Author Bat Ye'or described the history of jihad and Islamic subjugation of Christians and Jews in her Thursday night lecture, "Dhimmitude: Past and Present."
"Dhimmitude can be described as the comprehensive legislation established by Muslim conquerors to rule those conquered by jihad," Ye'or said.
Though many Muslims and non-Muslims have repeatedly "denied" the existence of dhimmitude rule, it was in fact implemented throughout Islamic history and is still in practice today, Ye'or said.
"Indeed, dhimmitude has been permeated in civilization and is being revived today — it is not transient but permanent," Ye'or said.
Ye'or described jihad — or Islamic holy war — quoting experts in Islamic history including late U.S. scholar and Temple University Professor Ismail Rajhi al Farooqi. Ye'or called the original idea of jihad "a collective religious obligation binding the religious community and individuals in certain circumstances."
Ye'or described a jihad's targets and the protocol by which it is declared, fought and ended. Jihad can be launched for either "defense or for the undoing of injustice wherever it takes place," Ye'or said.
At the end of a jihad, Ye'or said the new ruling party gave the title "dhimmis" to those people "protected by the dhimma treaty, which stops the aggression of jihad." The fundamental principle behind the treaty was that the conquered people would exchange their land to the armies of Islam for security and peace.
In return for yielding their land, dhimmis received a degree of self-autonomous legislation and the freedom to worship. "Dhimmis were protected, provided they recognized the Muslim ownership of the land" and authority, she said.
Despite the tolerance that came with dhimmitude, dhimmis were subject to certain demeaning obligations, she said. One obligation was the payment of a poll tax, or the "jizya," from which no dhimmi was exempt. Rebellion, allegiance to a non-Muslim power, the committing of blasphemy or the refusal to pay a poll tax were all considered "forfeiture of dhimmitude" and justified the reinstating of the state of jihad, Ye'or said.
Dhimmis were also ordered to wear discriminatory clothing, and live in separate quarters and in different houses than Muslims, she said. Dhimmis were not allowed to ride horses and needed permission to ride a donkey, from which they were required to dismount in the presence of a Muslim. They were also expected to maintain a "meek and respectful attitude" and were the subject of recurrent "insults and stonings," Ye'or said.
"Dhimmitude covers more than a millennium of Christian and Jewish history. Its constituents had varying degrees of imposition based on the way in which the land was taken from the infidel," she said.
Ye'or said dhimmitude is "ignored and rejected" by many Muslims today, and she presented several examples of ancient texts that strongly suggest its existence. Christian and other dhimmi sources "confirm the Muslim legal and historical sources," Ye'or said.
"Those texts, which may appear as ‘old stuff,' are returning with renewed force and the power that modern technology can give to war and communication," she said. Some Muslim nations still practice dhimmitude in a various ways because they practice widespread and debilitating religious discrimination, Ye'or said.
"The vast cruelty waged by Islamic states reproduce the classical strategy of jihad," she said.