The World Islamic Congress meeting in Amman - discussion of dhimmi and dhimmitude




"Every one of the hundred million Arabs has been living ... to see the day Israel is liquidated"

Cairo Radio’s Voice of the Arabs broadcast, May 18th 1967.

The World Islamic Congress meeting in Amman, Jordan, 22 September 1967

An Analysis

“Jews of Arab Countries: the Congress is convinced that Jews living in Arab countries do not appreciate the kindness and protection that Muslims have granted them over the centuries. The Congress proclaims that the Jews who live in the Arab states and who have contact with Zionist circles or the state of Israel do not deserve the protection and kindness that Islam grants to non-Muslim citizens living freely in Islamic countries. Islamic governments must treat them as enemy combatants. In the same way, Islamic peoples must individually and collectively boycott them and treat them as mortal enemies."

- The World Islamic Congress meeting in Amman, Jordan, 22 September 1967


The philosophy underpinning this statement is the classic Islamic attitude to 'dhimmis' - non-Muslims (Jews, Christians, Sabeans, Zoroastrians).

Covenant of Umar

In the 7th century, because the Muslims were a minority controlling a huge empire of non-Muslims, the invading Arab armies instituted The Covenant of Umar. This body of rules decreed that non-Muslims did not have to convert to Islam as long as they deferred to the superiority of Muslims by submitting to a series of humiliating handicaps and restrictions. [see]

Moreover, the Jews submitted to 'protection' by Muslim rulers through payment of a heavy poll-tax or 'jizya'. The idea that the Jews should surrender their ability to defend themselves to Muslims is one reason why the idea of Israel, as an armed, sovereign state in the Middle East, is to this day anathema to fundamentalists striving to implement Islamic law - e.g. Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

'Dhimmi' status was abolished under the influence of the colonial powers in the 19th and early 20th centuries and Jews and Christians could aspire to equal rights with Muslims. On independendence, Arab states were 'secular', but all incorporated elements of Islamic law in their constitutions which in practice discriminated against non-Muslims. After 1948 laws were introduced branding 'Zionism' a crime in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Syria. From then on it was but a short step for Arab regimes to scapegoat all Jews living in Arab countries as Zionist spies, sometimes on the most spurious of grounds.

It is ironic that the World Islamic Congress made its 1967 statement in Jordan of all places: since 1922, when Transjordan was declared an exclusively Arab state in Palestine, Jews have been formally banned from settling in that country. - L.J.


Further reading

The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam - Bat Ye'or The Dhimmi book by Bat Ye'or

"This is not a book which makes pleasant reading for the multiculturalist. In point of fact it doesn't make pleasant reading at all.

What it does do is teach some hard lessons about the historical record of Islam in dealing with other faiths (and, it must be said, of Ecclesiastical Christianity in dealing with the Jewish nation). Although it must not be seen as a definitive text on Islamic theology - and indeed does not purport to be - it does also establish the context for the ongoing Kulturkampf in the Middle East.

It also goes a long way out of its path to provide fair consideration and historical context to the lessons it teaches." - Dr R J Mumford review on Amazon

Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide - Bat Ye'orIslam and Dhimmitude - book by Bat Ye'or

In this book, Bat Ye'or looks at "the people of the book", Jews and Christians in Islamic lands all over the globe. She has been criticized, because she is a Jew, of being biased in her research. However, I was surprised that she didn't write of Israel and anti-zionism more. That information is to be found in this book, but there is plenty of evidence from other dhimmi groups to make a case that, at least to me, islamic laws need reforming. Except that is no easy solution; Islamic law is perfect and to criticize it is blasphemous and the sentence for blasphemy is death!

What helped me in reading this book was what little I knew about the Armenian genocide during WWI from reading the Forty Days of Musa Dagh and Peter Balakian's The Burning Tigris. The deportations and slaughters, somehow becoming understandable upon reading this book, Bat Ye'Or revealing how Islamic law and jihad - Islamic war - operate in the dar al-Islam (land of Islam). Ownership of ammunition is forbidden the dhimmi as well as the building of new churches or synagogues. Mohammed has said that "the bell is the devil's pipe", Chapter 3: Religious and Social Aspects of Dhimmitude; therefore, without the simple church bell, communities are rendered utterly defenseless, unable to warn one another of dangers, unable to mobilize any defenses when protection (Jezhiya/poll tax) cannot be paid for. (In the USA we have the right to bear arms because of the second amendment in our constitution). - extract from "Scamp Lumm" review on Amazon