rather like Episcopalianism is plainly stupid or deeply dishonest. In view of the source, it is probably both.

Srdja Trifkovic is Chronicles' foreign affairs editor.

Copyright 2001,
928 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61103
(815) 964-5053

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
And yet more brain food.

1 posted on 09/16/2001 9:16:54 PM PDT by Coyote
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To: Coyote
We have a responsibility to learn as much about our enemy as we can. Only then will we understand what motivates him and what his weaknesses are.
2 posted on 09/16/2001 9:27:41 PM PDT by AlaskaErik
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To: Coyote
"Nazism was the least coherent of the three; but it was among the Nazis (most notably with the architect of the holocaust, Heinrich Himmler) that Islam found its most willing promoters and collaborators in the pre-multicultural Europe."

Nuff said.

3 posted on 09/16/2001 9:31:12 PM PDT by DTA
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To: Coyote
Right on almost all points. We must drastically cut back on non-Western immigration. The claim that we benefit economically from it is false, yet the downside socailly and culturally is huge.
4 posted on 09/16/2001 10:13:09 PM PDT by uscit
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To: uscit
Oh, but that makes you a RACIST! Nothing is worse than a RACIST! Not treason, or murder, or rape or arson or terrorism. The worst crime of all is RACISM! Havn't you asked your local preacher or government official? Now get back and toe that line, or else you are a very, very bad person!
5 posted on 09/16/2001 10:19:05 PM PDT by Billy_bob_bob
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To: Billy_bob_bob
I should probably add a < /sarcasm > tag after that last message.
6 posted on 09/16/2001 10:20:02 PM PDT by Billy_bob_bob
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To: Coyote
No kidding... The pressing concern on the international scence was racism, not terrorism. No wonder why U.S. and Israel decided to take a hike from the little UN Summit on Racism.

I haven't committed any crimes against Muslims in this country. But quite frankly, I'm a little tired of this Unity through Diversity, We Shall Overcome garbage thrown on top of us by the liberals and pluralist multiculturalists.

The Islamic World doesn't embrace multiculturalism in their homelands. They have a culture of solidarity. Indeed, there countries are among the most repressive in the world when it comes to religious, political and economic freedom.
7 posted on 09/17/2001 12:31:19 AM PDT by paleolibertarian
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To: AlaskaErik,coyote,pocat,lent,jimkress,stingray,2sheep,patent,nunya bidness

8 posted on 09/17/2001 12:35:50 AM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: KO5A
Do you think the enviros will dig that crazy all green map?
9 posted on 09/17/2001 12:44:22 AM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: uscit
We must drastically cut back on non-Western immigration.

At least we must totally eliminate Middle Eastern immigration. I'm sure there are some good Muslims, but if you notice, everywhere in the world there are problems they are behind it. The fight in the Middle East amongst themselves and are hell-bent on wiping out Israel. They go to Africa and there's nothing but wars, all the problems in India and Pakistan are caused my Muslims, they come here and look what they do. The Spaniards also had many years of problems with the Muslims. They are not over-all a good people but some individuals might be okay.

10 posted on 09/17/2001 12:59:16 AM PDT by FITZ
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To: Travis McGee
I find it ironic that many of the "jihadist appeasers" on this site are themselves atheists. Many of them have ranted for years on the evolution threads here that teaching creationism will lead to a Christian theocracy in this country. But I wonder how they would do under Islam's boot?

Who would have thought that many of our own would betray themselves as multicultural traitors and anti-Christian bigots, calling us "racists" when the real enemy is hijacking planes and flying them into buildings?

11 posted on 09/17/2001 1:01:07 AM PDT by Stingray
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To: Travis McGee
Looks like they couldn't wait 100 years to take over the US. That must be what they intended Tuesday when they tried to kill Bush and our Congress, destroy our financial center and transportation hubs. Take-over might not have been all that hard because they have cells of Muslims in every big city.
12 posted on 09/17/2001 1:01:19 AM PDT by FITZ
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No we know why the Serbs should have won, and why Clinton should have stayed out of the Balkans.

Talk about advancing the cause of "One-World Islam!"

