Bat Ye’or’s ‘Understanding Dhimmitude’ reviewed

The person who popularised the term ‘dhimmitude’ to describe the submissive attitude of non-Muslims, is a slight, fragile, shy Jewish refugee from Cairo calling herself ‘the Daughter of the Nile’. Mordechai Nisan reviews Bat Ye’or’s latest work in Front Page Magazine: Understanding Dhimmitude, a compilation of 21 talks and lectures.  

With her five major books in hand, and a growing reputation as a
woman of courage and truth, with a call for justice for the defenseless
dhimmi victims of Islam, Bat Ye’or lectured in a variety of forums in
Europe, America, Canada, and Israel. She was consistently forthright
 and precise, teaching and warning. The major themes that Bat Ye’or
expresses and explains in her lectures can be summarized as follows:

  1. Islam in its religious doctrine and civilizational aspirations
    demands a superior status in replacing and superseding Judaism and
    Christianity, its ancient forerunners;
  2. Islam has from its origins constructed a “regime of dhimmitude [over
    the inferior and tolerated non-Muslims], the laws of dhimmitude…the
    mentality of dhimmitude” (p. 118) that has imposed insecurity and
    oppression on the native peoples of the Orient/Middle East;
  3. Islam succeeded to bring about a situation such that “the whole of
    Oriental Christendom was destroyed” (p. 40), a kind of “religious
    cleansing” rolling on to this very day;
  4. There is no validity to “the myth of a marvelous Muslim-Christian
    symbiosis” or a “Middle East Golden Age” (p. 161), not in the past nor
    to its present formulations and offshoots, like the Euro-Arab Dialogue
    and the Alliance of Civilizations, which are deceptive plots for Muslim
  5. The Islamic jihad mentality of conquest overwhelmed Eastern
    Christianity and now targets “the Christian West” (p. 83) – with the
    goal “to force us all to live in the shadow of dhimmitude in Europe” (p.
  6.  In the face of Islamic jihad, “Israel represents the national
    liberation of a dhimmi people” (p.55), as the Jews have risen up in
    rebellion against the forces of Muslim repression and degradation to
    secure their political independence in their ancient homeland.

While historian Georges Bensoussan refers to a history of
“conviviality and contempt” to describe the fantasy and reality of
Muslim relations with non-Muslims over 14 centuries, Bat Ye’or shows a
canny insight into the intricacies and interconnections touching this
complex subject.

Read article in full 

My traumatic flight from Egypt


  • Eliahu
    Bat Yeor used the term for the first time in an article in 1983. Bashir Gemayel was assassinated the previous year.

  • It's too late for the Jews, but Copts in Egypt should read very carefully about Jewish experience (although they already know) and prepare for that day well in advance.
    They should put their property deeds and securities and liquidity documents and chattel in safe places and send copies to trusted parties abroad. Update as needed.

    They should make a precise inventory of their belongings along with photographs and send abroad.

    Plan well ahead of that day when someone wants to force them to sign over their property to them under the usual pretexts.

    As many people as possible should record all collective properties as well in their town or villages (schools, cemeteries, churches, communal real estate, community centers, etc) with photos inside and out.

    And more importantly, organize so as not to leave it up to their own Carmen Weinstein to decide what to do with it.

    Golden rule: never sell your house immediately after a pogrom or a riot.

  • actually, I think that Gemayel got the term dhimmitude from Bat Yeor. If I'm wrong, let me know.

  • <The person who coined the term 'dhimmitude' to describe the submissive attitude of non-Muslims, is a slight, fragile, shy Jewish refugee from Cairo calling herself 'the Daughter of the Nile'. "

    The person who coined the term "dhimmitude" was Bashir Gemayel of Lebanon in 1982 :"we refuse to live in dhimmitude".

    If I am not mistaken, he was assassinated on the day he said it.

    Bat Yeor is the one who has popularized the term in western discourse.

  • God bless Bat Y'or. I read every book she wrote and find her information well referenced and well analysed.


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