2008: The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims / Andrew Bostom, Editor

This post consists of excerpts from Section 1 of Andrew Bostom’s remarkable book, The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims.

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Love & Thanks,
Steve St.Clair
Jihad Conquests and the Imposition of Dhimmitude: A Survey
Andrew G. Bostom

The late philosopher and theologian Jacques Ellul emphasized in his foreword to Les Chretiens d’Orient entre Jihad et Dhimmitude. VIIem—XXem siecle (1991), how contemporary historiography whitewashed the basic realities of jihad war:

In a major encyclopedia, one reads phrases such as: “Islam expanded in the eighth or ninth centuries …”; “This or that country passed into Muslim hands….” But care is taken not to say how Islam expanded, how countries “passed into [Muslim] hands.” … Indeed, it would seem as if events happened by themselves, through a miraculous or amicable operation. Regarding this expansion, little is said about jihad. And yet it all happened through war!

The jihad is an institution, and not an event, that is to say it is a part of the normal functioning of the Muslim world …. The conquered populations change status (they become dhimmis), and the shari’a tends to be put into effect integrally, overthrowing the former law of the country. The conquered territories do not simply “change owners.”

Writing more than six decades ago, Arthur Jeffery described the continuum from jihad to what has become known as dhimmitude–the sociopolitical status of those indigenous non-Muslim peoples vanquished by jihad campaigns:

Muhammed did at least propose that all Arabia should be the land of Allah and planned vigorous measures to insure that within its borders the religion of Allah should be supreme. Communities of the People of the Book [Book = Bible; thus referring primarily to Jews and Christians] might remain within the land, but they must be in subjection … deriving their rights from the supreme Muslim commu­nity, not from any recognized rights of their own. As the Arabs did not accept this without struggle, it had to be forced on them, and that meant war. But war in the cause of Allah is Holy War, and so even in the Prophet’s lifetime we have the question of Jihad.

Richard Bell, in his authoritative 1937 translation and exegesis of the Qur’an, demonstrates that Sura 9 “is a chapter of war proclamations,” and verses 9.29 to 9,35, specifically, “form in effect a proclamation of war against Jews and Chris­tians, and probably belong to the year IX [9 years after the Mika] when an expe­dition was designed for the North which would involve war with Christians and possibly also with Jews.”

Jeffery belittled as the sheerest sophistry

Attempts made in some circles in modern days to explain away all the Prophet’s warlike expeditions as defensive wars or to interpret the doctrine of Jihad as merely a bloodless striving in missionary zeal for the spread of Islam …. The early Arabic sources quite plainly and frankly describe the expeditions as military expeditions, and it would never have occurred to anyone at that day to interpret them as anything else …. To the folk of his day there would thus be nothing strange in Muhammad, as the head of the community of those who served Allah, taking the sword to extend the kingdom of Allah, and taking measures to insure the subjection of all who lived within the borders of what he made the kingdom of Allah.

The writings of Chiragh Ali Syed illustrate this apologetic modern sophistry, according to Jeffery, wherein “an … elaborate defense of Holy War by a series of extraordinary interpretations and combinations of texts, he (Ali Syed) resolves Jihad into little more than a summons to vigorous missionary activity.”

Thirty years later, Maxime Rodinson warned more broadly that “the anti-colonial left, whether Christian or not, often goes so far as to sanctify Islam and the contemporary ideologies of the Muslim world …. Understanding has given away to apologetics pure and simple.”

The prescient critiques of Jeffery and Rodinson anticipated the state of contemporary scholarship on jihad. Two salient examples of this current apologetic trend will suffice.

Writing in 2002, Khaled Abou El Fadl, a professor of law at UCLA, main­tained categorically that:

Islamic tradition does not have a notion of holy war. Jihad simply means to strive hard or struggle in pursuit of a just cause…. Holy war (al-harb al-muqaddasah) is not an expression used by the Qur’anic text or Muslim theologians. In Islamic theology war is never holy; it is either justified or not.

El Fadl’s recent contention cannot be supported on either theological-juridical or historical grounds, and in fact contradicts the conclusion of an earlier essay he wrote. Specifically, El Fadl wrote the following in 1999: “There is no doubt that Muslim jurists do equate just war with religious war (jihad).” His footnote for this quote cites the classical Hanbali jurist Ibn Taymiyya as well as two authoritative modern scholars of jihad, Majid Khadduri and Rudolph Peters.

John Esposito’s apologetic writings regarding expansionist military jihad simply ignore voluminous but inconvenient historical data. For example, he pro­vides this ahistorical characterization of the entire period between the initial Islamic jihad conquests, in the fourth decade of the seventh century CE, and the first Crusade in 1099 CE:

Five centuries of peaceful coexistence elapsed before political events and an imperial-papal power play led to centuries-long series of so-called holy wars that pitted Christendom against Islam and left an enduring legacy of misunderstanding and distrust.

Recently, Bat Ye’or analyzed Esposito’s summary assessment of the first mil­lennium of jihad conquests. Bat Ye’or notes how Esposito completely “Ignores the concepts of jihad and dar al-harb,” and she highlights the “thematic structure” of Esposito’s selective overview, typical of the prevailing modern apologetic genre:

Historical negationism, consisting of suppressing or sketching in a page or a paragraph, one thousand years of jihad which is presented as a peaceful con­quest, generally welcomed by the vanquished populations; the omission of Christian and, in particular, Muslim sources describing the actual methods of these conquests: pillage, enslavement, deportation, massacres, and so on; the mythical historical conversion of “centuries” of “peaceful coexistence,” masking the processes which transformed majorities into minorities, constantly at risk of extinction; an obligatory self-incrimination for the Crusades.

The remainder of this essay, as well as the juridical texts, historical accounts, scholarly analyses, and excerpts from eyewitness accounts that follow, will pro­vide the rationale for jihad as formulated by Muslim theologians and jurists, and highlight the global consequences of more than thirteen centuries of jihad cam­paigns during ancient, premodern, and modem times.

The essential pattern of the jihad war is captured in the great Muslim histo­rian al-Tabari’s recording of the recommendation given by Umar b. al-Khattab to the commander of the troops he sent to al-Basrah (636 CE), during the conquest of Iraq. Umar (the second “Rightly Guided Caliph”) reportedly said: “Summon the people to God; those who respond to your call, accept it from them, (This is to say, accept their conversion as genuine and refrain from fighting them) but those who refuse must pay the poll tax out of humiliation and lowliness. (Qur’an 9:29) If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency. Fear God with regard to what you have been entrusted.”

Jihad was pursued century after century, because jihad, which means “to strive in the path of Allah,” embodied an ideology and a jurisdiction. Both were formally conceived by Muslim juris-consults and theologians from the eighth and ninth centuries onward, based on their interpretation of Qur’anic verses (e.g., 9.5, 6; 9.29; 4.76-79; 2.214-15; 8.39-42), and long chapters in the Traditions (i.e., hadith, acts and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, especially those recorded by al-Bukhari [d. 869] and Muslim [d. 874]). The consensus on the nature of jihad from all four schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence (i.e., Maliki, Hanbali, Hanafi, and Shafi’i) is clear.

Ihn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (d. 996), Maliki jurist:

Jihad is a precept of Divine institution. Its performance by certain individuals may dispense others from it. We Malikis [one of the four schools of Muslim jurisprudence] maintain that it is preferable not to begin hostilities with the enemy before having invited the latter to embrace the religion of Allah except where the enemy attacks first. They have the alternative of either converting to Islam or paying the poll tax (jizya), short of which war will be declared against them.

lbn Taymiyyah (d. 1328), Hanbali jurist:

Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought. As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped and their like, they shall not be killed unless they actually fight with words (e.g., by propaganda) and acts (e.g., by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare).

From (primarily) the Hanafi school, as given in the Hidayah of Shaikh Burhanuddin Ali of Marghinan (d. 1196):

It is not lawful to make war upon any people who have never before been called to the faith, without previously requiring them to embrace it, because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith, and also because the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war…. If the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax, it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do.

Al-Mawardi (d. 1058 ), Shafi’i jurist:

The mushrikun [infidels] of Dar al-Harb (the arena of battle) are of two types: First, those whom the call of Islam has reached, but they have refused it and have taken up arms. The emir of the army has the option of fighting them … in accor­dance with what he judges to be in the best interest of the Muslims and most harmful to the mushrikun, Second, those whom the invitation to Islam has not reached, although such persons are few nowadays since Allah has made man­ifest the call of his Messenger … it is forbidden to … begin an attack before explaining the invitation to Islam to them, informing them of the miracles of the Prophet and making plain the proofs so as to encourage acceptance on their part; if they still refuse to accept after this, war is waged against them and they are treated as those whom the call has reached.

Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), Maliki jurist, renowned philosopher, historian, and sociologist,
summarized these consensus opinions from five centuries of prior Sunni Muslim jurisprudence with regard to the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad:

In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force …. The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense…. Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.

Shiite jurisprudence was in agreement with the Sunni consensus on the basic nature of jihad war, as reflected in this excerpt from the Jami-i-Abbasi (the popular Persian manual of Shia law) written by al-Amili (d. 1622), a distin­guished theologian under Shah Abbas I:

Islamic Holy war [jihad] against fol­lowers of other religions, such as Jews, is required unless they convert to Islam or pay the poll tax.

By the time of the classical Muslim historian al-Tabari’s death in 923, jihad wars had expanded the Muslim empire from Portugal to the Indian subcontinent. Subsequent Muslim conquests continued in Asia, as well as on Christian lands in eastern Europe. The Christian kingdoms of Armenia, Byzantium, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, and Albania, as well as parts of Poland and Hungary, were also conquered and Islamized. When the Muslim armies were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683, more than a millennium of jihad had tran­spired. These tremendous military successes spawned a triumphalist jihad liter­ature. Muslim historians recorded in detail the number of infidels slain or enslaved, the cities and villages that were pillaged, and the lands, treasure, and movable goods seized. Christian (Coptic, Armenian, Jacobite, Greek, Slav, etc.), as well as Hebrew sources and even the scant Hindu and Buddhist writings that survived the ravages of the Muslim conquests independently validate this narra­tive, and complement the Muslim perspective by providing testimonies of the suf­fering of the non-Muslim victims of jihad wars.

From Jihad to Dhimmitude

In The Laws of Islamic Govemance al-Mawardi (d. 1058), also examines the regulations pertaining to the lands and infidel (i.e., non-Muslim) populations sub­jugated by jihad. This is the origin of the system of dhimmitude. The native infidel population had to recognize Islamic ownership of their land, submit to Islamic law, and accept payment of the poll tax (jizya). Al-Mawardi highlights the most significant aspect of this consensus view of the jizya in classical Islamic jurispru­dence: the critical connection between jihad and payment of the jizya. He notes that “the enemy makes a payment in return for peace and reconciliation.”

Al‑Mawardi then distinguishes two cases: (1) Payment is made immediately and is treated like booty, however “it does, however; not prevent a jihad being carried out against them in the future” (2) Payment is made yearly and will “constitute an ongoing tribute by which their security is established.” Reconciliation and secu­rity last as long as the payment is made. If the payment ceases, then the jihad resumes. A treaty of reconciliation may be renewable, but must not exceed ten years. In the chapter “The Division of the Fay and the Ghaneemah [booty],” al­-Mawardi examines the regulations pertaining to the land taken from the infidels.

With regard to land taken through treaty, specifically, he indicates two possibili­ties: either the infidels convert or they pay the jizya and their life and belongings are protected. The nature of such “protection” is clarified in this definition of jizya by the respected Arabic lexicographer E. W. Lane, based on a careful analysis of the etymology of the term. The tax that is taken from the free non-Muslim sub­jects of a Muslim government whereby they ratify the compact that assures them protection, as though it were compensation for not being slain.”

Another important aspect of the jizya is the widely upheld view of the clas­sical schools of Islamic jurisprudence about the deliberately humiliating imposi­tion and procurement of this tax. Here is a discussion of the ceremonial for col­lection of the jizya by the thirteenth-century Shall’ ite jurist an-Nawawi:

The infidel who wishes to pay his poll tax must be treated with disdain by the col­lector: the collector remains seated and the infidel remains standing in front of him, his head bowed and his back bent. The infidel personally must place the money on the scales, while the collector holds him by the beard, and strikes him on both cheeks.

S. D. Goitein, in a seminal 1963 essay, highlighted the limitation of studying the potential economic and other adverse social consequences of the jizya without any reference to non-Muslim sources:

There is no subject of Islamic social history on which the present writer had to modify his views so radically while passing from literary to documentary sources, i.e., from the study of Muslim books to that of the records of the Cairo Geniza as the jizya … or the poll tax to be paid by non-Muslims. It was of course, evident that the tax represented a discrimination and was intended, according to the Koran’s own words, to emphasize the inferior status of the non­believers. It seemed, however, that from the economic point of view, it did not constitute a heavy imposition, since it was on a sliding scale, approximately one, two, and four dinars, and thus adjusted to the financial capacity of the taxpayer.

This impression proved to be entirely fallacious, for it did not take into consid­eration the immense extent of poverty and privation experienced by the masses, and in particular, their persistent lack of cash, which turned the “season of the tax” into one of horror, dread, and misery.

Jewish, Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, and Serbian sources provide copious evi­dence that the jizya-kharaj was demanded from children, widows, orphans, and even the dead. Indeed, these testimonies simply confirm what was prescribed at any rate by the Shafi’ite jurists, as expounded by an-Nawawi: “Our religion com­pels the poll tax to be paid by dying people, the old, even in a state of incapacity, the blind, monks, workers, and the poor, incapable of practicing a trade. As for people who seem to be insolvent at the end of the year, the sum of the poll tax remains a debt to their account until they should become solvent.

Tax collectors were accompanied by soldiers, inspectors, surveyors, and money changers paid, fed, and lodged for several days at the taxpayers’ expense. Although theoretically prohibited, punishment and torture were used by tax col­lectors to complete their task.

The Armenian chronicler Ghevond describes this bleak situation in Armenia under Abbasid rule during the eighth century:

One saw horrible scenes of every sort of torture; nor did [they] forget to tax the dead; the multitude of orphans and widows suffered the same cruelty; priests and ministers at the holy sanctuary were forced by the vile punishments of flog­ging and whipping to disclose the names of the dead and their parents; in short the whole population of the country, smitten with enormous taxes, after having paid large sums of zuze [silver coins], also had to wear a lead seal around their necks … as for the lower classes of the population, it had been exposed to dif­ferent sorts of torture: some suffered flagellation for being unable to pay exorbi­tant taxes; others were hanged on gibbets, or crushed under presses; and others were stripped of their clothing and thrown into lakes in the depths of an extremely cold winter: and soldiers spaced out on the banks prevented them clambering ashore and forced them to perish wretchedly.

Endemic to Muslim-controlled Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia, as well as Armenia, such brutal practices led to an indelible process of expropriation of the dhimmi peasantry in particular. Onerous taxation, combined with indebtedness to Muslim creditors, forced Christian and Jewish peasants to abandon their mort­gaged lands to their Muslim overlords, and go into exile or become slaves. The later Turkish Muslim conquests and Islamization of Anatolia and the Balkans con­tinued these processes between the eleventh and sixteenth centuries.

Finally, two remarkable accounts demonstrate the humiliating conditions under which the jizya was still being collected within the modem era. An Italian Jew traveling in Morocco in 1894 reported the following:

The kaid Uwida and the kadi Mawlay Mustafa had mounted their tent today near the Mellah [Jewish ghetto] gate and had summoned the Jews in order to collect from them the poll tax {Jizya] which they arc obliged to pay the sultan. They had me summoned also. I first inquired whether those who were European-protected subjects had to pay this tax. Having learned that a great many of them had already paid it, I wished to do likewise. After having remitted the amount of the tax to the two officials, I received from the kadi’s guard two blows in the
back of the neck. Addressing the kadi and the kaid, I said “Know that I am an Italian pro­tected subject.” Whereupon the kadi said to his guard: “Remove the kerchief covering his head and strike him strongly he can then go and complain wherever he wants.” The guards hastily obeyed and struck me once again more violently. This public mistreatment of a European-protected subject demonstrates to all the Arabs that they can, with impunity, mistreat the Jews.

And in a letter from January 30, 1911, by Avram Elmaleh, head of the Fez boys’ school, to the president of the Alliance Israelite Universelle in Paris, we learn the degrading conditions imposed upon the rabbinical leaders of the Moroccan Jewish community in connection with “community business” (i.e., such as payment of the jizya), even into the second decade of the twentieth cen­tury:

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter No. 1283 of 30 January, enclosing a letter from Rabbi Vidal Sarfaty. The rabbi asks you to intervene with Si Mohamed el Mokri, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, at present in Paris, for the abolition of the degrading custom imposed on Jews, not to enter Dar el Maghzen except barefoot. Unfortunately, the facts given in Rabbi Vidal’s letter are correct. Jews must take off their shoes at the gate of Dar-Maghzen. Quite apart from the humiliation involved in this measure, it is an intolerable suf­fering for our co-religionists to be obliged to stand many hours barefoot on the earth of the Palace courtyard, which is either cold and damp or white-hot from the summer sun. Rabbi Vidal, a regular visitor to the Dar-Maghzen in connection with community business or on behalf of individuals, has often returned ill from a rather too long sojourn in front of the offices.

It is my opinion that it would he impossible to obtain an order from the Sultan to allow Jews to enter the Palace with their shoes on. It is a concession which his pride would not permit, and one quite contrary to the Muslim conception of the relative positions of the Jews and themselves.

The contract of the jizya or dhimma encompassed other obligatory and rec­ommended obligations for the conquered non-Muslim dhimmi peoples. Collec­tively, these “obligations” formed the discriminatory system of dhimmitude Imposed upon non-Muslims — Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and Buddhists—subjugated by jihad. Some of the more salient features of dhimmitude include: the prohibition of arms for the vanquished non-Muslims (dhimmis) and of church bells; restrictions concerning the building and restoration of churches, synagogues, and temples; inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims with regard to taxes and penal law; the refusal of dhimmi testimony by Muslim courts; a requirement that Jews, Christians. and other non-Muslims, including Zoroastrians and Hindus, wear special clothes; and the overall humiliation and abasement of non-Muslims. It is important to note that these regulations and atti­tudes were institutionalized as permanent features of the sacred Islamic law, or sharia. The writings of the much lionized Sufi theologian and jurist al-Ghazali (d. 1111)—the famous theologian, philosopher, and paragon of mystical Sufism. who, as noted by the renowned scholar W. M. Watt, has been “acclaimed in both the East and West as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad”—highlight how the institution of dhimmitude was simply a normative and prominent feature of the sharia:

The dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle Jews, Christians, and Majians must pay the jizya I poll tax on non-Muslims; on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official rakes hold of his beard and hits [the dhimmi] on the protruberant bone beneath his ear, the mandible. … They are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells their houses may not be higher than the Muslim’s, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle-work is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They [the dhimmis] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the [public] baths [dhimmis] must hold their tongue.

Ignaz Goldziher believed that Shi’ism manifested greater doctrinal intoler­ance toward non-Muslims, relative to Sunni Islam:

On examining the legal documents, we find that the Shi’i legal position toward other faiths is much harsher and stiffer than that taken by Sunni Muslims. Their law reveals a heightened intolerance to people of other beliefs of the severe role in the Qur’an (9:28) that “unbelievers are unclean,” Sunni Islam has accepted an interpretation that is as good as a repeal. Shi’i Jaw, on the other hand. has maintained the literal sense of the rule; it declares the bodily substance of the unbeliever to be ritually unclean, and lists the touching of an unbeliever among the ten things that produce najasa, ritual impurity.

Mohammad Bayer Majlesi (d. 1699), the highest institutionalized clerical officer under both Shah Sulayman (1666-1694) and Shah Husayn (1694-1722), was perhaps the most influential cleric of the Safavid Shi’ite theocracy in Persia. By design, he wrote many works in Persian to disseminate key aspects of the Shia ethos among ordinary persons. His Persian treatise Risala-yi Sawa’iq Al-Yahud (Lightning Bolts against the Jews), despite its title, was actually an overall guide­line to anti-dhimmi regulations for all non-Muslims within the Shiite theocracy. In this treatise, Al-Majlisi describes the standard humiliating requisites for non-Mus­lims living under the sharia, first and foremost, the blood ransom. He then enumerates six other restrictions relating to worship, housing, dress, transporta­tion, and weapons (specifically, i.e., to render the dhimmis defenseless), before outlining the unique Shiite impurity or najas regulations. It is these latter najas prohibitions that lead anthropology professor Laurence Loeb (who studied and lived within the Jewish community of southern Iran in the early 1970s) to observe, “Fear of pollution by Jews led to great excesses and peculiar behavior by Muslims.”

According to Al-Majlisi:

And, that they should not enter the pool while a Muslim is bathing at the public baths…. It is also incumbent upon Muslims that they should not accept from them victuals with which they had come into contact, such as distillates, which cannot be purified. If something can be purified, such as clothes, if they are dry, they can be accepted, they are clean. But if they [the dhimmis]had come into contact with those cloths in moisture they should be rinsed with water after being obtained. As for hide, or that which has been made of hide such as shoes and boots, and meat, whose religious cleanliness and lawfulness are conditional on the animal’s being slaughtered [according to the shade], these may not be taken from them. Similarly, liquids that have been preserved in skins, such as oils, grape syrup, [fruit] juices, myrobalan, and the like, if they have been put in skin containers or water skins, these should [also] not be accepted from them…. It would also be better if the ruler of the Muslims would establish that all infidels could not move out of their homes on days when it rains or snows because they would make Muslims impure.

Bat Ye’or is an accomplished contemporary scholar of those unique Islamic institutions that regulate the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims: jihad and its corollary institution, dhimmitude, the repressive and humiliating system of governance imposed upon those non-Muslims (i.e., dhimmis) subjugated by jihad. Although she coined the term dhimmitude, Bat Ye’or’s characterization of the salient features of this institution is entirely consistent with the views of seminal scholars from the early and mid-twentieth century.

Sir Jadunath Sarkar, for example, a preeminent 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:

Islamic theology, therefore tells the true believer that his highest duty is to make “exertion (jihad) in the path of God,” by waging war against infidel lands (dar-al-harb) till they become part of the realm of Islam (dar-al-Islam) and their pop­ulations are converted into true believers. After conquest the entire infidel population becomes theoretically reduced to the status of slaves of the conquering army. The men taken with arms are to be slain or sold into slavery and their wives and children reduced to servitude. As for the non-combatants among the van­quished, if they are not massacred outright, —as the canon lawyer Shari declares to be the Qur’anic injunction,—it is only to give them a respite till they are so wisely guided as to accept the true faith.
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 he 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 we 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 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.

He must pay a tax for his land (kharaal), from which the early Muslims were exempt; he must pay other exactions for the maintenance of the army, in which he cannot enlist even if he offers to render personal service instead of paying the poll-tax; and he must show by humility of dress and behavior that he belongs to a subject class. No non-Muslim can wear fine dresses, ride on horseback or carry arms; he must behave
respectfully and submissively to every member of the dominant sect. As the learned Qazi Mughis-ud-din declared, in accordance with the teach­ings of the books on Canon Law: “The Hindus are designated in the Law as ‘payers of tribute’ (kharaj-guzar); and when the revenue officer demands silver from them, they should, without question and with all humility and respect, tender gold. If the officer throws dirt into their mouths, they must without reluc­tance open their mouths wide to receive it.” By these acts of degradation are shown the extreme obedience of the zimmi [dhimmi], the glorification of the true faith of Islam, and the abasement of false faiths. God himself orders them to be humiliated, (as He says, “till they pay jaziya”) with the hand and are humbled.

The Prophet has commanded us to slay them, plunder them, and make them captive …. No other religious authority except the great Imam (Hanifa) whose faith we follow, has sanctioned the imposition of jaziya on Hindus. According to all other theologians, the rule for Hindus is “Either death or Islam.”

The zimmi is under certain legal disabilities with regard to testimony in law courts, protection under criminal law, and in marriage … he cannot erect new temples, and has to avoid any offensive publicity in the exercise of his worship. … Every device short of massacre in cold blood was resorted to in order to con­vert heathen subjects. In addition to the poll-tax and public degradation in dress and demeanor imposed on them, the non-Muslims were subjected to various hopes and fears. Rewards in the form of money and public employment were offered to apostates from Hinduism. The leaders of Hindu religion and society were systematically repressed, to deprive the sect of spiritual instruction, and their religious gatherings and processions were forbidden in order to prevent the growth of solidarity and sense of communal strength among them. No new temple was allowed to be built nor any old one to be repaired, so that the total disappearance of Hindu worship was to be merely a question of time. But even this delay, this slow operation of Time, was intolerable to many of the more fiery spirits of Islam, who tried to hasten the abolition of “infidelity” by anticipating the destructive hand of Time and forcibly pulling down temples.