13 posted on 09/17/2001 1:03:11 AM PDT by Stingray
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To: Stingray
I find it ironic that many of the "jihadist appeasers" on this site are themselves atheists.

Most of them have convinced themselves it was only 19 men who got together recently and decided to try to takeover the US. They are too naive or deep down too scared to realize that this was a major undertaking and it took years to prepare and plan and that many many more than 19 were involved. They just sleep good at night now believing the threat is all over because all 19 died Tuesday. They don't realize this was a planned take-over, they want to think it was a little message sent by Osama and now all we have to do is make him happy and all is fine.

14 posted on 09/17/2001 1:04:43 AM PDT by FITZ
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To: Stingray
Yes, I think very much of this is the result of Clinton. They also knew how weak he made us, they attacked before Bush could rebuild the military. This was all planned sometime back, probably right after Saddam and the Iraqis were celebrating in the streets when Clinton won that first election. I think they got right down to planning the next day.
15 posted on 09/17/2001 1:06:35 AM PDT by FITZ
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To: Billy_bob_bob
How many times in the last ten years did you hear the bleeding-heart social engineers accuse FELLOW Americans of perpetuating hate, racism, homophobia, sexism etc.?

Millions of times!

Now "W" has declared war on the ONLY TRUE PERPETUATORS OF HATE on the planet. And those same bleeding-heart social engineers are gonna criticize him for it.

It's time to completely ignore the bleeding-hearted social engineers for good!

16 posted on 09/17/2001 1:08:10 AM PDT by 100%FEDUP
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To: Travis McGee, Coyote
17 posted on 09/17/2001 3:05:40 PM PDT by nunya bidness
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To: Coyote, Lizzy W
WOW, good article. Thanks for posting, I am Chronicles fan myself.
18 posted on 09/17/2001 3:14:18 PM PDT by diotima
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To: nunya bidness
19 posted on 09/17/2001 3:26:37 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: Coyote
Good one
20 posted on 09/17/2001 3:51:53 PM PDT by remaininlight
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I'm sure there are some good Muslims

I hate working in the abstract, can you name one?

21 posted on 09/17/2001 3:57:45 PM PDT by TightSqueeze
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: TightSqueeze
I know one thing, just as they used our friendship and our freedom to plot against us and try to take over this country, they will use our political correctness also to further destroy us. If these people believed in freedom, friendship, political correctness, you'd see them practice it themselves. They are cold, blood-thirsty killers nothing more.

I only will admit that there might be some who say they are Muslim and follow the Koran who are not evil. I think there are some individuals who are willing to co-exist with others but I don't think overall, the Muslims intend to do that.

23 posted on 09/17/2001 4:14:52 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: Coyote
Good article.

May 1, 1997


Basic text of oral Statement; more passages in brackets to be omitted. Fuller text to be used for Freedom House Briefing Seminar on 30 April.]

Mr. Chairman, Members of Congress,. Ladies and Gentlemen.

"Past is Prologue." These words are engraved on the pediment of the Archives building in Washington. The English source is probably Shakespeare's The Tempest, and the original perhaps Ecclesiastes (1:9). I have chosen this motto for my Statement today and shall first give:

An Historical Overview of the Persecution of Christians under Islam.

To fully understand the present tragic situation of Christians in Muslim lands, one must comprehend the ideological and historical pattern that is conducive to violations of human rights, even though this pattern does not seem to be a deliberate, monolithical, anti-Christian policy. However, as this structure is integrated into the corpus of Islamic law (the shari'a), it functions in those countries that either apply the shari'a in full, or whose laws are inspired by it. The historical pattern of Muslim-Christian encounters developed soon after the Prophet Muhammad's death in 632.

The historical pattern of Muslim-Christian encounters developed soon after the Prophet Muhammad's death in 632. Muslim -- Christian relations were regulated by two legal-theological systems: one based on jihad, the other on the shari'a. A Jihad should not be compared to a Crusade -- or to any other war. The strategy and tactics of jihad are minutely fixed by theological rules, which the calif or ruler wielding both spiritual and political power -- must obey. The jihad practised now in Sudan is conducted according to its traditional rules. One could affirm that all "jihad" groups today conform to these decrees.

