Dhimmitude is imposed on people when Muslims control the politics of an area, whether a nation or a neighbourhood. No dhimmi is equal under the laws of Shari'a to a Muslim. And as bad as this is for non-Muslims, not all people qualify to be a slave of the Muslims. The law arose this way:
That there shall be no religion other than Islam, according to Muslims. But you have probably read and heard just the opposite.
Koran 2:256: "There is no compulsion in religion" [la ikrah fi'd-din].
What you won't likely read or hear from Muslim apologists is the concept of nashk, meaning abrogation. Mohammed in Mecca in the early years of his mission had two followers, his wife and his nephew. He had no power to impose his will on anyone else, and thus he made pretty noises to show himself harmless. It didn't work. He and his small band of adherents had eventually to flee from Mecca, some to Christian Ethiopia, some to the oasis at Medina a few hundred miles north, for protection from the local hostile powers at Mecca. The flight to Medina, the immigration referred to as hijra, begins the Islamic "first day of history." There at Medina, Mohammed was able to slowly but surely build up a group of caravan-raiders and land pirates who grew in strength till they were able to conquer Mecca itself and impose Mohammed's will on the city and the Arabian peninsula generally. The gloves were off, and all the pretty "Meccan" suras were over-ridden by those from Medina, the ones of a growing power and warlord who demanded submission, the meaning of the word "islam."
No, "islam" does not mean "peace." The word means "submission." Muslims submit to the word of Allah. Who do non-Muslims submit to in a Muslim world? No compulsion? Unfortunately, this is not so. Everyone submits in a Muslim world, dar al Islam, Muslims to Allah, non-Muslims to Muslims.
Koran 9:73: "O Prophet! Struggle against the unbelievers and hypocrites and be harsh with them."
Islam is a triumphalist political religion, (a "poligion,") there being no separation between mosque and state. The religious is the political. In Islam, there is only Islamic supremacy. No one else counts.
Qur'an 5:51: "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."
It's worse than Muslims simply not having non-Muslim friends. The Qur'an demands of Muslims: It doesn't make suggestions. The Qur'an, according to Muslims, it the very word of Allah. Allah hates non-Muslims. Muslims must hate non-Muslims too.
Sura 2:98: "Allah is an enemy to unbelievers."
Sura 2:161: On unbelievers is the curse of Allah.
Sura 2:191:Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter.
Sura 2:193: Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme.
Sura 8:39: Fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is God's entirely.
And so it goes for hundreds of suras, (verses from the Qur'an). Those suras coming from Mohammed's time in Medina over-ride those arising from his time at Mecca. Take the latter ones seriously; forget the earlier ones, like a Muslim does. This is not a multicultural or New Age "friends-of-all" religion: it is a Seventh century Arabic warrior creed writ large. Islam means slavery for the conquered-- as much as many among us wish it were not so.
Look to Islam itself for the truth rather than to those non-Muslims who wish to see a beautiful world in the works of any and all non-Modernists. Islam is what it is, not what some non-Muslims would like it to be.
For those who are not Muslim, there is perhaps an option if conquered: they can convert to Islam; they can refuse, and thus be killed by Muslims; or they can pay jizya, (a tax levied on the non-Muslim in lieu of the booty the conquering Muslim would take from the dead.) The latter option is not pretty either. It means living in a state of slavery, tolerated at the whim of a Muslim who can if he so chooses, kill the dhimmi.
Dhimmitude arose as a means of creating a slave-class during the Arab Conquest. It's a practical matter: if everyone conquered suddenly converted to Islam, there wouldn't be a slave class to exploit. Thus, "monotheists" are allowed to live as slaves so long as they pay their jizya. Today we call it "foreign aid." Today we call dhimmitude "tolerance of others."
Below is a proper definition:
Dhimmitude: the Islamic system of governing populations conquered by jihad wars, encompassing all of the demographic, ethnic, and religious aspects of the political system. The word "dhimmitude" as a historical concept, was coined by Bat Ye'or in 1983 to describe the legal and social conditions of Jews and Christians subjected to Islamic rule. The word "dhimmitude" comes from dhimmi, an Arabic word meaning "protected". Dhimmi was the name applied by the Arab-Muslim conquerors to indigenous non-Muslim populations who surrendered by a treaty (dhimma) to Muslim domination. Islamic conquests expanded over vast territories in Africa, Europe and Asia, for over a millennium (638-1683). The Muslim empire incorporated numerous varied peoples which had their own religion, culture, language and civilization. For centuries, these indigenous, pre-Islamic peoples constituted the great majority of the population of the Islamic lands. Although these populations differed, they were ruled by the same type of laws, based on the shari'a.
This similarity, which includes also regional variations, has created a uniform civilization developed throughout the centuries by all non-Muslim indigenous people, who were vanquished by a jihad-war and governed by shari'a law. It is this civilization which is called dhimmitude. It is characterized by the different strategies developed by each dhimmi group to survive as non-Muslim entity in their Islamized countries. Dhimmitude is not exclusively concerned with Muslim history and civilization. Rather it investigates the history of those non-Muslim peoples conquered and colonized by jihad.
Dhimmitude encompasses the relationship of Muslims and non-Muslims at the theological, social, political and economical levels. It also incorporates the relationship between the numerous ethno-religious dhimmi groups and the type of mentality that they have developed out of their particular historical condition which lasted for centuries, even in some Muslim countries, till today.
Dhimmitude is an entire integrated system, based on Islamic theology. It cannot be judged from the circumstantial position of any one community, at a given time and in a given place. Dhimmitude must be appraised according to its laws and customs, irrespectively of circumstances and political contingencies.
Interest in this term dhimmitude has increased significantly in the past year, (2009-2010). When I began this blog in early 2004 there was little interest in or familiarity with the term. That's changing rapidly, and I hope your visit here helps further interest in this plight we face against Islam supremacy.
July 2005/ Up-dated, August, 2010.