When a class are publicly depressed and harassed by law and executive caprice alike, they merely content themselves with dragging on an animal exis­tence. With every generous instinct of the soul crushed out of them, the intellec­tual culture merely adding a keen edge to their sense of humiliation, the Hindus could not be expected to produce the utmost of which they were capable; their lot was to be hewers of wood and drawers of water to their masters, to bring grist to the fiscal mill, to develop a low cunning and flattery as the only means of saving what they could of their own labor. Amidst such social conditions, the human hand and the human spirit cannot achieve their best; the human soul cannot soar to its highest pitch. The barrenness of intellect and meanness of spirit of the Hindu upper classes are the greatest condemnation of Muhammadan rule in India. The Muhammadan political tree judged by its fruit was an utter failure.

Nearly four decades later, Antoine Fattal, whose 1958 Le Statut Legal de Musulmans en Pays’ d ‘Islam remains the benchmark analysis of non-Muslims (especially Christians and Jews) living under the sharia (i.e., Muslim law), observed:

Even today, the study of the jihad is part of the curriculum of all the Islamic insti­tutes. In the universities of Al-Azhar, Nagaf, and Zaitoune, students are still taught that the holy war jihad) is a binding prescriptive decree, pronounced against the Infidels, which will only be revoked with the end of the world…. If he [the dhimmi] is tolerated, it is for reasons of a spiritual nature, since there is always the hope that he might he converted; or of a material nature, since he bears almost the whole tax burden. He has his place in society, but he is con­stantly reminded of his inferiority .. . In no way is the dhimmi the equal of the Muslim. He is marked out for social inequality and belongs to a despised caste; unequal in regard to individual rights; unequal in the Law Courts as his evidence is not admitted by any Muslim tribunal and for the same crime his punishment is greater than that imposed on Muslims… No social relationship, no fellowship is possible between Muslims and dhimmis.

Bat Ye’or’s seminal contribution to the study of jihad and dhimmitude has been her unique ability to accomplish two related tasks: (I) methodically pooling a vast, rich array of primary source data; (2) providing a brilliant synthetic analysis of these data to demonstrate convincingly the transformative power of jihad and dhimmitude, operating as designed, within formerly Christian societies of the Near Fast and Asia Minor. Mary Boyce, emeritus professor of Iranian studies at the University of London, has confirmed the external validity of Bat Ye’or’s analytical approach in her description of how jihad and dhimmitude (without the latter being specifically identified as such) transformed Zoroastrian society in an analogous manner. Boyce has written comprehensive assessments of those Zoroastrian communities that survived the devastating jihad conquests of the mid-seventh through early eighth centuries. The Zoroastrians experienced an ongoing, inexorable decline over the next millennium due to constant sociopolit­ical and economic pressures exerted by their Muslim rulers and neighbors. This gradual but continuous process was interspersed with periods of accelerated decline resulting from paroxysms of Muslim fanaticism—pogroms, forced con­versions, and expropriations—through the latter half of the nineteenth century. Boyce describes these complementary phenomena based on a historical analysis, and her personal observations living in the central Iranian Yezd area during the 1960s:

In the mid nineteenth century disaster overtook Turkabad, in the shape of what was perhaps the last massed forcible conversion in Iran. It no longer seems pos­sible to learn anything about the background of this event; but it happened, so it is said, one autumn day when dye-madder–then one of the chief local crops— was being lifted. All the able-bodicd men were at work in teams in the fields when a body of Moslems swooped on the village and seized them. They were threatened, not only with death for themselves, but also with the horrors that would befall their women and children, who were being terrorized at the same time in their homes; and by the end of the day of violence most of the village had accepted Islam. To recant after a verbal acknowledgement of Allah and his prophet meant death in those days, and so Turkabad was lost to the old religion. Its fire-temple was razed to the ground, and only a rough, empty enclosure remained where once it had stood.

A similar fate must have overtaken many Iranian villages in the past, among those which did not willingly embrace Islam; and the question seems less why it happened to Turkabad than why it did not overwhelm all other Zoroastrian set­tlements. The evidence,scanty though it is, shows, however, that the harassment of the Zoroastrians of Yazd tended to be erratic and capricious, being at times less harsh, or bridled
by strong governors; and in general the advance of Islam across the plain, through relentless, seems to have been more by slow erosion than by furious force. The process was till going on in the 1960s, and one could see, therefore, how it took effect. Either a few Moslems settled on the outskirts of a Zoroastrian village, or one or two Zoroastrian families adopted Islam. Once the dominant faith had made a breach, it pressed in remorselessly, like a rising tide. More Moslems came, and soon a small mosque was built, which attracted yet others. As long as Zoroastrians remained in the majority, their lives were tolerable; but once the Moslems became the more numerous, a petty but pervasive harassment was apt to develop. This was partly verbal, with taunts about fire-worship, and comments on how few Zoroastrians there were in the world, and how many Moslems, who must therefore posses the truth; and also on how many material advantages lay with Islam. The harassment was often also physical; boys fought, and gangs of youth waylaid and bullied individual Zoroastrians. They also diverted themselves by climbing into the local tower of silence and desecrating it, and they might even break into the fire-temple and seek to pollute or extinguish the sacred name. Those with criminal leanings found too that a reli­gious minority provided tempting opportunities for theft, pilfering from the open fields, and sometimes rape and arson. Those Zoroastrians who resisted all these pressures often preferred therefore in the end to sell out and move to some other place where their co-religionists were still relatively numerous, and they could live at peace; and so another village was lost to the old faith. Several of the leading families in Sharifabad and forebears who were driven away by intense Moslem pressure from Abshahi, once a very devout and orthodox village on the southern outskirts of Yazd; and a shorter migration had been made by the family of the centenarian “Hajji” Khodabakhsh, who had himself been born in the 1850s and was still alert and vigorous in 1964. His family, who were very pious, had left their home in Ahmedabad (just to the north of Turkabad) when he was a small boy, and had come
to settle in Sharifabad to escape persecution and the threats to their orthodox way of life. Other Zoroastrians held out there for a few decades longer, but by the end of the century Ahmedabad was wholly Moslem. as Abshahi become in 1961. [Boyce’s footnote: The last Zoroastrian family left Abshahi in 1961, after the rape and subsequent suicide of one of their daughters.] It was noticeable that the villages which were left to the Zoroastrians were in the main those with poor supplies of water. where farming conditions were hard.

The Jihad Campaigns: A Historical Overview

Muhammad and the Inception of the Great Jihad

September 622 marks a defining event in Islam — the hijra. Muhammad and a Coterie of followers (the Muhajirun), persecuted by fellow Banu Quraysh tribesmen who rejected Muhammad’s authenticity as a divine messenger, fled from Mecca to Yathrib, later known as Al-Medina (Medina). Moshe Gil notes that Muslim sources described Yathrib as having been a Jewish city founded by a Palestinian diaspora population that had survived the revolt against the Romans.’ Distinct from the nomadic Arab tribes, the Jews of the north Arabian peninsula were highly productive oasis farmers. These Jews were eventually joined by itin­erant Arab tribes from southern Arabia who settled adjacent to them and transi­tioned to a sedentary existence,

Following Muhammad’s arrival, he created a “new order,” as described by Gil:

Establishing a covenant between the tribes which imposed its authority on every clan and its members, I which] soon enabled him to attack the Jews and eventually wipe out the Jewish population of the town. Some were banned from the towns, others were executed, and their property—plantations, fields, and houses—was distributed by Muhammad among his followers, who were desti­tute refugees from Mecca. He also used the former properly of the Jews to estab­lish a war fund, setting up a well-equipped army corps of cavalry troops the likes of which had never before been seen on the Arabian peninsula. Muhammad evi­dently believed in the capacity of this army, imbued with fiery religious belief, to perform great and sensational feats of valor.

W. M. Watt has emphasized Muslim religious zeal, not socioeconomic fac­tors, as the predominant, sustaining motivation for the jihad conquests of early Islam:

As one reflects on the origin of Islam, it becomes clear that there was nothing inevitable about the development of a world religion from the economic and social circumstances of early seventh century Mecca. The malaise of the times might easily have found some alleviation without achieving anything more than transient and local importance. There were several moments in the early history of Islam when, if the scales had been tilted slightly in the other direction, there would never have been an Arab empire, and there would not now [i.e.. as of this 1953 lecture] be 300 million Muslims. There were several battles where it was “touch and go” for Muhammad and his followers. That things happened as they did for the Arabs was perhaps sometimes just luck and good fortune—or perhaps not What can hardly be doubted is that without the system of ideas we call Islam, the whole historical development would have been impossible. Islamic ideology alone gave the Arabs that outward-looking attitude which enabled them to become sufficiently united to defeat the Byzantine and Persian empires. Many of them may have been concerned chiefly with booty for themselves. But men who were merely raiders out for booty could not have held together as the Arabs did. The ideology was no mere epiphenomenon but an essential factor in the histor­ical process.

Richard Bell summarized Muhammad’s final interactions with the Jews and Christians of Medina and northern Arabia. His analyses, based upon the sacred Muslim texts (i.e, Qur’an, hadith, and sira), authoritative Qur’anic commentaries, and the narratives of Muslim chroniclers of early Islam, also underscored the the­ological basis for the “Great Jihad”:

His relations with the Jews form a part of all biographies of Muhammad, for they worked out to a bitter and savage conclusion in the course of his first few years residence in Medina…. Shortly after the Battle of Badr a Jewish tribe, the Bani Qainuqa, were deprived of their goods, and expelled from Medina. The Bani Nadir were similarly expelled some two years later. and finally the Rani Quraiza were besieged, and, after capitulation at discretion, were slaughtered, their goods confiscated, their women and children enslaved. This bitter hostility was no doubt due to the annoyance which the opposition of the Jews caused him … in Muhammad’s mind there also rankled the old feeling that the Jews had misled him in regard to what the Revelation contained, and having discovered that Jesus had been a prophet to the Bani !stall whom the Jews had rejected, he may have in his own mind justified his harsh dealing with them by the reflection that they were renegades who had already more than once rejected the Divine message. .. But when Muhammad’s power began to spread in Arabia his attitude towards the Christians soon began to cool. Any real alliance or even peaceful accommo­dation was indeed impossible from the first. Muhammad complains (Q.2:113/114) that neither Jews nor Christians will be satisfied with him until he follows their milla or type of religion. It was just as impossible for him to make concessions…. Thus the relationship with the Christians ended as that with the Jews ended—in war…. We know that before the end of his life Muhammad was in conflict with Christian populations in the north of Arabia, and even within the confines of the Roman [Byzantine] Empire. What would have happened if he had lived we do not know. But probably the policy which Abu Bakr carried on was the policy of Muhammad himself. There could have been no real compromise. He regarded himself as vicegerent of God upon earth. The true religion could only be Islam as he laid it down, and acceptance of it meant acceptance of his divinely inspired authority…. The Hijra and the execution of the Divine vengeance upon the unbelievers of Mecca had given the immediate occasion for the organization of such a warlike community. The victory of Badr confirmed it. This is what it had grown to, a menace to whatever came in its way. Muhammad could bide his time, but he was not the man to depart from a project which had once taken hold of his mind as involved in his prophetic mission and authority. He might look with favor upon much in Christianity, but unless Christians were prepared to accept his dictation as to what the true religion was, conflict was inevitable, and there could have been no real peace while he lived.

Only limited forays—razzias (raids)—against Byzantine civilization in Palestine occurred during Muhammad’s lifetime. Within two years of Muhammad’s death, however, Abu Bakr, the first caliph, launched the Great Jihad. The ensuing three decades witnessed Islamdom’s most spectacular expansion, as Muslim armies subdued the entire Arabian Peninsula, and conquered ter­ritories that had been in Greco-Roman possession since the reign of Alexander the Great.60 Despite Greek domination and Hellenization of these lands for over nine centuries (largely unaltered by the intervening Roman conquest), in less than two centuries, as Constantelos has observed, “Both Hellenism and Christianity were eliminated as major ethnic, religious, and cultural forces in the Near East, save in Asia Minor and Cyprus.”

Walter Kaegi underscores the Byzantines’ lack of adequate understanding, and hence strategic intelligence, about their Muslim adversary’s organizational Prowess and religious zeal: “Part of Byzantium’s difficulties was generally poor intelligence on the Muslims and failure to act rapidly, properly, and decisively on what intelligence they did acquire about the Muslims. Although some Byzantines were immediately aware of the Islamic component in the motivation of Arabs, Byzantines generally underestimated the religious motivation of Arabs as Mus­lims, and understood very little about this new religion.”

Whether one subscribes to the theory of “lightning jihad conquest” or a more gradual process facilitated by continuous Arab Muslim migration and razzias under the banner of Islam, the result was a weakening and then a disinte­gration of both the Persian (and much of) the Byzantine empires and the Islamiza­tion of the Near East. Ibn Hudayl, a fourteenth-century Granadan author of an important treatise on jihad, outlined (and endorsed) those methods that in fact facilitated the jihad conquests of Byzantine and Persian territories, and, subse­quently, the Iberian Peninsula and other parts of Christian Europe:

It is permissible to set fire to the lands of the enemy, his stores of grain, his beasts of burden—if it is not possible for the Muslims to take possession of them—as well as to cut down his trees, to raze his cities, in a word. to do everything that might ruin and discourage him, provided that the imam (i.e., the religious “guide” of the community of believers) deems these measures appropriate, suited to hastening the Islamization of that enemy or to weakening him. Indeed, all this contributes to a military triumph over him or to forcing him to capitulate.

The twentieth-century historian Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq characterized the impact of such repeated attacks:

It is not difficult to understand that such expeditions sowed terror. The historian al-Maqqari, who wrote in seventeenth-century Tlemcen in Algeria. explains that the panic created by the Arab horsemen and sailors, at the time of the Muslim expansion in the zones that saw those raids and landings, facilitated the later con­quest, if that was decided on: “Allah,” he says. “thus instilled such fear among the infidels that they did not dare to go and fight the conquerors, they only approached them as suppliants, to beg for peace.

Bat Ye’or makes a distinction between the plight of the inhabitants of rural versus city communities when subjected to these razzias and full-fledged jihad campaigns:

[Rural] areas, particularly the plains and valleys populated with hamlets and vil­lages, were ravaged by the Bedouins who set lire to crops, massacred and earned off the peasantry and their cattle, and left nothing but ruins- Townspeople were in a different position. Protected by their walls, they could defend themselves or negotiate the conditions of their surrender on payment of tribute to the Bedouin chiefs. This distinction mentioned in contemporary Christian accounts, is con­firmed by later Muslim historians. In fact, the record of the precise progress of the Arab conquests constituted a basic principle in the earliest stages of Muslim law, since it fixed not only the nature and taxation of the land, but also the legis­lation applicable to its indigenous inhabitants … the majority of the villages fell into the category of conquest without treaty- According to the strategy of jihad. the absence of a treaty allowed the massacre or enslavement of the conquered population, and the division of their property. Whatever the land, country, or people vanquished, this pattern invariably recurred in the … cycles of Islamiza­tion …. It reconciled the predatory habits of the Bedouins vis-a-vis the settled populations with the rules of jihad and, naturally, with the customary practices of the time.

However, as Bat Ye’or also observes, actual practice, all too frequently for certain vanquished cities, mimicked the harsh jihad-mandated tenets for rural areas overrun in the absence of a treaty:

Town populations were not always spared. They often suffered massacre or slavery, always accompanied by deportations. This was the fate of the Christians and Jews of Aleppo, Antioch, Ctesiphon, Euchaita, Constantia, Pathos (Cyprus), Pergamum, Sardes. Germanicea (Marash), and Samosata—to cite but a few examples. In the course of the Umayyads’ last attempt to take Constantinople (717), the Arab army commanded by Maslama carried out a pincer movement by land and sea and laid waste the whole region around the capital.

By 750 CE — under the first four caliphs and the rulers of the Umayyad-Dam­ascene Dynasty—Muslim invaders had defeated Persian armies capturing Baby­lonia, Susiana, Mesopotamia, and Armenia, and extending east to Sind on the Indian subcontinent. During their westward expansion, before they were repulsed at Narbonne and Poitiers, Muslim armies conquered all the Christian provinces of the eastern Mediterranean from Syro-Palestine to Egypt, continuing through the Maghreb (North Africa), and across the Mediterranean into the Iberian Peninsula.

Dynastic and religious schisms following the Abbasid revolt (750 CE) stiff­ened Byzantine military resistance and limited the Abbasid caliphs’ ambitions in the east, primarily, to raids along the frontiers with Anatolia and Armenia designed to pillage, sack, and acquire booty. Although the Abbasid state “orien­talized” the caliphate, and lacked naval power of any importance, in the west. Muslim forces (i.e., decentralized, “organic formations”) continued the Islamic expansion by maritime warfare.” Throughout the ninth and tenth centuries, Berbers and Arabs from Spain and North Africa launched raids along the coastal regions of France, Italy, and Sicily, and in the Greek archipelago.69 Gabrieli pro­vides important commentary regarding these naval razzias:

According to present-day concepts of international relations, such activities amounted to piracy, but they correspond perfectly to jihad, an Islamic religious duty. The conquest of Crete, in the east, and a good potion of the corsair warfare along the Provencal and Italian coasts, in the West, are among the most con­spicuous instances of such “private initiative” which contributed to Arab domi­nation in the Mediterranean.

In the second half of the ninth century, a large number of Saracen (Muslim) raids occurred throughout Southern and Central Italy. but we do not get the impression of their ever having been part of a plan or organized conquest. as Musa’s, Tariq’s, and Acid’s campaigns had been in Spain and Sicily. Their only object seems to have been destruction and looting which was also the object of the armed groups faced by Charles on the Balm ash-Shuhada near Poitiers.

The no less classical themes of Arabic war poetry, the hamasab sancti­fied by jihad, ring out in the recollections and boasts of Ibn Hamdis. the Sicilian Abu Eras, who exalts the military successes of Islam on Calabrian soil, the landing of Muslim troops at Reggio and their exploits against the patricians whom they cut to pieces or put to flight.

Halil Inalcik has placed the fourteenth-century Aegean Sea naval ruzzias of the Turkish maritime emirates in the context of jihad, citing, for example, the chapter of the Dusturname of Enveri concerning the actions of the emirate of Aydin!’ Elizabeth Zaehariadou describes the consternation of contemporary four­teenth-century Latin and Byzantine chroniclers observing the “spectacle” of Turkish emirs, “who were proud only because they were able to lead their fero­cious soldiers” in such predatory attacks.” These raids—designed to pillage prop­erty and abduct captives for sale in slave markets—although merely ignoble piracy or brigandage from the perspective of the Christian chroniclers, neverthe­less, as Zachariadou notes, were “for the Muslim Turks, a Holy War (Jihad), a praiseworthy and legitimate occupation, leading directly to Paradise.””

Gregory Palamus, a metropolitan of Thessaloniea during the fourteenth cen­tury, wrote this commentary while living as a captive amongst the Turks in 1354, confirming (albeit with astonishment) that indeed the Turks attributed their victo­ries over the Byzantines to their (the Muslims’) love of God:

For these impious people, hated by God and infamous, boast of having got the better of the Romans by their love of God … they live by the bow, the sword and debauchery, finding pleasure in taking slaves, devoting themselves to murder, pillage, spoil and not only do they commit these crimes, but even—what an aberration—they believe that God approves of them. This is what I think of them, now that I know precisely about their way of life.

More than 550 years later, and a continent (and oceans) away, C. Snouck Hurgronje reported (in 1906) that similar acts of jihad piracy were still being per­formed against non-Muslims (both indigenous populations and Western traders) by the Muslim Acehnese of the Indonesian archipelago:

From Mohammedanism (which for centuries she (ie., Aceh) is reputed to have accepted) she really only learnt a large number of dogmas relating to hatred of the infidel without any of their mitigating concomitants; so the Acehnese made a regular business of piracy and man-hunting at the expense of the neighboring non-Mohammedan countries and islands, and considered that they were justified in any act of treachery or violence to European (and latterly to American) traders who came in search of pepper, the staple product of the country. Complaints of robbery and murder on board ships trading in Acehnese parts thus grew to be chronic.

Jihad on land

Jihad Conquests and Early Muslim Rule in Syro-Palestine

Moshe Gil, in his comprehensive analysis A History of Palestine, 634-1099, emphasizes the singular centrality that Palestine occupied in the mind of its pre- Islamic Jewish inhabitants, who referred to the land as “al-Sham.” Indeed, as Gil observes, the sizable Jewish population in Palestine (who formed a majority of its inhabitants, when grouped with the Samaritans) at the dawn of the Arab Muslim conquest were “the direct descendants of the generations of Jews who had lived there since the days of Joshua bin Nun, in other words for some 2000 years. He also explodes the ahistorical thesis of scholars who

perceive an ethnic motivation behind the [jihad] conquests. They see Arabs everywhere: even the Canaanites and the Philistines were Arabs. according to their theories. This applies to an even greater degree to the population of Pales­tine and Syria in the seventh century, who were certainly Semites. Thus, according to their claims, the conquering Arab forces in the course of their bat­tles, actually encountered their own people or at least members of their own race who spoke the same language …. This is of course a very distorted view: Semi­tism is not a race and only relates to a sphere of language. The populations met along the route of battle, living in cities or the country side, were not Arabs and did not speak Arabic. We do know of Bedouin tribes at that time who inhabited the borderlands and the southern desert of Palestine, west of the Euphrates (Hira) in the Syrian desert, Palmyra, and elsewhere. But the cultivated inner regions and the cities were inhabited by Jews and Christians who spoke Aramaic. They did not sense any special ties to the Bedouin; if anything it was the contrary. Their proximity and the danger of an invasion from that quarter disturbed their peace of mind and this is amply reflected both in the writings of the Church Fathers and in Talmudic sources.

Gil concludes that views of the jihad conquest of Palestine expressed in the sources from the vanquished, indigenous non-Muslim populations:

Reflect the attitude of the towns and villages in Palestine quite accurately; the atti­tude of a sedentary population, of fanners and craftsen, toward nomads whose source of income is the camel and who frequently attack the towns. pillage and slaughter the inhabitants, and endanger the tives of the wayfarer. These sources completely contradict the argument … to the effect that the villagers and townsmen in Palestine accepted the invasion of those tribes bearing the banner of Islam with open arms of their so-called racial affinity.

Bat Ye’or summarizes the Arab Muslim conquest of Palestine as follows:

Abu Bakr organized the invasion of Syria [Syro-Palestine] which Muhammad had already envisaged. He gathered tribes from the Hijaz. Najd. and Yemen and advised Abu Ebayda, in charge of operations in the Golan, to plunder the coun­tryside, but due to a lack of adequate weaponry, to refrain from attacking towns. Consequently, the whole Gaza region up to Cesarea was sacked and devastated in the campaign of 634. Four thousand Jewish, Christian, and Samaritan peasants who defended their land were massacred. The villages of the Negev were pil­laged by Amr b. al-As, while the Arabs overran the countryside, cut communica­tions, and made roads perilous. Towns such as Jerusalem, Gaza, Jaffa. Cesarea, Nablus, and Beth Shean were isolated and closed their gates. In his sermon on Christmas day 634, the patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, lamented over the impossibility of going on pilgrimage to Bethlehem, as was the custom because the Christians were being forcibly kept in Jerusalem: -not detained by tangible bonds, but chained and nailed by fear of the Saracens,” whose “savage, bar­barous and bloody sword” kept them locked up in the town…. Sophronius, his sermon on the Day of the Epiphany 636, bewailed the destruction of the churches and monasteries, the sacked towns, the fields laid waste, the villages burned down by the nomads who were overrunning the country. In a letter the same year to Sergius, the patriarch of Constantinople, he mentions the ravages wrought by the Arabs. Thousands of people perished in 639, victims of the famine and plague that resulted from these destructions.

The countryside [in Syro-Palestine. Iraq, Persia, and Armenia] suffered con­stant razzias, while those who escaped the sword swelled the contingents of enslaved women and children, shared out among the soldiers after the deduction of the fifth [share of the “booty”‘ reserved for the caliph.

According to [the Muslim chronicler] Baladhuri (d. 892 CF.), 40,000 Jews lived in Caesarea alone at the Arab conquest, after which all trace of them is lost.

The tenth-century Jacobite chronicler Michael the Syrian wrote that the ongoing Arab ruzzias and expeditions in Syro-Palestine (as well as Iraq, Persia. and Armenia) were characterized by repeated and systematic pillage:

The Taiyaye [Arabs] grew rich, increased and overran [the lands] which they took from the Romans [Byzantines] and which were given over to pillage.

And following the surrender of the city of Damascus, he notes:

Umar [b. al­Khattab] sent Khalid [b. Walid] with an army to the Aleppo and Antioch region. There, they murdered a large number of people. No one escaped them. Whatever may be said of the evils that Syria suffered, they cannot be recounted because of their great number; for the Yaiyaye [Arabs] were the great rod of God’s wrath.

