The author is an Engineer and writer based in Maryland, USA.
Jews should demand compensation for centuries of humiliation and abuse under Islamic rule
The Jizya was a discriminatory tax imposed only on non-muslims until the late 1800s. Non-muslims had to either convert to Islam or abandon their lands to avoid it. If they did not pay they were imprisoned, tortured and slaved.
Muslim rulers instituted the jizya to reduce the number of Jews living in the Holy Land, in what was then called Palestine (the Roman term for the area, with no connection to the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians today) before the British Mandate was instituted in 1922.
Until the late 1800s entire ancient Jewish communities had to flee Palestine to escape the brutality of Muslim authorities.
As Egyptian historian Bat Ye’or writes in her book, The Dhimmi: “The Jizya was paid in a humiliating public ceremony in which the non-Muslim while paying was struck in the head. If these taxes were not paid women and children were reduced to slavery, men were imprisoned and tortured until a ransom was paid for them.”
“The Jewish communities in many cities under Muslim Rule were ruined by such demands. This custom of legalized financial abuses and extortion shattered the indigenous pre-Arab populations almost totally eliminating what remained of its peasantry…
“In 1849 the Jews of Tiberias envisaged exile because of the brutality, exactions, and injustice of the Muslim authorities. In addition to ordinary taxes, an Arab Sheik that ruled Hevron demanded that Jews pay an extra five thousand piastres annually for the protections of their lives and property. The Sheik threatened to attack and expel them from Hevron if it was not paid.”
It is the Jews who lived under Muslim rule who were the true victims of colonialism… “By the time the Arab conquerors had swept over the Middle East and North Africa, the Jews had been living in the region for 1,000 years…
Lyn Julius commented about the incontrovertible findings in George Bensoussan’ book Juifs en pays arabes: le grand deracinement 1850 – 1975:
“…Bensoussan, threatens to stand the notion of ”Jewish colonialism” on its head: it is the Jews who lived under Muslim rule who were the true victims of colonialism…
“By the time the Arab conquerors had swept over the Middle East and North Africa, the Jews had been living in the region for 1,000 years…
“Under Islam, according to the eighth-century Pact of Omar, indigenous Jews and Christians were permitted to practise as long as they acquiesced to the dhimmi condition of inferiority and institutionalised humiliation…
“… Bensoussan observes that the Islamic order was built on a ”colonial” notion – submission. The Muslim submits to Allah, the Muslim woman submits to her husband, the non-Muslim dhimmi submits to the Muslim. At the very bottom of the pile is the slave…
“He produces incontrovertible evidence that, 100 years before Israel was established, most Jews in Arab and Muslim lands lived in misery and fear….
“Jews were regularly mobbed, robbed, their possessions looted, beaten up on the slightest pretext, or false charge brought by a jealous neighbour. Jews were feminised in the Muslim imagination – cowardly, submissive, unable to stand up for themselves.
“…Bensoussan”s great achievement is not just to blow out of the water the myth of Arab-Jewish coexistence predating the creation of Israel, but unfashionably to place the colonial boot on the Arab foot…
“A sovereign Jewish state in the land of Israel begins to look like the liberation of a colonized, indigenous people from 14 centuries of subjugation…”
The Muslim conquest
Simon Sebag Montefiore describes, in his book Jerusalem, the Arab Conquest of the Eastern Roman Empire (Chapter 16, page 166) that Arabs built the Al Aqsa Mosque in Temple Mount to make Muslims the legitimate heirs of Jewish sanctity: “In 518, aged thirty-five, Justinian found himself the real ruler of the Eastern empire when his uncle Justin was raised to the throne…”
“Justinian demoted Judaism from a permited religion and banned Passover if it fell before Easter, converted synagogues into churches, forcibly baptized Jews, and commandeered Jewish History: in 537, when Justinian dedicated his breathtaking Church of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom” in Constantinople, he is said to have reflected ‘Solomon, I have surpassed thee.’
