Christian Communities in the Middle East
Jerusalem University College
Dr. Petra Heldt
October 27, 2003
"Christians In Muslim Countries"

I.   Dhimma
A.   Dhimma is an "unequal" treatment of other groups of people living in areas controlled by Muslims
B.   It is a word that would be like combining fagot and nigger (both sexual and social) in modern society to describe a people group - It is an official word/designation
C.   The Dhimma says that the cultivators of the land do not actually own the land
1.   Which means they can be expelled from there land
2.   This was established by Muhammad
D.   Concept started when Mohammad besieged Medina
1.   Khaybar was a wealthy area full of Jews and Christians
2.   Hudna - not a peace treaty but rather an agreement to stop war (maximum 10 years) only to have it begin again
E.   There are three options
1.   In order to avoid all of this they are given the chance to become Muslim
2.   They are given the choice to flee
3.   Or they are allowed to become a member of the Dhimma class
F.   According to Islam the world is divided into two parts
1.   Dari Al-Islam - the Muslim world
2.   Dari Al-Harb (the area of the sword) - the non-Muslim world
3.   Therefore the only relationship the Dari Al-Islam has with the Dar-Al-Harb is that of Jihad
a.   Jihad is carried out in conquest
i.   War
ii.   Terrorism
iii.   Fear
b.   Jihad is carried out in Dhimma - forcing those inhabitants who will not become Islamic into a lower social class
c.   Jihad is carried out in persuasion
i.   Media
ii.   Intellectualism (Academia)
G.   This still goes on today but they do not want to talk about it because they know it isn't acceptable to the west
H.   4-main conditions to be a Dhimma
1.   Taxation
a.   Kharay
i.   Paid to the Islamic ruler
ii.   This is a regular tax
iii.   Represents the Islamic countries right to conquer the land
iv.   By paying the tax you agree you are no longer the owner of the land
v.   You also accept you have no rights whatsoever
vi.   You are a servant (tenant) of the area
vii.   This is what happens in Bethlehem
a.   This can be as much as 80-90%
b.   There are only two-Christian shops left in Bethlehem
b.   Jizyah
i.   The pole tax
a.   This is nothing like a pole tax in the states because there is/was no election
b.   This is just the way the word Jizyah translates into English
ii.   This is a regular tax
iii.   Everyman has to pay (age 14-50) has to pay at least three times in their life
iv.   It is a public ceremony and humiliating - when paid he is hit on the head
v.   It is done to show who is the ruler and who is the servant
vi.   If it is not paid, the Dhimma has no right to be a protected person
vii.   It was because of this that tremendous amount of people converted to Islam either by group or family
viii.   Often times those who have paid the tax would have to accept wearing certain wooden objects, or have marks burned into themselves to prove they have paid
c.   Avaniz
i.   Irregular tax
ii.   Usually on travel or commercial goods (maybe like modern day "customs" fees)
d.   The "catch-22" about all of this is that the state depends on the tax money from the Dhimma (since Muslims aren't taxed), yet they want everyone to become Muslim
2.   Religion
a.   The Dhimma has the right to carry out his own religion
b.   But on the following conditions
i.   You cannot be seen or heard
ii.   You cannot have processions
iii.   You cannot see the church architecture from outside the walls - you cannot tell it is a church if you are walking by
iv.   No missions allowed
3.   Physical Appearance
a.   One aim: to set apart and degrade the people in society
b.   They have to wear black
c.   This is why they wear such elaborate elements in church (i.e. gold, jewelry, colorful embroidery)
4.   Legal status
a.   No equality with Muslims
b.   No free speech or ability to testify in court (they had to request a Muslim to take there case if they needed something settled in court)
c.   No Muslim woman is allowed to marry a Dhimma and if she does it anyway she is just killed
5.   All this applies to Jews as well, the only problem is that there are no Jews left in Muslim countries, there are Christians
II.   Psychological Effect
A.   There is no revolution possible after so much degrading; mere survival is all that is a concern
B.   Hatred
1.   Self-hatred
2.   Group-hatred
C.   Denial - you don't accept it because it cannot be true
D.   Servile - too willing to agree with somebody or to do whatever demeaning thing somebody wants (no backbone whatsoever)
III.   Why don't Christians speak up?
A.   The east feels oppressed so much that they have become silent (plus they don't really have an outlet even if they wanted to)
B.   The west feels separated from the church in the east so they do not feel any obligation to the church in the east
C.   The west becomes increasingly supportive of Islam in the west completely unknowing of Islam in the east is oppressing the church in the east