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Health

Being a second class citizen means less responsibility!

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanOctober 18, 2009 5:01 AM

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From the comments:

Jizya is only a financial tribute / aid to the Muslim State which is in-charge of safeguarding the security of the state and non-muslim's lives and properties on their behalf. Non-muslims pay Jizya BUT they are EXEMPTED from any other taxes which muslims pay in a Muslim State i.e. Zakat, Khums etc. As compared to taxes which the Muslims are subjected in a Muslim state, the amount of Jizya is very low. As such, Jizya should not be interpreted as "Additional Tax" imposed on non-muslims. It is rather a "lesser" obligation as compared to that of a Muslim.

I've heard this argument before from family members who are Muslims. This is analogous to Confederate apologists ("Southern patriots") who explain that the Civil War ("War of Northern Aggression") was actually fought fundamentally over tariffs and states' rights. This is part of the story, but really dodges the moral of the tale of being told. In a traditional Muslim state non-Muslims, dhimmis, are "protected" as second class citizens. Their position is analogous to women in nations where suffrage is denied; women have no rights or responsibilities of citizenship, they are under the "protection" of their men. One major difference between women and dhimmis is that women are necessary for men, while dhimmis persist only at the pleasure of Muslim authorities. Once the proportion of dhimmis in a Muslim society reaches a low enough threshold there is a pattern of increased persecutions, pressures and violations of maxims such as "no compulsion in religion" (the best case-study of this phenomenon is in the Levant and Iran, where non-Muslim religious figures initially had a great deal of power and influence as mediators, but who were generally marginalized and shunted aside once Muslims became a majority). In any case, the general tendency isn't limited to Muslims. Some aspects of the Muslim-dhimmi relationship drew upon precedents among pre-Muslim Arabs in terms of patron-client dynamics (though this influence is more explicitly evident among early Muslim converts) as well as how the Byzantine state regulated Jews and Samaritans within an officially Christian state (the case of non-Chalcedonian Christians is more complex). Contemporaneously, Christian Dominionism has strong similarities to Islam, ergo, articles such as Christian Supremacy: Pushing the Dhimmitude of Non-Christians in America. As someone interested in history and anthropology there is a place for neutral evaluations of customs and norms. But I simply won't tolerate repainting what was clearly subordination and subjugation as if it was a cosseted existence. A more fundamental point is that people may have to reinterpret their own core values and beliefs to come into line with the values and beliefs at the heart of the societies in which they live. I don't particularly care how that reinterpretation occurs, and I'm not too interested in the details. For example, I think the way some Jews try to contextualize the genocide in the Hebrew Bible is as silly as the way some neo-pagans attempt to mitigate the horror of human sacrifice.* That being said, it is imperative that Jews and neo-pagans do interpret their religious history in a manner which allows them to the come the "right" conclusion as to how they interact in a pluralist society. I don't care about the logic of the rationalization because I think the premises of these religions are false anyhow. Similarly, I don't care about the intellectual process which makes it so that Islam no longer accepts the death penalty for apostasy as within the limits of reason, or the subjugation of non-Muslims in a "protected" dhimmi status as a long term goal, these conclusions simply need to occur for Muslims living in Western countries. Note: The exact implementation of Islamic laws, or their interpretation, varied a great deal. For example, during much of medieval Indian history Brahmins were exempted from the jizya. We know this because Brahmin sources object vociferously at the injustice of having to pay the tax once Muslim rulers felt powerful enough, or were religiously short-sighted enough, to alienate local Hindu elites. P.S. The commenter above lives in the United States. * You can add a long list of religions and identities. Additionally, you can swap out the values. In Indonesia Hindus and Buddhists are monotheists, because the Indonesian state ideology has its first plank a principle that is basically the Islamic concept of tawhid.

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