Gil further elaborates on the initial wave of jihad conquests, and details the lasting destruction they wrought:

At the time of the conquest, Palestine was inhabited by Jews and Christians…. The Arab tribes were to be found in the border areas, in keeping with arrangements made with the Byzantine rulers one can assume that the local population suffered immensely during the course of the war [i.e., jihad conquests] and it is very likely that many villages were destroyed and uprooted in the frontier regions, and that the lot of these local populations was very bitter indeed. It appears that the period of the conquest was also that of the destruction of the syn­agogues and churches of the Byzantine era, remnants of which have been unearthed in our own time and are still being discovered. The assumption is based both on what is said in a few Christian sources … and on Muslim sources describing ‘Umar’s [Umar b. al-Khattab] visits to al-Sham. There is no doubt that one of the main purposes of these visits was to establish order and put an end to the devastation and slaughter of the local population…. Towns in the western strip and the central strip (the region of the red sand hills and the swamps) in the Sharon. decreased from fifty-eight to seventeen! It is estimated that the erosion of the soil from the western slopes of the Judaean mountains reached—as a result of the agricultural uprooting during the Muslim period—the gigantic extent of 2,000 to 4,000 cubic meters„ We find direct evidence of the destruction of agricul­ture and the desertion of the villages in the fact that the papyri of Nessana are completely discontinued after the year 700. One can assume that at the time the inhabitants abandoned the place, evidently because of the inter-tribal warfare among the Arabs which completely undermined the internal security of the areas.

An archaeological analysis by Naphtali Lewis emphasizes that the distress of the inhabitants was exacerbated after the year 700. Conditions became unbear­able, due to the general political situation and worsening attitudes toward the dhimmis, rendering the Negev a wasteland.

It was precisely at this period in the Caliphate of Abd-al-Malik and his sons (685-743 CE.) that the Arab state embarked on a new, nationalistic policy. The official records of Islam began to be kept in Arabic … and non-Arabs began to he eliminated from gov ernment service. With this Arabization of rule came increasing fiscal burdens for the Christians-burdens which they could now no longer escape by conversion to Islam…. [This] may well have rendered life impossible for the villagers of the Negev, who had already before had occa­sion to complain of fiscal oppression. In the period of their prosperity … the production of the Negev villages was supplemented by financial assistance from the Byzantine Emperors. in the form of stipends and emoluments paid the mili­tary settlers: in the first half-century of Arab rule, which terminated this positive support but otherwise changed conditions little. life could apparently still be sus­tained—and where life is even barely bearable people are generally reluctant to leave their homes; but when the government changed its policy and began to make conditions as a result become increasingly difficult, life in the southern desert became impossible and the Negev villages disappeared … growing Arab strength … drove out the Negev inhabitants; the weakness of central authority in the area would result from the growing depopulation and relapse into nomadism.

Finally, Gil has translated these observations by the tenth-century Karaite commentator Yefet b. ‘Ali expressing awareness of the fact that there was great destruction in Palestine and that there were places that remained uninhabited, while there were other places to which people returned and settled:

The places which were completely destroyed so that no memory of them remains, like Samaria and the second are the places which have been destroyed and mined, but despite this there are guards and people living there, such as Hebron and others.

Gil also captures the stark, unromantic reality of Muslim-ruled Palestine during this era, which included the initial jihad conquest and establishment of Arab Muslim rule, from 634 to 661; Umayyad-Damascene rule, from 661 until 750; Abbasid-Baghdadian rule, from 750 through 878; Turco-Egyptian rule (Tulumids and lkshidids) from 878 until 970—”interrupted” by Abbasid-Baghda­dian rule again, between 905 and 930; nearly two generations of war including numerous participants, the dominant party being the Fatimids, from 970 through 1030; just over forty years of Fatimid-Egyptian rule, between 1030 and 1071; and a generation of (Seljuq) Turkish (or “Turcoman”) rule encompassing most of Palestine, from 1071 until 1099.

Dramatic persecution, directed specifically at Christians,’ included execu­tions for refusing to apostasize to Islam during the first two decades of the eighth century, under the reigns of Abd al-Malik, his son Sulayman, and Umar b. Abd al­Aziz. Georgian, Greek, Syriac, and Armenian sources report both prominent indi­vidual and group executions (for example, sixty-three out of seventy Christian pil­grims from Iconium in Asia Minor were executed by the Arab governor of Cae­sarea, barring seen who apostasized to Islam, and sixty Christian pilgrims from Amorion were crucified in Jerusalem).

The Abbasids moved the capital city from Damascus (seat of the Umayyad Empire) to Baghdad, absorbed much of the Syrian and Persian culture, as well as Persian methods of governance, and ushered in a putative Golden Age. Gil and Bat Ye’or offer revealing assessments of this Golden Age dhimmitude and its adverse impact on the conquered, indigenous Jews and Christians of Palestine. Under early Abbasid rule (approximately 750-755 CE, perhaps during the reign Abul Abbas Abdullah al-Saffah), Greek sources report orders demanding the removal of crosses over churches, bans on church services and teaching of the scriptures, the eviction of monks from their monasteries, and excessive taxation.” Gil notes that in 772 CE, when Caliph al-Mansur visited Jerusalem, “he ordered a special mark should be stamped on the hands of the Christians and the Jews. Many Christians fled to Byzantium.”

The following decade witnessed persistent acts of persecution as well. These details are provided by Gil:

One source tells of a Muslim who converted to Christianity and became a monk. and was renamed Christophorous. He was beheaded on 14 April 789. At around the same time, evidently, there was an Arab attack on the monastery of St. Theo­dosius. near Bethlehem. The monastery was pillaged, many of the monks were slaughtered and some escaped. The attackers also destroyed two churches near that monastery. A Church source tells about the suffering endured by the monas­teries in the Judean mountains during the inter-tribal warfare which broke out in 796…. While Bet Guvrin was being abandoned by its inhabitants, who were falling captive to the Arabs, assaults were being made in Ascalon, Gaza. and other localities. Everywhere there was pillage and destruction.

Bat Ye’or elucidates the fiscal oppression inherent in eighth-century Palestine, which devastated the dhimmi Jewish and Christian peasantry:

Over-taxed and tor­tured by the tax collectors, the villagers fled into hiding or emigrated into towns.” She quotes from a detailed chronicle of an eighth-century monk, completed in 774: “The men scattered, they became wanderers everywhere; the fields were laid waste, the countryside pillaged; the people went from one land to another.”

The Greek chronicler Theophanes (as summarized by Gil) provides a con­temporary description of the chaotic events that transpired after the death of the caliph Harun al-Rashid in 809 CE, and the ensuing fratricidal war that erupted between the brothers al-Amin and al-Ma’mun.

According to him [Theophanes] these events caused the Christians an enormous amount of suffering. Many churches and monasteries in Jerusalem and its envi­rons were abandoned, such as those of Sts Cyriac, Theodosius, Chariton, Euthymius, and Mar Saba. Four years later, in 813, the disturbances broke out anew and many Christians, both monks and laity, Red from Palestine to Cyprus and Constantinople, where they found refuge from the Arabs’ terrible persecu­tion in those days of anarchy and civil war. Palestine was the scene of violence, rape, and murder.

Perhaps the clearest outward manifestations of the inferiority and humiliation of the dhimmis were the prohibitions regarding their dress “codes” and the demands that distinguishing signs be placed on the entrances of dhimmi houses. During the Abbasid caliphates of Harun al-Rashid (786-809) and al-Mutawwakil (847-861), Jews and Christians were required to wear yellow (as patches attached to their gar­ments or hats). Later, to differentiate further between Christians and Jews, the Christians were required to wear blue. In 850, consistent with Qur’anic verses asso­ciating them with Satan and her al-Mutawwakil decreed that Jews and Christians attach wooden images of devils to the doors of their homes to distinguish them from the homes of Muslims. Bat Ye’or summarizes the oppression of the dhimmis throughout the Abbasid Empire under al-Mutawwakil as “a wave of religious per­secution, forced conversions, and the elimination of churches and synagogues”

Paroxysms of violent persecution erupted yet again in October and November 923 according to the patriarch of Alexandria, Sa’id b. Bitrig, as well as two Muslim chroniclers [summarized by Gil]:

[T]he Muslims attacked .. in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (26 March 937) and set fire to the southern gates of Constantine’s church and to half of the exedra. whereupon the Church of the Calvary and the Church of the Resurrection col­lapsed…. According to al-Makin and al-Maqrizi. the Church of the Resurrec­tion and the Church of the Calvary were also robbed of their treasures It seems at the same time the Muslims attacked in Ascalon again. According to Yahya b. sa’id, the assault was made on the great church there, known by the name of Mary the Green. They destroyed it and robbed it of all its contents and then set fire to it. The bishop of Ascalon then left for Baghdad to get permis­sion to rebuild the church, but he did not succeed. The church was left in ruins, for the Muslims who lived in Ascalon agreed amongst themselves that they would not allow it to he built again. As to the bishop, he never returned to Ascalon and remained in Ramie until his death.

During the early eleventh-century period of al-Hakim’s reign, religious assaults and hostility intensified. As Gil notes, “[Tithe destruction of the churches at the Holy Sepulchre [1009 CE] marked the beginning of a whole series of acts of oppression against the Christian population, which according to reliable sources, extended to coercion to convert to Islam.”

Yahya b. Sa’id’s description of the events surrounding the destruction of the churches of the Holy Sepulchre is summarized by Gil:

They dismantled the Church of the Resurrection to its very foundations, apart from what could not be destroyed or pulled up, and they also destroyed the Gol­gotha and the Church of St Constantine and all that they contained, as well as the sacred grave stones. They even tried to dig up the graves and wipe out all traces of their existence. Indeed they broke and uprooted most of them. They also laid waste to a convent in the neighborhood…. The authorities took all the other property belonging to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and its pious founda­tions and all its furnishings and treasures.

Citing both Muslim (al-Quda’i, Ibn Khallikan, and Ibn Al-Athir) and non-Muslim (Bar Hebraeus) sources, Gil also describes the edicts al-Hakim imposed upon the Christians and Jews beginning in August 1011:

They were ordered to wear black turbans. The Christians had to wear a cross the length of a cubit and weighing five ratls around their necks; the Jews were obliged to wear a block of wood of similar weight … they had to wear some dis­tinguishing mark in the bath-houses, and finally al-Hakim decided that there were to be separate bath-houses for their use…. Ibn Al-Athir conveys that al-Hakim ordered (after the destruction of the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem) that all the churches in the realm be destroyed, and this was done, and that the Jews and Christians were then to accept Islam, or emigrate to Byzan­tine lands. They were also obliged to wear special distinguishing signs. Many converted…. Bar Hebraeus speaks of thousands of churches which were destroyed in the Fatimid kingdom at that time; the decree regarding the wearing of the cross around the neck was also, he says, a means of pressuring the Chris­tians to convert. The wooden block the Jews were obliged to wear, had to be in the shape of a calf, as a reminder of the golden calf.

In a separate, focused analysis of the conditions of the dhimmis of Jerusalem, Gil concludes that during the early through the mid-eleventh century, the Jews suffered both economically and physically.

Economic conditions in Jerusalem were rather harsh, and the yeshiva often issued urgent appeals for aid. Besides, there were frequent acts of oppression on the part of the Muslim authorities. Very often special heavy taxes were imposed, which aggravated the already precarious situation of both the yeshiva and the Jewish population of Jerusalem. It must be remembered that taxation in Jerusalem was probably different from that found in other parts of the Muslim world. It seems that Jews there had to pay a comprehensive lump sum for the whole Jewish population of the city, regardless of its numbers. When the popu­lation decreased as a result of wars and Bedouin upheavals, the burden on each individual became heavier. In such situations the yeshiva was forced to borrow money, against heavy interest, from wealthy Muslims. When the time of repay­ment arrived, Jewish notables were in danger of being imprisoned, as the yeshiva was not in a position to accumulate the funds it had to return. In some cases people were actually incarcerated and it took a great deal of effort to collect the funds necessary for their release. An example is the letter written by Abraham, the son and main assistant of Solomon b. Yehuda, head of the yeshiva, to the sons of Mevasser, a family of parnasim of Fustat, asking them to keep their promise to send the aid in time to pay the kharaj.

Muslim Turcoman rule of Palestine for the nearly three decades just prior to the Crusades (1071-1099) was characterized by such unrelenting warfare and devastation, that an imminent “End of Days” atmosphere was engendered. For example, Gil describes one of Atsiz h.-Awaq’s jihad campaigns in Syro-Palestine around 1077:

Then Atsiz advanced on Jerusalem from Damascus, placed the city under siege, and promised its inhabitants the arum; on this basis, the inhabitants opened the gates of the city to him. Atsiz prevailed over Jerusalem, completely ignoring his promise of Oman, and went on a rampage. He slaughtered 3,000 people there…. He also conducted campaigns of annihilation against Ramla, until all its people had fled, and against Gaza, where he murdered the entire population. He likewise massacred people in al- Arish and elsewhere and wrought endless havoc in Dam­ascus, where only 3,000 of the original 500,000 inhabitants had remained, due to starvation and scarcity. Jaffa, too, was attacked, and its governor … fled from the town to Tyre, together with all the city’s inhabitants, while the walls of Jaffa were destroyed on Atsiz’ orders.

A contemporary Russian chronicle cited by Gil indicates that the Turcomans “destroyed and desolated the cities and the villages from Antioch to Jerusalem. They murdered, took captive, pillaged, set on fire; they destroyed churches and monasteries.”

Gil notes that these observations are confirmed by Geniza documents describing how “the Turcoman occupation denoted terrible calamities, such as the taking captive of the people of Ramla, the cutting off of roads, the obduracy of the commanders, the aura of anxiety and panic, and so on.”” He continues, “We do not know what Atsiz’ attitude was to the Jewish population in 1078, during the cruel suppression of the uprisings and the destruction of towns, but the fact that from this date onwards, we barely find letters from Palestine (apart from Ascalon and Caesarea) in the Geniza documents, speaks for itself.”

A contemporary poem by Solomon ha-Kohen b. Joseph, believed to be a descendant of the Geonim, an illustrious family of Palestinian Jewish religious leaders, speaks of destruction and ruin, the burning of harvests, the razing of plan­tations, the desecration of cemeteries, and acts of violence, slaughter, and plunder:

They were a strange and cruel people, girt with garments of many colors,
Armed and officered-chiefs among ‘the terrible ones’
And capped with helmets, black and red,
With bow and spear and full quivers;
And they trumpet like elephants, and roar as the roaring ocean,
To terrify, to frighten those who oppose them,
And they are wicked men and sinners, madmen, not sane,
And they laid waste the cities, and they were made desolate
And they rejoiced in their hearts, hoping to inherit.
He [God] also remembered what they had done to the people of Jerusalem,
That they had besieged them twice in two years.
And burned the heaped corn and destroyed the places,
And cut down the trees and trampled upon the vineyards,
And surrounded the city upon the high mountains.
And despoiled the graves and threw out the hones.
And built palaces, to protect themselves against the heat,
And erected an altar to slay upon it the abominations;
And the men and the women ride upon the walls,
Crying unto the God of gods, to quiet the great anger,
Standing the whole night, banishing sleep.
While the enemy destroy, evening and morning,
And break down the whole earth, and lay bare the ground,
And stand on the highways, intending to slay like Cain.
And cut off the ears, and also the nose.
And rob the garments, leaving them stand naked,
And also roar like lions, and roar like young lions;
They do not resemble men, they arc like beasts.
And also harlots and adulterers, and they inflame themselves with males,
They are bad and wicked and spiteful as Sodomites.
And they impoverished the sons of nobles, and starved the delicately bred.
And all the people of the city went out and cried in the field.
And covered their lips, silent in their pains,
And they had no mercy on widows, and pitied not the orphans.”);

Gil concludes that as a result of the Turcoman jihad,

Palestine was drawn into a whirlpool of anarchy and insecurity, of internal wars among the Turks themselves and between them (generally in collaboration with the Arab tribes) and the Fatimids. Here and there, in one or another area, a deli­cate state of balance was arrived at for a few years. By and large, however, the Turcoman period, which lasted less than thirty years, was one of slaughter and vandalism, of economic hardship and the uprooting of populations. Terrible suf­fering, eviction and wandering, was the particular lot of the Jewish population, and chiefly its leadership, the Palestinian yeshiva.108

Gil offers this sobering overall assessment from his extensive, copiously doc­umented analysis of the initial period of Muslim rule of Palestine, from 634 to 1099: ‘These facts do not call for much interpretation; together they simply form a picture of almost unceasing insecurity, of endless rebellions and wars, of upheavals and instability.l09

Jihad Conquests in Iraq

The conquest of the region corresponding (largely) to modem Iraq transpired between 635 and 642 CE. Assisted by local Arabs (i.e., in areas with dense Arab settlements, such as the Ubulla and Hira regions) and formal troop reinforcements dispatched from Arabia, the Muslims expanded their razzias to include rural areas and hamlets in southern and central Iraq, into the vicinity of Ctesiphon.110 After the important victory at al-Qadissiya in 636, a full-scale invasion of the villages bor­dering the Tigris and Euphrates rivers ensued, supported by reinforcements Caliph [‘mar sent from the Hijaz (Medina).'” Professor Morony, in his authoritative analysis of the Islamization of Iraq, describes the initial impact of the jihad cam­paigns in Iraq on the Persian strongholds and populations, prior to aI-Qadissiya:

According to Arabic tradition, the first sweep made Khalid b. al-Walid coming up along the border of lower Iraq from the Yamama, took the lives of 70,000 people at Ullays, most of whom were from Aghishiyya. Afterwards, Aghishiyya itself was razed and its remaining population scattered in the countryside…. Abu Yusuf says that Khalid massacred the Persian garrisons at `Udhayb and Najaf and took their women and children captive…. At Ayu Tamr the main Per­sian force … fled when the citadel fell, all of their remaining defenders were killed. Along the Syrian border, the three strongholds of Husayd, Khanafis, and Musayyakh were reduced. At Husayd, large numbers of Persians were killed, along with the two commanders … while at Musayyakh the entire garrison was killed in a dawn attack.112

The subsequent decisive Muslim victory at al-Qadissiya was a true military disaster for the Persians their army was routed and the Persian general Rustam killed, followed by the inexorable destruction of the demoralized remnants of the Persian forces. These crushing military losses resulted in a massive displacement of refugees, which included the ruling Persian elites, and large-scale enslavement and deportation of those noncombatants who were captured as Muslim “booty!’ Morony highlights some of the dislocation wrought by the jihad enslavement of the sundry vanquished Persian populations:

The initial result of captivity was the physical removal of a large number of Per­sian women and children from Iraqi most of whom were sent off to Medina with the other booty. According to [the Muslim historian] Ya’quhi, Khalid had taken captives at Kaskar and Baniqya. At Ullays captives are said to have been taken as never before…. At Ayn Tamr, after the garrison was slaughtered, all of the non-combatants in the fortress were taken captive. After Khalid left for Syria, in the campaign that lead up to the battle of the Bridge, more captives were taken at Zandaward and at Bitiq in Nahr Jawbar. Captives were also taken at Ubulla when it fell to ‘Utba b. Ghazwan…. The redistribution of the Persian popula­tion of Iraq by carrying captive women and children off to the Hijaz or by relo­cating them in the new Islamic garrison towns of Basra and Kufa contributed to the depopulation of the districts cast of the Tigris most of the prisoners brought back by the Muslim armies that Pater] conquered the Iranian plateau were taken to the slave markets in Basra or Kula and redistributed from there. This caused the initial ethnic dislocation by the killing or flight of large numbers of Persians in the course of the conquest to be offset by a new, forced Persian immigration to the cities of lower hag.’

Morony characterizes the jihad raids that targeted the Nestorian and Mono­physite Christian populations of towns along the Tigris and Euphrates, as follows:

Both Monophysite and Nestorian monasteries were raided. Monks were killed, taken prisoner, or driven to take refuge elsewhere. Large numbers of Mono­physite [Christians] were killed, enslaved, or converted to Islam. The surrender of the citadel of Takrit to the Muslims in 637 was only an ad hoc arrangement by [grand Jacobite metropolitan of the East] Marutha preserved only the people and churches of Takrit, and did not include the rest of the Monophysite community in Iraq. On the Nestorian side, [bishop of Nineveh] Mar Ammeh’s collaboration with the Muslims at Nineveh at the time of the conquest was similar. Since he was not even catholicos at the time, whatever advantage he gained for himself by collaboration did not extend to the rest of the Nestorian community.

Bat Ye’or notes further, regarding the vanquished Christian communities, that “in Elam, the population was also decimated, and in Susa the notables were put to the sword:”

Jihad Conquests in Egypt

Philip Hint, citing the Arab chronicler Abd-al-Hakam (d. 871), maintains that due to their oppression by the Orthodox Church in Egypt, and the imperial govern­ment in Constantinople, “The native Copts of Egypt were instructed from the vet), beginning by their bishop of Alexandria to offer no resistance to the invaders … in view of the religious persecution to which they as Monophysites had been subjected.’

But Jacques Jary has pointed out that this narrative, as stated by Abd-al­Hakam, and similar Muslim sources, is simplistic and inaccurate. Jarry asserts that both the Greek-speaking collaborators of the Byzantines and the Melkites, followers of the Byzantine Church, were, within each party. divided in their atti­tudes toward the Muslims. The aristocrats or “blues,” influential at court, requested a policy of at least temporary withdrawal, to attempt to organize their forces appropriately, as Heraclius had done in his campaigns against the Persians. The blues, in addition, were more Western oriented, and wanted to come to terms with Rome, in particular, being less interested in the Eastern domains, In contrast, the populist “greens” advocated a militant opposition to the Muslim invaders, which led, according to Jarry, to the wholesale annihilation of their towns during the Arab Muslim jihad conquests.

Moreover, the testimony of John, the Monophysite bishop of Nikiu, who wrote his chronicle around the year 700. some 150 years earlier than Hitti’s source, characterizes the early Arab Muslim invasions in Egypt as brutal and Without mercy. For example, when the Muslims captured the city of Bahnasa, the invaders stayed not only the commander of the Byzantine troops and all his com­panions, they also “put to the sword all that surrendered, and they spared none, whether old men, babes, or women.”‘ Indeed, they perpetrated innumerable acts of violence, causing widespread panic.119

John of Nikiu, in fact, remonstrated against those “Egyptians who had apos­tasized from the Christian faith [Monophysites] and embraced the faith of the beast” Many Christian Copts, he adds, fled the Arabic invasions.120 He acknowl­edges that due to their hostility to the emperor Heraclius (610-641) and Patriarch Kyros of Alexandria, the Copts of certain cities, such as Antinoe, cooperated with the invaders and submitted, becoming tributaries to the Muslims.121 But John of Nikiu also indicates that the collapse of Alexandria, and of Egypt, resulted prima­rily from the impotence of Patriarch Kyros (who served as the prefect of Alexan­dria), and the tenuous position of the Byzantine government following Heraclius’s death. Other Copts, moreover, in sizable numbers, refused to submit, and suffered intermittently “a panic [which] fell on all the cities of Egypt, and all their inhabi­tants took flight.”122 A multitude of Copts, not only the Greeks, were horrified and prepared for battle against the Arabs, having witnessed the devastation and slaughter they wrought in Alexandria after its surrender.’ John of Nikiu records that Copts prayed to God to deliver them from “the enemies of the cross who plundered the country and took captives in abundance.” They viewed the Islamic conquest as a yoke “heavier than the yoke which had been laid on Israel by Pharaoh”‘ and entreated the Almighty to do “unto them as He did aforetime unto Pharaoh “125 Constantelos observes, “It is certain that because of fear or expedi­ency many Christians, Orthodox and Copt, adopted Islam. How many of them abjured or remained crypto-Christians is unknown.

He concludes that following the Arab Muslim jihad conquest of Egypt, the Arabs displayed essentially the same pattern of behavior toward the vanquished Christian populations they had exhibited in Syro-Palestine:

Their attitude toward the Orthodox Church was determined by the relations between the caliphate and Constantinople. Their tolerance in peace-time changed during hostilities into violent outbursts which resulted in persecutions, the death of many Christians and the destruction of churches and other ecclesiastical insti­tutions. For example, when the Arabic armies suffered repeated defeats during the reign of Emperor Tiberios II (698-705), Abd-al-Aziz, governor of Egypt and brother of Caliph Abd-al-Malik (685-705). unleashed a persecution against the Orthodox in Alexandria in 704. The mobs attacked the Christians, and Abd-al­Aziz ordered that all crosses be removed from Christian churches and that “Mohammed is the Great Apostle of God” and “God is neither bom nor does He give birth” he written on their doors. The persecution was especially severe against monks and lasted for several years. The ecclesiastical administration of the Orthodox (Chalcedonian) patriarchate in Egypt was abolished for ninety-one years. Only two patriarchs (Kyros and Kosmas) governed in the early years of the Arabic occupation. From 651 to 742 there were only a few tocum tenenes the Orthodox patriarchate, while vacancies existed for several years even in the Coptic patriarchate.

Early Jihad Conquests in Armenia

Initial Arab razzias into Armenia during 640 and 642 CE were followed a decade later by major campaigns of jihad conquest.128 The Muslim historian al-Baladhuri (d. 892) recounts that Habib b. Maslama was dispatched by Mu’awaiya to gather “a body of men from Syria and Mesopotamia interested in the ‘holy war’ [jihad] and booty,”I29 for an expedition against Armenia.

According to Michael the Syrian, the population of Euchaita (on the River Halys) was massacred and enslaved by Habib’s forces.130 Armenian chroniclers describe how the Arabs, after decimating the non-Muslim populations of neigh­boring regions (Syria, Iraq) and forcing large numbers to apostasize to Islam, “entered the district of Daron [southwest of Lake Van] which they sacked, shed­ding rivers of blood. They exacted tribute and forced the women and children to be handed over to them.

Dvin was captured in 642, and its population slaughtered. Afterward, according to Sebeos, “the Ishmaelites [Arabs] returned by the route whence they had come, carrying off in their wake a multitude of captives to the number of 35,000. Sebeos maintains that the Arabs returned the following year to invade Armenia again, “wreaking ruin, and slavery.”

These devastating razzias were followed by what Arab historiography con­siders the more definitive conquest of Armenia, during the invasion of 654 CF.” Walter Kaegi summarizes this initial period of Muslim conquests in Armenia as follows: “The Muslim conquest was violent and destructive. A few Armenians did collaborate with Muslims from the beginning, for various motives. But chroni­clers such as Sebeos describe the conquest as a calamity, not a liberation. “

Ter-Ghevondian contends that despite these devastating campaigns, Armenia Managed to enjoy a considerable degree of independence until the onerous reign of the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik (685-705 CE). Al-Baladhuri has provided this characterization of the events leading to Armenia’s complete subjugation under ‘Abd al-Malik:

During the insurrection of ibn-az-Zubair [who had declared himself Caliph of Hijaz], Armenia rose and its nobles with their followers threw off their alle­giance. When Muhammad ibn-Marwan held under his brother [the Umayyad caliph] Abd al-Malik the governorship of Armenia, he led the fight against them [the Armenians] and won the victory, slaughtering and taking captives. Thus he subdued the land [of Armenia].”‘

Ter-Ghevondian concludes: “Under the leadership of the Caliph’s brother Muhammad b. Marwan, the Arab armies devastated Armenia and totally subjected it.”

Jihad Conquests and Early Muslim Rule on the Iberian Peninsula

The Iberian Peninsula was conquered in 710-716 CE 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 convened into mosques. Although the conquest had been planned and conducted jointly with a faction of Iberian Christian dissidents, including a bishop, it proceeded as a classical jihad with massive pillages, enslavements, deportations, and killings. Toledo, which had first submitted to the Arabs in 711 or 712, revolted in 713. The town was punished by pillage and all the notables’ throats were cut. In 730 the Cerdagne (in Septimania, near Barcelona) was rav­aged and a bishop burned alive. In the regions under stable Islamic control, sub­jugated non-Muslim dhimmis—Jews and Christians—like elsewhere in other Islamic lands, were prohibited from building new churches or synagogues, or restoring the old ones. Segregated in special quarters, they had to wear discrimi­natory clothing. Subjected to heavy taxes, the Christian peasantry formed a servile class exploited by the dominant Arab ruling elites; many abandoned their land and fled to the towns. Harsh reprisals with mutilations and crucifixions sanctioned the Mozarab (Christian dhimmis) calls for help from the Christian kings. Moreover, if one dhimmi harmed a Muslim, the whole community lost its status of protection, leaving it open to pillage, enslavement, and arbitrary killing.

By the end of the eighth century, the rulers of North Africa and Andalusia had introduced rigorous Maliki jurisprudence as the predominant school of Muslim law. Thus, as Evariste Levi-Provencal observed three quarters of a century ago,

The Muslim Andalusian state thus appears from its earliest origins as the defender and champion of a jealous orthodoxy, more and more ossified in a blind respect for a rigid doctrine, suspecting and condemning in advance the least effort of rational speculation.

Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq provides these illustrations of the resulting reli­gious and legal discriminations dhimmis suffered, and the accompanying incen­tives for them to convert to Islam:

A learned Moslem jurist of Hispanic Christian descent who lived around the year 1000, Ahmed ibn Said ibn Hazm (father of the famous mid-eleventh-century author Ibn Hazm) gives glimpses, in several of his juridical consultations, of how the freedom of the “infidels” was constantly at risk. Non-payment of the head- tax by a dhimmi made him liable to all the Islamic penalties for debtors who did not repay their creditors; the offender could be sold into slavery or even put to death. In addition, non-payment of the head-tax by one or several dhimmis – especially if it was fraudulent—allowed the Moslem authority, at its discretion. to put an end to the autonomy of the community to which the guilty party or par­ties belonged. Thus, from one day to the next. all the Christians in a city could lose their status as a protected people through the fault of just one of them.

Everything could be called into question, including their personal liberty…. Furthermore, non-payment of the legal tribute was not the only reason for abro­gating the status of the “People of the Book”; another was “public outrage against the Islamic faith,” for example, leaving exposed, for Moslems to see, a cross or wine or even pigs.

By converting, one [to Islam] no longer have to be confined to a given district, or be the victim of discriminatory measures or suffer humiliations…. Fur­thermore, the entire Islamic law tended to favor conversions. When an Infidel” became a Moslem, he immediately benefited from a complete amnesty for all of his earlier crimes, even if he had been sentenced to the death penalty, even if it was for having insulted the Prophet or blasphemed against the Word of God: his conversion acquitted him of all his faults. of all his previous sins. A legal opinion given by a mufti from al-Andalus in the ninth century is very instructive: a Christian dhimmi kidnapped and violated a Moslem woman; when he was arrested and condemned to death, he immediately converted to Islam; he was automatically pardoned, while being constrained to marry the woman and to provide for her a dowry in keeping with her status. The mufti who was consulted about the affair, perhaps by a brother of the woman, found that the court decision was perfectly legal, but specified that if that convert did not become a Moslem in good faith and secretly remained a Christian, he should be flogged, slaughtered and crucified.

Al-Andalus represented the land of jihad par excellence. Every year (or mul­tiple times within a year as “seasonal” razzias [ghazwul] 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. Many thousands of non- Muslim captives were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the caliph kept a militia of tens of thousands of Christian slaves, brought from all parts of Chris­tian Europe (the Suqalibu), and a harem filled with captured Christian women. Bat Ye’or summarizes these events as follows:

Breaking out of Arabia and from the conquered regions—Mesopotamia, Syria, Patestine—these successive waves of immigrants settled in Spain and terrorized southern France. Reaching as far as Avignon, they plundered the Rhone valley by repeated razzias. In 793 C.E., the suburbs of Narbonne were burned down and its outskirts raided, Calls to jihad attracted the fanaticized hordes in the ribats (monastery-fortresses) spanning the Islamo-Spainish frontiers. Towns were pil­laged and rural areas devastated. In 981, Zamora and the surrounding country­side in the kingdom of Leon suffered destruction and the deportation of four thousand prisoners. Four years later, Barcelona was destroyed by fire and nearly all its inhabitants massacred or taken prisoner; several years after its conquest in 987, Coimbra remained desolate; Leon was demolished and its countryside ruined. In 997, Santaigo de Compostela was pillaged and razed to the ground. Three years later, Castillo was put to fire and sword by Muslim troops and the population, captured in the course of these campaigns, enslaved and deported. The invasions by the Almoravides and the Almohades (eleventh to thirteenth centuries), Berber dynasties from the Maghreb, reactivated the jihad.

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. The Andalusian Maliki jurist Ibn Abdun (d. ]134) offered these telling legal opin­ions regarding Jews and Christians in Seville around ]100 CE:

No … Jew or Christian may be allowed to wear the dress of an aristocrat, nor of a jurist, nor of a wealthy individual; on the contrary they must be detested and avoided. It is forbidden to [greet] them with the [expression], “Peace be upon you.” In effect, “Satan has gained possession of them, and caused them to forget God’s warning. They are the confederates of Satan’s party; Satan’s confederates will surely be the losers!” (Qur’an 58:19 [modem Dawood translation]). A dis­tinctive sign must be imposed upon them in order that they may be recognized and this will be for them a form of disgrace.

1bn Abdun also forbade the selling of scientific books to dhimmis under the pretext that they translated them and attributed them to their coreligionists and bishops. (In fact, plagiarism is difficult to prove since whole Jewish and Christian libraries were looted and destroyed.) Another prominent Andalusian jurist, Ibn Hazm of Cordoba (d. ]064), wrote that Allah has established the infidels’ owner­ship of their property merely to provide booty for Muslims:”

In Granada, the Jewish viziers Samuel Ibn Naghrela and his son, Joseph, who protected the Jewish community, were both assassinated between 1056 to 1066, followed by the annihilation of the Jewish population by the local Muslims. It is estimated that up to five thousand Jews perished in the pogrom by Muslims that accompanied the 1066 assassination. This figure equals or exceeds the number of Jews reportedly killed by the Crusaders during their pillage of the Rhineland, some thirty years later, at the outset of the First Crusade. The Granada pogrom was likely to have been incited, in part, by the bitter anti-Jewish ode of Abu Ishaq a well-known Muslim jurist and poet of the times, who wrote:

Bring them down to their place and Return them to the most abject station.
They used to roam around us in tatters
Covered with contempt, humiliation, and scorn.
They used to rummage amongst the dungheaps for a let of a filthy rag
To serve as a shroud for a man to be buried in….
Do not consider that killing them is treachery.
Nay, it would be treachery to leave them scoffing.

The translator then summarizes:

The Jews have broken their covenant (i.e., overstepped their station, with reference to the Covenant of Umar) and compunc­tion would be out of place.

The discriminatory policies of the Berber Muslim Almoravids, who arrived Spain in 1086, and subsequently those of the even more fanaticized and violent Alomohad Berber Muslims (who arrived in Spain in 1146-47) caused a rapid attrition of the pre-Islamic Iberian Christian (Mozarab) communities, nearly extinguishing them. The Almoravid attitude toward the Mozarabs is well reflected bysuccessive expulsions of the latter to Morocco in 1106,1126, and 1138. The oppressed Mozarabs sent emissaries to the king of Aragon, Alphonso 1st le Batailleur (1104-1134), asking him to come to their rescue and deliver them from Almoravides. Following the raid the king of Aragon launched in Andalusia in 125-26 in responding to the pleas of Grenada’s Mozarabs, the latter were sent en masse to Morocco in the fall of 1126.

Reinhart Dozy summarizes the events leading up, and surrounding the mass deportations, as follows:

The Fakihs and the [Muslim] populace fostered against them [the Mozarabs) [an] envenomed hatred. In most towns they formed but a small community, but in the province of Granada they were still numerous, and near the capital they possessed a beautiful church, which had been built about 600 C.E. by Gudila, a [Visi]Gothic noble. This church was an offense to the Fakihs … they issued a fetwa decreeing its demolition. Yusuf Ib. Tashifin, the Almoravid ruler] having given his approval, the sacred edifice was leveled with the ground (1099 C.E.). Other churches seem to have met with a similar fate, and the Fakihs treated the Mozarabs so oppressively that the latter at length appealed to Alfonso the Bat­tler, King of Aragon, to deliver them from their intolerable burdens. Alfonso acceded to their request. In September, [125, he set out with four thousand knights and their men-at-arms_.. Alfonso, did not however, achieve the results he aimed at … the ultimate object of the expedition had been the capture of Granada, and this was not effected. Upon the withdrawal of the Araonese army. the Moslems cruelly avenged themselves on the Mozarabs. Ten thousand of the Christians were already out of their reach, for knowing the fate in store for them they had obtained permission from Alfonso to settle in his territories, but many who remained were deprived of their property, maltreated in endless ways. thrown into prision, or put to death. The majority, however, were transported to Africa. and endured terrible sufferings, ultimately settling in the vicinity of Saleh and Mequinez (1126 CE.). This deportation was carried out by virtue of a decree which the Kady Ibn Rushd—grandfathter of the famous Averroes—had pro­cured…. Eleven years later a second expulsion took place, and very few were left in Andalusia.

The Almohads (1130-1232) wreaked enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations in Spain and North Africa. This devastation— massacre, captivity, and forced conversion—was described by the Jewish chronicler Abraham Ibn Daud and the poet Abraham Iben 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.”8 Maimonides, the renowned philosopher and physician, experienced the Almohad persecutions and had to flee Cordoba with his entire family in 1148, temporarily residing in Fez— disguised as a Muslim—before finding asylum in Fatimid Egypt. Indeed, although Maimonides is frequently referred to as a paragon of Jewish achievement facili­tated by the enlightened rule of Andalusia, his own words debunk this utopian view of the Islamic treatment of Jews: “[T]he Arabs have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they.”

Jihad Conquests of the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks and an Overview of the Rayah (Dhimmi) Condition under Ottoman Rule

The historian Michael the Syrian (Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch from 1166 to 1199 CE) in his chronicle reproducing earlier contemporary sources, made impor­tant observations regarding events that occurred beginning in the third decade of the eleventh century. He noted,

The commencement of the exodus of the Turks to … Syria and the coast of Palestine … [where] [t]hey subdued all the countries by cruel devastation and plunder.” Subsequently, “Turks and Arabs were mixing together like a single people…. Such was the rule of the Turks amidst the Arabs.”

Expanding upon this contemporary account, and the vast array of other primary sources—Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Latin, Serbian, Bulgarian, and Hungarian, 152 Bat Ye’or concludes,

The two waves of Muslim expansion, the Arab from the seventh century, and the Turkish four centuries later—are remarkably similar…. The great Arab and Turkish conquerors used the same military tactics and the same policies of con­solidating Islamic power. This continuity resulted from the fact that the con­quests took place within the framework of the common ideology of jihad and the administrative and juridical apparatus of the sharla—a uniformity that defies time, since it adapts itself to diverse lands and peoples, being integrated into the internal coherence of a political theology. In the course of their military opera­tions, the Turks applied to the conquered populations the rules of jihad, which had been structured four centuries earlier by the Arabs and enshrined in Islamic religious law.153

The Seljuk and Ottoman jihad campaigns were spearheaded by “Ghazi” (from the word ghazwu or razzia) movements, “Warriors of the Faith,” brought together under the banner of Islam to fight infidels, and obtain booty. Wittek 154 and Vryonis 155 have stressed the significance of this movement, in its Seljuk incarnation, at the most critical frontier of Islam during the eleventh and twelfth cen­es, that is, eastern Anatolia. Vryonis notes,

When the Arab traveler al-Harawi passed through these border regions in the second half of the [2th century, he noted the existence of a shrine on the Byzantine-Turkish borders (near Afyon-Karahisar) which was reported to be the tomb of the Muslim martyr Abu Muhammd al-Battal, and at Amorium the tombs of those who fell in the celebrated siege of the city in 838. These constitute fascinating testimony to the fact that the ghazi-jihad tradition was closely intertwined into the nomadic society of Phrygia. Not only was there evidence of a nomadic invasion but also of an epic society in its heroic age, and it is from this milieu that the Turkish epics were shaped: the Battalname, the Danishmendname, and the Dusturname.

Paul Wittek, citing the oldest known Ottoman source, the versified chronicle Ahmedi, maintains that the fourteenth-century Ottomans believed they, too, ere a community of Ghazis, of champions of the Mohammedan religion; a community of the Moslem march—warriors, devoted to the struggle with the infi­Is in their neighborhood.”157 The contemporary Turkish scholar of Ottoman history, Halil lnalcik, has also emphasized the importance of Muslim religious—expressed through jihad—as a primary motivation for the conquests of the Ottoman Turks:

The ideal of gaza, Holy War, was an important factor in the foundation and development of the Ottoman state. Society in the frontier prince ities conformed to a particular cultural pattern imbued with the ideal of contin­uous Holy War and continuous expansion of the Dar ul Islam—the realms of Islam – until they covered the whole world.

Incited by pious Muslim theologians, these Ghazis were at the vanguard of both the Seljuk and Ottoman jihad conquests. A. E. Vacalopoulos highlights the tole of the dervishes during the Ottoman campaigns:

Fanatical dervishes and other devout Muslim leaders .. constantly toiled for the dissemination of Islam. They had done so from the very beginning of the Ottoman state and had played an important part in the consolidation and exten­sion of Islam. These dervishes were particularly active in the uninhabited fron­tier regions of the cast. Here they settled down with their families, attracted other settlers, and thus became the virtual founders of whole new villages, whose inhabitants invariably exhibited the same qualities of deep religious fervor. From places such as these, the dervishes or their agents would emerge to take part in new military enterprises for the extension of the Islamic state. In return, the state granted them land and privileges under a generous prescription which required only that the land be cultivated and communications secured.

Brief overviews of the Seljuk and Ottoman jihad campaigns, which ulti­mately Islamized Asia Minor, have been provided by Vryonis and Vacalopoulos. First, the schematic, clinical assessment of Vryonis:

The conquest, or should I say the conquests of Asia Minor were in operation over a period of four centuries. Thus the Christian societies of Asia Minor were sub_ mined to extensive periods of intense warfare, incursions, and destructions which undermined the existence of the Christian church. In the first century of Turkish conquests and invasions from the mid-eleventh to the late twelfth cen­tury, the sources reveal that some 63 towns and villages were destroyed. The inhabitants of other towns and villages were enslaved and taken off to the Muslim slave markets.

Vacalopoulos describes the conquests in more animated detail:

At the beginning of the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks forced their way into Armenia and there crushed the armies of several petty Armenian states. No fewer than forty thousand souls fled before the organized pillage of the Seljuk host to the western part of Asia Minor…. From the middle of the eleventh century, and espe­cially after the battle of Malazgirt [Manzikurt] (1071), the Seljuks spread throughout the whole Asia Minor peninsula, leaving terror, panic and destruction in their wake. Byzantine, Turkish and other contemporary sources are unanimous in their agreement on the extent of havoc wrought and the protracted anguish of the local population … evidence as we have proves that the Hellenic population of Asia Minor, whose very vigor had so long sustained the Empire and might indeed be said to have constituted its greatest strength, succumbed so rapidly to Turkish pressure that by the fourteenth century, it was confined to a few limited areas. By that time, Asia Minor was already being called Turkey … one after another, bishoprics and metropolitan sees which once throbbed with Christian vitality became vacant and ecclesiastical buildings fell into ruins. The metropol­itan see of Chalcedon, for example, disappeared in the fourteenth century, and the sees of Tardier.) Kotyaeon (now Kutahya) and Symida in the fifteenth…. With the extermination of local populations or their precipitate flight, entire villages, cities, and sometimes whole provinces fell into decay. There were some fertile dis­tricts like the valley of the Maeander River, once stocked with thousands of shcep and cattle, which were laid waste and thereafter ceased to be in any way produc­tive. Other districts were Literally transformed into wildernesses. Impenetrable thickets sprang up in places where once there had been luxuriant fields and pas­tures. This is what happened to the district of Sangarius, for example. which Michael VIII Palaeologus had known formerly as a prosperous, cultivated land. but whose utter desolation he afterwards surveyed in utmost despair… The mountainous region between Nicaea and Nicomedia, opposite Constantinople. once clustered with castles, cities, and villages, was depopulated. A few mats escaped total destruction—Laudicea, Iconium, Bursa (then Prusa), and Sinope, for example—but the extent of devastation elsewhere was such as to make a profound impression on visitors for may years to come. The fate of Antioch provides a graphic illustration of the kind of havoc wrought by the Turkish invaders: in 1132 only three hundred dwellings could be counted inside its walls, and its predomi­nantly Turkish or Arab inhabitants subsisted by raising camels, goats, cattle, and sheep. Other cities in the southeastern part of Asia Minor fell into similar decay.

Islamization of Asia Minor was complemented by parallel and subse­quent Ottoman jihad campaigns in the Balkans.162 As of 1326, yearly razzias by of Asia Minor targeted southern Thrace, southern Macedonia, and the areas of southern Greece. Around 1360 the Ottomans, under Suleiman Sultan Orchan), and later Sultan Murad 1(1359-1389), launched bona fide campaigns of jihad conquest, capturing and occupying a series of cities and towns_amine and Bulgarian Thrace. Following the battle of Cemomen (Septemberj371% the Ottomans penetrated westward, occupying within fifteen years a number of towns in western Bulgaria and in Macedonia. Ottoman invasions this period also occurred in the Peloponnesus, central Greece, Epirus, Thessaly, Albania, and Montenegro. By 1388 most of northeast Bulgaria was con- and following the battle of Kosovo (1389), Serbia came under Ottoman ty. Vacalopoulos argues that internecine warring, as well as social and political upheaval, prevented the Balkan populations—Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, and Serbians—from uniting against the common Ottoman enemy, thus rig their doom. Indeed, he observes that “after the defeat of the Serbs at en (or Ceniomen) near the Hebrus River in 1371, Serbia, Bulgaria, and the Byzantine Empire became tributaries of the Ottoman Empire and were obliged to assistance in Ottoman campaigns.

Bayezid I (]389-1402) undertook devastating campaigns in Bosnia, Hun- and Wallachia in addition to turning south and again attacking central e and the Peloponnesus. After a hiatus during their struggle against the gol invaders, the Ottomans renewed their Balkan offensive in 1421. Suc­ful Ottoman campaigns were waged in the Peloponnesus, Serbia, and Hun­, culminating with the victory at the second battle of Kosovo (]448). With the sion to power of Mehmed B (1451-1481), the Ottomans commenced their nitive conquest of the Balkan Peninsula. Constantinople was captured on May 1453, marking the end of the Byzantine Empire. By 1460 the Ottomans had mpletely vanquished both Serbia and the Peloponnesus. Bosnia and Trebizond I1 in 1463, followed by Albania in [468. With the conquest of Herzegovina in 83, the Ottomans became rulers of the entire Balkan Peninsula.

Vacalopoulos, commenting on the initial Ottoman forays into Thrace during mid-fourteenth century, and Dimitar Angelov, who provides an overall assess highlighting the later campaigns of Murad If (1421-145]) and Mehmed II, elucidate the impact of the Ottoman jihad on the vanquished Balkan populations:

From the very beginning of the Turkish onslaught [in Thrace] under Suleiman !son of Sultan Orchan], the Turks tried to consolidate their position by the forcible imposition of Islam. If [the Ottoman historian] Sukrullah is to be believed, those who refused to accept the Moslem faith were slaughtered and their families enslaved “Where there were bells.” writes the same author [i.e., Sukrullah], “Suleiman broke them up and cast them into fires. Where there were churches he destroyed them or converted them into mosques. Thus, in place of bells there were now muezzins. Wherever Christian infidels were still found, vas­salage was imposed on their rulers. At least in public they could no longer say “kyr ie eleison” but rather ‘There is no God but Allah; and where once their prayers had been addressed to Christ, they were now to “Muhammad, the prophet of Allah”

[The conquest of the Balkan Peninsula accomplished by the Turks over the course of about two centuries caused the incalculable ruin of material goods, countless massacres, the enslavement and exile of a great part of the popula­tion—in a word, a general and protracted decline of productivity, as was the case with Asia Minor after it was occupied by the same invaders. This decline in pro­ductivity is all the more striking when one recalls that in the mid-fourteenth cen­tury, as the Ottomans were gaining a foothold on the peninsuta, the States that existed there—Byzantium, Bulgaria and Serbia—had already reached a rather high level of economic and cultural development…. The campaigns of Mourad II (1421-1451) and especially those of his successor, Mahomet II (1451-1481]) in Serbia, Bosnia. Albania and in the Byzantine princedom of the Peloponnesus, were of a particularly devastating character. During the campaign that the Turks launched in Serbia in [455-1456, Belgrade, Novo-Bardo and other towns were to a great extent destroyed. The invasion of the Turks in Albania during the summer of [459 caused enormous havoc. According to the account of it written by Kritobulos, the invaders destroyed the entire harvest and leveled the fortified towns that they had captured. The country was afflicted with further devastation in 1466 when the Albanians, after putting up heroic resistance, had to withdraw into the most inaccessible regions, from which they continued the struggle. Many cities were likewise ruined during the course of the campaign led by Mahomet II in 1463 against Bosnia—among them Yaytze, the capital of the Kingdom of Bosnia…. But it was the Peloponnesus that suffered most from the Turkish invasions. It was invaded in 1446 by the armies of Murad II, which destroyed a great number of places and took thousands of prisoners. Twelve years later. during the summer of 1458, the Balkan Peninsula was invaded by an enormous Turkish army under the command of Mahomet II and his first lieutenant Mah­moud Pasha. After a siege that lasted four months, Corinth fell into enemy hands. Its walls were razed, and many places that the sultan considered usetess were destroyed. The work by Kritobulos contains an account of the Ottoman cam­paigns, which clearly shows us the vast destruction caused by the invaders in these regions. Two years later another Turkish army burst into the Peloponnesus. This time Gardiki and several other places were ruined. Finally, in 1464, for the third time, the destructive rage of the invaders was aimed at the Peloponnesus. That was when the Ottomans battted the Venetians and leveled the city of Argos to its foundations.

Jews and the Ottoman Empire

In examining how the non-Muslim populations vanquished by the Ottoman jihad campaigns fared, it is useful to begin with the Jews, the least numerous pop­ulation, who are also generally believed to have had quite a positive experience. Joseph Hacker studied the fate of Jews during their initial absorption into the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. His research questions the uncritical view that from its outset the, “Jewish experience” in the Ottoman pile “was a calm, peaceful, and fruitful one.” Hacker notes: “It would seem to that this accepted view of consistently good relations between the Ottomans and the Jews during the 15th century should be modified in light of new research manuscript resources.

