An Interview with Bat Ye'or
Islamic minorities in Europe are increasingly claiming for
more independence to manage their internal affairs. What is, in your
opinion, the cause of their discontent toward the legal, political and
social accommodation provided by European states?
immigrants come from countries governed by traditional Islamic rules
and belong to a civilization that has fashioned mental attitudes,
thought and behavior according to shari’a
conceptions. Some immigrants have the strength to break away from this
mental conditioning but most remain faithful to their tradition.Shari’a
rules create a society that contradicts in almost every domain Western
way of life. This does not apply only to gender equality and sexual
freedom, but also to politics, religion, education, science. Moreover
the Koran and the Hadiths (the sacred religious Muslim scriptures)
absolutely forbid Muslims to adopt the ways of Christians and Jews. This
prohibition is proclaimed in the Koran’s first surah which must be
repeated five times a day at each prayer. For these reasons, the Muslim
world has not adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(December 1948) inspired by universal and not religious European values,
but instead has proclaimed the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights (1990)
whose articles conform strictly to the religious tenets of shari’a
the rejection of Western mores, there are two main other reasons for
this refusal to integrate: 1) the traditional religious contempt for
Christians whom must be submitted to Islamic supremacy as this was done
during 13 centuries and continues till now; and 2) the religious
obligation to impose shari’a
governance on non-Muslim
countries, in order to implement the Islamic system of justice and peace
and the rule of Allah over the world.
number of European states are in favour of the adoption of shari'a law,
at least in arbitration courts of family law as in the UK. What will
this change lead to?
In a democracy justice and law must
be the same for all. Different rules according to the diversity of
population will break the cohesion of the nation and nurture conflicts.
Especially in the case of Muslim immigrants: we are speaking of several
millions in most European states and not of a few thousands. In France
speculations affirm that they amount to over ten millions, this is like a
nation within a nation.
In its spirit and source shari’a
jurisdiction—which is based on the uncreated word of the Koran and
therefore cannot be discussed, changed or criticized
(blasphemy)—contradicts the rational framework of European law and the
freedom of speech and scientific research. It also discriminates between
women and men, Muslims and non-Muslims, as we can see it currently in
modern Muslim countries and even in Europe. Religious separation between
populations living in the same country will increase. The shari’a
in its spirit and rulings, represents a systemic total system. If you
accept some elements—for instance regarding the school education of
girls or their segregation from society—where will you stop?
The adoption of shari’a
law in many European countries will undoubtedly accelerate the
Islamization of the continent—an evolution that Europeans refuse. In
other words, as we import more tenets from Muslim civilization in our
countries we will resemble more to Muslim societies. This situation
needs serious thinking and public discussions, because it might bring
irreversible changes and social conflicts. It cannot be shelved under
the carpet.One of the arguments in favour of the adoption of shari’a
asserts that by recognising Islamic law under supervision of states’
civil courts, there will be more chances to advance Western standards
and, consequently, internal illiberal practices implemented by shari’a will be more probably abandoned. Do you share this argument?
cannot base a policy on wishful thinking. This argument affirms the
contrary of truth. It reveals the weakness of governments that cannot or
fear to impose on Muslims immigrants the law of their countries because
they know they oppose it on the grounds that European laws contradict shari’a
your books, you define dhimmitude as the submission to Islam and the
acceptance of an inferior status in society in order to avoid death or
enslavement and contemporary dhimmitude as the subjugation to Islam in
order to avoid anti-Western violence. Beyond fear, how does the
dhimmitude attitude express itself?
induce people, particularly politicians, to accept dhimmitude without
even being conscious of their passivity. First let me point out that
politicians as well as the large public totally ignore the meaning of
dhimmitude. They have a vague notion of the special condition of
non-Muslims, usually Christians, in Islamic countries, but they do not
have a name for it. They do not see it as resulting from a specific
military and theological obligatory legislation that has at its core an
inner ideological justification. Being ignorant, they are therefore
particularly vulnerable to it.