It is an historical fact that all the Muslims countries around the southern and eastern Mediterranean were Christian lands before being conquered, during a millenium of jihad under the banner of Islam. Those vanquished populations -- here I am referring only to Christians and Jews - were then "protected," providing they submitted to the Muslim ruler's conditions- Therefore, "protection" in the context of a conquest is the consequence of a war, and this is a very important notion.

In April 1992, for instance, religious leaders in Sudan's Southern Kordofan region -- who were "publicly supported at the highest government level" -- issued a fatwa, which stated: "An insurgent who was previously a Muslim is now an apostate; and a non-Muslim is a non-believer standing as a bulwark against the spread of Islam, and Islam has granted the freedom of killing both of them." This fatwa appears in a 1995 Report to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights by the U.N.'s special Rapporteur on Sudan, Dr. Gaspar Biro. (ECOSOC, E/CN.4/1996/62, para.97a). This religious text gives the traditional definition of a harbi (someone living in the Dar al-harb, the "region of war"), an infidel who has not been subjected by jihad, and therefore whose life and property -- according to classical texts of Islamic jurists -- is thus forfeited to any Muslim. (It also gives a definition of an apostate who can be killed -- the case of Salman Rushdie in 1989, Farag Foda in 1992, and Taslima Nasreen 1994, are other examples where the death sentence was decreed.)

Non-Muslims are protected only if they submit to Islamic domination by a "Pact" -- or Dhimma -- which imposes degrading and discriminatory regulations. In my books, I have provided documents from Islamic sources and from the vanquished peoples, establishing a sort of classification so that the origins, development and aims of these regulations can be recognized when they are revived nowadays. I am only referring to Christians and Jews because they share the same Islamic theological and legal category, and are referred to in the Koran as "People of the Book" -- the word "people" is in the singular. If they accept to submit to a Muslim ruler, they then become "protected dhimmi peoples" -- tributaries, since their protection is linked to an obligatory payment of a koranic poll tax (the jizya) to the Islamic community (the umma).

This protection is abolished: - if the dhimmis should rebel against Islamic law; give allegiance to non-Muslim power; refuse to pay the koranic jizya; entice a Muslim from his faith; harm a Muslim or his property; commit blasphemy. Blasphemy includes denigration of the Prophet Muhammad, the Koran, the Muslim faith, the shari'a by suggesting that it has a defect, and by refusing the-decision of the ijma -- which is the consensus of the Islamic community or umma (Koran III: 106). The moment the "pact of protection" is abolished, the jihad resumes, which means that the lives of the dhimmis and their property are forfeited. Those Islamists in Egypt who kill and pillage Copts consider that these Christians -- or dhimmis -- have forfeited their "protection" because they do not pay the jizya.

In other words, this "protector-protected" relationship is typical of a war-treaty between the conqueror and the vanquished, and this situation remains valid for Islamists because it is fixed in theological texts. But it should be emphasized that other texts in the Koran stress religious tolerance and peaceful relations, which frequently existed. (Nonetheless, early jurists and theologians - invoking the koranic principle of the "abrogation" of an earlier text by a later one - have established an extremist doctrine ofjihad, which is a collective duty.)

The protection system presents both positive and negative aspects: it provide security and a measure of religious autonomy. On the other hand, dhimmis suffered many legal disabilities intended to reduce them to a condition of humiliation and segregation. Those rules were established as early as the 8th and 9th centuries by the founders of the four schools of Islamic law: Hanafi, Malaki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.

The shari'a is a complete compendium of laws based on theological sources, principally the Koran and hadiths - that is, the sayings and acts of the Prophet. The shari'a comprises the legal status of the dhimmis: what is permitted and what is forbidden to them. It sets the pattern of the Muslims' social and political behavior toward dhimmis and explains its theological, legal and political motivations.

It is this comprehensive system, which lasted for up to thirteen centuries, that I have analyzed in my last book The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam] as the "civilization of dhimmitude." Its archetype - the dehumanized dhimmi - has permeated Islamic civilization, culture and thought and is being revived through the Islamist resurgence and the return of the shari'a.

The main principles of "dhimmitude" are:

1) the inequality of rights in all domains between Muslims and dhimmis;

2) the social and economic discrimination of the dhimmis;

3) the humiliation and vulnerability of the dhimmis.

