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What is a "Dhimmi"

Reader comment on item: "Islam" Does Not Mean "Peace"
in response to reader comment: Do you really know what is a dhimmi?

Submitted by Seamus MacNemi (United States), Jun 28, 2007 at 19:02

Do you mean the actual meaning of the word or the way it is interpreted in terms of practice? Admitedly, I am unsure of the actually meaning of the word but in terms of meaning as applied in practice you might compare it to the janissaries of the Turkish Sultan. Often they were captives taken from conquered lands and given educations and positions of responsibility in the government and military. Some times they were mercinaries in the pay of the Sultan. That second chategory fits the description of the position some of my own ancestors held within the Ottoman empire.

It was possible, if an individual proved his usefulness, to attain some positions of great prominence and power and to aquire a name of good report amongst the people.The only thing my ancestors could not be, without being Muslims, was sultan or a member of the royal family. That was of little matter to my ancestors.

Basically, the janissaries ran the machinery of the government and they were responsible for the maintainence of the military as engineers and military planners. So, it was not Islam that the European Church fought against. It was those peoples who the Church had alienated in its bid for political power. Islam merely provided the opportunity for them to advance their own cause. They needed little excuse.

Submitting....

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