Understanding Islam and Dhimmitude

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, [even if they are] of the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”


Protected or subdued?

The above verse (Koran 9.29) refers to the jizya – the special “protection” tax which non-Muslims must pay for themselves and their property in a Muslim state. Muslims do not pay this tax, only non-Muslims.

So the rule of the jizya is of monetary benefit to the Muslim authorities at the expense of the non-Muslims whilst also ensuring that non-Muslims “feel themselves subdued”. The name given to these jizya-paying non-Muslims is Ahl Al-Dhimma, or simply dhimmis – which apparently can be translated as “protected people” (according to Wikipedia).

The word dhimmi then was the basis for the term “dhimmitude” popularised by author Bat Ye’or. She explains dhimmitude as “a uniform civilisation developed throughout the centuries by all non-Muslim indigenous people who were vanquished by a jihad war and governed by Sharia Law…” and “….it is characterised by the different strategies developed by each dhimmi group to survive as non-Muslim entity in their Islamised countries”.

In his excellent book, “The Story of Mohammed – Islam Unveiled”, Harry Richardson writes absorbingly about Mohammed and his life and details exactly how Islam was propagated under his iron rule. He reveals the reasons for the many contradictions there are in Islam, for example, the existence of two versions of Islam – one moderate and the other aggressive. It is fascinating and very accessible. The book also looks at dhimmitude.

Dhimmitude is a concept with which observers of Islam-related issues are becoming more and more familiar and Richardson’s book deals brilliantly with the topic of dhimmitude, highlighting clearly its implications and ramifications. With the rise of Muslim populations in the West it is not a notion confined to long-established Islamic states alone and we in Ireland must take note.

A submissive mindset

Having explained the tyrannical nature of Mohammed and that of Islam itself, showing how the religion was spread using the same methods and teachings of its prophet, Richardson talks of the impact of Islam on the West and its coexisting dhimmitude:

“Unfortunately, dhimmitude is not just an institution; it is a submissive mindset adopted by victims of bullying and intimidation everywhere. Successful bullies instinctively understand the importance of inflicting this mindset on their victims. By doing so, they can gain total control with a minimum of effort.”

Richardson uses the example of a victim of domestic abuse and indicates the psychological helplessness of the bullied spouse:

“Often they defend the actions of the abuser whilst blaming themselves for the actions of the abuser.”

Richardson quotes M. Lal Goel, a (Hindu) Professor Emeritus of Political Science, who writes about the Islamic institution of dhimmitude:

“‘Dhimmitude is a state of fear and insecurity on the part of infidels who are required to accept a condition of humiliation. It is characterised by the victim’s siding with his oppressors, by the moral justification the victim provides for his oppressors’ hateful behaviour. The dhimmi loses the possibility of revolt because revolt arises from a sense of injustice. He loathes himself in order to praise his oppressors.’”

Richardson continues:

“After WWI, when the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire was defeated, the institution of dhimmitude was supposed to have been abolished. Unfortunately, this phenomenon continues as a state of mind. It is growing almost daily around the world, as people submit spiritually and emotionally to Islamic superiority.”

When people are afraid to offend Islam or Muslims because of fear of the threat of violence they are effectively accepting the blame for provoking that violence, even though it is the Muslims who may carry it out. (Richardson reminds us of Pope Benedict XVI apologising for the perceived offence caused by his Regensburg address which had resulted in violence by Muslims.)

“This,” Richardson observes, “is how jihad works, slowly, step by step, leaders, opinion makers, academics, journalists, organisations and eventually the general population, are cowed into submission, (remember Islam is Arabic for submission) and forced to accept responsibility for deliberate Islamic attacks against them.

“Pretty soon, people get the message and every attack is greeted with the expected response, ‘what must we have done to cause this, it must be our fault because of the invasion of Iraq/Afghanistan/support for Israel/the Crusades/discrimination/islamophobia/our causing poverty, etc, etc.”

Effects of dhimmitude in the UK

What Richardson says about the effects of dhimmitude in the UK is staggering. The Red Cross which was started by a Christian no longer displays Nativity scenes in its windows. Christmas cards are now bearing slogans such as “Winter Wishes”. The BBC is not inclined to use the term AD or BC anymore but has come up with CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before Common Era). On the other hand it will agreeably announce Islamic holidays.

“Is political correctness a spontaneous occurrence or is it being driven by Islam?” asks Richardson. His answer is shocking.

Richardson mentions two instances of the UK government receiving large payments from Saudi Arabia; in 2008 during the banking crisis and, much earlier, in the 1980’s, when an arms deal was negotiated with Saudi Arabia which was described as “the biggest [UK] sale ever of anything to anyone”. This deal alone involved hundreds of millions of pounds. Richardson speculates that both these transactions must have bought the Saudis significant influence in the affairs of the UK government.

With the growing Muslim population there is also the increase in the size of the Muslim vote, giving Islam more sway in the UK, as Muslims are heavily influenced by what is preached in the mosques. Muslims are of course also more prominent in politics.

There are currently in Britain anything between 23,000 and 25,000 jihadists. The question of security is an urgent one, yet, incredibly, just earlier this month a Muslim terror suspect and sex offender with seventeen aliases managed to get a job at Heathrow airport where he actually had access to the runway. He hadn’t been subject to a proper security check. Most likely officials were concerned about being seen as islamophobic. This is dhimmitude in action and the complaints from UK Muslims in recent years that they are being targeted unfairly when travelling will have only intensified the dhimmitude.

Richardson gives us a lot to digest. We in Ireland can ask ourselves to what extent we may be in danger of succumbing to dhimmitude when we reflect on the following line from a revered Sufi, written in 1101:

“Dhimmis must hold their tongue.” Imam Al-Ghazali (1058-1111)