Bat Ye'or is the most informed contemporary scholar of the unique Islamic institution of dhimmitude, the repressive and humiliating apartheid system imposed upon those non-Muslims (i.e., dhimmis) subjugated by Jihad. Sir Jadunath Sarkar, the pre-eminent historian of Mughal India, wrote the following in 1920 regarding the impact of centuries of Jihad and dhimmitude on the indigenous Hindus of the Indian subcontinent:
"The conversion of the entire population to Islam and the extinction of every form of dissent is the ideal of the Muslim State. If any infidel is suffered to exist in the community, it is as a necessary evil, and for a transitional period only. Political and social disabilities must be imposed on him, and bribes offered to him from the public funds, to hasten the day of his spiritual enlightenment and the addition of his name to the roll of true believers." "A non-Muslim therefore cannot be a citizen of the State; he is a member of a depressed class; his status is a modified form of slavery. He lives under a contract (zimma, or 'dhimma') with the State: for the life and property grudgingly spared to him by the commander of the faithful he must undergo political and social disabilities, and pay a commutation money. In short, his continued existence in the State after the conquest of his country by the Muslims is conditional upon his person and property made subservient to the cause of Islam."
According to Bat Ye'or, Eurabia is essentially a political project for a demographic and cultural symbiosis between Europe and the Arab Muslim world, a new extended Mediterranean "continent" made possible by EU authorities through deliberately favoring Muslim immigration, promoting Multiculturalism and the dissemination of Arab and Islamic culture in Europe. In the essay Andalusian Myth, Eurabian Reality, Bat Ye'or dispels one of the founding myths of Eurabia: that of the alleged "tolerance" of medieval Spain under Islamic rule.
During the completion of the new Granada Mosque, which was marked by celebratory announcements July 10, 2003 of a "...return of Islam to Spain," disconcerting statements were made by European Muslim leaders. Specifically, the keynote speaker at this conference, Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, a Spanish Muslim leader, encouraged Muslims to cause an economic collapse of Western economies (by ceasing to use Western currencies, and switching to gold dinars), while the German Muslim leader Abu Bakr Rieger told Muslim attendees to avoid adapting their Islamic religious practices to accommodate European (i.e., Western Enlightenment?) values.
Bat Ye'or states that: "We believe that reiterating these ahistorical, roseate claims about Muslim Spain abets the contemporary Islamist agenda, and retards the evolution of a liberal, reformed "Euro-Islam" fully compatible with post-Enlightenment Western values." "Iberia (Spain) was conquered in 710-716 AD by Arab tribes originating from northern, central and southern Arabia. Massive Berber and Arab immigration, and the colonization of the Iberian peninsula, followed the conquest. Most churches were converted into mosques. Although the conquest had been planned and conducted jointly with a strong faction of royal Iberian Christian dissidents, including a bishop, it proceeded as a classical jihad with massive pillages, enslavement, deportations and killings."
"In the regions under stable Islamic control, Jews and Christians were tolerated as dhimmis - like elsewhere in other Islamic lands - and could not build new churches or synagogues nor restore the old ones. Segregated in special quarters, they had to wear discriminatory clothing. Subjected to heavy taxes, the Christian peasantry formed a servile class attached to the Arab domains; many abandoned their land and fled to the towns. Harsh reprisals with mutilations and crucifixions would sanction the Mozarab (Christian dhimmis) calls for help from the Christian kings."
The humiliating status imposed on the dhimmis and the confiscation of their land provoked many revolts, punished by massacres, as in Toledo (761, 784-86, 797), Saragossa from 781 to 881, Cordova (805), Merida (805-813, 828), and yet again in Toledo (811-819). The insurgents were crucified, as prescribed in the Koran 5:33.
According to Bat Ye'or, "Feuding was endemic in the Andalusian cities between the different sectors of the population: Arab and Berber colonizers, Iberian Muslim converts (Muwalladun) and Christian dhimmis (Mozarabs). There were rarely periods of peace in the Amirate of Cordova (756-912), nor later." "Al-Andalus represented the land of jihad par excellence. Every year, sometimes twice a year, raiding expeditions were sent to ravage the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, bringing back booty and slaves. Andalusian corsairs attacked and invaded along the Sicilian and Italian coasts, even as far as the Aegean Islands, looting and burning as they went. Thousands of people were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the caliph kept a militia of tens of thousand of Christian slaves brought from all parts of Christian Europe (the Saqaliba), and a harem filled with captured Christian women. Society was sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines, with the Arab tribes at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the Berbers who were never recognized as equals, despite their Islamization; lower in the scale came the mullawadun converts and, at the very bottom, the dhimmi Christians and Jews."
Richard Fletcher observed in Moorish Spain that "Moorish Spain was not a tolerant and enlightened society even in its most cultivated epoch." A prominent Andalusian jurist, Ibn Hazm of Cordoba (d. 1064), wrote that Allah has established the infidels' ownership of their property merely to provide booty for Muslims. Ibn Abdun forbade the selling of scientific books to dhimmis, under the pretext that they translated them and attributed them to their co-religionists and bishops.
