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The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam : From Jihad to Dhimmitude : Seventh-Twentieth Century Hardcover – January 3, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews


Ye'or's books on dhimmitude and jihad have an essential place in the ecumenical world. (James E. Biechler, Journal of Ecumenical Studies (Philadelphia) Journal of Ecumenical Studies)

[I]t must be allowed that behind Muslim thinking was the distinction between dar al-islam and dar al-harb; and while this may have had little effect on the actual course of events, it seems to have been present in the background. It is at this point that the basic question raised by Bat Ye'or’s book—the condition of the Peoples of the Book under Muslim rule—ties up with contemporary problems…It is of the utmost importance that Muslim jurists should consider whether such treatment of non-Muslims is in accordance with the Shari’ah or contrary to it. More generally, does the Shari’ah allow Muslims to live peaceable with non-Muslims in the ‘one world’ or must they regard it as dar al-harb? To have an answer to these questions may be a matter of urgency in a few years times. (William Montgomery Watt, Journal of Semitic Studies (London))

It seems likely that in the new century of clashing civilizations there will either be heightened conflict or a breakthrough to something like the beginnings of a dialogue… A good place to start is to understand the history that brought us where we are, and to that end I warmly recommend a careful and critical reading of Bat Ye’or’s The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam. (Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, First Things) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Bat Ye'or is a recognized specialist on the dhimmis and “dhimmitude.” --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 522 pages
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (January 3, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0838636780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0838636787
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,893,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This book is about the Islamisation of the Middle East (primarily), North Africa, Persia and the Balkans and how Muslim apologists and their Western apologist allies have concealed the countless attrocities, oppression and forced conversions of conquered non-Muslims by "killing history" (i.e supressing the truth and reinventing history).
Before the author is accused of tarnishing Islam and the Muslim community, it must be emphasised that this book draws heavily from quotes from the Quran (the Holy Book which Muslims claim was given by God to Prophet Muhammad); the Hadith (i.e. a compilation of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad); and articles written by renowned Muslim historians, theologians and jurists ....all of which advocates war against unbelievers until finally all of the latter are subjugated and the harsh and humiliating treatment which must be meted out on unbelievers until they embrace the "One True Religion".
The process of Islamisation can be broadly divided into 2 stages :
1) JIHAD - This concept is not only embodied in the Quran but is an obligation of every able bodied Muslim man as a means to bring Islam to the unbelievers. The Prophet Muhammad fought 66 to 67 wars (all or almost all of which were offensive) during his lifetime against Jews and pagan Arabs. A number of his wives and concubines (i.e. Reihana, Safiya etc)were actually taken from Jewish tribes which he defeated or massacred (i.e. Banu Nadir, Banu Quraiza etc). In the first stage of Islamisation (i.e. the Jihad) Muslim armies conquered the whole of the Arabian peninsula and then onwards to the Middle East, North Africa and Persia by the 7th and early 8th centuries. Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians were given the choice of conversion to Islam, death or becoming a Dhimmi (i.e. tributary).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite the number of people posting here saying this book is biased, no one has come forward to refute its conclusions. Why? Because they can't. Bat Ye'or uses eye-witness accounts and Muslims' own historical writings to tell the sad story of Christians and Jews who were made accomplices in their own cultural and actual destruction by the cruel laws of Islamic sharia. This is a very important book that tells the story of a forgotten people. In the 19th century especially, their sufferings were ignored and abetted by Islam-intoxicated Westerners refusing to face up to the aims of a relentless political ideology (NOT a religion) bent on world subjugation and domination. Sadly, such Westerners still exist and still seek to ignore and disguise the sufferings of millions of people persecuted by Islamic law and tradition: the Coptic Christians; Iranian Ba'hais; Indonesian Buddhists and Christians and Southern Sudanese animists/Christians. John Esposito and Karen Armstrong should shrink with shame at the very name of the great Bat Ye'or, an Egyptian scholar who, unlike those two famous Islamic apologists, must publish under an assumed name to avoid the consequences of telling the truth about the dark side of Islam.
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By A Customer on March 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Bat Ye'or has done the world an immeasurable service with this very scholary and sobering book on Islam and its Jihad and Dhimmitude against non-Muslims. We in the West, after having endured centuries of wars of religion, have come at last to accept the idea of tolerance of other religions. Islam, however, has an opposite credo: all non-Muslims live in "dar al-harb", the world of war; and Muslims mean this literally. The reader of this work must gird his loins as he learns of the persistent genocide throughout history of non-Muslims, which evil deeds go on even to this day (eg, against the Lebanese Christians). Of course, the same goes for Jews as well as all other non-Muslim religions. We learn from history here unveiled for Western eyes for the first time that, excepting only the Arabian Peninsula itself, the rest of the Middle East was originally (ie pre-Muhammed) non-Arab and pre-dominantly Christian, with large minorities of Jews as well as Zoroastrians, et al. These non-Muslim populations were brutally murdered (often with the women and children sold as slaves) and then the lands re-populated with Arab Muslims! This includes Palestine itself. The idea, then, that Palestinians have a "right" to this land, as they claim, is ipso facto absurd. It was originally Christian and Jewish land, then systematically and violently "de-populated" through Jihads, and then re-populatedwith Arab Muslims; and this occurred in the entire Middle East! That we are only now finding out about this sordid and tragic and unforgiveable history of unrelenting racial and religiious genocide is highly disturbing. And lest we think that this has stopped, read about the Muslims exterminating the Christian Armenians, millions of them, before and during WWI.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
For all who enjoy the writing of Bat Ye'or, I will say that "The Decline of Eastern Christianity" is only a prelude to his new book (I've read a galley copy), "Eurabia", an examination of the European-Arabic anti-American/Jewish alliance. If "The Decline" presents a horrifying picture of the past, "Eurabia" projects a similar future for any non-Muslims unlucky enought to live within a Muslim society.

If I hear another politician say, "Muslims are just like Methodists" (Bush) I am going berserk. Islam is NOT like any other modern religion in numerous respects. Nor, as the author points out, has it changed its fundamental beliefs and world view in the past 1300 years. It has, from its inception, spread through quite worldly methods - conquest, forced conversion and mass murder. Dhimmitude, that secondary status of all "infidels" within an Islamic society, has been and remains an integral part of the society. Byzantium was once a thriving culture, the original home of Christianity, the pathway between East and West. Yet, over hundreds of years those Christian areas - Turkey, Syria, Southern Europe, Southern Russia - became Muslim through sheer force. One should remember that this was state/church policy, not the decision of isolated kingpins. Muslims believe that subjugation, slavery and unequal treatment are not only allowable but moral if it furthers the faith. Thus, the question is viewed differently from the start.

The writing is detailed, documented, researched. For the most part, the evidence comes from Muslim sources. If Islam has not exactly been open about its society (and it is strangely authoritarian in so many ways) it has not exactly covered up its past. No, it has celebrated the lack of diversity found in almost every Muslim country.
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