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The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude: Seventh-Twentieth Century Paperback – September 1, 1996
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[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)
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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).Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's okay if you want to know more about the culture and social interactions of people during that period. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sunrise
This book is groundbreaking. Needs to be read by anyone interested in current eventsPublished 3 months ago by A. Perry
How this man's story has not become a hit movie is beyond me. His life (as he told it) was so fascinating, full of murder, sex, and politics. Read morePublished 3 months ago by MJ
I'm surprised at how much I like this book. It's quite fascinating. However, I found it too long. I listened to about 4 hours on Audible, and they said I had 13 hours more to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Elizabeth
This book isn't the easiest book to read but is great at giving you all the history of Islamic expansion in the Middle East. Read morePublished 6 months ago by High Hat
I first read this in an undergraduate humanities course. Cellini's exploits and narcissism seemed almost cartoonish, but his voice struck with me and I find myself reading this... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
This guy is a freaking character. You won't believe some of the stuff this guy gets away withPublished 10 months ago by storytime2390
I read this book during my last year of college, which was 50 years ago. I thought I recalled liking it, but now that I have read it again -- not so much. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Bob Andretta
A really terrific autobiography and I suppose it was the first true autobiography (as opposed to something designed to make a point but not true biography).Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer