Death or Taxes: A Dhimmi's Choice

Thursday

Before Muhammad came along, the Middle East was made up of mostly Christians and Jews. But because of Islam's strong-arm tactics, those numbers have dwindled down to almost nothing.

According to Islamic doctrine, non-Muslim lands must be brought under the rule of Islamic law, and it is a religious obligation of all Muslims to work toward that goal. And when a new land is conquered by Islamic followers, the non-Muslim inhabitants are to be given the choice of either converting to Islam or death. Those who are Christian or Jews are offered a third option: Dhimmitude.

Dhimmis are allowed to practice their non-Muslim religion if they pay the jizya (a tax). If they convert to Islam, they no longer have to pay the tax, so there's a practical incentive to convert. Read more.

The tax takes money away from the dhimmis and their competing religions and gives that money to support Islam.

The income from these taxes (usually a 25% income tax) helped fund the Islamic conquests during the first two major jihads. They conquered vast lands, most of them already filled with Christians and Jews, many of whom did not convert at first, and their jizya poured huge sums of money into the Islamic war machine.

Eventually, the numbers of Christians and Jews dwindled down as they converted or escaped, until now, in most Islamic countries, Jews and Christians are very small minorities.

Several rules within Islamic law extend this effect. For example, dhimmis are not allowed to build any new houses of worship. They're not even allowed to repair already-existing churches or synagogues. This puts Christian and Jewish houses of worship in a state of permanent decline.

Also, non-Islamic prayers cannot be spoken within earshot of a Muslim — again, preventing Muslims from being influenced by a competing religion. No public displays of any symbols of another faith may be shown either.

All of this prevents the spread of any competing religion, and makes competing ideologies die out over time. That's why today there are so many "Muslim countries." Almost every other country in the world is made up of many different religions. But Islam has built-in features that eliminate all other religions over time.

One added rule makes it that much easier for Muslims to dominate non-Muslims within an Islamic state: Dhimmis are not allowed to own weapons of any kind. To subjugate a people, all dictatorial rulers in the history of the world have done the same thing: Disarm the subjugated people. They are much easier to manage, less dangerous, and less capable of upending the status quo.

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