Numerous laws were enacted over the centuries in order to implement these principles, which remained in practice throughout the 19th century and in some regions into the 20th century.

Arab-Islamic civilization developed in conquered Christian lands, among Christian majorities, which were eventually reduced to minorities. The process of the Islamization of Christian societies appears at all levels. It is part and parcel of the Christian suffering embodied in laws, customs, behavior patterns, and prejudices that were perpetuated during many centuries. Christianity could survive in some countries like Egypt and the Balkans where their situation was tolerable, but in other places they were wiped out physically, expelled, or forced to emigrate.

During the whole of the 19th century, European governments tried to convince Muslim rulers -- from Constantinople to North Africa -- to abolish the discriminations against dhimmis. This policy led to reforms in the Ottoman Empire from 1839 -- known as the Tanzimat -- but it was only in Egypt, under the strong rule of Muhammad Ali, that real progress was made. Improvements in the Ottoman Empire and Persia, imposed by Europe, were bitterly resented by the populace and religious leaders.

European laws were introduced in the process of Turkish modernization, and in some Arab countries, but it was only under colonial rule that Christian and Jewish minorities were truly liberated from centuries of opprobrium. Traditionalists however resented the Westernization of their countries, the emancipation of the dhimmis and the laws imported from infidel lands. The fight for decolonization was also a struggle by the Islamists to re-establish strict Islamic law.]

Why is this persecution ignored by the Churches, governments and media?

The 19th century -- and even after World War I -- was a traumatizing period of genocidal slaughter of Christians, spreading from the Balkans (Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria) to Armenia and to the Middle East. In this context of death, the doctrine of an Islamic-Christian symbiosis was conceived toward the end of the 19th century by Eastern Christians as a desperate shield against terror and slavery. This doctrine -- which also included anti-Zionism -- had many facets, both political and religious. In the long term, its results were mostly negative.

It is this doctrine -- still professed today -- that is responsible for the general silence about the ongoing tragedy of Eastern Christians. Any mention of jihad and of the persecutions of Christians by Muslims was a taboo subject because one could not denounce persecution and simultaneously proclaim that an Islamic-Christian symbiosis has always existed in the past and the present. It is in this cocoon of lies and of a deliberately imposed silence, solidly supported by the Churches, governments, and the media -- each for its own reasons -- that persecution of Christians could develop freely, during this century, even until now, with little hindrance. Moreover, this doctrine also blocked the memory of dhimmitude, leaving a vacuum of thirteen centuries whose emptiness was filled with a myth that was useless as a means to prevent the return of old prejudices and persecutions.

For this reason, dhimmitude -- which covers several centuries of Christian and Jewish history, and which is a comprehensive civilization englobing legislation, customs, social behavior, and prejudices -- has never been analyzed, nor publicly discussed. It is this silence for which academia in Europe and America bear much responsibility that allows the perpetuation of religious discrimination and persecution today. There are many factors that explain this silence of governments, Churches, academia, and the media, on such a tragic issue concerning persecuted Christians in the Muslim world; they are interrelated and although their motivations are different they have solidly cemented a wall of silence that has buried the historical reality.

Proposals for redressing these violations of fundamental human rights:

1. To define the ways and means to end this tragedy:

1) Not to foster an anti-Islamic current which would be wrong, as the vast majority of Muslims are themselves victims of Islamists in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, etc.

2) Christians must continue to live in their historical lands because it is their right, and only they can transform traditional Muslim mentalities. These dwindling communities should be encouraged to stay, as their presence will signify that Muslims have accepted that Jews and Christians also possess the right to life and dignity in their ancient homelands -- and not under a dhimmi protection, but with human rights equal to those of Muslims. If they fail, it will be our loss in the West too. Islamic countries that once had a Judeo-Christian culture should not become monolithically Islamic -- that is, Christianrein, as they have become virtually Judenrein -- through a policy of ethnic cleansing that followed a long historical period of discrimination.

3) If the human rights -- and the minority rights -- of Christians are not respected in those countries that formerly had Christian majorities, then the rights of all non-Muslims will be challenged by the Islamists' resurgence. It is for Christians worldwide -- particularly in America and Europe, and for the international community also -- to assure that the human rights for all religious minorities are respected worldwide.

