Jordan’s King Abdullah said some time ago that “Islam honors every human being, without distinction of color, race, or religion.”
So that whole business of the jizyah, the kharaj, the distinctive garb, the ban on marrying Muslim women, the ban on riding horses, the inability to have one’s testimony against Muslims be considered valid, and a hundred other things — all of it is based on some hideous misunderstanding of Islam?
Perhaps it is King Abdullah himself who should be asked to take the lead, then, in Showing the True Face of Islam.
Here’s how. In 2005, King Abdullah received an honorary doctorate from Georgetown. So let The True Face be shown there. Every faculty member, every administrator, every student at Georgetown should read The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam by Bat Ye’or, and then possibly Islam and Dhimmitude. Then they should all read an online essay or two by Habib Malik, by Ibn Warraq, by Ali Sina.
Then, in solemn conclave assembled, let the Worthies of Georgetown write a collective letter. Perhaps leave the precise wording up to Professor James V. Schall. Circulate the letter, so that all those who have read The Decline of Eastern Christianity and the other recommended reading, or even read other books by the most acute students of Islam and dhimmitude before Bat Ye”or (Antoine Fattal, or Fagnan, Huart, Dufourcq, Henri Lammens, St. Clair Tisdall, Arthur Jeffery, Joseph Schacht), may have a chance to sign it.
One suspects that almost everyone will sign it, except possibly John Esposito, no doubt Host-for-the-Day at islamonline, or perhaps accepting another large “prize” from some Saudi foundation. John Voll and Yvonne Haddad may also be curiously unavailable to add their signatures.
And what should that Letter from Georgetown say to the recipient of its honors? It should ask King Abdullah if he could kindly explain just what he meant by his statement that “Islam honors every human being, without distinction of color, race, or religion” in the light of the treatment of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and Buddhists were given everywhere that they were subject to Muslim rule, beginning some 1300 years ago. And could he also explain the current position of Christians in the Muslim-ruled lands of Sudan, Egypt, northern Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, not to mention the position of those who seek to exercise their own freedom of conscience and embrace Christianity — presumably a matter of some interest and concern at the Jesuit-run, and Catholic-funded, Georgetown University?
Of course, Abdullah’s historical amnesia does not mean he should be removed. No one is suggesting that. So far the Bush Administration has not had the bright idea of extending Democracy (Which Is On the March) to Jordan. And that is good. Not because Jordan is an “ally” or Abdullah already wonderful. It isn’t; he isn’t. But his regime is better for Infidels than what would follow. And as we are buying time to get the Infidel house in order, and to engage in mass pedagogy about Islam, it is better to have local despots monitoring in their own countries, using their own methods of interrogation that are quite different from ours, and for their own purposes, because their power and wealth and positions are threatened, dealing more ruthlessly than Infidels, so far, have permitted themselves. Iraq has proved to be the Most Expensive Learning Curve in History. One hopes its lessons stick.
Nonetheless, with this letter Abdullah may have a little difficulty. He isn’t a patch on his winsome father, the “plucky little king” who won the admiration of so many, including Anthony Lewis and Prince Charles; on the other hand, this king does not have the expensive tastes of his father, whose season-tickets to various brothels (with girls who made house, or rather hotel, calls) — were paid for by the expansive CIA — which is to say, paid for by me and by you, my fellow taxpayers. At Deerfield, Abdullah was on the wrestling team. Perhaps some Infidel opponent from Andover or Exeter got him a headlock that lasted too long, or threw that direct descendant of Muhammad on the mat a little too hard. Thinking may not be his strong suit.
But he should be asked to give it a try.