Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Grasping this 'Good' and 'Bad' Argument

As some of you know, I have a fascination with history.  I've tried to understand this 'good Muslim' versus 'bad Muslim' gimmick that has been used to a great extent.  To me, it makes no sense.  However, I came the other day to this odd historical piece that occurred around a hundred years after Muhammad had passed on.

Umar II, had been called up and ended being a fairly high authority within the Muslim world and Arabia around 717 AD.  It should be noted that he was generally liked by the two massive divisions of the Muslim world at the time.....but that didn't help him a much smaller group would eventually assassinate him around 720 AD, so he ends up with a three-year reign.

Umar II had come to recognize Dhimmis (the non-believers in the world) as being necessary.  So as various Dhimmis groups were determined and worked upon (instead of killing them).....a treaty was written.  By staying within that treaty....a Dhimmis, his tribe, and culture....could survive on....thus avoiding death.

The original treaty?  Well.....a copy exists.  It's a simple text arrangement.

The treaty says:

We shall not build, in our cities or in surrounding neighborhoods new monasteries, churches, convents, or monk's cells, now shall we repair, by day or night, such of those that lay in ruins or near the quarters of Muslims.
We shall keep our gates wide open for passerby and travelers.  We shall give board and lodging to all Muslims who pass our way for three days (free food and board).
We shall not give shelter in our churches or in our dwellings to any spy nor hide him from the Muslims.
We shall not manifest our religion publicly nor convert anyone to it.  We shall not prevent any of our kin from entering Islam if they wish it.
We shall show respect toward the Muslims and we shall rise from our seats when they wish to sit.
We shall not seek to resemble the Muslims by imitating any of their garments.
We shall not mount on saddles nor shall we gird swords nor bear any kind of arms nor carry them on our persons.
We shall  not engrave Arabic inscriptions on our seals.
We shall not sell fermented drinks. (meaning beer and wine)
We shall clip the fronts of our heads. (as a sign of humiliation)
We shall always dress in the same way wherever we may be and we shall bind the zunar round our waists.
We shall not display our crosses or books in the roads or markets of the Muslims.  We shall only use clappers in our churches very softly.  We shall not raise our voices when following our dead.  We shall not take slaves who have been allotted to Muslims.
We shall not build houses higher than the houses of the Muslims.
Whoever strikes a Muslim with deliberate intent shall forfeit the protection of this pact.

From Al-Turushi, Siraj Al-Muluk, pages 229-230.

So, you sit and pause over this.  Imagine yourself as a young member of some tribe who are now identified as freely and surviving.....but mostly as a second-class citizen.  Maybe you had some religion other than Islam to start with......but it likely only took a generation or two, for folks to wise-up and simply join the Muslim religion as a fake-member.

Years would'd have a family now.....totally integrated into Muslim society (formerly a Dhimmis or non-believer).  What you figured out.....better to be a lite-member or just act like a Muslim, than be treated as a second-class citizen. You walked through the steps.....did your best to act like Muslim but frankly.....your father and those before him just weren't that enthusiastic about the whole thing.  Eventually, you'd see this one opportunity to leave this unsettling neighborhood or nation, and find yourself in a neutral style of life...such as we have in Europe today.

The good-Muslim versus bad-Muslim episode?  I've come to some feeling that we have an awful lot of people who over 1,400 years have become less enthusiastic about this whole thing.  Your ancestors aren't around to go through the logic but some guy from centuries ago made a decision to save the family from future humiliation.  It made sense.

From these fourteen odd 'promises'......they all lead onto a miserable society that lives only because of their submission to the treaty.  Otherwise, they'd be murdered.  No one today can say with any authority how many entered the many gave up their old religion eventually.....and how many today simply walk through the actions to make people happy.  In essence, you do what you have to survive.

Oddly, we are today stuck with something that evolved out of the 770 AD period....not being able to reform or fix what has been done.

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