II. We should realize that those populations are in grave danger and that even Muslim governments cannot protect them from mob violence -- sometimes they pretend to be unable to do so in order to stop foreign pressure or public campaigns. We should also remember that, from the late 1940s, the Jewish communities in the Arab-Muslim world -- then more than a million, now 1% of that number, under 10,000 and fast dwindling -- were the victims of persecution, terrorism, pillage and religious hatred that forced them to flee or emigrate. Christians were left as the only non-Muslims on whom religious fanaticism and hatred could be focused. Each Christian community tried to resist the return of the old order, following the path of secularism or communism.

The Islamists reproach Christians in their countries of:

1) being against the implementation of the shari'a;

2) demanding equal rights, basing themselves on International Covenants;

3) seeking foreign help to achieve equality with fellow Muslim citizens.

For the Islamists, these three accusations alone are tantamount to rebellion. It was these same motives that had justified the first great massacres of the Armenians a century ago in 1894-96, punished for having rebelled and for claiming the reforms that were promised.

This is why dhimmis communities were always careful to proclaim their enmity to Europe. An outward opposition to Christian countries being their life-saving shield against threats from their environment, they have interiorized this animosity to the point that they often strive for the triumph of Islam, some of them even becoming the best and most perfect tools of Islamic propaganda and interests in Europe and America. (The late Father Yoakim Moubarac and Georges Corm in France, and Edward Said in America, are but three examples out of many.)

III. In order to avoid mistakes and be more effective, one has to realize the difference of contexts between the campaign for Soviet Jewry in the 1970s and 1980s, and the promotion of human rights for Christians in Islamic lands today. The main difficulty arises because the discrimination or persecution in some countries cannot be ascribed to a deliberate government policy. It is rather a fact of civilization: the traditional contempt for dhimmis -- not so different from that of African Americans in the past -- and irritation because they are out-stepping their rights and must be obliged to return to their former status.

Sometimes, however, it is imposed by the Islamists, and a weak government doesn't dare to protect the Christians, fearing to become even more unpopular because anti-Western, and anti-Christian prejudices have imbued Muslim culture and society for centuries.

1) There are many ways to persecute Christians; some are by legal means, like the laws concerning the building or the repair of churches; others, by terror. A Christian can be killed, not because he committed a crime, but simply because he belongs to a group of infidels, whom, allegedly, are in rebellion; or for reasons of "spectacle-terrorism" that can serve as a deterrent policy to fulfill the terrorists' aims.

2) Another point concerns the use of a fatwa. If a fatwa is decreed against an individual, any Muslim is authorized to kill him, and by so doing he is the executor of what is considered the sentence of Allah.

IV. The problem is multifarious; it is not only religious but also cultural. This aspect is more acute with Christian than with Jewish communities because Muslims conquered Christian lands and civilization that were then subjected to a deliberate policy of Arabization and Islamization. Take, as an example, Christian pre-Islamic Coptic history: language and culture are a neglected, if not forbidden, domain because it would imply that Muslim history had been imperialistic. But Culture and history are important elements in a group's identity, and there are many Muslim intellectuals who are proud of Egypt's Pharonic and Coptic past. It is the Islamists who reject this past as an infidel culture, a part of the jahaliyah, what existed before Islam, considered taboo. Therefore, I would also suggest further goals, such as:

1) Recovering "Memory," the long history of the dhimmi peoples, of dhimmitude -- the collective, cultural patrimony of Jews and Christians for without their memory and without their history, people fade away and die.

2) Preventing the destruction of Christian historical monuments, either by local governments, or as was done with Abu Simbel, and other sites that now belong to the World's cultural legacy.

V. Discussing "dhimmitude" in academia and elsewhere. This is a Judeo-Christian historical patrimony and those whose heritage it is are entitled to know about it. The discussion of dhimmitude with Muslims, however, is fraught with difficulties. In the eyes of Islamists, and criticism of Islamic law and history is assimilated to a blasphemy. For a dhimmi, it is forbidden to imply that Islamic law has a default, or to contradict the ijma, the consensus. Moreover, the court testimony of a dhimmi against a Muslim is not accepted. Therefore, as dhimmitude is the testimony of dhimmi history -- of Christians and Jews -- under Islamic oppression, it would not be considered valid in traditionalist circles. Besides, the unification of religious and political power transfers the political domain into the religious one, therefore any criticism of Islamic civilization may become, for Islamists and others, a blasphemy.