“Then he turned to Jerusalem to trump Solomon’s Temple. In 543 Justinian and Theodora started to build a basilica, the Nea Church of St.Mary Mother of God, almost 400 feet long and 187 feet high, with walls 16 feet thick, facing away from the Temple Mount and designed to overpower Solomon’s site…
“The Holy City was ruled by the rituals of Orthodox Christianity… The city was set up to host thousands of pilgrims: the grandees stayed with the patriarch; the poor pilgrims in the dormitories of Justinian’s hospices which had beds for 3,000; and ascetics in caves, often old Jewish tombs, in the surrounding hills…
“…Heraclitus seized power (of the Bizantine Empire) in 610…Constantinople was besieged by the Persians ( then Zoroastrians)…(Heraclitus) outmanoeuvred the Persian forces …then defeated their main army…
“… In 632 Muhammad, aged about sixty-two, died (in Saudi Arabia) and was succeeded by his father in law, Abu Bakr…
“Abu Bakr managed to pacify Arabia. Then he turned to the Bizantine and Persian empires, which Muslims regarded as evanescent, sinful and corrupt. The Commander dispatched contingent of warriors on camels to raid Iraq and Palestine…in Mecca, Abu Bakr died and was succeeded by Omar…
” …Heraclitus dispatched an army to stop the Arabs…After months of skirmishing, the Arabs finally lured the Byzantines to battle amidst the impenetrable gorges of the Yarmuk river between today’s Jordan, Syria and Israeli Golan…and on August 636…
“Khalid cut of their retreat and by the end of the battle, the Christians were so exhausted that the Arabs found them lying down in their cloaks, ripe for the slaughter. Even the emperor’s brother was killed and Heraclitus himself never recovered from this defeat, one of the decisive battles in history, that lost Syria and Palestine. Byzantine rule, weakened by the Persian war, seems to have collapsed like a house of cards…
“The Arabs converged on the city which they called Ilya (Aelia Capitolina, the Roman name (for Jerusalem))… Omar offered Jerusalem a Covenant – dhimma- of Surrender that promised religious tolerance to the Christians in return for payment of jizya tax of submission. Once this was agreed, Omar set out for Jerusalem…
“Omar knew that Muhammad had revered David and Solomon. ‘Take me to the sanctuary of David,’ he ordered Sophronius (Jerusalem’s Christian Patriarch). He and his warriors entered Temple Mount, probably through the Prophet’s Gate in the south, and found it contaminated by ‘a dungheap which the Christians had put there to offend the Jews.
“Omar asked to be shown the Holy of Holies. A Jewish convert, Kaab al Ahbar, known as the Rabbi, replied that if the Commander preserved ‘the wall'(perhaps referring to the last Herodian remains, including the Western Wall), ‘I will reveal to him where are the ruins of the Temple.’
“Kaab showed Omar the foundation stone of the Temple, the rock which the Arabs called the Sakhra.Aided by his troops, Omar began to clear the debris to create somewhere to pray.
“Kaab sugested he place this north of the foundation stone ‘so you will face make two qiblas, that of Moses and that of Muhammad.’
“’You still lean towards the Jews,’ Omar supposedly told Kaab, placing his first prayer house south of the rock, roughly where the al-Aqsa Mosque stands today, so that it clearly faced Mecca.
“Omar had followed Muhammad’s wish to reach past Christianity to restore and co-opt this place of ancient holiness, to make Muslims the legitimate heirs of Jewish sanctity and outflank the Christians.” (Simon Sebag Montefiore “Jerusalem” page 166-184)
Muslim Replacement theology
The roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict are theological, Muslims claim they have a stronger claim to Jewish Holy Sites than the Jews and use this as a justification to build their mosques there.
On March 25, 2019 Arutz 7 reported “Iran Broadcasting Authority (IRIB) head Abdolali Ali-Asgari, talking about superiority and great nations, said that while in ancient times G-d had given the Jewish People superiority, the Iranian people – the countrymen of the Prophet Muhammad’s companion Salman the Persian – were chosen to “shoulder the heavy burden of truth and progress in the world” after the Jews “pursued worldly ornaments and behaved unjustly.”
Ishrat Hussain Muhammad wrote in Quora “… Moses & Prophet Abraham PBUH were Muslims…The Islamic belief is that all the prophets including the last prophet Mohammad PBUH were following the will of the God and all prophets were teaching same thing and from same God, therefore Islam considers all prophets to be Muslims…” According to Islam Jewish Prophets like Abraham, Moses and David were actually Muslim and Jewish Holy Sites are actually Islamic Holy Sites.
According to Islamic replacement theology Islam replaced Judaism and Muslims replaced the Jews as the inheritors of Jewish Holy sites. Based on this view, Muslims justify Islamic colonialism, the occupation of Jewish Holy Sites and deny the connection of modern Jews to Jewish Holy Sites and to the land of Israel.
Abuse of Freedom of religion
Israel allows Muslims to pray in Al Aqsa but Jews were not allowed to pray in Hevron’s Cave of the Patriarchs (Judaism’s second holiest site)or in Jerusalem’s Western Wall during the Jordanian Occupation (1948-1967).
Today Jews are not allowed to pray in any Jewish holy sites under Islamic rule and are humiliated if they try.
On August 5, 2019 Tzvi Joffre wrote: “The site where Aaron, Moses’ brother, is said to be buried near Petra was closed by Jordan’s Ministry of Awqaf Islamic Affairs and Antiquities on Thursday after Israeli tourists were filmed performing ‘Jewish rituals’ at the site on the anniversary of Aaron’s death.
Tour guide Roni Ayalon told Ynet that the group was subjected to humiliating treatment by Jordanian authorities.
“They just stripped down all of us,” he said.
“They took off the women’s head scarves. All the boys’ yarmulkes were taken off. They took off everyone’s shirts to see if they had tzitzit (religious fringes) under their clothes and took [the tzitzit] off them.
“They confiscated any religious symbols they found on us.
“If there was this kind of humiliation of an Arab on our side who wanted to enter Jerusalem and they would dare to tell him to take off his shirt or confiscate his Koran, there would be a world war….But they can do whatever they want to us.”
According to Ayalon, the group was forbidden from praying while traveling in Jordan, even in their hotel room. Walla News reported that Jordanian police arrived at the hotel near Petra and searched the Israelis’ rooms to confiscate religious items.
The Awqaf ministry strongly condemned the entry of the tourists and said an investigation will be opened to find out who was responsible for allowing them into the site, the official Jordan News Agency reported.
Former Jordanian tourism minister Maha al-Khatib said, “There is a Zionist scheme to claim ownership of any part of our Arab homeland, especially in archaeological sites.”
On July 26, 2019 Elder of Zion reported “Palestine Today has an article about Joseph’s Tomb in Schechem (Nablus) and how the semi-regular Jewish pilgrims that visit the site have “turned it into a place that spreads death and blackness to the villagers” who live nearby.
Jews cannot visit without an army escort because otherwise they’d be lynched.
The article goes through a history of the site, saying that Palestinians are divided between believing that it is the tomb of the Biblical Joseph or of an Arab named Yusuf Dweikat.
It quotes a researcher of archeology from An-Najah National University named Louai Abu al-Saud. Al Saud. Abu Al-Saud did not deny or confirm that the ‘Prophet Joseph’ is buried in this grave, but he said that in case that is proven – from an archeological point of view – that this grave is the grave of Joseph, ‘then we Palestinians, as Arabs and Muslims, are worthier of ownership of it than the Jews.’
Palestinianism is now a replacement theology for Judaism. But Jews face Temple Mount when they pray, Arabs face Mecca even when in or around Temple Mount. Despite being the holiest site of Judaism, Jews are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount.
On February 27, 2019 Elder of Zion reported “Arab and Muslim media, especially Palestinian Arab media, routinely deny that there were ever any Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount.”
Howver, this academic paper by Milka Levy-Rubin about why the Dome of the Rock was built to begin with gives copious amounts of proof that show that the Muslims who built the Dome chose the site precisely because of its association with the two Temples.
The main point of the paper, published by the Bulletin of SOAS at the University of London in 2017, is that the Dome of the Rock was meant to be a rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon which would fulfill the need by Muslims to have their own significant holy place in their conquered lands that could compete with the Hagia Sophia church in Constantinople which claimed to have surpassed the beauty of Solomon’s temple.
The image linked below from the Ottoman Imperial Archives says that the Al Aqsa Mosque was built on the site of Solomon’s Temple.
Since the creation of the State of Israel Jews can defend themselves against Islamic persecution. Other minorities like the decimated Yazidi continue to be vulnerable to persecution by Islamic forces today because they don’t have their own State to protect them.
For centuries Jews endured humiliation and abuse under Islamic rule, for centuries Jews were denied the freedom to pray in most of Judaism’s holiest Sites converted into mosques, for centuries Jews were subject to institutionalized financial abuse in the name of Jizya, it is time to demand compensation.
Tomorrow: List of Jewish sites overrun by Islamic rule.
Ezequiel Doiny is author of “Obama’s assault on Jerusalem’s Western Wall”