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Men as dhimmi

By Bruce Walker
web posted October 21, 2002

Recent and natural interest in militant Islam has led to a renewed interest in a sensitive and often ignored social and theological fact: Islam, in its true and pure form, does not recognize Christians and Jews as having the same legal or moral status as Muslims.

An Egyptian Jew, Bat Ye'or or "Daughter of the Nile" has written several well-researched books on the status of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Samaritans as "People of the Book" granted protections under Islam which pagans do not have. This status "dhimmi" is distinctly inferior to the status of a Muslim.

Within those lands of Islam or dar al-Islam, the Dhimmi from the beginning lived under deliberately humiliating conditions, which varied from place to place and from ruler to ruler, but included the following types of inequalities.

Dhimmi were compelled to pay a special tax from which Muslims were exempt, and which was paid by the enslavement of the Dhimmi family members if not paid. Dhimmi could not strike back at a Muslim, even in self-defense. Dhimmi could not testify against a Muslim in a court of law, and only the word of another Muslim could be considered. Property acquired by Dhimmi was only possessory and was not true ownership.

The deliberate purpose of these rules was to humiliate the Dhimmi, to make the Dhimmi understand that the best Dhimmi was worse than the worst Muslim, to require that the dirty work of society was done by the Dhimmi, to disparage any accomplishments of Dhimmi.

Part of this process of progressive dehumanization was to re-write history. Moderns tragically know little of the old and sophisticated culture of the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian empire of the Sassinians because conquering Muslims destroyed all the libraries with libraries of ancient texts. Eastern Orthodox Christianity did not suffer the same fate because Constantinople was built at a strategic and defensible location, which was not conquered until 1453.

The result of all this - which is not intended as an attack upon Islam or Muslims today - was to stop progress in dar al-Islam, which meant that lands once the richest and most sophisticated civilizations in human history - Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, the Iranian plains, and the Indian subcontinent - became backwaters.

This was the result of twin, complementary causes. First, the dogmatic acceptance of the inherent moral and intellectual inferiority of all Dhimmi meant the suppression of vast amounts of human wisdom and learning: Torah, Talmud, the Gospels, the Avesta, the Gathas, and all its interpreters, as well as the rejection of all contemporary contributions by Dhimmi (much like Nazis would reject "Jewish science.")

Second, Jewish and Christian great minds fled to Provence, Milan, Aragon and other parts of Christian Europe, which led directly to the later explosion of modern science, modern medicine, modern political theory and countless other disciplines of intellect and art.

This decay of dar al-Islam explains why there is so much anger at Jews and Christians within some parts of dar al-Islam today. According to Islamic dogma, Instead of being wealthy, learned, charitable, powerful and happy, the Dhimmi of America, Israel, Europe and the English-speaking democracies should be miserable.

There is a parallel between the way Islam historically treated Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and Samaritans and how Womenism treats men today. Those differences in outlook and ability between the two sexes can never be allowed by Womenists to be seen as male superiority in any area. This is blatant absurdity, even if one swallows whole the false premise that homo sapiens, unlike every other species of life, does not have profound differences between the two sexes.

So just as Muslims, who came as military conquerors, complain about exploitation by the West, Womenists decry the silly "glass ceiling." This barrier is a consequence of choices by women not to focus their lives on business and a consequence of male domination in those areas of very high levels of analytical power (none of the top 100 chess players in America is female, and only one of the top 100 chess players in the world is female, despite the fact that many despised minorities have succeeded in chess because of its inherent neutrality).

While the "glass cellar" of garbage collectors, school janitors, and road construction workers seems natural and fair to Womenists. This is almost identical to the viewpoint of formative Islam, which considered that dhimmi who succeeded were never as good as Muslims and that these dhimmi should be relegated to all the lowly and nasty roles in society. The other modern parallel is the ghastly spectacle of Jewish doctors and professors being forced by mocking Stormtroopers to sweep streets and clean latrines.

Absent from this formative Muslim viewpoint and the contemporary Womenist viewpoint is the notion of trade-offs. Business tycoons live with stress, often lose their families, and may die from heart attacks, while housewives may be bored and feel useless, they also do not have to worry about being fired and they have the companionship of their children.

This sneering condescending perspective must be wrapped in absolute moral certainty that sex or race or religion in every context and in clear degrees is superior to the "other" - the dhmmi, the male, the Jew.

There are hundreds of other examples of trade-offs operating in a healthy culture, but the pathology of the historical Islamic attitude toward dhimmi and the Womenist attitude toward men are both based upon the same logical inconsistency: all variables in an equation cannot be simultaneously maximized - and there are many variables in life.

What is the prognosis? Not good, sadly. As Bat Ye'or points out, the dhimmi of dar al-Islam slowly fell apart demographically and culturally. The religious heritage of Zoroastrians (modern Parsee) was almost extinguished; Jews and Christians who remained in the Muslim conquered lands that stretches from Indonesia to Morocco, began a long descent and frequently fought among themselves for the scraps thrown to them. Dhimmi were often given positions of power, just like Womenists are more than happy to have Bill Clinton as president, but this did not prevent a long drop into ignorance, poverty and isolation.

What is bad for men is also bad for women. Just as Muslim superiority led directly to the long decline of Islam into a backward, angry and vicious culture, so Womenist superiority will lead - has led, many would say - into a modern culture in which many women cannot understand why they cannot have everything in life.

Gaea or some other lifeless goddess of Womenism has promise them a perfect world, if only the "other" was sufficiently humbled and weakened and robbed. Killing Jews and Poles helped insure Nazi defeat. Massacres of Jews and Christians during the mythical and fake majesty of the Caliphate at Cordova, caused poor and fragmented Iberian Christian kingdoms to drive out the Muslims in the Reconquista. Hammering men again and again will not bring joy and peace to women either.

It is not just the Dhimmi whose lives and hopes are wrecked by irrational arrogance. It is not just Jew and Poles whose tears end up shed in the savagery of global war. It is not just men whose happiness and peace is crushed by the vile misology of Womenism. Everyone loses, every time.

Bruce Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a contributor to Citizens View, The Common Conservative, Conservative Truth and Port of Call.

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