Furthermore, we are prisoner of a
systemic social indoctrination spread throughout the media, books,
films, and publicity that continuously and in every way preach
multiculturalism, relativity of cultures, deconstruction of Western
fundamental cultural criteria, interfaith dialogue, Western guilt,
Europe’s scientific and artistic debt to the magnificent Islamic
civilization of tolerance and peace. Notions of jihad and dhimmitude are
totally rejected and forbidden. European specific identities and
history are purposely blurred, dismissed in order to please foreigners
who despising them maintain proudly their own traditions and beliefs.
me specify that dhimmitude is not only a military, political, legal,
social and religious condition; it is also the perverted mental
conditioning of a person who justify his own subjugation. Intellectual
dhimmitude precedes and facilitates the physical realization of
Dhimmitude in the West appears in the official and
free adoption by the elite of the Islamic narrative of history. I
recognize that prejudices being frequent in historical accounts must be
suppressed. However the historical structure of data and documents
should not be dismissed but preserve being the foundations of learning
and civilizations. In schools and universities, we see the permanent
clash between Western and Islamic conceptions of history—the latter one
suppressing any criticism of jihad since it is a religious sacred
command. Jihad is not perceived as an aggressive war but as peaceful
Muslim activities to take back from the miscreant occupiers countries
that should revert to Islam.
Do you refer to Israel as well?
Islamic narrative adopted by Europe is particularly shocking regarding
Israel, since it refutes Israel’s rights in its own ancestral homeland
and submits to jihad strategic and ideological criteria. Obsessed with
an anti-Israeli revengeful hatred, Europe together with Arab-Muslim
countries, conducts at every level a war to delegitimize and demonize
Israel with the final goal of destroying it. I consider this policy a
significant sign of dhimmitude. Europe knows very well the history of
the people of Israel in its own land because for twenty centuries it
remained the base of its spirituality and values. Yet it embraces the
jihadist ideology that denies it even if jihad aims at Europe’s
destruction as much as Israel. In other words, Europe is complying with
Islamist goals toward its own destruction like a vassal continent.
sign of dhimmitude is the creation of a whole European industry
falsifying Israel history, archeology, and Biblical sites, in order to
Palestinize, hence Islamize, them. In museums in Paris and London
Palestine and Palestinians are mentioned on items referring to Hebrews
two thousand B.C. whereas the Roman Emperor Hadrian named the Jewish
country “Palestine” after having defeated its Jewish inhabitants in 135
Then does dhimmitude also affect Europe’s reaction to the mobilisation of Islamic minorities?
its dhimmi subservient policy to the Muslim world regarding Israel,
immigration and textbooks, European governments have imposed over their
citizens the shari’a
law on blasphemy. The EU willful denial of
terrorism and insecurity evokes the dhimmi peaceful resignation to his
demise. Freedom of speech and thought has disappeared from universities
and media. Aggressiveness and intolerance replace them. Those who
resist, like Geert Wilders, Magdi Christiano Allam and others, are
targeted by murderers. Recently, Lars Hedegaard, the Danish champion of
free speech, just escaped from a criminal attempt at his life—although
only speculations can be made here, the suspect having not been found.
Europe is becoming less European and more Islamized with of course an
unconscious habituation to dhimmitude—insecurity, aggressions, and
insults—by indigenous non-Muslims.
The trend toward dhimmitude
flourishes in a Europe that chose the disaggregation of its foundations
and the destruction of the Nation-state.Radical
Islam is an anti-liberal ideology. You argue that European ambivalent
attitude, dhimmi attitude, toward radical Islam indirectly supports it.
How do you explain that European countries has progressed in science,
technology, welfare, culture, societal issues such as minority or gender
rights, and simultaneously open the gates to anti-liberal ideologies?
are many contradictions in politics and history; a multiplicity of
trends suppresses coherence and uniformity. Great discoveries and
artistic achievements have in the past coexisted with wars and social
injustice. Under the Nazis, intellectual and artistic life continued; in
occupied France, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, as well as
many other great authors and artists, flourished unconcerned by the
inhumanity of the period. The progresses in science, technology and
other sectors result from the devoted efforts of doctors, scientists,
researchers and other individuals, not from politicians.
totalitarian regimes, opposition to European pro-Islamic policy existed
but it is locked. Dissidents are indicted as racists and Nazis by an
international media campaign of witch-hunt. They are victims of boycott,
discrimination, social and professional ostracism, and suffer material
insecurity because they fight against dhimmitude. Not only do their own
governments and the state apparatus persecute them, but also jihadists
who apply in Europe the shari’a
law of blasphemy target them.Many
NGOs, such as One Law for All, advocate against the adoption of shari'a
and in favour of the integration of Muslim groups in European
societies, preventing radicalisation that stems from separate education,
separate legal systems and underground religious-political activities.