The Jews, like other inhabitants of the Byzantine Empire, suffered heavily pm the Ottoman jihad conquests and policies of colonization and population transfer (i.e., the surgun system). This explains the disappearance of several Jewish communities, including Salonica, and their founding anew by Spanish wish immigrants. Hacker observes, specifically:

We possess letters written about the fate of Jews who underwent one or another of the Ottoman conquests. In one of the letters which was written before 1470, there is a description of the fate of such a Jew and his community. according to which description, written in Rhodes and sent to Crete, the fate of the Jews was not different from that of Christians. Many were killed; others were taken cap- five, and children were [enslaved, forcibly converted to Islam, and] brought to devshirme Some letters describe the carrying of the captive Jews to Istanbul and arc filled with anti-Ottoman sentiments. Moreover, we have a description of the fate of a Jewish doctor and homilist from Veroia (Kara-Ferya) who fled to Negroponte when his community was driven into exile in 1455. He furnished us with a description of the exiles and their forced passage to Istanbul. Later on we find him at Istanbul itself, and in a homily delivered there in 1468 he expressed his anti-Ottoman feelings openly. We also have some evidence that the Jews of Constantinople suffered from the conquest of the city and that several were sold into slavery.

Three summary conclusions are drawn by Hacker: ( IT Strong anti-Ottoman feelings prevailed in some Byzantine Jewish circles in the first decades after the fall of Constantinople. These feetings were openly expressed by people living under Latin rule and to some extent even in Istanbul. (2) Mehmed II’s policies toward non-Muslims made possible the substantial economic and social develop­ment of the Jewish communities in the empire, and especially in the capitat, Istanbul. These communities were protected by him against popular hatred, and especially from blood libels. However, this policy was not continued by Bayezid II and there is evidence that under his rule the Jews suffered severe restrictions in their religious life. (3) The friendly policies of Mehmed, on the one hand, and the good reception by Bayezid II of Spanish Jewry, on the other, caused the Jewish writers of the sixteenth century to overlook both the destruction that Byzantine Jewry suffered during the Ottoman conquests and the later outbursts of oppression under both Bayezid II and Selim I.

Ivo Andric analyzed the rayah (meaning “herd” and “to graze a herd”) or dhimmi condition imposed upon the indigenous Christian population of Bosnia for four centuries. Those native Christian inhabitants who refused to apostasize to Islam lived under the Ottoman Kanun-i-Rayah, which merely reiterated the essential regulations of dhimmitude originally formulated by Muslim jurists and theologians in the seventh and eighth centuries CE.169 Andric’s presentation musters “a wealth of irrefutable evidence that the main points of the Kanun, just those that cut the deepest into the moral and economic life of Christians, remained in full force right up to the end of Turkish rule and as long as the Turks had the power to apply them [thus] it was inevitable that the rayah decline to a status that was economically inferior and dependent.

Andric cites a Bosnian Muslim proverb and a song honoring Sultan Bayezid II, whose shared perspectives rellect Muslim attitudes toward the Christian rayahs:

The rayah is like the grass,
Mow it as much as you will, still it springs up anew.
Once you’d broken Bosnia’s horns
You mowed down what would not be pruned
Leaving only the riffraff behind
So there’d be someone left to serve us and grieve before the cross.

These prevailing discriminatory conditions were exacerbated by Bosnia’s serving as either a battlefield or staging ground during two centuries of Ottoman razzias and formal jihad campaigns against Hungary. Overcome by excessive tax­ation and conscript labor, “Christians therefore began to abandon their houses and plots of land situated in level country and along the roads and to retreat back into the mountains. And as they did so, moving ever higher into inaccessible regions, Muslims took over their former sites.

Moreover, those Christians living in towns suffered from the rayah system’s mandated impediments to commercial advancement by non-Muslims:

Islam from the very outset, excluded such activities as making wine, breeding pigs, and selling pork products from commercial production and tr de But addi­tionally Bosnian Christians were forbidden to be saddlers, tanners, or candle- makers or to trade in honey, butter, and certain other items. Countrywide, the only legal market day was Sunday. Christians were thus deliberately faced with the choice between ignoring the precepts of their religion, keeping their shops open and working on Sundays, or alternatively, forgoing participation in the market and suffering material loss thereby. Even in 1850, in Jukic’s “Wishes and Entreaties” we find him beseeching “his Imperial grace” to put an end to the reg­ulation that Sunday be market day.

Christians were also forced to pay disproportionately higher taxes than Mus­lims, including the intentionally degrading non-Muslim poll-tax.

This tax was paid by every non-Muslim male who had passed his fourteenth year, at the rate of a ducat per annum. But since Turkey had never known birth registers, the functionary whose job it was to exact the tax measured the head and neck of each boy with a piece of string and judged from that whether a person had arrived at a taxable age or not. Starting as an abuse that soon turned into an ingrained habit, then finally established custom, by the last century of Turkish rule every boy without distinction found himself summoned to pay the head tax And it would seem this was not the only abuse…. Of Ali-Pasa Stocevic, who during the first half of the nineteenth century was vizier and all but unlimited ruler of Herzegovimi, his contemporary, the monk Prokopije Cokorilo, wrote that he “taxed the dead for six years after their demise” and that his tax collectors “ran their fingers over the bellies of pregnant women, saying ‘you will probably have a boy, so you have to pay the poll tax right away: … The following folk saying from Bosnia reveals how taxes were exacted: “He’s as fat as if he’d been tax col­lecting in Bosnia.”

The specific Kanun-i-Rayah stipulations that prohibited the rayahs from riding a saddled horse, carrying a saber or any other weapon in or out of doors, willing wine, letting their hair grow, or wearing wide sashes, were strictly enforced ~IS61 the mid-nineteenth century. Hussamudin-Pasa in 1794 issued an ordinance that prescribed the exact color and type of clothing the Bosnian rayah had to wear.

Barbers were prohibited from shaving Muslims with the same razors used for flans. Even in bathhouses, Christians were required to have specifically marked towels and aprons to avoid confusing their laundry with laundry designated for Muslims. Until at least 1850, and in some parts of Bosnia well into the 1860’s, a Christian upon encountering a Muslim was required to jump down from this (unsaddled) horse, move to the side of the road, and wait for the latter to pass.

Christianity’s loud and most arresting symbol, church bells, Andric notes, always drew close, disapproving Turkish scrutiny, and “wherever there inva­sions would go, down came the bells, to be destroyed or melted into cannon.”‘ Predictably,

Until the second half of the nineteenth century, “nobody in Bosnia could even think of bells or bell towers.” Only in 1860 did the Sarajevo priest Fra Grg o Martic manage to get permission from Topal Osman-Pasa to hang a bell at the church in Kresevo. Permission was granted, though, only on condition that “at ]irst the bell be rung softly to let the Turks get accustomed to it little by little.” And still the Muslim of Kresevo were complaining, even in 1875, to Sarajevo that “the Turkish ear and ringing bells cannot coexist in the same place at the same time”; and Muslim women would beat on their copper pots to drown out the noise…. [Oln 30 April 1872, the new Serbian Orthodox church also got a bell. But since the Muslims had threatened to riot, the military had to be called in to ensure that the ceremony might proceed undisturbed.

The imposition of such disabilities, Andric observes, extended beyond church Ceremonies, as rellected by a 1794 proclamation of the Serbian Orthodox church in Sarajevo warning Christians not to “sing during … outings, nor in their houses, nor in other places. The saying ‘Don’t sing too loud, this village is Turk’ testi]ies eloquently to the fact that this item of the Kanun[-i-Rayah] was applied outside church life as well as within.”

Andric concludes, “For their Christian subjects, their ‘Ottoman Turkish] hegemony brutalized custom and meant a step to the rear in every respect.”

Paul Ricaut, the British consul in Smyrna, journeyed extensively within the Ottoman Empire during the mid-seventeenth century, becoming a keen observer of its sociopolitical milieu. In 1679 (i.e., prior to the Ottomans being repulsed at Vienna in September 1683; see later discussion of Ottoman “tolerance”), Ricaut published these important findings:

(1) Many Christians were expelled from their churches, which the Ottoman Turks converted into mosques.
(2) The “Mysteries of the Altar” were hidden in subterranean vaults and sepulchres whose roofs were barely above the surface of the ground.
(3) Fearing Turkish hostility and oppres­sion, Christian priests, particularly in eastern Asia Minor, were compelled to live with great caution and officiate in private obscurity.
(4) Not surprisingly, to escape these prevailing conditions, many Christians apostatized to Islam.

Moreover, as Vryonis demonstrated convincingly for the earlier period between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries, the existence of cryto-Christianity and neomartyrs was not uncommon in the Christian territories of Asia Minor conquered by the waves of Seljuk and Ottoman jihad.181 He cites, for example, a pastoral letter from 1338 addressed to the residents of Nicaea indicating widespread, forcible conversion by the Turks: “And they [Turks] having captured and enslaved many of our own and violently forced them and dragging them along alas! So that they took up their evil and godlessness.”

The phenomenon of forcible conversion, including coercive mass conver­sions, persisted throughout the sixteenth century, as discussed by Constantelos in his analysis of neomartyrdom in the Ottoman Empire: “[M]ass forced conversions were recorded during the caliphates of Selim I (1512-1520), Selim II (1566-1574), and Murat Ell (1574-1595). On the occasion of some anniversary, such as the capture of a city, or a national holiday, many rayahs were forced to apostacize. On the day of the circumcision of Mohammed III great numbers of Christians (Albanians, Greeks, Slays) were forced to convert to Islam.”

Reviewing the martyrology of Christians victimized by the Ottomans from the conquest of Constantinople (1453) through the final phases of the Greek War of Independence (1828), Constantelos notes: “[T]he Ottoman Turks condemned to death eleven Ecumenical Patriarchs of Constantinople, nearly one hundred bishops, and several thousand priests, deacons, and monks. It is impossible to say with certainty how many men of the cloth were forced to apostasize.”

However, the more mundane cases illustrated by Constantelos are of equal significance in revealing the plight of Christians under Ottoman rule, through at least 1867: “Some were accused of insulting the Muslim faith or of throwing ???? against the wall of a mosque. Others were accused of sexual advances a Turk; still others of making a public confession such as “I will become without meaning it.”

Constantelos concludes:

The story of the neomartyrs indicates that there was no liberty of conscience in Ottoman Empire and that religious persecution was never absent from their lives. Justice was subject to the passions of judges as well as of the crowds, and applied with a double standard, lenient fur Muslims and harsh for Christians and others. The view that the Ottoman Turks pursued a policy of religious toleration in order to promote a fusion of the Turks with the conquered populations is not sustained by the facts.

Even the Turcophilic nineteenth-century travel writer Ubicini acknowledged the oppressive burden of Ottoman dhimmitude in this moving depiction:

The history of enslaved peoples is the same everywhere, or rather, they have no history. The years, the centuries pass without bringing any change to their situa­tion. Generations come and go in silence. One might think they are afraid to awaken their masters, asleep alongside them. However, if you examine them closely you discover that this immobility is only superficial. A silent and constant agitation pips them. Life has entirely withdrawn into the heart. They resemble those rivers which have disappeared underground; if you put your ear to the earth, you can hear the muffled sound of their waters; then they re-emerge intact a few leagues away. Such is the state of the Christian populations of Turkey under Ottoman rule.

Vacalopoulos describes how jihad-imposed dhimmitude under Ottoman rule provided critical motivation for the Greek Revolution:

The Revolution of 1821 is no more than the last great phase of the resistance of the Greeks to Ottoman domination; it was a relentless, undeclared war, which bad begun already in the first years of servitude. The brutality of an autocratic regime, which was characterized by economic spoliation, intellectual decay and cultural retrogression, was sure to provoke opposition. Restrictions of all kinds, unlawful taxation, forced labor, persecutions, violence, imprisonment, death, abductions of girls and boys and their confinement to Turkish harems, and var­ious deeds of wantonness and lust, along with numerous less offensive excesses—all these were a constant challenge to the instinct of survival and they defied every sense of human decency. The Greeks bitterly resented all insults and humiliations, and their anguish and frustration pushed them into the arms of rebellion, There was no exaggeration in the statement made by one of the beys if Arta, when he sought to explain the ferocity of the struggle. He said: “We have wronged the rayas [dhimmis] (i.e. our Christian subjects) and destroyed both their wealth and honor; they became desperate and took up arms. This is just the beginning and will finally lead to the destruction of our empire.” The sufferings of the Greeks under Ottoman rule were therefore the basic cause of the insurrec­tion; a psychological incentive was provided by the very nature of the circum­stances.”

Those scholars who continue to adhere to the roseate narrative of Ottoman “tolerance,” the notion that an “easy-going tolerance, resting on an assumption not only of superior religion, but also of superior power,’ which it is claimed, persisted in the Ottoman Empire until the end of the seventeenth century, must address certain basic questions. Why has the quite brutal Ottoman devshirme-janissary system, which, from the mid-fourteenth through early eighteenth cen­turies, enslaved and forcibly converted to Islam an estimated five hundred thou­sand to I million non-Muslim (primarily Balkan Christian) adolescent males,”” been characterized, reductio ad absurdum, as a benign form of social advance­ment, jealously pined for by “ineligible” Ottoman Muslim families? For example,

The role played by the Balkan Christian boys recruited into the Ottoman service through the devshirme is well known. Great numbers of them entered the Ottoman military and bureaucratic apparatus, which for a while came to be dom­inated by these new recruits to the Ottoman state and the Muslim faith. This ascendancy of Balkan Europeans into the Ottoman power structure did not pass unnoticed, and there are many complaints from other elements, sometimes from the Caucasian slaves who were their main competitors, and more vocally from the old and free Muslims, who felt slighted by the preference given to the newly converted slaves.

Scholars who have conducted serious, detailed studies of the devshirme­janissary system do not share such hagiographic views of this Ottoman institution. Vryonis, for example, makes these deliberately understated, but cogent observa­tions:

In discussing the devshirme we are dealing with the large numbers of Chris­tians who, in spite of the material advantages offered by conversion to Islam, chose to remain members of a religious society which was denied first class cit­izenship. Therefore the proposition advanced by some historians, that the Chris­tians welcomed the devshirme as it opened up wonderful opportunities for their children, is inconsistent with the fact that these Christians had not chosen to become Muslims in the ]irst instance but had remained Christians….

There is abundant testimony to the very active dislike with which they viewed the taking of their children. One would expect such sentiments given the strong nature of the family bond and given also the strong attachment to Christianity of those who had not apostacized to Islam…. First of all the Ottomans capitalized on the gen­eral Christian fear of losing their children and used offers of devshirme exemp­tion in negotiations for surrender of Christian lands. Such exemptions were occluded in the surrender terms granted to Janina, Galata, the Morea, Chios, etc. ..Christians who engaged in specialized activities which were important to the Ottoman state were likewise exempt from the tax on their children by way of recognition of the importance of their labors for the empire…. Exemption from this tribute was considered a privilege and not a penalty.

There are other documents wherein their [i.e., the Christians] dislike is much more explicitly apparent. These include a series of Ottoman documents dealing with the specific situations wherein the devshirmes themselves have escaped from the officials responsible for collecting them…. A finnan in . 1601 [regarding the devshirme] provided the [Ottoman] of]icials with stern measures of enforcement, a fact which would seem to suggest that parents were not always disposed to part with their sons … to enforce the command of the known and holy fetva [fatwa] of Seyhul [Shaikh]-Islam. In accordance with this whenever some one of the infidel parents or some other should oppose the giving up of his son for thc Janissaries, he is immediately hanged from his door-sill, his blood being deemed unworthy.

Vasiliki Papoulia highlights the continuous desperate, often violent struggle the Christian populations against this forcefully 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. In 1565 a revolt took place in Epirus and Albania. The inhabitants killed the recruiting of]icers and the revolt was put down only after the sultan sent five hundred janis­saries in support of the local sanjak-bey. We are better informed, thanks to the historic archives of Yerroia, about the uprising in Naousa in 1705 where the inhabitants killed the Silahdar Ahmed Celebi and his assistants and fled to the Mountains as rebels. Some of them were later arrested and put to death

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. Others had their children marry at an early age…. Nicephorus Angelus … states that at times the children ran away on their own initia­tive, but when they heard that the authorities had arrested their parents and were tor­turing them to death, returned and gave themselves up. La Giulletiere cites the case of a young Athenian who returned from hiding in order to save his father’s life and then chose to die himself rather than abjure his faith. According to the evidence in Turkish sources, some parents even succeeded in abducting their children after they had been recruited. The most successful way of escaping recruitment was through bribery. That the latter was very widespread is evident from the large amounts of Money confiscated by the sultan from corrupt officials. Fimilly, in their despera­tion the parents even appealed to the Pope and the Western powers for help.

Papoulia concludes, “There is no doubt that this heavy burden was one of the hardest tribulations of the Christian population:”

Why did the Tanzimat reforms, designed to abrogate the Ottoman version of the system of dhimmitude, need to be imposed by European powers through treaties, as so-called capitulations following Ottoman military defeats, and why, even then, were these reforms never implemented in any meaningful way from 1839 until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I?

Edouard Engelhardt made these observations from his detailed analysis of the Tanzimat period, noting that a quarter century after the Crimean War (1853-1856), and the second iteration of Tanzimat reforms, the same problems persisted: “Muslim society has not yet broken with the prejudices which make the conquered peoples subordinate … the raya [dhimmis] remain inferior to the Osmanlis; in fact he is not rehabilitated; thefanaticism of the early days has not relented…. [Even liberal Muslims rejected] … civil and political equality, that is to say, the assimilation of the conquered with the conquerors.”196

A systematic examination of the condition of the Christian rayas was con­ducted in the 1860s by British consuls stationed throughout the Ottoman Empire, yielding extensive primary source documentary evidence.197 Britain was then Turkey’s most powerful ally, and it was in its strategic interest to see that oppres­sion of the Christians was eliminated to prevent direct, aggressive Russian or Aus­trian intervention. On July 22, 1860, Consul James Zohrab sent a lengthy report from Sarajevo to his ambassador in Constantinople, Sir Henry Bulwer, analyzing the administration of the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, again, following the 1856 Tanzimat reforms. Referring to the reform efforts, Zohrab states:

The Hatti-humayoun, I can safely say, practically remains a dead letter … while [this] does not extend to permitting the Christians to be treated as they formerly were treated, is so far unbearable and unjust in that it permits the Mussulmans to despoil them with heavy exactions. False imprisonments (imprisonment under false accusation) are of daily occurence. A Christian has but a small chance of exculpating himself when his opponent is a Mussulman (…) Christian evidence, as a rule, is still refused (…) Christians are now permitted to possess real prop­erty, but the obstacles which they meet with when they attempt to acquire it are so many and vexatious that very few have as yet dared to brave them…. Such being, generally speaking, the course pursued by the Government towards the Christians in the capital (Sarajevo) of the province where the Consular Agents of the different Powers reside and can exercise some degree of control, it may easily be guessed to what extend the Christians, in the remoter districts, suffer who are governed by Mudirs (governors) generally fanatical and unacquainted with the (new reforms of the) law.

In his comprehensive study of nineteenth-century Palestinian Jewry under Ottoman rule, Tudor Parfitt made these germane observations:

Inside the towns, Jews and other dhimmis were frequently attacked, wounded. and even killed by local Muslims and Turkish soldiers. Such attacks were fre­quently for trivial reasons: Wilson [in British Foreign Office correspondence] recalled having met a Jew who had been badly wounded by a Turkish soldier for not having instantly dismounted when ordered to give up his donkey to a soldier of the Sultan. Many Jews were killed for less. On occasion the authorities attempted to get some form of redress but this was by no means always the case: the Turkish authorities themselves were sometimes responsible for beating Jews I to death for some unproven charge. After one such occasion [British Consul] Young remarked: “I must say I am sorry and surprised that the Governor could have acted so savage a part—for certainly what I have seen of him I should have thought him superior to such wanton inhumanity—but it was a Jew—without friends or protection—it serves to show well that it is not without reason that the poor Jew, even in the nineteenth century, lives from day to day in terror of his life.

In fact, it took some time [i.e.. at least a decade after the 1839 reforms] before these courts did accept dhimmi testimony in Palestine. The fact that Jews were represented on the meclis [provincial legal council] did not contribute a great deal to the amelioration of the legal position of the Jews: the Jewish repre­sentatives were tolerated grudgingly and were humiliated and intimidated to the point that they were afraid to offer any opposition to the Muslim representatives. In addition the constitution of the meclis was in no sense fairly representative of the population. In Jerusalem in the 1870s the meclis consisted of four Muslims, three Christians and only one Jew—at a time when Jews constituted over half the population of the city…. Some years after the promulgation of the han-i-serif [Tanzimat reform edicts] Binyamin [in an eyewitness account from Eight Years in Asia and Africa from 1846 to 1855, p. 441 was still able to write of the Jews— “they are entirely destitute of every legal protection.” … Perhaps even more to the point, the courts were biased against the Jews and even when a case was heard in a properly assembled court where dhimmi testimony was admissible the court would still almost invariably rule against the Jews. It should be noted that a non-dhimmi [e.g., foreign] Jew was still not permitted to appear and witness in either the mahkama [specific Muslim council] or the meclis.

The modem Ottomanist Roderick Davison acknowledges that the reforms filed, and offers an explanation based on Islamic beliefs intrinsic to the system dhimmitude:

No genuine equality was ever attained … there remained among the Turks an intense Muslim feeling which could sometimes burst into an open fanaticism More important than the possibility of fanatic outbursts, however, was the innate attitude of superiority which the Muslim Turk possessed. Islam was for him the true religion. Christianity was only a partial revelation of the truth, which Muhammad finally revealed in full; therefore Christians were not equal to Mus­lims in possession of truth. Islam was not only a way of worship, it was a way of life as well. It prescribed man’s relations to man, as well as to God, and was the practice throughout the Ottoman Empire, particularly within the Balkans and, later, lia itself, attempted emancipation of the dhimmi peoples provoked violent, bloody responses against those “infidels” daring to claim equality with local Musselmans.

The massacres of the Bulgarians (in 1876),202 and more extensive massacres the Armenians (I 894-1896),203 culminating in a frank jihad genocide against Armenians during World War I,204 epitomize these trends. Enforced abroga­of the laws of dhimmitude required the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire. finally occurred after the Balkan Wars of independence and during the European Mandate period following World War I.

Lastly, why was there never a significant sharia-inspired slavery abolition , anent within the Ottoman states, comparable to the courageous and suc lead by Western Christian statesmen (such as the evangelical amentarian William Wilberforce)205 in Europe and America throughout the nineteenth century? Deliberately limited and ineffectual firmans issued by the xxxxx Porte failed to discourage East African slave trading,’ and even British el power, so successful in the Atlantic and Indian oceans?’ was unable to sup‑
s the Red Sea slave trade to the Ottoman Empire at the end of the nineteenth century.208 Regardless, as Reuben Levy notes: “At Constantinople, the sale of non slaves, both negresses and Circassians [likely for harem slavery and/or concubinage], continued to be openly practiced until … 1908.

The Timurid Jihad Conquests—An Overview

Timur (whose name signifies “Iron” in Turkish) was horn at Kash (Shahr-i­z, the “Green City”) in Transoxiana (some fifty miles south of Samarkand in Uzbekistan), on April 8 (or 11), 1336 CE. Amir Turghay, his father, was of of the Gurgan or Chagtai branch of the Barlas Turks. By age thirty-four 369/70), Timur had killed his major rival (Mir Husain), becoming the preeminent ruler of Transoxiana. He spent the next six to sevenyears consolidating his power in Transoxiana before launching the aggressive conquests of Persia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and then attacking Hindustan (India) under the tottering Delhi Sultanate.

Rene Grousset contrasts Jenghiz Khan’s “straightforward planning” and dean sweeps” with the “higgledy-piggledy” order of Timur’s expeditions, and he often incomplete nature of the latter’s conquests:

Tamerlane’s [Timur’s] conquering activities were carried on from the Volga to Damascus, from Smyrna to the Ganges and the Yulduz, and his expeditions into these regions followed no geographical order. He sped from Tashkent to Shiraz, from Tabriz to Khodzhent, as enemy aggression dictated; a campaign in Russia occurred between two in Persia, an expedition into Central Asia between two raids into the Caucasus…. [Timur] at the end of every successful campaign left the country without making any dispositions for its control except Khwarizm and Persia, and even there not until the very end. It is true that he slaughtered all his enemies as thoroughly and conscientiously as the great Mongol, and the pyra­mids of human heads left behind him as a warning example tell their own tale. Yet the survivors forgot the lesson given them and soon resumed secret or overt attempts at rebellion, so that it was all to do again. It appears too, that these bloodsoaked pyramids diverted [Timur] from the essential objective. Baghdad, Brussa (Bursa), Barak Kara Shah, and Delhi were all sacked by him, but he did not overcome the Ottoman Empire, the Golden Horde, the khanate of Mogholistan, or the Indian Sultanate: and even the Jelairs of Iraq ‘Arabi rose up again as soon as he had passed. Thus he had to conquer Khwarizm three times, the Ili six or seven times (without ever mamiging to hold it for longer than the duration of the campaign), eastern Persia twice, western Persia at least three times, in addition to waging two campaigns in Russia … [Timur’s] campaigns “always had to be fought again,” and fight them again he did.

Timur’s campaigns are infamous for their extensive massacres and emblem­atic “pyramids of heads.” E. G. Brown cites “only a few” prominent examples:

As specimens of those acts mention may be made of his massacre of the people of Sistan 1383-4, when he caused some two thousand prisoners to be built up into a wail; his cold-blooded slaughter of a hundred thousand captive Indians near Dihli [Delhi] (December, 1398); his burying alive of four thousand Arme­nians in 1400-1, and the twenty towers of skulls erected by him at Aleppo and Damascus in the same year; and his massacre of 70,000 of the inhabitants of Isfahan in (November. 1387).

Grousset emphasizes the important Islamic motivation for Timur’s cam­paigns:

It is the Qur’an to which he continually appeals, the imams and dervishes who prophesy his success. His wars were to inlluence the character of the jihad, the Holy War, even when—as was almost always the case—he was fighting Mus­lims. He had only to accuse these Muslims of lukewarmness, whether the Jagataites of the Ili and Uiguria, whose conversion was so recent, or the Sultans of Delhi who … refrained from massacring their millions of Hindu subjects.

The Turkish chronicle Malfuzat-i-Timuri, a putative autobiographical memoir of Timur,’ translated into Persian by Abu Talib Husaini, illustrates these driving sentiments, complete with a Our’ anic quotation:

About this time there arose in my heart the desire to lead an expedition against the infidels, and to become a ghazi; for it had reached my ears that the slayer of infidels is a ghazi, and if he is slain he becomes a martyr. It was on this account that I formed this resolution, but I was undetermined in my mind whether I should direct my expedition against the infidels of Chimi or against the infidels and polytheists of India. In this matter I sought an omen from the Qur’an, and the verse I opened upon [Q66:9] was this, “0 Prophet, make war upon infidels and unbelievers, and treat them with severity.” My great officers totd me that the inhabitants of Hindustan were infidels and unbelievers. In obedience to the order of Almighty Allah [ ordered an expedition against them.

Timur’s jihad campaigns against non-Muslims—whether Christians in Asia or and Georgia or Hindus in India—seemed to intensify in brutality. Brown ights one particular episode that supports this contention, wherein Timur ly distinguished between his vanquished Muslim and non-Muslim foes. After ging through (Christian) Georgia, where he “devastated the country, yed the churches, and slew great numbers of inhabitants,” in the winter of 400, Timur, in August 1400, “began his march into Asia Minor by way of Erzeroum, Erzinjan, and Sivas. The latter place offered a stubborn resistence, and when it finally capitulated Timur caused all the Armenian and Christian inhabitants to be buried alive; but the Muhammadans he spared.”

The unparalleled devastation Timur wrought upon predominantly Hindu further bolsters the notion that Timur viewed his non-Muslim prey with particular animosity. Moreover, there are specific examples of selective brutality against Hindus, cited in the Malfuzat-i-Timuri, from which Muslims are completely spared:

My great object in invading Hindustan had been to wage a religious war against the infidel Hindus, and it now appeared to me that it was necessary for me to put down these lass [Hindus]. On the 9th of the month I dispatched the baggage from Tohana, and on the same day I marched into the jungles and wilds, and slew 12.000 demon-like Jats. I made their wives and children captives, and plundered their cattle and property…. On the same day a party of saiyids, who dwelt in the vicinity, came with courtesy and humility to wait upon me and were very gra­ciously received. In my reverence for the race of the prophet, I treated their chiefs with great honour.

On the 29th I again marched and reached the river Jumna. On the other side of the river I [viewed] a fort, and upon making inquiry about it, I was informed Met it consisted of a town and fort, called Loni…. I determined to take that fort at once…. Many of the Rajputs placed their wives and children in their houses and burned them, then they rushed to the battle and were killed. Other men of the garrison fought and were slain, and a great many were taken prisoners. Next day I gave orders that the Musalman prisoners should be separated and saved, but that the infidels should all be despatched to hell with the proselyting sword. I also ordered that the houses of the saiyids, shaikhs and learned Musulmans should be preserved but that all the other houses should be plundered and the fort destroyed. It was done as 1 directed and a booty was obtained?”

On the 16th of the month some incidents occurred which led to the sack of Delhi, and to the slaughter of many of the infidel inhabitants On that day, Thursday, and all the night of Friday, nearly 15,000 Turks were engaged plundering, and destroying…. The following day, Saturday, the 17th. in the same way, and the spoil was so great that each man secured from fifty to a hundred prisoners—men, women, and children. There was no man who took less than twenty. The other booty was immense in rubies, diamonds, pearls and other gems; jewels of gold and silver, ashrafis, tankas of gold and silver of the celebrated ‘Alai coinage; vessels of gold and silver; and brocades and silks of great value. Gold and silver ornaments of the Hindu women were obtained in such quantities as to exceed all account. Excepting the quarter of the saiyids, the ‘ulama and the other Musulmans, the whole city was sacked.

Timur left Samarkand with a large, powerful expeditionary force destined for India in April 1398. By October he had besieged Talamba, seventy-five miles northeast of Multan, subsequently plundering the town and massacring its inhab­itants. He reached the vicinity of Delhi during the ]irst week of December having forged a path of destruction—pillaging, razing, and massacring—en route through Pak Paten, Dipalpur, Bhatnar, Sirsa, and Kaithal. Prior to ]ighting and defeating an army under Sultan Nasir-ud-din Mahmud Tughluq on December 17, 1398, Timur had his forces butcher in cold blood one hundred thousand Hindu prisoners accumulated while advancing toward Delhi.220 A. L. Srivastava describes what transpired after Timur’s forces occupied Delhi on December 18, 1398:

The citizens of the capital, headed by the ulema, waited on the conqueror and begged quarter. Timur agreed to spare the citizens; but, owing to the oppressive conduct of the soldiers of the invading force, the people of the city were obliged to offer resistance. Timur now ordered a general plunder and massacre which lasted for several days. Thousands of the citizens of Delhi were murdered and thousands were made prisoners. A historian writes: “High towers were built with the head of the Hindus, and their bodies became the food of ravenous beasts and birds … such of the inhabitants who escaped alive were made prisoners.”

Timur acquired immense booty, as well as Delhi’s best (surviving) artisans, who were conscripted and sent to Samarkand to construct for him the famous Friday mosque. Leaving Delhi on January ], ]399, for their return march to Samarkand, Timur’s forces stormed Meerut on January 19, before encountering and defeating two Hindu armies near Hardwar. The Malfuzat-i-Timuri indicates that at Hardwar, Timur’s army

displayed great courage and daring; they made their swords their banners, and exerted themselves in slaying the fire (during a bathing festival on the bank of the Ganges). They slaughtered many of the infidels, and pursued those who fled to the mountains. So many of them were killed that their blood ran down the moun­tains and plain, and thus (nearly) all were sent to hell. The few who escaped, wounded, weary, and half dead, sought refuge in the defiles of the hills. Their property and goods, which exceeded all computation, and their countless cows and buffaloes, fell as spoil into the hands of my victorious soIdiers.

Timur then traversed the Sivalik Hills to Kanra, which was pillaged and ked, along with Jammu, “everywhere the inhabitants being slaughtered like cattle.”

Srivastava summarizes India’s devastated condition following Timur’s departure:

Timur left [India] prostrate and bleeding. There was utter confusion and misery throughout northern India. [India’s] northwestern provinces, including northern tracts of Rajasthan and Delhi, were so thoroughly ravaged, plundered and even burnt that it took these parts many years, indeed, to recover their prosperity. Lakhs [hundreds of thousands] of men, and in some cases, many women and children, too, were butchered in cold blood. The rabi crops [grown in October/November, harvested around March, including barley, mustard, and wheat] standing in the ]ield were completely destroyed for many miles on both sides of the invader’s long and double route from the Indus to Delhi and back. Stores of grain were looted or destroyed. Trade, cormmerce and other signs of material prosperity disappeared. The city of Delhi was depopulated and ruined. It was without a master or a caretaker. There was scarcity and virulent famine in the capital and its suburbs. This was followed by a pestilence caused by the pol­lution of the air and water by thousands of uncared-for dead bodies. In the words of the historian Badauni, “those of the inhabitants who were left died (of famines and pestilence), while for two months not a bird moved wing in Delhi’

The thirteenth-century chronicler Bar Hebraeus (d. 1286) provided this contemporary assessment of how the adoption of Islam radically altered Mongol attitudes towards their Christian subjects:

And having seen very much modesty and other habits of this kind among Christian people, certainly the Mongols loved rut greatly at the beginning of their kingdom, a time ago somewhat short. But in love hath turned to such intense hatred that they cannot even see them with their eyes approvingly, because they have all alike become Muslims, myriads of people and peoples.

Bar Hebraeus’s observations should be borne in mind when evaluating sset’s uncompromising overall assessment of Timur’s deeds and motive­- After recounting Timur’s 1403 ravages in Georgia, slaughtering the inhabitants, and destroying all the Christian churches of Tiflis, Grousset states:

It has been noted that the Jenghiz-Khanite Mongol invasion of the thirteenth cen­tury was less cruel, for the Mongols were mere barbarians who killed simply because for centuries this had been the instinctive behavior of nomad herdsmen toward sedentary farmers. To this ferocity Tamerlane [Timur] added a taste for religious murder. He killed from Qur’anic piety. He represents a synthesis, prob­ably unprecedented in history, of Mongol barbarity and Muslim fanaticism, and symbolizes that advanced form of primitive slaughter which is murder com- mitted for the sake of an abstract ideology, as a duty and a sacred mission.

basis for society, for law, and for government. Christians were therefore inevitably considered second-class citizens in the light of religious revelation— as well as by reason of the plain fact that they had been conquered by the Ottomans. This whole Muslim outlook was often summed up in the common term gavur (or kafir), which means “unbeliever” or “infidel,” with emotional and quite uncomplimentary overtones. To associate closely or on terms of equality with the gavur was dubious at best. “Familiar association with heathens and infi­dels is forbidden to the people of Islam,” said Asim, an early nineteenth-century historian, “and friendly and intimate intercourse between two panics that are one to another as darkness and light is far from desirable.” The mere idea of equality, especially the anti-defamation clause of 1856, offended the Turks’ inherent sense of the rightness of things. “Now we can’t calla gavur a gavur,” it was said, sometimes bitterly, sometimes in matter-of-fact explanation that under the new dispensation the plain truth could no longer be spoken openly. Could reforms be acceptable which forbade calling a spade a spade? … The Turkish mind, conditioned by centuries of Muslim and Ottoman dominance, was not yet ready to accept any absolute equality…. Ottoman equality was not attained in the Tanzimat period [i.e.. mid- to late nineteenth century, 1839-1876], nor yet after the Young Turk revolution of 1908.

Indeed, an inlluential member of the Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress, Sheik Abd-ul-Haq, a “progressive” Young Turk, made this revealing declaration writing in a Parisian Muslim review (Le Mecherouttiere, edited by Sherif Pasha, Paris) in August 1912:

Yes! The Musulman religion is in open hostility to all your world of progress. Understand, you European observers, that a Christian, whatever his position may be, by the mere fact of his being a Christian is regarded by us as a blind man lost to all sense of human dignity. Our reasoning with regard to him is as simple as it is definitive. We say: the man whose judgment is so perverted as to deny the exis­tence of a one and only God, and to make up gods of different sorts. can only be the meanest expression of human degradation; to speak to him would be a humil­iation for our intelligence and an insult to the grandeur of the Master of the Uni­verse. The presence of such miscreants among us is the bane of our existence: their doctrine is a direct insult to the purity of our faith: contact with them is a de]ilement of our bodies; any relation with them a torture to our souls. Though detesting you, we have condescended to study your political institutions and your military organization. Over and above the new weapons that Providence procures for us through your agency, you have yourselves rekindled, the inextinguishable faith of our heroic martyrs. Our Young Turks, our Babis, our new Brotherhoods, all our sects, under various loons, are inspired by the same idea; the same neces­sity of moving forward. Towards what end? Christian civilization? Never! Islam is the one great international family. All true believers are brothers. A community of feeling and of faith binds them in mutual affection. It is for the Caliph to facil­itate these relations and to rally the Faithful under the sacerdotal standard.

Jihad Conquests on the Indian Subcontinent

The 570-year period between the initial Arab Muslim razzias (ordered by Caliph Umar) to pillage Thana (on the West Indian coast near Maharashtra) in 636-637 CE, and the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate (under Qutub-ud-din Aibak, Turkish slave soldier). can be divided into four major epochs: (I) the conflict between the Arab invaders and the (primarily) Hindu resisters on the western coast of India from 636 to 713; (2) the Arab and Turkish Muslim onslaughts against the kingdom of Hindu Afghanistan from 636 to 870; (3) repeated Turkish efforts to subdue the Punjab from 870 to 1030, highlighted by the devastating campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazni (from ]000 to 1030); and, finally. (4) Muhammad Ghauri’s conquest of northwestern India and the Gangetic valley between 1175 and 1206.

This summary chronology necessarily overlooks the very determined and successful resistance that was offered by the Hindus to both the Arab (in partic­ular) and Turkish invaders, for almost four centuries. For example, despite the rapidity of Mahmud of Ghazni’s conquests—spurred by shock tactics and the reli­gious zealotry of Islamic jihad—for almost 150 years, his successors could not extend their domain beyond the Punjab frontiers. Even after the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526), and the later Mughal Empire (1526-1707), Muslim rulers failed to Islamize large swaths of Indian territory and most of the populace.’ The first Mughal emperor, Babur (1483-1530), made these relevant observations upon establishing his rule in India: “[Hindustan) is a different world … once the water of Sindh is crossed, everything is in the Hindustan way land, water, tree, rock, people, and horde, opinion and custom…. Most of the inhabi­tants of Hindustan are pagans; they call a pagan a Hindu.

Buddhist civilization within India, in stark contrast, proved far less resilient. Vincent Smith has described the devastating impact of the late-twelfth-century jihad razzias against the Buddhist communities of northern India, centered around Bihar, based exclusively on Muslim sources:

The Muhammadan historian, indifferent to distinctions among idolators, states that the majority of the inhabitants were “clean shaven Brahmans.” who wcre all put to the sword. He evidently means Buddhist monks, as he was informed that the whole city and fortress were considered to he a college, which the name Bihar signifies. A great library was scattered. When the victors desired to know what the hooks might be no man capable of explaining their contents had been left alive. No doubt everything was burnt. The multitude of images used in Medieval Buddhist worship always inflamed the fanaticism of Muslim warriors to such fury that no quarter was given to the idolaters- The ashes of the Buddhist sanctuaries at Sarnath near Benares still bear witness to the rage of the image breakers_ Many noble monuments of the ancient civilization of India were irretrievably wrecked in the course of the early Muhammadan invasions. Those invasions were fatal to the existence of Buddhism as an organized religion in northern India, where its strength resided chiefly in Bihar and certain adjoining territories. The monks who escaped massacre ]led, and were scattered over Nepal, Tibet, and the south. After A.D. 1200 the traces of Buddhism in upper India are faint and obscure.

Three major waves of jihad campaigns (exclusive of the jihad conquest of Afghanistan) that succeeded, ultimately, in establishing a permanent Muslim ‘Edon within India, that is, the Delhi Sultanate, are summarized in the following discussion. The imposition of dhimmitude upon the vanquished Hindu ations is also characterized, in brief.

The Muslim chroniclers al-Baladhuri (in Kitub Futuh al-Buldan) and al-Kufi the Chachnama) include enough isolated details to establish the overall nature the conquest of Sindh by Muhammad b. Qasim in 712 CE.232 These narratives, the processes they describe, make clear that the Arab invaders intended from outset to Islamize Sindh by conquest, colonization, and local conversion. Al, for example, records that following the capture of Debal, Muhammad Qasim earmarked a section of the city exclusively for Muslims, constructed a ue, and established four thousand colonists there.233 The conquest of Debal been a brutal affair, as summarized from the Muslim sources by Majumdar.234 Despite appeals for mercy from the besieged Indians (who opened their gates after Muslims scaled the fort walls), Muhammad b. Qasim declared that he had no (i.e., from his superior al-Hajjaj, the Governor of Iraq) to spare the inhab­ts, and thus for three days a ruthless and indiscriminate slaughter ensued. In aftermath, the local temple was def]led, and “700 beautiful females who had ght for shelter there, were all captured.” The capture of Raor was accompanied a similar tragic outcome.

Muhammad massacred 6000 fighting men who were found in the fort, and their followers and dependents, as well as their women and children were taken pris­oners. Sixty thousand slaves, including 30 young ladies of royal blood, were sent to Haijaj, along with the head of Dahar [the Hindu ruler]. We can now well understand why the capture of a fort by the Muslim forces was followed by the terrible jauhar ceremony (in which females threw themselves in fire kindled by themselves), the earliest recorded instance of which is found in the Chachnama.

Practical, expedient considerations lead Muhammad to desist from carrying the strict injunctions of Islamic law and the wishes of al-Hanijij by massacuring the (pagan) infidel Hindus of Sindh. Instead, he imposed the jizya and associated restrictive regulations of dhimmitude upon the vanquished Hindus. As the Chachnama records, “some [Hindus] resolved to live in their native land, but others took flight in order to maintain the faith of their ancestors, and their horses, domestics, and other property. Thus, a lasting pattern was set that would persist, as noted by Majumdar, until the Mughal Empire collapsed at the end of Aurangzeb’s reign (in 1707), of Muslim policy towards the subject Hindus in subsequent ages. Something no doubt depended upon individual rulers; some of them adopted a more liberal, others a more cruel and intolerant attitude. But on the whole the framework remained intact, for it was based on the fundamental principle of Islamic theocracy. It recognized only one faith, one people, and one supreme authority, acting as the head of a religious trust. The Hindus, being infidels or non-believers, could not claim the full rights of citizens. At the very best, they could be tolerated as dhimmis, an insulting title which connoted political inferiority…. The Islamic State regarded all non-Muslims as enemies, to curb whose growth in power was conceived to be its main interest, The ideal preached by even high officials was to exterminate them totally, but in actual practice they seam to have followed an alter­native laid down in the Qur’an f i.e., 9:29] which calls upon Muslims to fight the unbelievers till they pay the jizya with due humility This was the tax the Hindus had to pay for permission to live in their ancestral homes under a Muslim ruler.

Mahmud of Ghazni, according to the British historian Sir Henry Elliot, launched some seventeen jihad campaigns into India between 1000 and his death in 1030.240 Utbi, Mahmud’s court historian, viewed these expeditions to India as a jihad to propagate Islam and extirpate idolatry. K. S. Lal illustrates this reli­gious zeal to Islamize by force, as manifested during a twenty-three-year period between 1000 and 1023:

In his first attack of frontier towns in C.E. 1000 Mahmud appointed his own gov­ernors and convened some inhabitants. In his attack on Waihind (Peshawar) in 1001-3, Mahmud is reported to have captured the Hindu Shahiya King layapal and fifteen of his principal chiefs and relations some of whom like Sukhpal, were made Musalmans. At Sherd all the inhabitants, except those who embraced Islam. were put to the sword. At Multan too conversions took place in large numbers, for writing about the campaign against Nawasa Shah (convened Sukhpal), Utbi says that this and the previous victory (at Multan) were “witnesses to his exalted state of proselytism.” In his campaign in the Kashmir Valley (1015) Mahmud “con­verted many infidels to Muhammadanism, and having spread Islam in that country, returned to Ghazni.” In the later campaign in Mathura, Baran and Kanauj, again, many conversions took place. While describing “the Conquest of Kanauj.” Utbi sums up the situation thus: -The Sultan levelled to the ground every fort • and the inhabitants of them either accepted Islam, or took up arms against him.” In short, those who submitted were also converted to Islam. [n Baran (Bulandshahr) alone 10,000 persons were convened including the Raja. During his four­teenth invasion in 1023 C.E. Kirat, Nur, Lohkot and Lahore were attacked. The chief of Kirat accepted Islam, and many people followed his example.

These continuous jihad campaigns were accompanied by great destruction acts of wanton cruelty. Utbi describes the slaughter that transpired during the attacks on Thanesar and Sirsawa:

The chief of Thanesar was … obstinate in his infidelity and denial of Allah, so the Sultan marched against him with his valiant warriors for the purpose of planting the standards of Islam and extirpating idolatry…. The blood of the infi­dels flowed so copiously that the stream was discoloured, and people were unable to drink Praise be to Allah for the honour he bestows upon Islam and Musalmans.

[At Sirsawa, t]he Sultan summoned the most religiously disposed of his fol­lowers, and ordered them to attack the enemy immediately. Many infidels were consequently slain or taken prisoners in this sudden attack, and the Musalmans paid no regard to the booty till they had satiated themselves with the slaughter of the infidels…. The friends of Allah searched the bodies of the slain for three whole days, in order to obtain booty.

Mahmud’s final well-known expedition in Hindustan, to Somanath in 1025 CE, similarly brutal, and destructive: “Mahmud captured the place [Somanath] without much difficulty and ordered a general slaughter in which more than 50,000 are said to have perished. The idol of Somanath was broken to pieces which he sent to Ghazni, Mecca, and Medina and cast in streets and the staircases of mosques to be trodden by the Muslims going there for their prayers.”245 More than nine hundred years apart, remarkably concordant assessments of devastating exploits have been written by the eleventh-century scholar Alberuni (a counselor to Mahmud) and the contemporary Indian an A. L. Srivastava. First Alberuni, from about 1030:

Mahmud utterly mined the prosperity of the country … by which these became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions, and like a tale of old mouth of the people. Their scattered remains cherish of course the most to aversion towards all Muslims. This is the reason too why Hindu sciences have retired far away from those parts of the country conquered by us, and fled to places which our hand cannot yet reach, to Kashmir, Benares, and places.

In 1950 Srivastava wrote:

To the Indian world of his day Mahmud was a veritable devil incarnate—a daring – bandit, an avaricious plunderer, and wanton destroyer of Art. He plundered many wens of … flourishing cities; he razed to the ground great temples which were wonderful works of art; he carried thousands of innocent women and children into slavery; he indulged in wanton massacre practically everywhere he went; he forcibly converted hundred of unwilling people to Islam. A conqueror who leaves behind desolate towns and villages and dead bodies of innocent human beings cannot he remembered by posterity by any other title.

Lal believes that by the late twelfth century, Muhammad Ghauri was consum­mately prepared for the conquest and rule of India. Well-elaborated theological justifications for jihad, and comprehensive writings on India’s geography and sociopolitical culture were readily available to him, complementing his powerful army of Turks, Persians, and Afghans.

He now possessed Alberuni’s India and Burhanuddin’s Hidayah, works which were not available to his predecessor invader. Alberuni’s encyclopedic work pro­vided to the Islamic world in the eleventh century all that was militarily advan­tageous to know about India. Equally important was the Hidayah, the most authentic work on the laws of Islam compiled by Shaikh Burhanuddin Ali in the twelfth century. These and similar works, and the military manmils like the Siyasat Nama and Adab-ul-Harb, made the Ghauris and their successors better equipped for the conquest and governance of non-Muslim India. There need be no doubt that such works were made available, meticulously studied and con­stantly referred to by scholars attached to the courts of Muslim conquerors and kings?

Muhammad Ghauri launched his first expeditions against Multan and Gujarat (in 1175 and 1178 CE, respectively). By 1191-92, following Ghauri’s defeat of a Rajput confederation under Prithviraj Chauhan (and Prithviraj Chauhan’s death), “Sirsuti, Samana, Kuhram, and Hansi were captured in quick succession with ruthless slaughter and a general destruction of temples, and their replacement by mosques. The Sultan then proceeded to Ajmer which too witnessed similar scenes. In Delhi an army of occupation was stationed at lndraprastha under the command of Qutub-ud-din Aibak who was to act as Ghauri’s lieutenant in Hin­dustan. Later on Aibak became the first Sultan of Delhi.”

Qutub-ud-din Aibak’s accession in 1206 (consistent with Muhammad Ghauri’s desires and plans), marks the founding of the Delhi Sultanate.

Finally, the imposition of Islamic law upon the Hindu populations of India, that is, their relegation to dhimmi status, beginning with the advent of Muslim rule in eighth-century Sindh, had predictable consequences during both the Delhi Sul­tanate period (1206-1526), and the Mughal Empire (1526-1707). Srivastava highlights these germane features of Hindu status during the Delhi Sultanate:

Throughout the period of the Sultanate of Delhi, Islam was the religion of the State. It was considered to he the duty of thc Sultan and his government to defend and uphold the principles of this religion and to propagate them among the masses … even the most enlightened among them [the Sultans], like Muhammad bin Tughlaq, upheld the principles of their faith and refused permis­sion to repair Hindu (or Buddhist) temples…. Thus even during the reign of the so-called liberal-minded Sultans, the Hindus had no permission to build new temples or to repair old ones. Throughout the period, they were known as dhimmis, that is, people living under guarantee, and the guarantee was that they would enjoy restricted freedom in following their religion if they paid the jizya, The dhimmis were not to celebrate their religious rites openly and never to do any propaganda on behalf of their religion A number of disabilities were imposed upon them in matters of State employment and enjoyment of civic. rights …. It was a practice with the Sultans to destroy the Hindu temples and images therein. Firoz Tghlaq and Sikander Lodi prohibited Hindus from bathing at the ghats [river bank steps for ritual bathers] in the sacred rivers, and encour­aged them in every possible way to embrace the Muslim religion. The converts were exempted from the jizya and given posts in the State service and even granted rewards in cash, or by grant of land. In short, there was not only no real freedom for the Hindus to follow their religion, but the state followed a policy of intolerance and persecution. The contemporary Muslim chronicles abound in detailed descriptions of desecration of images and destruction of temples and of the conversion of hundreds and thousands of the Hindus. [Hindu] religious build­ings and places bear witness to the iconoclastic zeal of the Sultans and their fol­lowers. One has only to visit Ajmer, Mathura, Ayodhya, Banaras and other holy ‘ cities to see the half broken temples and images of those times with their heads, faces, hands and feet defaced and demolished?’

R. C. Majumdar sees a continuum between the Delhi Sultanate and the subsequent Mughal Empire regarding the status of the Hindus:

So far as the Hindus were concerned, there was no improvement either in their material and moral conditions or in their relations with the Muslims. With the sole exception of Akbar, who sought to conciliate the Hindus by removing some of the glaring evils to which they were subjected, almost all other Mughal Emperors were notorious for their religious bigotry. The Muslim law which imposed many disabilities and indignities upon the Hindus and thereby defi­nitely gave them an inferior social and political status, as compared to the Mus­lims, was followed by these Mughal Emperors (and other Muslim rulers) with as much zeal as was displayed by their predecessors, the Sultans of Delhi. The climax was reached during the reign of Aurangzeb, who deliberately pursued the Policy of destroying and desecrating Hindu temples and idols with a thorough­ness unknown before or since.

Majumdar also makes an interesting juxtaposition of Hindu cultural advancement under the lengthy period of Muslim colonial rule compared to the much shorter interval of British colonial rule:

Judged by a similar standard, the age and cultivation of Hindu learning by the Muslims, or their contribution the development of Hindu culture during their rule … pales into insignificance compared with the achievements of the British rule…. It is only by instituting such comparison that we can make an objective study of the condition of Hindus under Muslim rule, and view it in its true perspective.

Jihad Slavery

The fixed linkage between jihad—a permanent, uniquely Islamic institution—and enslavement, provides a very tenable explanation for the unparalleled scale and persistence of slavery in Muslim dominions and societies. This general observa­tion applies as well to “specialized” forms of slavery, including the (procurement and) employment of eunuchs, slave soldiering (especially of adolescents), other forms of child slavery, and harem slavery. Jihad slavery, in its myriad manifesta­tions, became a powerful tool for both expansive Islamization and the mainte­nance of Muslim societies.

Juridical Rationale and role in “Islamization”

Patricia Crone, in her recent analysis of the origins and development of Islamic political thought, makes an important nexus between the mass captivity and enslavement of non-Muslims during jihad campaigns and the prominent role of coercion in these major modalities of Islamization. Following a successful jihad, she notes:

Male captives might be killed or enslaved, whatever their religious affiliation. (People of the Book were not protected by Islamic law until they had accepted dhimma.) Captives might also be given the choice between Islam and death, or they might pronounce the confession of faith of their own accord to avoid exe­cution: jurists ruled that their change of status was to be accepted even though they had only converted out of fear. Womcn and children captured in the course of the campaigns were usmilly enslaved, again regardless of their faith…. Nor should the importance of captives be underestimated. Muslim warriors routinely took large numbers of them. Leaving aside those who converted to avoid execu­tion, some were ransomed and the rest enslaved, usually for domestic use. Dis­persed in Muslim households, slaves almost always converted, encouraged or pressurized by their masters, driven by a need to bond with others, or slowly. becoming accustomed to seeing things through Muslim eyes even if they tried to resist. Though neither the dhimmi nor the slave had been faced with a choice between Islam and death, it would be absurd to deny that force played a major role in their conversions.

For the idolatrous Hindus enslaved in vast numbers during the waves of jihad conquests that ravaged the Indian subcontinent for well over a half millennium (beginning at the outset of the eighth century CE), the guiding principles of Islamic law regarding their fate were unequivocally coercive. Jihad slavery also contributed substantively to the growth of the Muslim population in India. Tal elucidates both of these points:

The Hindus who naturally resisted Muslim occupation were considered to be rebels. Besides they were idolaters (mushrik) and could not be accorded the status of Kafirs, of the People of the Book—Christians and Jews…. Muslim scriptures and treatises advocated jihad against idolaters for whom the law advo­cated only Islam or death…. The fact was that the Muslim regime was giving /them] a choice between Islam and death only. Those who were killed in battle .Mae dead and gone; but their dependents were made slaves. They ceased to be Hindus; they were made Musalmans in course of time if not immediately after captivity … slave taking in India was the most flourishing and successful [Muslim] missionary activity…. Every Sultan, as a champion of Islam, considered it a political necessity to plant or raise [the] Muslim population all over India for the Islamization of the country and countering native resistance.

Vryonis describes how jihad slavery, as practiced by the Seljuks and early s, was an important modality of Islamization in Asia Minor between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries:

A further contributing factor to the decline in the numbers of Christian inhabitants ­was slavery…. Since the beginning of the Arab razzias into the land of Rum, human booty had come to constitute a very important portion of the spoils. There is ample testimony in the contemporary accounts that this situation did not ‘than ge when the Turks took over the direction of the djihad in Anatolia. They enslaved men, women, and children from all major urban centers and from the countryside where the populations were defenseless. In the earlier years before {he Turkish settlements were permanently affected in Anatolia, the captives were sent off to Persia and elsewhere, but after the establishment of the Anatolian Turkish principalities, a portion of the enslaved were retained in Anatolia for the service of the conquerors.

After characterizing the coercive, often brutal methods used to impose the devshirme child levy, and the resulting attrition of the native Christian populations, from both expropriation and flight, Papoulia concludes that this institution, a method of Islamization par excellence, also constituted a de facto state of war:

That the sources speak of piasimo (seizure) aichmalotos paidon (capture) and arpage paidon (grabbing of children) indicates that the children lost through the devIshirme were understood as casualties of war. Of course, the question arises whether, according to Islamic law, it is possible to regard the devishirme as a form of the state of war, although the Ottoman historians during the empire’s golden age attempted to interpret this measure as a consequence of conquest by force be ‘anwa. It is true that the Greeks and the other peoples of the Balkan peninsula did not as a rule surrender without resistance, and therefore the fate of conquered had to be determined according to the principles of the Koran regarding the Ahl-al-Qitah: i.e. eiither to be extermimited or be compelled to convert to Islam or to enter the status of protection, of aman, by paying the taxes and particularly the cizye (poll-tax). The fact that the Ottomans, in the case of volun­tary surrender, conceded certain privileges one of which was exemption from this heavy burden, indicates that its measure was understood as a penalization for the resistance of the population and the devshirme was an expression of the per­petuation of the state of war between the conqueror and the conquered the sole existence of the institution of devshirme is sufficient to postulate the perpet­uation of a state of war.

Under Shah Abbas I (1588-1626 CE), the Safavid Shiite theocracy of Iran expanded its earlier system of slave razzias into the Christian Georgian and Armenian areas of the Caucasus. Georgian, Armenian, and Circassian inhabitants of the Caucasus were enslaved in large numbers, and thereby converted to Shia Islam, The males were made to serve as (primarily) military or administrative slaves, while the females were forced into harems. A transition apparently took place between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries such that fewer of the slaves came from the Caucasus, while greater numbers came via the Persian Gulf, originating from Africa.’ Ricks notes that by the reign of Shah Sultan Husayn,

The size of the royal court had indeed expanded if the numbers of male and female slaves including white and black eunuchs are any indicators. According to a contemporary historian, Shah Sultan Husayn (d. 1722) made it a practice to arrive at Isfahan’s markets on the first days of the Iranian New Year (March 21) with his entire court in attendance. It was estimated by the contemporary recorder that 5,000 male and female black and white slaves including the 100 black eunuchs comprised the royal party.

Clement Huart, writing in the early twentieth century, observed that slaves continued to be the most important component of the booty acquired during jihad campaigns or razzias: “Not too long ago several expeditions crossed Amon-. Derya, i.e. the southern frontier of the steppes, and ravaged the eastern regions of Persia in order to procure slaves; other campaigns were launched into the very heart of unexplored Africa, setting fire to the inhabited areas and massacring the peaceful animist populations that lived there.”

Willis characterizes the timeless Islamic rationale for the enslavement of such “barbarous” African animists as follows:

As the opposition of Islam to kufr erupted from every corner of malice and mis­trust, the lands of the enslavable barbarian became the favorite hunting ground for the “people of reason and faith”—the parallels between slave and infidel began to fuse in the heat of jihad. Hence whether by capture or sale, it was as slave and not citizen that the kafir was destined to enter the Muslim domain. And since the condition of captives flowed from the status of their territories, the choice between freedom and servility came to rest on a single proof: the religion of a land is the religion of its amir (ruler); if he be Muslim. the land is a land of Islam (dar al-Islam); if he be pagan, the land is a land of unbelief (dar Appended to this principle was the kindred notion that the religion of a land is the religion of its majority; if it be Muslim, the land is a land of Islam; if it be pagan, the land is a land of kufr, and its inhabitants can be reckoned within the categories of enslavement under Muslim law. Again, as slavery became a simile for infidelity, so too did freedom remain the signal feature of Islam…. The servile estate was hewn out of the ravaged remains of heathen villages—from the women and children who submitted to Islam and awaited their redemption … [according to Muslim jurist al-Wanshirisi (d. 1508), slavery is an aflliction upon those who profess no Prophecy, who bear no allegiance to religious law. More­over, slavery is an humiliation—a subjection—which rises from infidelity.

Based on his study and personal observation of Muslim slave razzias gleaned While serving in the Sudan during the Mandist jihad at the close of the nineteenth century, Winston Churchill wrote this description in 1899:

All [of the Arab Muslim tribes in the Sudan], without exception, were hunters , of men. To the great slave markets of Jeddah a continual stream of negro captives has flowed for hundreds of years. The invention of gunpowder and the adoption , by the Arabs of firearms facilitated the traffic…. Thus the situation in the Sudan for several centuries may be summed up as follows: The dominant race of Arab invaders was increasingly spreading its blood, religion, customs, and language among the black aboriginal population, and at the same time it harried and enslaved them…. The warlike Arab tribes fought and brawled among them­selves in ceaseless feud and strife. The negroes trembled in apprehension of cap­ture, or rose locally against their oppressors.

All these elements of jihad slavery—its juridical rationale, employment as a and of forcible Islamization (for non-Muslims in general, and directed at sub- Saharan African animists, specifically), and its association with devshirme-like s of adolescent males for slave soldiering—are apparent in the contemporary being waged against the animists and Christians of southern Sudan by the Muslim—dominated Khartoum regime.

Extent and Persistence

The scale and scope of Islamic slavery in Africa are comparable to the Western Atlantic slave trade to the Americas, and as Willis has observed (somewhat sadIy), the former “out-distances the more popular subject in its length of duration­.”

Quantitative estimates for the transatlantic slave trade (between the sixteenth and late nineteenth centuries) of 10.5 million (or somewhat higher), are test matched (if not exceeded by 50 percent) by a contemporary estimate for Islamic slave trade out of Africa. Professor Ralph Austen’s working figure for this composite of the trans-Saharan, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean traffic generated by the Islamic slave trade from 650 to 1905 CE, is 17 million. Moreover, the plight of those enslaved animist peoples drawn from the savannah and northern forest belts of western and central Africa for the trans-Saharan trade was compa­rable to the sufferings experienced by the unfortunate victims of the transatlantic slave trade, as acknowledged by John Wright: “In the nineteenth century, slaves reached the ports of Ottoman Tripoli by three main Saharan routes, all so harsh that the experience of slaves forced to travel them bore comparison with the hor­rors of the so-called ‘middle-passage” of the Atlantic.”

This illuminating comparison, important as it is, ignores other vast domains of jihad slavery: throughout Europe (Mediterranean and western Europe, as well as central and eastern Europe), involving the Arabs [western/Mediterranean], and later the Ottoman Turks and Tatars [central and eastern Europe]; Muscovite Russia (subjected to Tatar depredations); Asia Minor (under Seljuk and Ottoman domination); Persia, Armenia, and Georgia (subjected to the systematized jihad slavery campaigns waged by the Shiite Safavids, in particular); and the Indian subcontinent (razzias and jihad campaigns by the Arabs in the seventh and eighth centuries, and later depredations by the Ghaznavids, during the Delhi Sultanate, the Timurid jihad, and under the Mughals). As a cursory introduction to the extent of jihad slavery beyond the African continent, three brief examples are provided: the Seljuks in Asia Minor (eleventh and twelfth centuries); the Ottomans in the Balkans (fifteenth century); and the Tatars in southern Poland and Muscovite Russia (mid-fifteenth through seventeenth centuries).

The capture of Christians in Asia Minor by the Seljuk Turks was very exten­sive in the eleventh and twelfth centuries?’ Following the seizure and pillage of Edessa, sixteen thousand were enslaved.” Michael the Syrian reported that when the Turks of Nur al-Din were brought into Cilicia by Mleh the Armenian, they enslaved sixteen thousand Christians, whom they sold at Aleppo: A major series of razzias conducted in the Greek provinces of western Asia Minor enslaved thou­sands of Greeks (Vryonis believes the figure of one hundred thousand cited in a contemporary account is exaggerated), and according to Michael the Syrian, they were sold in slave markets as far away as Persia. During razzias conducted by the Turks in 1185 and over the next few years, twenty-six thousand inhabitants from Cappadocia, Armenia, and Mesopotamia were captured and sent off to the slave markets. Vryonis concludes: “[T]hese few sources seem to indicate that the slave trade was a flourishing one. In fact, Asia Minor continued to be a mayor source of slaves for the Islamic world through the 14th century.”

The Ottoman sultans, in accord with sharia prescriptions, promoted jihad slavery aggressively in the Balkans, especially during the fifteenth-century reigns of Mehmed f (1402-1421), Murad II (1421-1451), and Mehmed II (1451-1481).2″ Alexandrescu-Dersca summarizes the considerable extent of the enslavement, and suggests the importance of its demographic effect:

The contemporary Turkish, Byzantine and Latin chroniclers are unanimous in recognizing that during the campaigns conducted on behalf of the unification of Greek and Latin Romania and the Slavic Balkans under the banner of Islam, as well as during their razzias on Christian territory, the Ottomans reduced masses of inhabitants to slavery. The Ottoman chronicler Asikpasazade relates that during the expedition of Ali pasha Evrenosoghlu in Hungary (1437), as well as on the return from the campaign of Murad II against Belgrade (1438), the ] number of captives surpassed that of the combatants. The Byzantine chronicler Ducas states that the inhabitants of Smederevo, which was occupied by the Ottomans, were led off into bondage. The same thing happened when the Turks of Mentese descended upon the islands of Rhodes and Cos and also during the expedition of the Ottoman ]leet to Enos and Lesbos. Ducas even cites numbers: 70,000 inhabitants carried off into slavery during the campaign of Mehmed II in Moree (1460). The Italian Franciscan Bartholome de Yano (Giano dell Umbria) speaks about 60,000 to 70,000 slaves captured over the course of two expeditions of the akingis in Transylvania (1438) and about 300.000 to 600,000 Hungarian aptives. If these figures seem exaggerated, others seem more accurate: forty thousand inhabitants captured by the Turks of Mentese during a razzia in Rhodes, 7.000 inhabitants reduced to slavery following the siege of Thessalonika (1430), according to John Anagnostes, and ten thousand inhabitants led off into captivity following the siege of Mytilene (1462), according to the Metropolitan of Lesbos, Leonard of Chios. Given the present state of the documentation available to us, we cannot calculate the scale on which slaves were introduced into Turkish ‘Romania by this method. According to Bartholome de Yano, it would amount to 400,000 slaves captured in the four years from 1437 to 1441 Even allowing for certain degree of exaggeration, we must acknowledge that slaves played an important demographic part during the fifteenth-century Ottoman expansion.

Alan Fisher has analyzed the slave razzias conducted by the Muslim Crimeans against the Christian populations of southern Poland and Muscovite Russia the mid-fifteenth to late seventeenth centuries 1463-1794 Relying upon admittedly incomplete sources (“… no doubt there are many more slave raids the author has not uncovered”277), his conservative tabulations indicate that at 3 million persons—men, women, and children—were captured and enslaved this so-called harvesting of the steppe?” Fisher describes their plight:

The first ordeal [of the captive] was the long march to the Crimea, Often in “as and always on foot, many of the captives died en route. Since on many ions the Tatar raiding party feared reprisals or, in the seventeenth century, pts by Cossack bands to free the captives, the marches were hurried, Ill or tided captives were usually killed rather than be allowed to slow the procession. Heberstein wrote … “the old and infirm men who will not fetch much as a are given up to the Tatar youths either to be stoned, or thrown into the sea, to be killed by any sort of death they might please.” An Ottoman traveler inthe mid-sixteenth century who witnessed one such march of captives from Galicia marveled that any would reach their destination—the slave markets of Kefe. He complained that their treatment was so bad that the mortality rate would unnecessarily drive their price up beyond the reach of potential buyers such as himself. A Polish proverb stated: “Oh how much better to lie on one’s bier, than to be a captive on the way to Tartary.”

The persistence of Islamic slavery is as impressive and unique as its extent. Slavery was openly practiced in both Ottoman Turkey and Shiite (Qajar) Iran through the first decade of the twentieth century. As Ehud Toledano points out regarding Ottoman Turkey, kul (administrative)/harem slavery “survived at the core of the Ottoman elite until the demise of the empire and the fall of the house of Osman in the second decade of the twentieth century.”

Moreover, Ricks indicates that despite the modernizing pressures and reforms culminating in the Iranian Constitutional Movement of 1905-1911, which effectively eliminated military and agricultural slavery, “The presence of domestic slaves, however, in both the urban and rural regions of Southern Iran had not ceased as quickly. Some Iranians today attest to the continued presence of African and Indian slave girls.”

Slavery on the Arabian Peninsula was not abolished formally until 1962 in Saudi Arabian’s and 1970 in Yemen and Oman.’ Writing in 1989, Murray Gordon observed that although Mauritania abolished slavery officially on July 15, 1980, “as the government itself acknowledges, the practice is still alive and well. It is estimated that 200,000 men, women, and children are subject to being bought and sold like so many cattle in this North African country, toiling as domestics, shepherds, and farmhands.”‘

Finally, as discussed earlier, there has been a recrudescence of jihad slavery since 1983 in the Sudan.

An Overview of Eunuch Slavery—the “Hideous Trade”

Eunuch slaves—males castrated usually between the ages of four and twelve (due to the high risk of death, preferentially between ages eight and twelve)288—were in considerable demand in Islamic societies. They served most notably as supervisors of women in the harems of the rulers and elites of the Ottoman Empire, its contemporary Muslim neighbors (such as Safavid Iran), and earlier Muslim dominions. The extent and persistence of eunuch slavery—becoming prominent within two hundred years of the initial seventh-century Arab jihad conquests 289 and continuing through the beginning of the twentieth century 290 —are peculiar to the Islamic incarnation of this aptly named “hideous trade” For example, Toledano documents that as late as 1903, the Ottoman imperial harem contained between four hundred to five hundred female slaves, supervised and guarded by 194 black African eunuchs.

But an equally important and unique feature of Muslim eunuch slavery was the acquisition of eunuchs from foreign “slave producing areas,” that is, non-muslim frontier zones subjected to razzias. As David Ayalon observed, “‘The overwhelming majority of the eunuchs, like the overwhelming majority of all her slaves in Islam, had been brought over from outside the borders of Muslim lands.”

In stark contrast, eunuch slaves in China were almost exclusively Chi­c procured locally.

Jan HHogendorn has identified the three main slave-producing regions, as they blurred in importance over time, between the eighth and late n]neteenth cen­turies: “These areas were the forested parts of central and eastern Europe called Muslims the ‘Bird as-Saqaliba’ (‘slave country’), the word saqlab meaning we in Arabic (and related to the ethnic designation ‘Slavs); the steppes of central ­Asia called the “Bilad al-Atrak” (‘Turks’ country’ or Turkestan); and eventu­y most important, the savanna and the fringes of the wooded territory south of Sahara called the country of the blacks or ‘Bilad as-Sudan.’

Finally, given the crudeness of available surgical methods and absence of medical techniques, the human gelding procedure by which eunuchs were “manufactured was associated with extraordinary rates of morbidity and mortality. endom describes the severity of the operation, and provides mortality infor don from West and East Africa:

Castration can be partial (removal of the testicles only or removal of the penis only), or total (removal of both). In the later period of the trade, that is, after Africa became the most important source for Mediterranean Islam, it appears that Most eunuchs sold to the markets underwent total removal. This version of the operation, though considered most appropriate for slaves in constant proximity to harem members, posed a very high danger of death for two masons. First was the extensive hemorrhaging, with the consequent possibility of almost immediate death. The hemorrhaging could not be stopped by traditional cauterization because that would close the urethra leading to eventual death because of inability to pass urine. The second danger lay in infection of the urethra, with the formation of pus btocking it and so causing death in a few days.

When the castration was carried out in sub-Saharan West and West-Cen­trat Africa … a figure of 90% [is] often mentioned. Even higher death rates were occasionally reported, unsurprising in tropical areas where the danger of infec­don of wounds was especially high. At least one contemporary price quotation supports a figure of over 90% mortality: Turkish merchants are said to have been willing to pay 250 to 300 (Maria Theresa) dollars each for eunuchs in Borno (northeast Nigeria) at a time when the local price of young male slaves does not seem to have exceeded about 20 dollars…. Many sources indicate very high death rates from the operation in eastern Africa. Richard Millant’ s (1908] general figure for the Sudan and Ethiopia is 90%.


Throughout the twentieth century. uniform summary assessments of the unique Muslim institution of jihad have been provided by seminal Islamic scholars. The views of ten such scholars, beginning with Clement Huart in the first decade of the twentieth century and culminating with Bassam Tibi in the final decade, are presented in this book.

Clement Huart (1907):

We are pointing out a permanent historic force [Lc, jihad], which is ceaselessly renewed down through the generations, independent of race, color, climate, and all external circumstances, never beaten, ever being reborn. This force is the deeply- held conviction, rooted in the soul of every Moslem without exception, that he was created to fight on the path of God, and that at the call of the supreme authority he must get up and go, not reluctantly but joyfully, so that the word of God might have the final word: so that, according to the Koranic expression, it might always be the highest. The Moslem jurists explain to us this state of soul with perfect clarity. [Jihad] Holy war is a categorical requirement, pure and simple, apart from any restrictive condition, such as, for example, the time in which it can be fulfilled or the need for an act of aggression [on the enemy’s part] to provide a I suitable] occa­sion. It is a law of Clod, which is part of the worship that must be rendered to him, since the doctors [of the law] classify in the category of the ‘ibadat or acts of ado­ration. The text of the Koran is explicit. It is we that the revelation of this took place only gradually. Mohammed received first the order to proclaim what he had been commanded and to turn away from the infidels (XV, 94), then to debate with them in the most persuasive manner, inviting them to follow the right path (XVI, 126); afterward, the believers were ordered to fight if someone attacked them (IL 87), at first on the condition that it not be during the four sacred months, then without conditions of any sort; and this last-mentioned text (II, 245) has governed the matter ever since, corroborated by a tradition of the Prophet which proclaims that the holy war will go on until the [final] resurrection.

C. Snouck Hurgronje (1916):

[Y]et another duty was most emphatically impressed on the Faithful; jihad, i.e., readiness to sacrifice life and possessions for the defense of Islam, understood, since the conquest of Mecca in 630, as the extension by force of arms of the authority of the Muslim state, first over the whale of Arabia, and soon after Muhammad’s death over the whole world, so far as Allah granted His hosts for the victory.

Henri Lammens (1929):

The war against the non-Muslims, so frequently recommended in the Medinese suras, almost became the sixth pillar of Islam. Islam owes to it her expansion, in which “the mission” [missionary work], properly speaking, has played an insignificant role. The shari’a has always looked upon the Holy War as one of the principal duties of the Caliph. It continues to be regarded as a “required duty” (fard al-kifaya), not an individual obligation, but binding on the community as a hole. Thus if a Muslim sovereign or state consecrate themselves to it, it is considered as accomplished; but in theory the Jehad (Jihad) should know neither intermission nor end until the whole world has been conquered for Islam. This is one of the most incontestably popular concepts of the Islamic ideal. It is to this story that we owe the geographical distinction between “dar al-harb” or “war territory,” and “dar al-islam,” or “the land of Islam,” governed by the laws of the Qur’an.

Arthur Jeffery (1942):

The classical works on jurisprudence define it [jihad] quite baldly as “the religous duty of spreading Islam by force of arms” and lay down five propositions concerning it:
· It is a duty because such war was ordered by the Prophet.
· It must continue until the whole world is under the domination of Islam.
· The sovereign must be at the head of it and direct it—not some upstart, self-appointed leader.
· The offer of Islam or Dhimmi status must be made before the attack is launched.
· Any Muslim who dies fighting on Jihad is a shahid (martyr) and as such is assured of Paradise and in Paradise will have particular privileges.

Majid Khadduri (1955 and 1966):

The universality of Islam provided a unifying element for all believers, within the world of Islam, and its defensive-offensive character produced a state of warfare permanently declared against the outside world, the world of war. Thus theMay be regarded as Islam’s instrument for carrying out its ultimate object by turning all people into believers, if not in the prophethood of Muhammad as in the case of the dhimmis), at least in the belief of God. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have declared “some of my people will continue to light victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat anti-Christ.” Until that moment is reached the jihad, in one form or another remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community It follows that the existence of a dar al-harb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic order; that the dar al-Islam permanently under jihad obligation until the dar harb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community accepting certain possibilities—must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dar al-Islam or be as clients to the Mustim community, The universality of Islam, in its all embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political if not strictly military.

The Islamic state became necessarily an imperial and an expansionist state striving to win other peoples by conversion. At the very outset, the law of war, the jihad, became the chief preoccupation of jurists. The Islamic law of nations was essentially a law governing the conduct of war and the division of booty. This law was designed for temporary purposes, on the assumption that the Islamic state was capable of absorbing the whole of mankind; for if the ideal of Islam were ever achieved, the raison d’etre of the law of war, at least with regard to Islam’s relations with non-Islamic states, would pass out of existence.

Antoine Fattal (1958):

Dhimma or dhimmi status … is one of the results of the jihad or holy war. Con­nected with the notion of jihad is the distinction between dar al-harb (territory or “house” of war) and dar al-islam (house of Islam). The latter includes all ter­ritories subject to Moslem authority. It is in a state of perpetual war with the dar al-hart. The inhabitants of the dar al-harb are harbis. who are not answerable to the Islamic authority and whose persons and goods are mutch, that is, at thc mercy of Believers. However, when Moslems are in a subordinate state, they can negotiate a truce with the harbis lasting no more than ten years, which they are obliged to revoke unilaterally as soon as they regain the upper hand, following the example of the Prophet after Hudaibiyya.

Armand Abel (1958):

For the Believer, the Koran presents the obligation to make war “in the way of God.” At the time when this text was revealed, it was justified by the need to defend the community at Medina against the attacks of the “polytheists” of Mecca, and by the need to extend and enrich it at the expense of the Judeo-Christians, in particular the Jews of Khaybar. To all people. the book offered conver­sion as a means of making peace. To the People of the Book, it left the choice between conversion and “redemption,” which at first was understood along the lines of the ancient manner in which the Arabs waged war, whereby the captive repurchased his freedom and his life at the cost of humiliation and a ransom…. The hadith that shows the Prophet writing “to” Negus, “to” Caesar,” “”to Khosroes, in order to invite them to convert, is nothing but the seal of approval placed on this pretense, incorporating it into the totality of tradition that serves as a guide to the Umma. Together with the duty of the “war in the way of God” (or jihad), this universalistic aspiration would lead the Moslems to see the world as being divided fundamentally into two parts. On the one hand there was that part of the world where Islam prevailed, where salvation had been announced, where the religion that ought to reign was practiced; this was the Dar ul Islam. On the other hand, there was the pan which dill awaited the establishment of the saving religion and which constituted, by definition, the object of the holy war. This was the Dar ul Harb. The latter, in the view of the Moslem jurists, was not populated. A Muslim who is not protected by a treaty is called harb, “in a state of war,” “enemy alien”; his life and property are completely unprotected by law. hermitages; they must pay the poll-tax under humiliating conditions…. A non- must not ride horses or bear arms, and they must yield the way to Muslims; they must not scandalize the Muslims by openly performing their worship or distinctive customs, such as thinking wine; duties deriving from it, in particular the payment of tribute, i.e., the fixed poll-tax case The non-Muslims must wear distinctive clothing and must mark their houses, which must not be built higher than those of the Muslims, by distinctive signs; they This treaty necessarily provides for the surrender of the non-Muslims with all (jizya) and the land tax (kharaj), the amount of which is determined from case to Apart from this, prisoners of war are either made slaves or killed or left alive as free dhimmis or exchanged for Muslim prisoners of war, at the discretion of the imam; also a treaty of surrender is concluded which forms the legal basis for the treatment of the non-Muslims to whom it applies. It is often called dhimma. The basis of the Islamic attitude towards unbelievers is the law of war: they must be either converted or subjugated or killed (excepting women, children, and slaves); the third alternative, in general, occurs only if the first two are refused….

Joseph Schacht (1964):

The basis of the Islamic attitude towards unbelievers is the law of war; they must be either converted or subjugated or killed (excepting women, children, and slaves); the third alternative, in general, occurs only if the first two are refused. . . . Apart from this, prisoners of war are either made slaves or killed or left alive as free dhimmis or exchanged for Muslim prisoners of war, at the discretion of the imam; also a treaty of surrender is concluded which forms the legal basis for the treatment of the non-Muslims to whom it applies. It is often called dhimma. . . This treaty necessarily provides for the surrender of the non-Muslims with all duties deriving from it, in particular the payment of tribute, i.e., the fixed poll-tax (jizya) and the land tax (kharaj), the amount of which is determined from case to case. The non-Muslims must wear distinctive clothing and must mark their houses, which must not be built higher than those of the Muslims, by distinctive signs; they must not ride horses or bear arms, and they must yield the way to Muslims; they must not scandalize the Muslims by openly performing their worship or distinctive customs, such as drinking wine; they must not build new churches, synagogues, or hermitages; they must pay the poll-tax under humiliating conditions . . . . A non-Muslim who is not protected by a treaty is called harbi, “in a state of war,” “enemy alien”; his life and property are completely unprotected by law.

Rudolph Peters (1995):

The doctrine of the jihad, as laid down in the works on Islamic law, developed out of the Koranic prescriptions and the example of the Prophet and the first caliphs, which is recorded in the hadith. The crux of the doctrine is the existence of one single Islamic state, ruling the entire umma. It is the duty of the umma to expand the territory of this state in order to bring as many people under its rule as possible. The ultimate aim is to bring the whole earth under the sway of Islam and to extirpate unbelief: “Fight them until there is no persecution (or seduction) and the religion is God’s (entirely)” [2:193 and 8:39]. Expansionist jihad is a col­lective duty (fard `ala al-kifaya), which is fulfilled if a sufficient number of people take part in it. If this is not the case, the whole umma is sinning. . . . The most important function of the doctrine of jihad is that it mobilizes and motivates Muslims to take part in wars against unbelievers, as it is considered to be a ful­fillment of a religious duty. The motivation is strongly fed by the idea that those who are killed on the battlefield, called martyrs (shahid, plur shuhada), will go directly to Paradise. At the occasion of wars fought against unbelievers, religious texts would circulate, replete with Koranic verses and hadiths extolling the merits of fighting a jihad and vividly describing the reward waiting in the here­after for those slain during the fighting.

Bassam Tibi (1996):

The establishment of the new Islamic polity at Medina and the spread of the new religion were accomplished by waging war. The sword became the symbolic image of Islam in the West. In this formative period of classical Islam, Islamic militancy was reinforced by the superiority of Muslims over their enemies. Islamic jurists never dealt with relations with non-Muslims under conditions other than those of “the house of war,” except for the temporary cessation of hostilities under a limited truce. . . . At its core, Islam is a religious mission to all humanity. Muslims are religiously obliged to disseminate the Islamic faith throughout the world “We have sent you forth to all mankind” (Q. 34:28). If non-Muslims submit to conversion or subjugation, this call (da’wa) can be pursued peacefully. If they do not, Muslims are obliged to wage war against them. In Islam, peace requires that non-Muslims submit to the call of Islam, either by converting or by accepting the status of a religious minority (dhimmi) and paying the imposed poll tax, jizya. World peace, the final stage of the da’wa, is reached only with the conversion or submission of all mankind to Islam. . . . Muslims believe that expansion through war is not aggression but a fulfillment of the Qur’anic command to spread Islam as a way to peace. The resort to force to disseminate Islam is not war (harb), a word that is used only to describe the use of force by non-Muslims. Islamic wars are not hurub (the plural of harb) but rather futuhat, acts of “opening” the world to Islam and expressing Islamic jihad. Relations between dar al-Islam, the home of peace, and dar al-harb, the world of unbelievers, nevertheless take place in a state of war, according to the Qur’an and to the authoritative commentaries of Islamic jurists. Unbelievers who stand in the way, creating obstacles for the da’wa, are blamed for this state of war, for the da’wa can be pursued peacefully if others submit to it. In other words, those who resist Islam cause wars and are responsible for them. Only when Muslim power is weak is “temporary truce” (hudna) allowed (Islamic jurists differ on the definition of “temporary”). The notion of temporary peace introduces a third realm: territories under temporary treaties with Muslim powers (dar al-sulh or at times, dar al- `and). . . . The Western distinction between just and unjust wars linked to specific grounds for war is unknown in Islam. Any war against unbelievers, whatever its immediate ground, is morally justified. Only in this sense can one distinguish just and unjust wars in Islamic tradition. When Muslims wage war for the dissemination of Islam, it is a just war (futuhat, literally “opening,” in the sense of opening the world, through the use of force, to the call of Islam); when non-Muslims attack Muslims, it is an unjust war (`idwan). The usual Western interpretation of jihad as a “just war” in the Western sense, is therefore a misreading of this Islamic concept. . . . According to the Western just war concept, just wars are limited to a single issue; they are not universal and permanent wars grounded on a religious worldview.

In 1916 Hurgronje underscored how the jihad doctrine of world conquest remained a potent force among the Muslim masses thirteen centuries later:

It would be a gross mistake to imagine that the idea of universal conquest may be considered as obliterated . . . the canonists and the vulgar still live in the illu­sion of the days of Islam’s greatness. The legists continue to ground their appre­ciation of every actual political condition on the law of the holy war, which war ought never be allowed to cease entirely until all mankind is reduced to the authority of Islam—the heathen by conversion, the adherents of acknowledged Scripture by submission. Even if they admit the improbability of this at present, they are comforted an encouraged by the recollection of the lengthy period of humiliation that the Prophet himself had to suffer before Allah bestowed victory upon his arms; and they fervently join with the Friday preacher, when he announces the prayer taken from the Qur’an: “And lay not upon us, 0 our Lord, that for which we have not strength, but blot out our sins and forgive us and have pity upon us. Thou art our Master; grant us then to conquer the unbelievers.” And the common people are willingly taught by the canonists and feed their hope of better days upon the innumerable legends of the olden time and the equally innu­merable apocalyptic prophecies about the future. The political blows that fall upon Islam make less impression . . . than the senseless stories about the power of the Sultan of Istanbul, that would instantly be revealed if he were not sur­rounded by treacherous servants, and the fantastic tidings of the miracles that Allah works in the Holy Cities of Arabia which are inaccessible to the unfaithful. The conception of the Khalifate still exercises a fascinating influence, regarded in the light of a central point of union against the unfaithful.

Writing a quarter century after Hurgronje in 1942, Jeffery stressed why detailed consideration of the institution of jihad remained essential, “not merely academic,” for understanding the contemporary Islamic world,

for the theory of the world which it enshrines is still fundamental to the thinking of great masses of Muslim people to the present day. The troubles in India which lead up to the great Patna conspiracy trials of 1864 were due to the fact that Syed Ahmad of Oudh had preached against the Sikh cities of the Panjab a Jihad which later turned to one against all non-Muslim groups. The bloody episode of the Padri rebellion in Malaysia was due to the preaching of Jihad against the pagan Battak tribes. The Fula wars in the Hausa country [Western Sudan] in the early nineteenth century, which lead to Osman Dan Fodio’s setting up the ephemeral sultanate of Sokoto, began as a jihad preached against the pagan king of Gobir. The Moplah rebellion in South India in 1921, with its massacres, forcible con­versions, desecration of temples, and outrages on the hapless Hindu villagers, could be heard openly proclaimed as a Jihad in the streets of Madras.

With the resurgence of jihad military campaigns and major acts of jihad ter­rorism literally across the globe in the last decades of the twentieth century through the present, Jeffery’s additional insights from sixty-three years ago res­onate prophetically: It is of course, easy to raise the objection that a Jihad in the old sense is impos­sible of realization in the modern world, for Islam is far too badly divided for anything like a general Jihad to be contemplated and far too weak in technical equipment for a Jihad to be successful even if started. This does not dispose of the fact, however, that the earlier conception of Jihad has left a deposit in Muslim thinking that is still to be reckoned with in the political relations of the Western world with Islam.

In a 1999 essay, Mordechai Nisan provided a succinct recapitulation of the global resurgence of jihad campaigns during the second half of the twentieth cen­tury, affirming Jeffery’s prescient observations from 1942. By the mid-1960s aggressive jihad had reasserted itself, superseding those “fading and false ideo­logical options” popular a decade earlier among the Islamic nations. Indonesian Muslims, encouraged by a Sukarno regime fatwa, waged a jihad in 1965 against Indonesian Communists, exterminating some one hundred thousand to five hun­dred thousand. Arab Muslim scholars and jurists, lamenting the failures of Arab nationalism after the crushing military defeat in the June 1967 war against Israel, convened an Islamic conference in 1968 under the aegis of the renowned Al­Azhar Academy of Islamic Research. This assembly of learned Muslim speakers called for an annihilationist jihad against the Jews of Palestine. Repeated declarations expounded the classical Islamic doctrine of jihad war, focusing its bellicose energy on the destruction of Israel:

Jihad is legislated in order to be one of the means of propagating Islam. Conse­quently Non-Muslims ought to embrace Islam either willingly or through wisdom and good advice or unwillingly through fight and Jihad. . . It is unlawful to give up Jihad and adopt peace and weakness instead of it, unless the purpose of giving up Jihad is for preparation, whenever there is something weak among Muslims, and their opponents are, on the other hand, strong. . . . War is the basis of the relationship between Muslims and their opponents unless there are justifiable reason for peace, such as adopting Islam. [Shaikh Abdullah Ghoshah, Chief Judge of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan]

Your honorable conference has been an Arab, Islamic and patriotic necessity in view of the present circumstances in which the Arabs and Muslims face the most serious difficulties. All Muslims expect you to expound Allah’s decree con­cerning the Palestine cause, to proclaim that decree, in all clarity, throughout the Arab and Muslim world. We do not think this decree absolves any Muslim or Arab from Jihad (Holy War) which has now become a duty incumbent upon the Arabs and Muslims to liberate the land, preserve honor, retaliate for [lost] dig­nity, restore the Aqsa Mosque, the church of Resurrection, and to purge the birth­place of prophecy, the seat of revelation, the meeting-place of Prophets, the starting-point of Issa, and the scenes of the holy spirit, from the hands of Zionism—the enemy of man, of truth, of justice, and the enemy of Allah. . . . The well-balanced judgement frankly expressed with firm conviction is the first stop on the road of victory. The hoped-for judgment is that of Muslim Scholars who draw their conclusions from the Book of Allah, and the Summa of His prophet. May Allah guard your meeting, and guide your steps! May your decisive word rise to the occasion and enlighten the Arab and Muslim world, so that it may be a battle-cry, urging millions of Muslims and Arabs on to the field of Jihad, which will lead us to the place that once was ours Muslims who are distant from the battle-field of Palestine, such as the Algerians, the Moroccans, all the Africans, Saudi Arabia people, Yemeni people, the Indians, Iraqi people, the Rus­sians, and the Europeans are indeed sinful if they do not hasten to offer all pos­sible means to achieve success and gain victory in the Islamic battle against their enemies and the enemies of their religion. Particularly, this battle is not a mere combat between two parties but it is a battle between two religions (namely, it is a religious battle). Zionism in fact represents a very perilous cancer, aiming at domineering the Arab countries and the whole Islamic world. [Sheikh Hassan Khalid, Mufti of the Republic of Lebanon]

J. B. Kelly, writing in 1980, viewed the aroused spirit of jihad in the Arabian Gulf during the 1960s and 1970s—fomented by Faisal b. Abdul Azziz’s implacable hatred for Israel, and the complementary doctrines of the Muslim brotherhood—as merely a return to the region’s deep Islamic roots and values, following a brief dalliance with “revolutionary” ideologies:

Yet for all the anathematizing of Arab revolutionary movements by Muslim con­servatives, it is extremely doubtful whether these movements are au fond anti-Islamic or irreligious. Marxist dogma sits very lightly and uncomfortably upon the few semi-educated peninsular Arabs who have ostensibly adopted it. Their thoughts and their lives are still shaped by Islam, they themselves are fundamentally Muslim. Nor could it be otherwise, since…. Islam is the only real source of moral and intellectual guidance available to Arabs of the peninsula. The present evidence of Islamic revivalism, therefore, may be a more significant indi­cation of the drift of events in the Gulf than sporadic troublemaking by self- styled Marxist revolutionaries.

Nisan maintains that the accession to power of leaders such as Mu’ammar Gadhafi in Libya (1969), Anwar Sadat in Egypt (1970), and even Hafiz al-Asad (November, 1970)—forced to acquiesce publicly to Islamic dictates by inserting a constitutional clause mandating the Syrian president be Muslim—”represented each in his own style the articulation of the Islamic idiom…. In these circum­stances, Islam was assuming its command of the ideological high ground in the Arab world, awaiting the moment to conquer the political domain.”

The early. successful phase of the October 1973 war against Israel. Nisan argues, marked the modem Badr (Muhammad’s triumph over the pagan Meccans in 624 CE) for Sadat’s Egypt, releasing the “jihadic genie” that within a decade, ironically, “led the ‘Jihad Organization’ in Egypt in 1981 to take his (Sadat’s) life. The ‘believing President’ was judged a corrupter and mocker of Islamic values and principles. Jihad against Muslim heretic was a legitimate war in the name of shari’a and Koran.”

Nisan characterizes the use of the “oil weapon” by Islamic nations in the wake of the 1973 war as a “savored” exercise in “the exaction of tribute from a defeated and faltering enemy civilization.”‘ The subsequent passage (November 10, 1975) of the United Nations resolution labeling Zionism as racism—initiated by the Arab-Soviet block—reflected Muslim desires to assert “leadership of the international community. The peaceful jihad against the post-Second World War Western political order was acquiring global sanction.’

This simmering caldron of global jihad movements was brought to full boil by two watershed events that both occurred in 1979: the restoration of a Shiite theocracy in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini and the jihad in Afghanistan to repel the Soviet invasion. Khomeini’s Iran embraced jihad “as a central pillar of faith and action,” as demonstrated by the 1980-1988 war against impious, “socialist” Iraq and the unending campaign of vilification and proxy violence against the “Zionist entity” Israel. These struggles epitomized what Khomein’si Iran viewed as its “sacred struggle to cleanse the region and the world of Muslim and non-Muslim infidel blasphemy.”‘ Muslim holy warriors in Afghanistan were supported by some $2 to $3 billion dollars in covert aid from the United States, augmented by Saudi funding, Iranian assistance, and Arab manpower. Following the forced withdrawal of the Soviet army from Afghanistan, “Arab Afghans,” veteran jihadists from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries, openly proclaimed “the goal of establishing an International Islamic Army. Pakistan, having provided a base of operations of Afghani Muslim resist­ance against the Red Army, was reported to maintain 38 terrorist training centers ;Ls territory from which fighters were sent regularly abroad to India, Bosnia, fine,’ and a number of African states to further the jihad.”

Moved by these profound trends, the 1980s and 1990s witnessed escalating on militancy and violence. During the 1980s, Nisan recounts,
A number of countries formalized the connection between din wa dawla (religion and state); Pakistan maintained its shari’a legal system while the Sudan, in 1984, adopted it; the Gulf countries radiated with tradition blended with riches; reli­gious dress and behavior swept through Malaysia and Indonesia in ways which threatened, at least intimidated, the local Christians. The Shiite Hazballuh organ­ization demanded with its establishment in 1982 an Islamic Republic in Lebanon, while the National Islamic Front in Sudan established this type of Tell­’ pious polity in 1989. Libya had earlier committed itself to the injunctions of the Koran and Saudi Arabia recognized the shad’ a along as its constitution.

In the 1990s, Nisan observes, even two countries committed to secularism— Algeria and Turkey—faced powerful Islamic challenges:

In Algeria, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) promoted from the beginning of the 1990s the establishment of an Islamic republic, through the ballot box, and if not then through massive violence…. The Muslim militants/terrorists in Algeria con­ducted a war not only against the FLN regime but also against all foreign elements in the country, from tourists to foreign workers who during the 1990’s were mur­dered in larger numbers. This was a holy war against Christendom in North Africa.

In Turkey, the legacy of Ataturk and the dogma of desacralization were challenged by the rise of the Refah Islamist Welfare/National Salvation Party, and the coming to power of its leader Necmettin Erbakan as prime minister in 1996 … the Islamic movement in Turkey, recovering from the Allied defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, sought a certain revenge against the West. Erbakan called for Pan-Muslim cooperation in the form of an Islamic common market to oppose the West in the world. At a minimum Turkey consid­ered lowering its level within the NATO bloc, perhaps a step toward leaving the Western-led alliance system. Yet the military forced Erbakan from office in 1997 as the Islamic genie was pushed hack into the bottle.

This Islamic momentum continued unabated into the mid-1990s:

In the mid-90’s the Islamic tempo rolled on. Muslims in Malaysia proposed that apostasy from Islam become a criminal offense. In India and Thailand Muslims clashed with others. In Kashmir a Muslim liberation movement challenged Indian rule. In Afghanistan the Taleban fundamentalist government advance a purist and ruthless model for an Islamic state. In West Java (Indonesia) Muslim rioters set tire to churches. Fundamentalist Islamic activity increased in Senegal and Uganda on the African continent. Muslim majorities in both Somalia and Sudan declared jihad against Christian populations.

Nisan considers that at minimum, the “praxis” of Islam was to “extend the Muslim presence and role into the heart of Western civilization, after having con_ stituted within the Muslim lands themselves a formidable strategic world posi [ion.”‘ He concludes:

The Muslim nation [umma] was by the mid-1990s numbering approximately one billion believers, possessing over 50 Muslim states, and in control of a little less than a third of United Nations membership; moreover, possessing more than 50 per cent of known crude oil resources and a combined military arsenal of con­ventional and non-conventional weaponry second only to the combined Western bloc of states. The international balance-of-power could not in the aftermath of the end of the Cold War ignore the Muslim civilization and its awesome preten­sions to playing a dominant role in global affairs.

Within several centuries of Muhammad’s death in 632 CE, based upon the “proto-jihad” campaigns he waged in Arabia, Muslim jurists and theologians for­mulated the uniquely Islamic institution of permanent jihad war against non-Mus­lims for the submission of the known world to Islam. The historical record demonstrates that this jihad war theory has been put into practice by Muslims, continuously, across the globe, for more than a millennium, through present times. What remains is for the Muslim intelligentsia to acknowledge this practice, as Bat Ye’or explained in 1990:

This effort cannot succeed without a complete recasting of mentalities, the desacralization of the historic jihad and an unbiased examination of Islamic imperialism. Without such a process, the past will continue to poison the present and inhibit the establishment of harmonious relationships. When all is said and done, such self-criticism is hardly exceptional. Every scourge, such as religious fanaticism, the crusades, the inquisition, slavery, apartheid, colonialism, Nazism and, today, communism, are analyzed, examined, and exorcized in the West. Even Judaism- harmless in comparison with the power of the Church and the Christian empires—caught, in its turn, in the great modernization movement, has been forced to break away from some traditions. It is inconceivable that Islam, which began in Mecca and swept through three continents, should alone avoid a critical reflection on the mechanisms of its power and expansion. The task of assessing their history must be undertaken by the Muslims themselves.

Finally, the great scholar of Islamic law G. H. Bousquet wrote in 1950,

Islam first came before the world as a doubly totalitarian system. It claimed to impose itself on the whole world and it claimed also, by the divinely appointed Muhammadan law, by the principles of the faith, to regulate down to the smallest details the whole life of the Islamic community and of every individual believer.

The study of Muhammadan law (dry and forbidding though it may appear to those who confine themselves to the indispensable study of the fiqh) is of great importance to the world today.

These words have even greater significance more than a half century later. Bousquet’s admonition to study Islamic law, recognizing the profound importance of this endeavor, serves as a most fitting segue to the next two chapters: jihad ideology in Muslim sacred texts, followed by extensive samples of how these motifs were incorporated into Muslim jurists’ writings, which have institutionalized the jihad.


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