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Will your kids be named Dhimmi?

By Henry Lamb
web posted April 17, 2006

The term "dhimmi" ("dh" pronounced as "Z") means "protected," and describes the status of non-Muslims who are allowed live under conditions that render them inferior to their Muslim conquerors. This term will, no doubt, be new to many readers; it is a term that every American should understand fully.

Dan Simmons has provided a very readable, and highly enlightening introduction to "dhimmi" in his April 2006 Message from Dan. This is a must read for every American.

Few Americans comprehend the magnitude of the war that was declared on American, February 23, 1998. Osama bin Laden's fatwa announced to the world that:

`We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it,''

This declaration of war hardly made news in 1998. September 11, 2001 did make the news, and Osama bin Laden's name became a household word. But Americans who believe that the war against terrorism is, or should be, focused on bin Laden and his tiny band of extremists, fail to comprehend the real enemy, which must destroy the concept of freedom in order to survive.

Islam is the religion of more than one billion Muslims around the world. Like Christianity, Islam is divided into many sects which generally fall into one of two persuasions: Sunni, or Shi'ah. This split came after Muhammad's death, when the Sunnis chose to follow the leader Abu Bakr, rather than Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Ali.

Muhammad was poisoned in 632, after a rather dubious victory over the Jewish settlement of Khaibar. The practice of "dhimmitude" can be traced to the agreement reached with the survivors of this battle.

For more than a thousand years, Islam spread across the Middle East, Africa, throughout Turkey and eastern Europe. In the last century, the continuing spread of Islam has become a significant factor throughout all of Europe, America, and much of the Western world.

American values, arising from the principles of freedom, have collided head-on with the principles of Islam. The Shia branch of Islam cannot coexist with American values or the principles of freedom. It is not at all certain that the Sunni branch of Islam can coexist, with either American values, or the Shia vision of what Islam should be. Terrorism is the tactic of choice for both Islamic branches involved in this collision of ideas.

The war against terrorism, therefore, cannot focus on simply bringing to justice the perpetrators of the attack on the World Trade Centers, or the latest crop of bombers in Baghdad, or the kidnappers of Western journalists. The war on terrorism must focus on the real enemy, which is the driving force that has marched Islam around the globe. That is, the Shia belief that Muslims must subjugate, or kill, all non-Muslims.

Clearly, not all Muslims subscribe to this belief. Osama bin Laden does, as do his followers. And those who do not, know full well that they are not immune from the atrocities of those who do. Although the vast majority of Muslims around the world subscribe to some version of the Sunni branch, both Iraq and Iran are dominated by Shia. These two branches of Islam have warred with each other throughout history, but when confronted by an infidel nation, such as America , their Islamic roots are stronger than their differences.

The Iraqi Sunnis are perfectly willing to allow Al Zarquari to bomb Shia Mosques in an effort to prevent the creation of a government dominated by the Shia, which they fear will exact revenge for 30 years of subjugation of the Shia under Saddam Hussein. Should American forces leave Iraq, Iran would most certainly enter the fray on the side of the Shia, with whatever force necessary for the Shia to take control. With both Iraq and Iran under Shia dominance, the Shia brand of butchery would prevail in the Middle East.

This outcome draws closer each day the new parliament in Iraq fails to form a new unity government. Ibrahim Al Jaffari, the Prime Minister designate, is a Shia, supported by the Shia religious leader. The Sunnis want someone else. Regardless of who is named as the initial Prime Minister, this struggle for dominance between the two branches of Islam in Iraq will continue for years to come. The only question yet unanswered is will the struggle be at the ballot box, or continue to be with bombs in the streets.

This struggle between Islamic values and Western values of individual freedom will continue for years, perhaps throughout the century, as Dan Simmons suggests in his message. Should American forces leave Iraq before a unity government is formed and functioning, the struggle in the streets of Baghdad will be brief, and then spread to the streets of Islam's most hated enemies.

Americans who demand that the troops be withdrawn now, either don't know the consequences, or don't care. This unwillingness to recognize and engage the real enemy wherever it may be found, increases the chances that a future generation of American kids will either be Muslim, or named "dhimmi."

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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