Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Embodiment of True Courage: Historian/Scholar Bat Ye'or

Bat Ye'or's new book Understanding Dhimitude is a collection of lectures written and delivered by the woman who almost single-handedly unearthed the truth about the historical treatment of Jews and Christians living under Islam. In the book's intro, Ye-or looks back at how, early on, her work triggered a huge uproar in certain quarters because it contradicted the received wisdom/narrative of the time:
     Others reproached me for defining the dhimmi conditions as a special religious and specific category. Obviously they thought that contemporary discrimination against Christians is just meaningless misfortune resulting from Israel's restoration, since allegedly Christians always lived in perfect harmony with Muslims. They claimed that the Islamic sense of justice has always prevented persecution of Jews and Christians. The present Muslim animosity against the West, as well as against Jews and Christians, was Israel's fault. Denying my analysis of jihad and shariah legislation for dhimmis, they accused me of falsifying history by being a Zionist and concealing secret objectives. They also pretended that Muslim hostility against the West stemmed from the Crusades. They curiously never thought that jihad and all the discriminatory legislation affective dhimmis had existed for three centuries before the first Crusade and that by the end of the eleventh century when the first Crusade started to be waged, Christianity in most Arab lands had considerably dwindled.
     I didn't know then that such opinions, so contrary to historical truth, were imposed by a well-built Judeophobic and Christianophobic political apparatus, which I described much later in Eurabia. Demonstrating that Muslim persecutions and discriminations against Jews and Christians were integrated within a legal and religious framework elaborated from the eighth century--which I had identified and called dhimmitude--earned me solid animosity and incensed Christian Arabists. In fact, such views couldn't be more abhorrent to people teaching that Jews and Christians lived in paradise under shariah law until the devilish Israeli state was created. The Palestinians, supported by European leaders since 1973, were seen as the agents for the return of such paradise and peace on Earth. Some write books to demolish me.
Now, that's "courageous."

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