Is Dhmini style law justifiable?

Before I go on I’d like to note that I’m playing the role of Devils advocate. I don’t think this is right or true. I’m just seeing how an idea like this an be replied to. Anyway here goes nothing.

Would it be justified to persecute heretics and non catholics along the lines of Arab Dhmini laws? As in extra taxes, illegal to convert others to your religion and in effect being made second class citizens. My reasoning went that heresy and false religions harm the souls of people and should be stamped out. Looking at history, Dhmini style laws seem most effective at this (just look at once Christian North Africa) and thus should be applied to heretical and non catholic beliefs. When combined with strong religious education and missionary work this would bring as many souls as possible to the Church.

As I said before I don’t think this is moral but am looking for a more substantial reply. God bless and thanks.

Dhimmi laws [supposedly] afforded ‘protection’ to the Jews and Christians and some others, in return for reduced status, rights and powers. The idea was that political, legal and religious Islam would be and stay supreme. I question the fairness of the situation, but then again Christians and Jews cannot claim that much moral high ground in view of the way all too many have treated badly those of differing beliefs.

In Jesus’ words, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”.

An important thing to keep in mind is the distinction between natural rights and citizenship rights. You can give privileges to members of your nation so long as you preserve the natural rights of all, like the right to life, freedom of religion, and property rights. The big problem with Dhimmi laws, I think, is that they deny certain natural rights to non-Muslims. The prohibition against building or repairing Christian churches violates Christians’ property rights, and the prohibition of evangelism and apostasy from Islam violates religious liberty. Laws like that violate Christian teaching and shouldn’t be enacted by Christians.

You’ve already predicated your question on bias perspective. Dhimmi laws are not Arab; the only thing they are are Muslim.

I attended an Antiochian Orthodox Divine Liturgy this morning, and the language of the Qur’an–in a much more modern form–was used to a fairly high degree.

Thanks for catching the mistaken conflation of Muslim and Arab. Let’s not forget that millions of Arabs are Christian, now facing persecution in large numbers.

Not that I have any interest whatsoever in getting involved with the discriminatory practices of a false religion, but I have one question: what is the point of this thread? :confused:

But they were first enacted by the Arab conquerors. That’s why I refered to them as Arab laws. If I was mistaken, I’m sorry.

That’s a bit of an insult to the AOC. The Arabic language actually existed before the false religion and its books.

It’s not all that many “millions” but there are some. Most of the native Christians in the Middle East are NOT Arabs.

It’s correct that the Arab invaders invented them, but they passed to the Ottomans and beyond after.

Ouch. Sorry about that. This was a stupid question. The answer is obvious.

I may be wrong, but the only Arab Christians are those descended from the Ghassanid and Lakhmid tribes (and obviously converts).

There were many other Arab tribes that were Christian, though I don’t know if they’re traceable to any modern Christian populations. Particular mention could be made of the Banu Taghlib of Central Arabia, as they were huge and very powerful relative to other tribes. I’ve read in some sources that I can’t remember at the moment that they were so large that if Islam had not been created and proved successful, they would have probably overwhelmed the other Arabs (and, since they were mostly Christian by the time of Muhammad, certainly Arabia would look very different than it does today). They did not convert to Islam during Muhammad’s time or afterward, though the fact that the areas where people claim Taghlibi descent are now all majority-Muslim seems to suggest that they eventually became indistinguishable from the surrounding people, including in their religion. :frowning:

Anyway, OP, it seems like you’ve realized the answer to your question on your own, but it bears repeating, together with the scriptures: what accord has Christ with Bilal? Machiavelli may have been a Catholic of sorts, but I think we’re all better off (Catholic and non) by leaving his approach to human relations in the past. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and in the process lose his soul? Do not play a numbers game against the heathen. They’re better at it; it is, after all, all they have.

Perhaps to inform folks as to the nature and purpose of such ‘Islamic’ practice?

It has already been tried out by the way - for instance the various regulations governing the lives and activities of Jews in various Christian countries (including regular compulsory attendance at attempts at indoctrination) and legal inequalities of Catholics and Protestants in a number of societies until relatively recent times.

Historically speaking, it’s a good way to get yourself well and truly loathed.

Injustices have often been committed, that’s true, and they were against Church teaching then as now. But it should be noted that modern legal scholars tend to exaggerate the number of laws that fall under the category of pure religious discrimination. Religion was a lot more central in the lives of people back then, and thus criminal associations and revolutionary groups tended to organize themselves under religious auspices and identify using religious monikers. Thus when we see laws levied against religious minorities in medieval society, we have to be careful in assessing them: some weren’t intended to discriminate against people (like the Jews) on the basis of religious principles, but because of their revolutionary tendencies and an inability to distinguish the criminally-minded from the peaceful.

So, Church teaching didn’t apply in the Papal States?

But it should be noted that modern legal scholars tend to exaggerate the number of laws that fall under the category of pure religious discrimination. Religion was a lot more central in the lives of people back then, and thus criminal associations and revolutionary groups tended to organize themselves under religious auspices and identify using religious monikers.

And the discriminated against tend to get a little miffed, after all.

Thus when we see laws levied against religious minorities in medieval society, we have to be careful in assessing them: some weren’t intended to discriminate against people (like the Jews) on the basis of religious principles, but because of their revolutionary tendencies and an inability to distinguish the criminally-minded from the peaceful.

We’re not just talking about the Middle Ages, this sort of thing went on into the 19th Century in Western Europe - including the Papal States.

I was being ironic.

  1. a) Arabic is a primary language associated with Muslims in the popular mind.
    b) Muhammad and Muslims since have regarded Arabic as enjoying the status of the divine tongue.
    c) Christian liturgies–several of which I have been present–use Arabic.
  2. Therefore, of all the conclusions we could draw, to say that Arab and Muslim are coextensive would not be one of them.

It’s not all that many “millions” but there are some. Most of the native Christians in the Middle East are NOT Arabs.

This depends on how one defines “Arab”. In the university courses I’ve taken, the term has been defined linguistically, rather than ethnically.

Care to give specific examples?

Muslims expect and demand that the laws of the non-Muslim countires that they become citizens of treat them with the full rights of citzenship.

Likewise Muslims in Muslim majority countries likewise demand and expect as much for their emigrants.
Ergo, Muslims have by and large entered the modern world, and the concept of equal rights for all is the standard that they expect from others when it comes to how they want to be treated.

The Golden Rule, which is pretty much universal when it comes to all the world’s morality codes, states something to the effect that we are to do to others what we want other to do for us.
Muslims want from us to be treated fairly and equally. Likewise, that is what we ought to expect and demand from them, when they are in the majority.

Anything less is hypocrisy.

Laws of dhimmitude are simply antiquated and out of date in today’s world.

I am not going to go through the huge historic list, you are perfectly capable of finding examples of those on-line and in libraries, but there are for instance the pogroms that had many Jews flee to the likes of the US and the UK. There is also here in the UK the instance of the massacre of Jews in York.

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