Monday, February 13, 2006

Vocabulary Lesson - dhimmitude

Dhimmitude - I've seen that word in a lot of different blogs, and I just wasn't sure what it meant. I could guess from the context, but still I wanted to be certain. So I went searching and discovered that it is a very good word - a very descriptive word. Let's have a vocabulary lesson. The Washington Times provides our definition (The bold print/emphasis is mine):

Dhimmitude is the coinage of a brilliant historian, Bat Ye'or, whose pioneering studies of the dhimmi, populations of Jews and Christians vanquished by Islamic jihad, have led her to conclude that a common culture has existed through the centuries among the varied dhimmi populations. From Egypt and Palestine to Iraq and Syria, from Morocco and Algeria to Spain, Sicily and Greece, from Armenia and the Balkans to the Caucasus: Wherever Islam conquered, surrendering dhimmi, known to Muslims as "people of the book [the Bible]," were tolerated, allowed to practice their religion, but at a dehumanizing cost. There were literal taxes (jizya) to be paid; these bought the dhimmi the right to remain non-Muslim, the price not of religious freedom, but of religious identity. Freedom was lost, sorely circumscribed by a body of Islamic law (sharia) designed to subjugate, denigrate and humiliate the dhimmi. The resulting culture of self-abnegation, self-censorship and fear shared by far-flung dhimmi is the basis of dhimmitude.

The extremely distressing but highly significant fact is, dhimmitude doesn't only exist in lands where Islamic law rules. This is the lesson of Cartoon Rage 2006. . . . We have watched the Muslim meltdown with shocked attention, but there is little recognition that its poisonous fallout is fear. Fear in the State Department, which, like Islam, called the cartoons unacceptable. Fear in Whitehall, which did the same. Fear in the Vatican, which did the same. And fear in the media, which have failed, with few, few exceptions, to reprint or show the images. With only a small roll of brave journals, mainly in Europe, to salute, we have seen the proud Western tradition of a free press bow its head and submit to an Islamic law against depictions of Muhammad. That's dhimmitude.

Not that we admit it: We dress up our capitulation in fancy talk of "tolerance," "responsibility" and "sensitivity." We even congratulate ourselves for having the "editorial judgment" to make "pluralism" possible. "Readers were well served... without publishing the cartoons," said a Wall Street Journal spokesman. "CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons in respect for Islam," reported the cable network. On behalf of the BBC, which did show some of the cartoons on the air, a news editor subsequently apologized, adding: "We've taken a decision not to go further... in order not to gratuitously offend the significant number" of Muslim viewers worldwide. Left unmentioned is the understanding (editorial judgement?) that "gratuitous offense" leads to gratuitous violence. Hence, fear — not the inspiration of tolerance but of capitulation — and a condition of dhimmitude.

How far does it go? Worth noting, for example, is that on the BBC Web site, a religion page about Islam presents the angels and revelations of Islamic belief as historical fact, rather than spiritual conjecture (as is the case with its Christianity Web page); plus, it follows every mention of Mohammed with "(pbuh)," which means "peace be upon him"—"as if," writes Will Wyatt, former BBC chief executive, in a letter to the Times of London, "the corporation itself were Muslim."

Is it? Are we? These questions may not seem so outlandish if we assess the extent to which encroaching sharia has already changed the Western way. Calling these cartoons "unacceptable," and censoring ourselves "in respect" to Islam brings the West into compliance with a central statute of sharia. As Jyllands-Posten's Flemming Rose has noted, that's not respect, that's submission. And if that's not dhimmitude, what is?

The publication of the Muhammad cartoons solicited by Denmark's Jyllands-Posten was an act of anti-dhimmitude. Since no Danish artist would dare illustrate a PC children's book about Muhammad for fear of Islamic law (and Islamic violence), the newspaper boldly set out to reassert the rule of (non-Islamic) Danish law. It's as simple as that. And as vital. The cartoons ran to establish — or re-establish —Denmark as bastion of Western-style liberty. But in trying to set up a force field against encroaching sharia, Jyllands-Posten and the Danes have showed us that no single bastion of Western liberty can stand alone. So, how do you say solidarity in Danish? If we don't find out now, our future is more dhimmitude

Now I understand dhimmitude, and I see it all over the news, and it is frightening. Are we Americans not strong enough to stand up for our freedoms? Do we not expect and demand that our culture and our freedoms be respected by others? Sure, it's not very nice when someone draws and publishes cartoons about someone's religion, but that's the price of living in a free country. Do we REALLY want to be submissive to a religion that not only condones but promotes this and this and this?

Other posts on dhimmitude: Michelle Malkin, Cox & Forkum, Dhimmi Watch, Junkyard Dog, Atlas Shrugs, Environmental Republican, Jihad Watch.

1 comment:

Nick , as a boy growing up said...

Just this month , GENERAL ELECTRIC has negotiated a long term contract with the Wahabist Saudi
Royal Family , (aka:Saudi Arabia),
to assist them in diversifying and
strengthening the nation and it's
economy .

What Dhimmi features may have been
unwittingly incorporated into this document by the GE lawyers ?

One might , also, wonder if the "work" undertaken by the Senate
and the House might result in a
substantial expansion in Islamic
(Sharia)Banking in the U.S.A. ?

Congress must be careful not to
unwittingly incorporate provisions
in any banking reform legislation they might draft that would sabotage rather than simply reform
our very efficient free market model.

Further ,ObamaCARE , it appears , excuses both Christian Scientists and Moslims from participation and
possible penaties .

As the President's Chief of Staff suggested, "We don't want to waste a good crisis." New legislation during a period of serious chaos
can yield deadly intended and unintended consequences .

Parse the language ever so carefully , please !

Andrew L. Bavas