Do you see in these activities an emerging social movement that
counteracts institutional passiveness?
Yes, it is a
positive initiative; for Muslims too, because it will avoid conflicts
and resentment against them. There are 56 Muslim countries, plus the
Gaza Strip, which apply the shari’a
. Muslims who want to live under the rule of shari’a
must immigrate to these countries not to Western countries.Contemporary
Middle-East countries inherited the Ottoman system of the “millet”,
which consisted in self-government of ethno-religious communities,
including family law. Israel has adapted this system, by recognising
religious courts, including rabbinical and Islamic courts, with
extensive power in terms of family law. The supervision of the Supreme
Court over religious courts’ decisions has influenced religious
jurisprudence, including shari’a judges. In your opinion, could
this be a model to be adapted in Europe for the recognition of shari’a
courts, as already happened in UK?
“millet” system was first designed by the Romans. As their Empire
expanded by the conquests of numerous peoples and territories, the Roman
emperors accepted that their subjects kept their particular national
religion, their gods and their own laws. In this context, Judaism, as
the religion of a nation allied and friendly with Rome, was recognized religio licita
and guaranteed juridical autonomy. Even after the destruction of Jewish
independence by the Roman armies, and the incorporation of their
country as a new colony named Palaestina
within the Roman Empire (135 c.e.), this autonomous statute remained, but with some changes.
is the Christianization of the Roman Empire that transformed this
“liberal” situation into an obligatory condition of misery and
wretchedness for Jews. However, while all pagan cults were prohibited,
Judaism was tolerated within legal discriminatory and oppressive rules
intended to humiliate and incite hatred. This anti-Jewish legislation
was inscribed in the Byzantine legal codes from the fifth century
onward. It constituted the Jewish statute, applied throughout Europe
until the 18-19th century when it was abolished with the French
Revolution; some of its rules were re-enacted in the racist anti-Jewish
status proclaimed by the French Vichy government during the Second World
When in the seventh century the Arabs invaded Byzantine
territories, they adopted this Jewish statute under an Islamized and
aggravated form and integrated it into the shari’a
applying it to Jewish and Christian populations. It is known in the
Ottoman Empire as the “millet” system. This is the legal condition that I
have studied under the name of dhimmitude, which is still valid today
in Islam as it is obvious to everyone who knows it.
Now let me
tell you why I object to introduce the millet system in Europe in the
21st century. First, the millet system does not just mean religious and
civil autonomy for minorities. It stems from a jihadist conquest and is
correlated to jihadist rules. It is linked to territorial conquests,
being under its mild Roman form or in the oppressive shari’a
legislation against the conquered population of the Islamic Empire.
Second, it is inseparable from the whole dehumanizing system of
dhimmitude, which, in short, requires:
- Economic, social, religious, cultural and legal inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims;
- Collective responsibility of the non-Muslim community;
- Cultural limitations;
- Discriminatory legal disabilities;
- Protection conditional to the submission to an inferior status; and
- Prohibition to own lands and so forth.
European colonization of Muslim countries and the nationalist Arab
governments have abolished it, but its discriminations against
non-Muslims, having being integrated into the shari’a
are still valid today even in Turkey. It was never established in the Arab peninsula where non-Muslims could not live.
situations of Muslim immigrant communities in Europe are quite
different from the subjected indigenous millets. They are not indigenous
European submitted nations but foreigners who chose to immigrate from
their free will. I think that lawyers should work out a system that
respects their religious requirements in accordance with the national
legislation of the host countries.
You describe with great
competency the millet system adapted to the Israeli jurisdiction. But
this system was imposed by the former British colonizer and was never
adopted by any of the people who after centuries of struggle, succeeded
to free themselves from Islamic colonization: Spain, Sicily, Serbia,
Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Armenia.
European lawyers and politicians should consider three points that relate only to Islam:
When we speak of Islam, we also speak of Muslim-Jewish
relations and Muslim attitude toward Israel. I dare to ask an apparently
naïf question. Why are Jews asked to assimilate into the majority
culture of their countries of residence, while Muslims are encouraged to
ask for more independence and autonomy under the tenets of minority
protection and human rights? Why are Jews considered unrepentant
“diverse people” sticking to ancient traditions, while Muslim practices
are welcomed as a positive expression of diversity, somehow
- The mandatory association of religion and policy;
- The uncreated origin—and therefore unchangeable character—of Islamic sacred scriptures;
- The religious imperative of a universal jihad.
