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Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide Paperback – 31 Jan 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press,U.S. (31 Jan. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0838639437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0838639436
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Bat Yeor, born in Cairo, became a stateless refugee in 1957 and a British citizen in 1959. Her first book, The Jews of Egypt (French/1971; Hebrew 1974) was followed by Le Dhimmi (1980), widely acclaimed when the English edition appeared in 1985 (Hebrew/1986Z; Russian/1991). It remains an essential introduction to her second major work, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude (1996; German/2002). The French edition (1991) established the authors reputation as an innovative thinker in a new field of research, which has now been greatly enhanced by her third study, Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilization Collide (2002). All of her books are regularly reprinted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Scamp Lumm on 4 Oct. 2004
Format: Paperback
"was the assassination of the truth." Colonel Barakat was speaking before the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee about conditions of christian Lebanese refugees in Israel. Those refugees had fought against pro-Syrian islamist forces and the anti-Israeli group Hizbollah; they had been victims of jihad, islamic wars in South Lebanon, and had been ignored, abandoned by the international community. This story is found in the last chapter of this book.
I think Isaiah agrees with Colonel Barakat when he says in Isaiah 59:14-15:
Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off;
For truth has fallen in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter.
Yes, truth is lacking; and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
Now the LORD saw, and it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.
In talking about this book, I'm always asked "what is dhimmitude", and I still don't have a good answer. Bat Ye'Or defines it in her introduction as "a domain which embraces the social, political, and religious relations of different human groups", and "dhimmitude embraces the condition of the dhimmi (non-muslim "protected" by islamic law). What helped me was her analogy that "the concepts of dhimmi and dhimmitude are equivalent to Jew and Judaism, of Christian and Christianity." If you're still mystified, as I am, Bat Ye'Or has websites devoted to these subjects on the worldwide web.
An "Amazon friend" recommended that I attend a talk by Bat Ye'Or in my neighborhood. So glad I did, and I bought my book directly from the source! I was impressed by this woman's soft-spoken demeanor, her mastery of the English language, (better than mine!), and the subject matter which is so relevant today.
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26 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
That most of Islam is today drastically hostile to Jews is obvious and is often explained as being the result of Zionism. But Bat Ye'or sets out to demolish the widely held idea that in CLASSICAL Islam the dhimmis (Protected People - Jews and Christians) had lived reasonably comfortably under Muslim rule in those centuries. She cites countless examples of humiliations that were deliberately inflicted on dhimmis, the uncertainty of their lives and of their possessions. I am sure that what she says about the maltreatment of Jews is correct and that is a valuable corrective to some received ideas. But because she concentrates entirely on this, and because her 528-page book finds no place for a discussion of the so-called "Golden Age" in Spain or of Jews and Jewish culture flourishing in ancient Iraq,in Egypt and in the early Ottoman centuries, it leaves an unfortunate impression of having been written with a partisan agenda.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
83 of 87 people found the following review helpful
An eyopening account dispels myths 30 May 2005
By Seth J. Frantzman - Published on
Format: Paperback
It is a dominant theme of the literature on the Jewish Diaspora that Jews in Muslim lands were treated better than Jews among Christians. It is repeated like a mantra, every student of Jewish history or of Islamic studies must learn it and repeat it, until it becomes myth. This excellent study is one of the few to challenge this dominat view. Today academics encourage the propoganda that Islam is 'more tolerant' than Christianity. However here we are given a small taste of that 'tolerance'. Dhimmi is a word meaning 'protected'. However just as the Nazis created concentration camps to 'protect' the Jews the word itself can be used in many ways. This book analyzes the experience of Jews in Muslim lands. Some have accused this work of 'only' concentrating on the negative aspects of Muslim-Jewish relations, however this is just the point, a litany of works have focused on this subject in Europe, it time that the dust be taken from the truth about Islamic nations.

Partly the problem rests on lack of sources and literature, this book begins to fill this essential gap.

A second way to analyze the question of which Jews were 'better off' is to see the end result. If Muslim lands were 'better' to the Jews then why did the Jews of Europe become free and wealthy? Why were there more Jews in Europe than muslim lands despite persecution, endless forced conversion and murder due to claims that Jews created the black death? Jews numbered 12 million in Christian lands while they numbered only a million in Muslim ones in 1930. By 1945 the numbers were 6 million and 1 million. By 1967 the numbers were 8 million and 50,000.

Seth J. Frantzman
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Stupendous, an absolute must 6 Feb. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an American Catholic living and working in Istanbul, I experienced many shocks of recognition while reading this book, even here in secular Turkey. For example, any crticism, no matter how small, of any aspect of Turkish culture, no matter how insignificant-seeming, is perceived as blasphemy, if not of Islam, then of the great Turkish culture. I read the history books at school and am appalled not so much by the many inconsistencies therein, but more by fellow foreigners' propensity to espouse them, verbatim no less, as well. After all none of us wants to be perceived as intolerant, even if it means being tolerant of intolerance. With the situation like this in Turkey, I can only imagine how much worse it is the farther east, and deeper into the 'heart' of 'Islamiyet', one moves. This book gives me a very good idea, and it is none too appealing.
86 of 93 people found the following review helpful
Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide 23 Jan. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating and historically accurate account of the age old hatred and persecution of Christians and Jews as ordered by the Koran, and Islamic Sharia law.
After reading this book, one understands current world events better, e.g.: suicide murderers, massacre of Christian Sudanese, massacres of Christians in the Phillipines and in Indonesia, bombing of churches in Pakistan, and the massacre of Americans at the world trade center Sept. 11th 2001.
This book is a must read for people interested in understanding the Arab mindset, and it's origins.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Dispelling a myth 9 Mar. 2005
By Shalom Freedman - Published on
Format: Paperback
One of the great myths in regard to Islamic civilization is that it was egalitarian and respected fully the rights of Christians and Jews. In this work Bat- Yeor describes the status of 'dhimmitude' by which in Islamic society major minorities, as Christians and Jews were subject to legal and non- legal forms of discrimination. Bat-Yeor reveals that there is something in the historical attitude of Islam that makes it so difficult for it to recognize the real humanity of others, and give them an equal place in society.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Superbly written and informative 26 Sept. 2004
By Jill Malter - Published on
Format: Paperback
Is this the only book you will ever need to read about conflicts in the Middle East? No. But it is the best of them.

A book about the denial of human rights to non-Whites in the antebellum American South would not be flattering to slave owners. Similarly, this book is not flattering to those who deny rights to non-Muslims. While being a "dhimmi" literally means being "protected," the word is used in the same sense as "protection money." "Dhimmitude" is basically the denial of human rights to non-Muslims.

Bat Ye'or points out three aspects of dhimmitude. First is political, the invariable choice to oppose rights for non-Muslims. Second is historical, the construction of a set of arbitrary lies and taunts regarding non-Muslims, a denial and destruction of non-Muslim history, and the invention of a bogus Muslim history. Third is theological, the development of religious attacks on non-Muslims and the generation of specifically anti-Jewish and anti-Christian theologies.

Bat Ye'or is at her best when she shows how all this has played out in real life. She shows how dhimmitude has led to inter-dhimmi conflicts, with Christians leaving the Middle East in droves while those Christians who remain are pressured to renounce the Old Testament and join (or even lead) the attacks on Jewish rights in Israel.
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