It is a commonplace and entirely untrue lie that Islam had a golden era, and in that mythical state, viewed Jews and Christians as equals. No more absurd claim, other than Globaloney Warming, can be constructed. The Islamic hatred for the Christian was only surpassed by the Muslim detestation of Blacks [the original Kaffirs], and the sinful people of the 'book', the 'devious' Jew. As historian Louis Bertrand so eloquently expressed it, Muslim terror against the conquered Christians in Spain for example, was almost as profound as that against the Jew:
“To keep Christians in their place it did not suffice to surround them with a zone of famine and destruction. It was necessary also to go and sow terror and massacre among them. Twice a year, in spring and autumn, an army sallied forth from Cordova to go and raid the Christians, destroy their villages, their fortified posts, their monasteries and their churches.”
Muslim Spain – unmitigated carnage which proves yet again that Islam is peace.
The Arab invasions in the 7th and 8th centuries denuded and decimated more than half of 'Christianity' in the Mediterranean. Jews, Berbers, Christians, Greek-Romans, and the polyglot of merchants, artists, philosophers and skilled tradesmen were all negatively affected, by the onslaught. The Arabs were never a majority until much later in history. In the beginning they had little choice but to squat and rule as a minority. Some degree of 'tolerance' would be expected in such a circumstance. The entire edifice of Muslim rule was premised on the tax farming of Jews and Christians since Muslim males did not pay any taxed. Killing the entire host which supplies your wealth, slaves and cadre of sex vehicles or concubines, is probably not what any rational or in the case of Islam, irrational cult would enforce.
Thus the myth of 'inter faith' harmony. The necessities of tax farming and control over the vastly important slave trade does not mean that the Arabs were particularly interested in allowing 'freedom' or equality to the 'other'. They were very interested in chicks, gold and tax money. Islam is a doctrinaire theology of political power and control. It is not particularly concerned with the Golden Rule [the Koran has none], nor with respect, toleration or gratitude [except to the Meccan male moon deity Ali-ilah]. Though treated somewhat better than the Hindus or Buddhists who were exterminated in their millions, the 'peoples of the book' or Jews and Christians were still dhimmis, and second class slaves. The definitive study of this has been done by the Egyptian born and now French national Bat Yeor – another Islamic critic who is the target of post-modern hate and vitriol. But Yeor knows her topic as she asks of Islam:
“Are these countries conquered by Islam - Portugal, Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, and the southern regions of France and Italy, for example - Arab lands? The shari'a was imposed as far to the north as Hungary and Poland, not to mention all central Europe, including regions of Greece, ex-Yugoslavia, Rumania and Bulgaria up to the end of the nineteenth century. Are those countries Arab countries, in which non-Muslim inhabitants must return to the condition of dhimmis, whose testimony is rejected by Islamic courts? Are they once again going to don discriminatory garments such as the Talibans today demand; and be subject to the prohibition on building and renovating their churches, like the Copts in Egypt?”
Good questions. Ones that the Western multi-cultists can't answer.
The Dhimmis were and today are, second class slaves. Submit to Muslim power. Pay taxes. Shut up. If you transgress 'norms' we the Muslim elite reserve the right to take your property, wealth and women. Be nice. Be discriminating. And we will let you be.
This is not an orthodoxy of tolerance but of supremacism and control. Tolerating the 'other' to tax them, is not a religious or spiritual enterprise. It is political and economic. As distinguished Orientalist G.E. von Grunebaum has written:
“It would not be difficult to put together the names of a very sizeable number Jewish subjects or citizens of the Islamic area who have attained to high rank, to power, to great financial influence, to significant and recognized intellectual attainment; and the same could be done for Christians. But it would again not be difficult to compile a lengthy list of persecutions, arbitrary confiscations, attempted forced conversions, or pogroms."
Muslims did use educated and well connected Jews and Christians to help manage their empire. Why wouldn't they ? They were a minority, they needed the continuation of some sort of known bureaucracy and it made good PR. Political convenience however, does not make a philosophy of totalitarian control moral, or tolerant. It just makes it cynical.
JJ O'Neill also knows his topic, and writes in 'Holy Warriors' of the open Muslim contempt for the Christian during the so-called Islamic golden age – which never existed:
“The humiliating status provoked many revolts, punished by massacres. Insurrections erupted in Saragossa in 781 and 881, Cordoba (805, 818), Merida (805-13, 828, 829, and 868), and again in Toledo (811-819). Many of the insurgents were crucified, as prescribed in the Koran (5:33).”
Indeed. Bloody uprisings. Even dhimmis can get annoyed by their slave status. Arab Spain was anything but a multicultural paradise so prized by academics. It was a bloody Arab imposition of Koranic tyranny.
Throughout the entire history of Arab and Islamic imperialism the hated dhimmis were excluded from public office and armed service, and were forbidden to bear arms. They were not allowed to ride horses or camels, to build synagogues or churches taller than mosques, to construct houses higher than those of Muslims or to drink wine in public. They were forced to wear distinctive clothing and were not allowed to pray or mourn in loud voices — as that might offend the Muslims.
The dhimmi also had to show public deference toward Muslims; for example, always yielding them the center of the road. The dhimmi was not allowed to give evidence in court against a Muslim, and his oath was unacceptable in an Islamic court. To defend himself, the dhimmi would have to purchase Muslim witnesses at great expense. This left the dhimmi with little legal recourse when harmed by a Muslim.
And this imbalance in rights is now termed inter-faith equality ?
Islam of course has never been restructured or reformed over 1400 years. Islam and its Koranic invocations has remained in place for over 1000 years. It is ossified and static. It will never mutate. H.E.W. Young, British Vice Consul in Mosul, wrote in 1909:
“The attitude of the Muslims toward the Christians and the Jews is that of a master towards slaves, whom he treats with a certain lordly tolerance so long as they keep their place. Any sign of pretension to equality is promptly repressed."
The same is true today. Post 1945 almost 1 million Jews were expelled from Arab and Islamic states for example – thanks to Arab and Muslim racism. Many found refuge in Israel in hastily constructed camps. Those camps were gone after 10 years – its one-time inhabitants integrated into a surging Israeli society. Without a Christian state in the Middle East, Christians have fared far worse. Christian populations in Arab and Muslim lands have declined by 90 % in the past 100 years. The Muslims are either killing or forcing into exile, those 'others' of the book. It is a pattern repeated throughout the world and throughout the course of history. But never mind, the really smart people will still keep telling us that Islam is peace.