The case of Farag Foda, and Egyptian Muslim intellectual, who defended the Copts and strongly criticized some Muslim religious authorities was exemplary: he was assassinated in 1992 after a fatwa. In giving his testimony, the late Sheik Muhammad El-Ghazali implicitly justified Foda's assassination on the grounds of apostasy; he stated that anyone opposing the sharia was an apostate and thus deserved death.

VI. Encourage Muslim intellectuals to strive in their own countries and in the West for the defense of equal human rights for Christians and others. The 1981 UNESCO Declaration of Islamic Human Rights and that of Cairo, both conditional on the sharia, are insufficient.

VII. Creation of a team of experts and lawyers -- and not apologists in order to discuss the problem, always stressing that the aim is not to foster anti-Muslim nor anti-Islamic feelings, but to create peace and reconciliation between religions and people, without which the next century will become a bloodbath and clash of civilizations.

Bat Ye'or - expert on dhimmitude under Islam END

24 posted on 09/17/2001 4:34:17 PM PDT by Lent
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To: Lent
I think it becomes clearer and clearer, that Mohamed was a brilliant socio-cultural tactician, a political organizer of not only world class, but perenial magnitude. Only a handful of human beings throughout all history can reasonably be place in the same league. As minipulative and diabolical as Marx was, he had NOTHING on the Prophet Mohamed.

25 posted on 09/17/2001 8:05:42 PM PDT by Coyote
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To: Coyote
he had NOTHING on the Prophet Mohamed.

He was also a murderer, a common thief and rapist:

BatYeorp43ffMohammedandhisslaughters The following from the expert on the dhimmi under Islam, Bat Ye'or, in The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians  under Islam (pp. 43ff.)

   In 624 Muhammad, joined by more followers, called upon the Qaynuqa, one of the Jewish tribes of Medina, to recognize his prophetic mission. When they refused, he besieged and overcame them. On the intercession of one of their protectors---a recent convert to Islam---their lives were spared, but they were expelled from the city, their lands and a part of their possessions being confiscated by the Muslims. The following year the Jewish Nadir tribe suffered a similar fate: Muhammad burned down their palm groves and divided all their fields and houses among thecommunity of  Believers. 4
   In 627 the Meccans sent a united force to lay siege to the Muslims in Medina but they withdrew suddenly on a stormy night and without fighting. However, guided by the angel Gabriel, Muhammad then turned his host against the Jewish tribe of the Qurayza, who had been neutral during the seige. Because the Jews refused conversion, Muhammad attacked and overwhelmed them. Trenches were then dug in the marketplace of Medina, and the Jews---six to nine hundred of them, according to traditional Muslim sources-----were led forth in batches and decapitated. All the menfolk perished in this way, with the exception of one convert to Islam. The Prophet then divided the women, children, houses, and chattels among the Muslims.5
  Shrewd in political matters, Muhammad then endeavored to win over the powerful tibes of Mecca. In 628, taking advantage of a treaty of nonbelligerency (Hudaybiya) with the Meccans,6 he attacked the oasis of Khaybar, one hundred and forty kilometers northwest of Medina, cultivated by another Jewish tribe. The assailants came to the oasis at night and in the morning attacked the peasants as they were coming out to work in the fields, carrying spades and baskets.7 Their palm groves were burned down. After a siege lasting a month and a half, the inhabitants surrendered under the terms of a treaty known as the dhimma. According to this agreement Muhammad allowed the Jews to continue cultivating their oasis, on condition they ceded to him half of their produce; he also reserved the right to break the agreement and expel them whenever he wished.8 Subsequently, all the Jewish and Christian communities of Arabia submitted to the Muslims under the terms of a dhimma similar to that granted at Khaybar

4. al-Bukhari (d. 869), Les Traditions Islamiques (Al-Sahih), trans. O. Houdas and W. Marcais (Paris, 1903-1914), vol. 2, title 41, chap 6; title 56, chap. 80; 3, chap. 154:2. This compilation of the acts and sayings attributed to Muhammad, completed in the ninth century, constitutes one of the two pillars of Islamic jurisprudence, the other being the contemporary compilation made by his younger disciple, Muslim (d. 875).

