Mar 5 2003
Israel and Islam
An Islamic website published the text of a 1993 speech extolling the equality enjoyed by non-Muslims in Muslim countries: “Dr. Hussain has given expression to the kind of most compassionate and fair treatment non-Muslim minorities should receive at the hands of the Muslim majority, according to the Muslim law. In fact one might be so bold as to propose that because the Islamic model for treatment of minorities serves Muslims so well, it also may be capable of serving other nations and countries as well by providing a universal code of conduct and general model for the treatment of minorities” (http://www.islamfortoday.com/minorities.htm). Non-Muslims are referred to as “Dhimmis.”
In 2002 the “Yale Daily News” reported on an address by a human rights activist and an Egyptian scholar examining how this compassionate system has fared:
"I compare Dhimmi to the laws and ideology of Jim Crow that lingered for decades after slavery was abolished in the American South. The Arab world's Dhimmi legacy, its Jim Crow, was given new life with the rise of Arab nationalism" (Malaka Bubliel, human rights activist).
“We are dealing with a legal code that forces a section of citizens into second-class status, disenfranchised and denied fundamental human rights. Yeor quotes a seventh-century caliph who describes the system as one whose purpose is to "produce a condition of humiliation, degradation, and vulnerability." The deep-rooted ideology of Dhimmitude becomes especially poignant in the Western world's struggles with Arab nations.
“Critics of Israel have adopted the term ‘apartheid’ to describe its current situation. Their claims of apartheid almost seem ridiculous in light of the Dhimmitude described by Yeor, Bubliel, and other scholars. On the one hand, you have Israel. Would an apartheid consist of full voting rights for all its citizens, including all Arab Israelis? How about 10 Arab members of the Israeli Parliament? Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Arab women can vote. Israel has a 72 percent Jewish population and an 18 percent Arab population, yet even though it rules by the majority (which makes it expressly non-apartheid), the minority is given full rights in all aspects of life, including voting, education, and employment.
“On the contrary, you have Pakistan with its anti-Christian legislation. There is Iran, with its systematic oppression of the Bahai community. Let's not forget Sudan's murder and enslavement of black Africans, as well as Indonesia's terrorizing of Christian minorities. Egypt stands proud in its oppression of Coptic Christians, while Islamic radicals in Bangladesh terrorize Hindu and Christian minorities. And then there's Saudi Arabia, whose theocratic policies can only be described as apartheid for all non-Muslims. And all these can be traced back to the concept of Dhimmitude (Krieger, “Locating Tolerance in the Arab World,” “Yale Daily News,” October 29,2002).