01 November 2003

There is only One God and all the world belongs to God. All the world must recognize that God call the shots. Do not pride yourself over accomplishments and talents and might because in the end it all comes from God. Submit to God's supreme power.

These can be inspiring sentiments. But there are people that believe that "All the world must submit to God" means they have to go out and militarily conquer the entire planet for God by hook or by crook. The Jesuits, who are known for their high level of learning and clear vison, agree with this assessment. They rightly warn that this is a threat to Christianity.

"La Civilta Cattolica" is a magazine edited by a group of Jesuits in Rome. Every one of its articles is reviewed by the Vatican secretary of state before publication. In its October 18 edition, "La Civilta  Cattolica" published a strikingly severe article on the condition of Christians in Muslim countries. The central thesis of the article is that "in all of its history, Islam has shown a warlike and conquering face"; that "for almost a thousand years, Europe lived under its constant threat"; and that what remains of the Christian population in Islamic countries is still subjected to "perpetual discrimination," with episodes of bloody persecution. (note: that would be dhimmitude)

The website www.chiesa has published an ample extract from the article printed in "La Civilta  Cattolica" no. 3680, October 18, 2003.

Here are a few outtakes to whet your appetite:

[...]in all the places where Islam imposed itself by military force, which has few historical parallels for its rapidity and breadth, Christianity, which had been extraordinarily vigorous and rooted for centuries, practically disappeared or was reduced to tiny islands in an endless Islamic sea.


According to Islamic law, the world is divided into three parts: dar al-harb (the house of war), dar al-islam (the house of Islam), and dar al-'ahd (the house of accord); that is, the countries with which a treaty was stipulated. [...]
As for the countries belonging to the "house of war," Islamic canon law recognizes no relations with them other than "holy war" (jihad)... (note: Europe, the Americas, Japan, the Pacific Islands, indeed the whole of the non-Muslim world is presently considered dar-ul harb, the house of war. It doesn't matter if Belize has done nothing to piss Muslims off, they are in the house of war because they have not yet submitted to Islam. The Muslim countries are considered dar al-islam, except by fundamentalist extremists who think their governments are sinful and not following Shari'a and all the precepts of Islam. France and Britain are not yet dar al-'ahd. Not yet.)

In particular, all of Islamic history is dominated by the idea of the conquest of the Christian lands of Western Europe and of the Eastern Roman Empire, whose capital was Constantinople. Thus, through many centuries, Islam and Christianity faced each other in terrible battles, which led on one side to the conquest of Constantinople (1453), Bulgaria, and Greece, and on the other, to the defeat of the Ottoman empire in the naval battle of Lepanto (1571).

But the conquering spirit of Islam did not die after Lepanto. The Islamic advance into Europe was definitively halted only in 1683, when Vienna was liberated from the Ottoman siege by the Christian armies under the command of John III Sobieski, the king of Poland. [...] In reality, for almost a thousand years Europe was under constant threat from Islam, which twice put its survival in serious danger.

Thus, in all of its history, Islam has shown a warlike face and a conquering spirit for the glory of Allah. [...] against the "idolaters" who must be given a choice: convert to Islam, or be killed. [...] As for the "people of the Book" (Christians, Jews, and "Sabeans"), Muslims must "fight them until their members pay tribute, one by one, humiliated" (Koran, Sura 9:29). [...]

According to Muslim law, Christians, Jews, and the followers of other religions assimilated to Christianity and Judaism who live in a Muslim state belong to an inferior social order, in spite of their eventually belonging to the same race, language, and descent. Islamic law does not recognize the concepts of nation and citizenship, but only the umma, the one Islamic community[...]

Thus the "people of the Book" (Ahl al-Kitab) becomes the "protected people" (Ahl al-dhimma). In exchange for this "protection," the "people of the Book" must pay a tax (jizya) to the Islamic state, [...] and pay a tribute, called the haram, on the lands in its possession.

The dhimmi may maintain or repair the churches or synagogues they already have, but, unless there is a treaty permitting them to own land, they may not build new places of worship, because to do this they would need to occupy Muslim land, which can never be ceded to anyone, having become, through Muslim conquest, land "sacred" to Allah. (note: as if all the Earth isn't a precious gift from God anyway?)