5. Idn Ishaq, pp. 461-69; M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, Mahomet (Paris, 1969), pp. 142-46; W. Montgomery Watt, "Muhammad", in the Cambridge History of Islam (Cambridge, 1970), 1:39-49.

6. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, p. 154: Bukhari, vol. 2, title 54, chap. 15.

7. Ibn Ishaq, p. 511; Bukhari, vol. 2, title 56, chaps. 102: 5, 130.

8. Ibn Ishaq, pp. 524-25; Bukhari, vol. 2, title 41, chaps. 8, 9, 11, 17, and title 57, chap. 19: 10. For example of the treaties between Muhammad and the Jews living in Makna (near Eilat), see al-Baladhuri, vol. 1, The Origins of the Islamic State (Kitab Futuh al-Buldan), trans. P.K. Hitti (New York, 1916), pp. 93-94.


26 posted on 09/17/2001 8:13:33 PM PDT by Lent
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To: Coyote
When the latest unpleasantness is done with the authoritarians who proclaim dominance over conservatism will declare this work intolerant and bigoted the rantings of a racist (the big bugaboo ask Sam Francis) and it and Chronicles will be put where American Renaissance is today. Controlled hatred is the name of the game (though fewer are playing than is hoped for), a few choruses of hate the raghead and a few missles launched and all will be well the center will hold and multiculturalism shall continue forward without any interference with a WWIII (contrary to Tom Chittum's theory of empire).
27 posted on 09/17/2001 8:26:51 PM PDT by junta
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To: Billy_bob_bob
I understood exactly what you meant, Billy Bob. You didn't have to add a sarcasm mark. We are being taken over simply by that word "racism". They don't have to fire a shot.
28 posted on 09/17/2001 8:31:24 PM PDT by likeitis
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To: Coyote
Great post!
29 posted on 09/17/2001 8:35:32 PM PDT by neutrino (Neutrino)
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To: paleolibertarian
How much of a fight can multicultural Europe put up against an homogeneous culture that has common heroes, common myths, common language, common ethics, etc. You know maybe those Japs that were thinking that WWII wasn't over yet were right. Japan or China why don't you swallow Europe up while they're trying to figure out their culture de jour. Take a clue from the Albanians come across the border and set up squatters rights.
30 posted on 09/17/2001 8:35:58 PM PDT by Ol'Grey Head
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To: FITZ, Travis McGee
"At least we must totally eliminate Middle Eastern immigration. I'm sure there are some good Muslims, but if you notice, everywhere in the world there are problems they are behind it. The fight in the Middle East amongst themselves and are hell-bent on wiping out Israel.

And they wiped out the Byzantine Empire the way they wiped out the land of Churches. It's also what they have in store for us. (See the map)

Unfortunatley our present tactics, which will include the same old immigration policies, 0.00% chance of changing them- be realistic: (as many as we can, as fast as we can, and let's wipe out Christendom once and for all) To publicly espouse otherwise is a federal matter. (hate crime). To send us over the cliff faster, we will be killing scores of our own boys internationally, to increase Islamic fervor against us.

We are going in the wrong direction, as fast as we can.

31 posted on 09/18/2001 12:57:46 PM PDT by KO5A (I give up. Seeya)
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To: KO5A
You may not be interested in the war, but the war is very interested in you!
32 posted on 09/18/2001 4:03:45 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: KO5A
I'm going to support Bush and our leaders 100%. They have access to information I don't obviously. I'm terrified because they are still out there living amongst us, still waiting for the take over of the US by an Islamic regime, still ready to play their role in that. But luckily we have Bush in charge, and I'm just going to have to trust in him and pray a whole lot. Plus I'll be getting guns and getting my kids into NRA, final wake-up call for me.
33 posted on 09/18/2001 6:02:40 PM PDT by FITZ
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