Bat Ye'or states that: "The Muslim Berber Almohads in Spain and North Africa (1130-1232) wreaked enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations. This devastation -- massacre, captivity, and forced conversion -- was described by the Jewish chronicler Abraham Ibn Daud, and the poet Abraham Ibn Ezra. Suspicious of the sincerity of the Jewish converts to Islam, Muslim "inquisitors" (i.e., antedating their Christian Spanish counterparts by three centuries) removed the children from such families, placing them in the care of Muslim educators."
"The socio-political history of Andalusia was characterized by a particularly oppressive dhimmitude that is completely incompatible with modern notions of equality between individuals, regardless of religious faith. At the dawn of the 21st century, we must insist that Muslims in the West adopt post-Enlightenment societal standards of equality, not 'tolerance,' abandoning forever their hagiography of the brutal, discriminatory standards practiced by the classical Maliki jurists of 'enlightened' Andalusia."
Some modern Spaniards, however, seem to have forgotten the painful lessons inflicted by an Islamic occupation that ended as late as 1492. Every year, in a tradition that goes back to the 16th century, Spanish villages still celebrate the Reconquista, the liberation from the Moors (as the Muslims were locally called) during "Moros y Cristianos" festivals in which effigies of the prophet Muhammad -- the so-called "la Mahoma" - are mocked, thrown out of windows, and burned. After the 2004 Madrid train bombings which killed 192 people, the village of Bocairent near Valencia decided to discontinue the century old tradition of mocking and burning effigies of Muhammad. Bocairent did not want to risk becoming the target of suicide bombers.
The Socialist government of PM Zapatero gained power after the bombings. Mr Zapatero's first act after winning the general election
was to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq. He then turned on the Church, which he viewed as part of the "old Spain." The government drew up plans to finance the teaching of Islam in state-run schools and to give funds to mosques on the grounds that it would create greater understanding of the country's one million Muslims. Spain's leading archbishop, Cardinal Antonio María Rouco, denounced the Socialist government, saying its policies were taking the country back to medieval times, when Muslim invaders swept across the Straits of Gibraltar. "Some people wish to place us in the year 711," Cardinal Rouco said. "It seems as if we are meant to wipe ourselves out of history."
These days, we also hear claims that we in the West owe so much to Muslims because Muslim Spain preserved and passed on Greek knowledge to the West, without which there would have been no Renaissance. The funny thing is, nobody seems to ask the Greeks about how good Muslims have been at preserving their cultural heritage. They might disagree.
The classical and Greek heritage didn't die when the Western Roman Empire collapsed, it continued in the Eastern Roman Empire, later known as the Byzantine Empire, as it was more Greek than Roman. It lived on there uninterruptedly until the 15th century when it was finally destroyed by, well, Turkish Muslims. The Byzantine Empire upheld the unbroken succession of Roman emperors for a thousand years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The Byzantines played a crucial part in the transmitting the classical and Greco-Roman heritage to Renaissance Italy, especially after the Ottoman Muslim conquest and the many Greek scholars fleeing to the West.
The Greeks bore the brunt of the Jihad for more than a thousand years. Muslims wiped out Greek communities all over the Eastern Mediterranean for centuries, a process that continued in countries such as "Turkey," the formerly Greek-dominated region of Anatolia, and Egypt even after WW2. If this is how Muslims "preserve Greek heritage," I hope they will never be in a position to "preserve" mine.
Robert Spencer describes how on Tuesday, May 29, 1453, the armies of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II entered Constantinople, breaking through the defenses of a vastly outnumbered and indomitably courageous Byzantine force. Historian Steven Runciman notes what happened next: The Muslim soldiers "slew everyone that they met in the streets, men, women, and children without discrimination. The blood ran in rivers down the steep streets from the heights of Petra toward the Golden Horn. But soon the lust for slaughter was assuaged. The soldiers realized that captives and precious objects would bring them greater profit." It has come to be known as Black Tuesday, the Last Day of the World.
The jihadists also entered the Hagia Sophia, which for nearly a thousand years had been the grandest church in Christendom. Muslim men then killed the elderly and weak and led the rest off into slavery. Once the Muslims had thoroughly subdued Constantinople, they set out to Islamize it. According to the Muslim chronicler Hoca Sa'deddin, "churches which were within the city were emptied of their vile idols and cleansed from the filthy and idolatrous impurities and by the defacement of their images and the erection of Islamic prayer niches and pulpits many monasteries and chapels became the envy of the gardens of Paradise."
One of the worst burdens on the dhimmi population in the Ottoman Empire was devshirmeh, the forced collection of young boys from Christian Greeks, Croats, Bulgarians, Serbs and Albanians to build a slave army of Janissaries. Vasiliki Papoulia highlights the continuous desperate, often violent struggle of the Christian populations against this brutally imposed Ottoman levy:
"It is obvious that the population strongly resented...this measure [and the levy] could be carried out only by force. Those who refused to surrender their sons -- the healthiest, the handsomest and the most intelligent -- were on the spot put to death by hanging. Nevertheless we have examples of armed resistance. Since there was no possibility of escaping [the levy] the population resorted to several subterfuges.
Some left their villages and fled to certain cities which enjoyed exemption from the child levy or migrated to Venetian-held territories. The result was a depopulation of the countryside."
John Quincy Adams, diplomat and 19th century President of the United States, understood Jihad well, and had lots of sympathy with the Greeks, who, along with the Serbs, were the first to revolt against Turkish Muslim rule: