Requiem for a Righteous Muslim

Tashbih Sayyed called himself a Muslim Zionist.  He fearlessly directed his great intellect and powerful voice to combat Jew-hatred and anti-Zionism, often at great personal cost.  In befriending the Jews, he enraged his own community.  Nevertheless, he never allowed an anti-Semitic comment to pass unanswered in his presence.  Furthermore, he wanted Jews to educate themselves about the depth and breadth of anti-Semitism imbedded in his own culture and religion.  He also wanted us to understand how the Muslim world regards non-Muslims and that the common perception of Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance is a lie. 

No one could intimidate him into silence.  His right to think and speak his mind was as sacred to him as his own honor and he devoted his life to defending it. 

Tashbih understood the meaning of honor.  In his culture, honor is everything and loss of face and humiliation incur grave consequences.  Because he loved Israel, Tashbih favored any measure to elevate her status, and to spare her humiliation--especially, in the eyes of the Islamic world, which sees the Jews as dhimmi--a people to be humiliated.

The preeminent scholar, Bat Ye'or coined the term dhimmitude to describe the dhimmi condition of non-Muslim peoples subjugated by Islam.  Dhimmitude is what gives eternal life to jihad--Muslim holy war--the deadly plague threatening all of civilization today.  If jihad is like the cancer that invades the human body in order to destroy it, then dhimmitude is the compromised immune system that enables the cancer to multiply.

The religion of Islam denies equality between Muslims and non-Muslims.  In lands subject to Islamic law, the dhimmi lives by the grace of the Muslim who is obliged to humiliate him in return for sparing his life.  The non-Muslim must literally choose between dhimmitude and death.

In Christendom, during much of the last two thousand years, Jews faced a similar choice.  They had no rights, lived at the whim of Christian authorities, and were subject to massacres, expulsions, confiscations, punitive taxation, the church-sanctioned kidnapping of their children, forced conversion, ghettoization, and perpetual humiliation.  Many Jews of European origin harbor disquieting generational memories of atrocities inflicted upon them or their ancestors by Christians.

However, in Islamic lands, both Christians and Jews were and are subject to the same types of calamities.  Moreover, Christian Europe itself has been terrorized by 14 centuries of jihad from her Muslim neighbors including the jihad that is being played out in real time today. Jihad against Europe never stopped, even if you include the 200 years of the Crusades.  

I believe that whether we are Christians or Jews, we may be afflicted with the syndrome of unwarranted humility towards those peoples who are known to have persecuted us in the past.  The nauseating and repetitive declarations of respect by American and European leaders for the religion that supplied the ideology for 911 are a choice example.  Consider whether Jewish and Christian sympathy for Palestinian Arab terrorists is another.

Unwarranted humility constitutes dhimmitude-but, it is dhimmitude of the most degrading nature; degrading because it is voluntary.  We non-dhimmi peoples are not being forced to choose between dhimmitude and death.  However, we are being forced to choose between dhimmitude and human dignity.  For dhimmis, the fear of the oppressor's fury, rejection and punishment is ever-present.  Translate the word fear as "terror."  I believe that the terror that is inseparable from dhimmitude is imbedded in our collective DNA and explains the West's pervasive tendency to embrace humiliation as a strategy of survival.

To understand my point, simply recall the chorus of Western apologies that ensued after the publication of the Danish cartoons. Global Muslim rioting, mayhem and murder served as an effective rejoinder to the exercise of free speech. 

Somehow, we all understand that dhimmis must know their place.  In lands governed under Islamic law, Christian and Jewish dhimmis must display their humility at all times or risk forfeiting their lives.  The scandal is that dhimmitude is making its inroads in the West.  

When the Jewish people created the State of Israel, they committed an unpardonable crime against the Muslim world: the crime of self-respect.

For the Jews, this is precisely where the problem lies.  Listen to these words from Israel's national anthem:  "Lehyoit am chofshi bi arzenu: to be a free people in our own land."   After Auschwitz, we renounced not only our humiliations of the recent past, but the longstanding dhimmitude we endured under Christian and Muslim rule.

If Tashbih were here, he would tell you that this is the transgression that must be avenged against the Jews.  We abrogated our dhimmi status by daring to stand as equals alongside all other nations. 

So I ask you, what should the Jews do?  Should we apologize for breaking ranks with dhimmitude, or should we reject humiliation and behave as a free people, in our own land, with a sovereign nation that is capable of defending itself without begging our enemies for the right to exist? 

Israel's restraint when attacked, her withdrawal from Jewish lands, her freeing of Palestinian Arab terrorists from prison, the arming of her enemies, and the expulsion of her citizens are humiliations not lost on her assailants. 

Humiliation is not a substitute for foreign and domestic policy!  Israel derives no benefit from advancing the goals of her enemies.

In September of 2000, Palestinian Arabs launched a pre-planned Terror War against Israel's civilian population that they call their second "intifada." It is nothing more, nor less than jihad. Israeli Arabs, largely weighed in with the terrorists, as they augmented their daily activities with rioting, vandalism, arson and murder.  The US demanded that Israel respond with restraint and--as if she had no sovereign interests of her own--Israel complied-clear evidence that her immune system was slack.  As to be expected, the cancer multiplied.  

The result of Israel's unwarranted humility toward the United States has been six solid years of terror, withdrawal from Gaza, the proposed evacuation of most of Judea and Samaria, and now the possible loss of the Golan, which Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert has offered to Syria.  

But, aside from the rising number of Jewish dead and maimed, and sky-rocketing anti-Semitism worldwide, people stopped visiting Israel for a period of years because they lost confidence in her power to maintain basic security.  Loss of confidence is another name for humiliation.   

The continuing jihad against Israel has caused over 1 million people to slip below the poverty line.  Holocaust survivors have lost the means to support themselves and can be seen lining up for food at the country's many soup kitchens.  Hundreds of thousands of Israelis are unable to feed and provide for their children. Families that used to be middle class are disintegrating, the result of Israel's failure to adequately defend her sovereign interests.  Today's hungry and neglected Jewish children will be needed to fill military and professional ranks in the future.  But, thousands upon thousands of children are dropping out of school and living on the streets.  

Israel's enemies have been permitted to heap not only humiliation, but disability, upon the youth that remain our only hope for a better tomorrow.

This, because Israel chose to answer jihad with dhimmitiude, instead of with victory.

Israel capitulated to US demands as though she were a dhimmi state that can do no better than hope to survive.  Despite her occasional bluster and phony defiance, Israel has become a stand-in for the dhimmi people we used to be, when we had no other options, when our fate rested on the whim of oppressors, and when we lacked the means to defend ourselves.  

To the satisfaction of our enemies, in 2005, the Israeli government inflicted humiliation upon 21 thriving communities in Gaza and Northern Samaria by removing Jews from their homes and forcibly evacuating them, most of whom are now unemployed and living in squalor.  To demonstrate our humiliation, former synagogues now fly the flag of Hamas and the PLO, terrorist organizations that want to kill us.  They are the new rulers of Jewish Gaza.   Is it a blessing for anyone but our enemies that Gaza is now free of Jews?   Gaza is a racist, terrorist hive. 

Siderot, Israel's southernmost city is under constant bombardment from terrorist Gaza.  Fourteen thousand of its twenty-four thousand citizens have fled.

Last year the United States forced Israel to allow elections in the Palestinian Authority though a Hamas victory was a possible outcome and which, in fact, occurred.  Have you heard any American official object to the Koranic quote in the Hamas Charter that calls for treating the Jews as dhimmis?   It reads as follows:

"They (the Jews) are smitten with vileness wheresoever they are found; unless they obtain security by entering into a treaty with Allah, and a treaty with men." 

That treaty is known as the dhimma.  Security in exchange for humiliation.

I have heard President Bush chastise Israel for humiliating Palestinian Arabs at checkpoints, but I have never heard him criticize Hamas for its plan to humiliate the Jews in exchange for sparing our lives.  I have never heard him criticize Hamas for its plan to subjugate the Jewish people to the whims of killers.

If Israel had had a healthy immune system, she would have said, "No to Hamas elections!"

Instead, the cancer of Hamas is spreading. 

But, the Palestinian Authority, Israel's supposed "peace partner," is not even offering us dhimmitude.  Its national charter calls for the "liquidation of the Zionist presence."  In May, the speaker of the Palestinian Authority parliament, Achmad Bahar, pleaded with Allah, his god, to destroy America and Israel, to kill every Jew and every American, and to make sure that not a single Jew or American remains alive. 

Nevertheless, the United States compels Israel to arm the Palestinian Authority, though it is comprised of a host of terrorist organizations of its own, whose only purpose is to kill Jews.  

Of course Israel did not say no to the arming of her "peace partner" -because dhimmis don't say no! 

The cancer is metastasizing.  When will Israel's immune system begin to function?

In June of 2005, Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert said, "We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies...."  When the Prime Minister took the oath of cowardice on behalf of every Jew, he might have added: "We are tired of being a free people and would prefer to be dhimmis."   

The immune system has failed.

Tashbih knew that Olmert had besmirched the honor of the State of Israel.  Do we know it?

We should know it because the foreign ministry repeatedly issues the same message.

Israel's leaders are impervious to shame, incapable of recognizing their own humiliation.  But, they have no right to shame the Jewish people. 

We just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War.  Israel's victory in 1967 brought her popularity to an all time high and worldwide anti-Semitism to an all time low.  There were no signs of dhimmitude during those 6 days.  Now, the world treats Israel as if she owed it an apology for having won.  Now, Israel is the world's pariah.  Israel's worldwide pariah status is a direct result of her constant humiliation on the world stage!  Last week, I heard an Israeli academic complain about the "horrors of victory." 

Only a dhimmi apologizes for winning when defeat means his certain extinction.

We all know in our hearts that Israel's existence is the answer to a fundamental question. 

"The Jewish Question." That's how the Nazis phrased it.  What to do with the Jews?  If we prefer dhimmitude to human dignity, our enemies will supply the answer to the "Jewish question."

Israel is a world leader in cancer research.  But, should she not also lead the world in resisting jihad?  We are supposed to be a light onto the nations. But, as long as we continue to answer jihad with dhimmitude, we will remain dhimmis. 

If Tashbih were here, he would tell us to keep the faith, to believe in the justice of Israel's cause, and to cast off our dhimmitude once and forever.  He used to say that he came from the dark side of the moon.  He meant that he could see things in the dark that we, who take our freedom for granted, cannot see even in the light of day.  Please understand that the end-game of dhimmitude is NOT humiliation.  The end-game of dhimmitude is annihilation, first spiritual, then, physical.  We must endeavor to learn exactly what our enemies have in mind for us, to understand the language of surrender and humiliation but never to submit to it.