The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude: Seventh-Twentieth Century

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In this study, Bat Ye’or gives an analysis of the dogma and strategies of jihad, offering a vast panorama of the history of the Jews and Christians under the rule of Islam. A pioneer in a virgin field of research for which she has coined the term “dhimmitude,” the author has included a documentary section illuminating the process of Eastern Christianity’s Islamization. In two waves of Islamic expansion, the Christian and Jewish populations of the Mediterranean regions and Mesopotamia, who had developed the most prestigious civilizations, were conquered by jihad. Millions of Christians from Spain, Egypt, Syria, Greece, and Armenia; Latins and Slavs from southern and central Europe; as well as Jews, were henceforth governed by the shari’a (Islamic law). A knowledge of this historical background is essential in order to understand contemporary events.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Ye'or's books on dhimmitude and jihad have an essential place in the ecumenical world.
Journal of Ecumenical Studies - James E. Biechler
Ye'or's books on dhimmitude and jihad have an essential place in the ecumenical world.
William Montgomery Watt
[I]t must be allowed that behind Muslim thinking was the distinction between dar al-islam and dar al-harb; and while this may have had little effect on the actual course of events, it seems to have been present in the background. It is at this point that the basic question raised by Bat Ye'or’s book—the condition of the Peoples of the Book under Muslim rule—ties up with contemporary problems…It is of the utmost importance that Muslim jurists should consider whether such treatment of non-Muslims is in accordance with the Shari’ah or contrary to it. More generally, does the Shari’ah allow Muslims to live peaceable with non-Muslims in the ‘one world’ or must they regard it as dar al-harb? To have an answer to these questions may be a matter of urgency in a few years times.
Rev. Richard John Neuhaus
It seems likely that in the new century of clashing civilizations there will either be heightened conflict or a breakthrough to something like the beginnings of a dialogue… A good place to start is to understand the history that brought us where we are, and to that end I warmly recommend a careful and critical reading of Bat Ye’or’s The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611471366
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Pages: 522
  • Sales rank: 1,004,445
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Bat Ye'or is a recognized specialist on the dhimmis and “dhimmitude.”

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  • Posted August 23, 2011


    Difficult read for experts. Lacks timeline and organization. The argument is difficult to follow and the evidence does not speak for itself. It promotes a one-sided view of Islamic violence that will not stand the test of time. The author does not attempt to explore the historic foundation of Islam, which can not possibly be the "romantic" emergence as suggested by the consensus. The evidence is uncritically assessed and often rests on writers with obvious vested interests from centuries later.
    The document section is excellent.

    I highly recommend the book called The Great Leap-Fraud. It if very insightful and all of the facts are backed up with primary evidence.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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