European relations with Muslims fit into
the pattern of dhimmitude. European politicians do not dare to confront
the powerful Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is,
indeed, the source that dictates to Europe its anti-Israeli policy, its
Muslim immigration strategy regarding education, textbooks,
non-integration, separate Muslim schools, positive discrimination,
promotion of diversity, blasphemy law, shari’a
banking and so
forth. The European Union and its European leaders are just the conveyor
of OIC orders that they impose to their people. The OIC has recruited
and paid, in Europe, countless lobbies and collaborators to implement
its quiet jihadist strategy.
Israel has no such strategy toward
Europe, or such financial power and no leverage over European policy. As
for anti-Jewish animosity, it is a combination, in some milieus, of
traditional Christian antisemitism but mainly it is the spread of Muslim
judeophobia and Palestinism.Carrying Jewish symbols
has become increasingly dangerous in Europe, for both radical Left and
Islamic anti-Jewish violence. The anti-Semitic predicament within
Islamic groups, mosques and Muslim schools is well known. What is the
reason of the disinterest that authority shows toward this phenomenon?
do not know if we can speak any more of authority. Thanks to the
European Union and the OIC, European states are in a condition of
delinquency, incapable of imposing order and security on their own
territories, which constitutes the first duty toward their citizens. Now
they plan to abolish borders and reject the constraints of the
nation-state, opting for welcoming massive immigration—hence, the
necessity of promoting multiculturalism and the relativism of values.
The economic crisis will worsen the situation.
antisemitism, it was promoted by the European Commission from 1999 in
order to frighten the small Jewish communities that survived the Shoah.
The aim was to force them to denounce Israel and increase the isolation
of the Jewish state. The BDS campaign, the economic boycott, the
apartheid and “occupation” accusations thrown at Israel, which trigger
antisemitism, emanates from the EU, the OIC and its European
collaborators, as well as from the Palestinian dhimmi Churches.
Europe has always been hostile to the Jewish National Liberation
movement. Except for some individuals and isolated politicians,
governments collaborated in a way or another to the Shoah. European
exoneration of radical Islam is integrated in its support for
Palestinism, which ideology impregnates its deceitful war against
Israel.Hezbollah has organized a terrorist attack
against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. Previously, Arafat's PLO has
repeatedly attacked Jewish and Israeli targets in Europe backed by
radical left terrorist organizations. The EU and other member states
refuse to enlist Hezbollah in the terrorist list organization. Is that
an example of dhimmitude?
Sure. Dhimmis fear of
terrorist retaliations in Europe or other countries. This example
illustrates how ludicrous is the mask of human rights’ champion the EU
pretends to wear. France, the great enemy of Israel’s self-defense
policy declared in a grandiloquent way that in Mali terrorists must be
eradicated. And why not in Gaza?Radical left and
Islamic groups converge on another issue: the delegitimisation and
demonisation of Israel. What are the reasons of this ideological
commonality? In the end, the two groups are indeed different in terms of
consideration for religion, conception of gender rights and politics.
antisemitism always existed in Leftist parties. Communist states
supported Arafat, the Palestinians and Third-Worldism in a big coalition
against democracies. Now the moribund radical Left survives by
recruiting its adherents among Muslim immigrants and by anti-Israel
campaigns well-paid in petro-dollars.One last question: how do you see the future of Europe? What has to be done to stop dhimmitude?
is difficult to foresee Europe’s future, since it is in a transitional
state having lost its references by its deliberate choice to destroy
itself by renouncing to territorial stability, history and cultural
roots. But a civilization who denies its values, its history and culture
is a civilization without soul and a prey to be devoured by others.
Changes and adaptation to evolving situations are necessary, but
Europe’s survival requires preserving its fundamental Judeo-Christian
and humanist values.
In order to stop dhimmitude, which endorses
the suppression of human freedoms and dignity, we must first be able to
recognize it. You cannot fight against something you don’t see nor
understand. We have to overcome the policy of ideological denial imposed
by the EU elite, and the Fascist control of culture and opinion aiming
to mould them within the politically correct discourse. We must support
the politicians, writers, journalists and common people who put their
life in danger and accept sacrifices to preserve fundamental democratic
An Interview with Bat Ye'or
- Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.