In Sura 9:29 the Koran affirms that the "people of the Book," apart from being constrained to pay the two taxes mentioned above, must be placed under certain restrictions, such as dressing in a special way and not being allowed to bear arms or ride on horseback. Furthermore, the dhimmi may not serve in the army, be functionaries of the state, be witnesses in trials between Muslims, take the daughters of Muslims as their wives, be the guardians of underage Muslims, or keep Muslim slaves. (note: pretty sure Hindus, Buddhists, and all types or tribal religionists are completely unprotected and meant to be killed or converted; they would not have the option of dhimmitude if a Muslim conquest of their country were to occur. Through dhimmitude, Muslims are showing Christians and Jews a special favor on account of the similarity of their religions.)

The release of the dhimma came about above all through conversion of the "people of the Book" to islam; but Muslims, especially in the early centuries, did not look favorably upon such conversions, because they represented a grave loss to the treasury, which flourished in direct proportion to the number of the dhimmi, who paid both the personal tax and the land tax.

The dissolution of dhimma status could also take place through failure to observe the "treaty" ... (note: the article lists several unlikely occurrences but one is likely: if a dhimmi "entices" a Muslim away from islam, if a Muslim decided to convert to Christianity or Judaism, it would be a violation of the "treaty") According to the gravity of each case, the penalty could be the confiscation of goods, reduction to slavery, or death – unless the person who had committed the crimes converted to Islam. In that case, all penalties were waived.


It is evident that the condition of the dhimmi, prolonged through centuries, has led slowly but inexorably to the near extinction of Christianity in Muslim lands: the condition of civil inferiority, which prevented Christians from attaining public offices, and the condition of religious inferiority, which closed them in an asphyxiated religious life and practice with no possibility of development, put the Christians to the necessity of emigrating, or, more frequently, to the temptation of converting to Islam.

The regime of the dhimma lasted for over a millennium, even if not always and everywhere in the harsh form called "the conditions of 'Umar," according to which Christians not only did not have the right to construct new churches and restore existing ones, even if they fell into ruins (and, if they had the permission to construct through the good will of the Muslim governor, the churches could not be of large dimensions: the building must be more modest than all the religious buildings around it); but the largest and most beautiful churches had to be transformed into mosques. That transformation made it impossible for the church-mosques ever to be restored to the Christian community, because a place that has become a mosque cannot be put to another use.

In recent centuries, the dhimma system has undergone some modifications, in part because the ideas of citizenship and the equality of all citizens before the state have gained a foothold even in Muslim countries. Nevertheless, in practice, the traditional conception is still present. [...] The Christian, whether he wish it or not, is brought back in spite of himself to the concept of the dhimmi, even if the term no longer appears in the present-day laws of a good number of Muslim-majority countries.


Out of [...]fears that the secularist ideas and "corrupt" customs of the Western world, identified with Christianity, would endanger the purity of Islam [...] fed by strong resentment against the Western powers, which had dared to impose their political rule upon Islam, "the greatest nation ever raised up by Allah among men" (Koran, s. 3:110), was born "radical Islam," which set itself up as the interpreter of the frustrations of the Muslim masses.

Radical Islam, which proposes that shari'a law be instituted in every Islamic state, is gaining ground in many Muslim countries, in which groups of Christians are also present. It is evident that the institution of shari'a would render the lives of Christians rather difficult, and their very existence would be constantly in danger. This is the cause of the mass emigration of Christians from Islamic countries to Western countries. The estimated number of Arab Christians who have emigrated from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel in the last decade hovers around three million, which is from 26.5 to 34.1 percent of the estimated number of Christians currently living in the Middle East.

We must, finally, recall a fact that is often forgotten because Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of oil to the Western world, and the latter therefore has an interest in not disturbing relations with that country. In reality, in Saudi Arabia, where wahhabism is in force, not only is it impossible to build a church or even a tiny place of worship, but any act of Christian worship or any sign of Christian faith is severely prohibited with the harshest penalties. Thus about a million Christians working in Saudi Arabia are deprived by violence of any Christian practice or sign. They may participate in mass or in other Christian practices - and even then with the serious danger of losing their jobs - only on the property of the foreign oil companies. And yet, Saudi Arabia spends billions of petrodollars, not for the benefit of its poor citizens or of poor Muslims in other Muslim countries, but to construct mosques and madrasas in Europe and to finance the imams of the mosques in all the Western countries.

you can read more at:,2393,41931,00.html
and a discussion at: