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Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide Paperback – 31 Jan 2002
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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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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. Unfortunately, students at Georgetown University were not so receptive when she gave a talk there soon after this book was published in 2002. The research in this book is incredible, Bat Ye'Or's research navigating through unchartered areas of islamic history, revealing how islamic law really deals with the "other" religions and peoples (dhimmis) to be found in their theocratic society. It took me two weeks to slowly plod through this book, underlining, highlighting so many pages, the information and islamic terms totally unfathomable and foreign to me. (I recommend bookmarking or photocopying the two page glossary of islamic words at the end, before and while reading it).
In this book, she looks at "the people of the book", jews and christians in islamic lands all over the globe. She has been criticized, because she is a jew, of being biased in her research. However, I was surprised that she didn't write of Israel and anti-zionism more. That information is to be found in this book, but there is plenty of evidence from other dhimmi groups to make a case that, at least to me, islamic laws need reforming. Except that is no easy solution; Islamic law is perfect and to criticize it is blasphemous and the sentence for blasphemy is death! What helped me in reading this book was what little I knew about the Armenian genocide during WWI from reading the Forty Days of Musa Dagh and Peter Balakian's The Burning Tigris. The deportations and slaughters, somehow becoming understandable upon reading this book, Bat Ye'Or revealing how islamic law and jihad, islamic war, operate in the dar al-Islam (land of Islam). Ownership of ammunition is forbidden the dhimmi as well as the building of new churches or synagogues. Mohammed has said that "the bell is the devil's pipe", Chapter 3:Religious and Social Aspects of Dhimmitude; therefore, without the simple church bell, communities are rendered utterly defenseless, unable to warn one another of dangers, unable to mobilize any defenses when protection (Jezhiya/poll tax) cannot be paid for. (In the USA we have the right to bear arms because of the second amendment in our constitution).
No telling how many people in the Sudan are being murdered as I type this right now. A jihad there has been going on for decades. In Chapter 8: The Return of Dhimmitude, Bat Ye'Or mentions that in 2000, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum had an exhibit entitled "Genocide Warning:Sudan"; Amnesty International now claims that today that warning is now a reality.
We must understand Islam, but we must be selective about the sources we listen to. Bat Ye'Or's voice is, in my opinion, as Major Joppolo explains in A Bell for Adano, "another broadcast, that you cannot hear quite so clearly."
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Pat provides an excellent view of the collision of the Arabic so called civilization with almost all other civilizations. The historical facts in the book are so well referenced.
Pat, I admire you for your excellent work. Keep it up.
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