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But What Were The First Dhimmis, Really?

Reader comment on item: Bibliography – My Writings on the Caliphate
in response to reader comment: Early Islamic conquests were also Islamists

Submitted by Dave (United States), Apr 9, 2017 at 15:59

Thank you, Prashant, and good points.
Were those early dhimmis just tribute-paying subjects conquered by the Arabs, or were they actually dhimmis as mandated by Islamic scripture? It's possible that lands like Persia were conquered, the people forced to pay tribute, and then the situation was later formalized by Islam. Robert Spencer claims that religion was not mentioned by either the conquerors or the conquered in the initial invasions, and that the life of Mohammad was not chronicled until 150 years after his alleged death. Robert's theories are not original with him. That's not to say that you are wrong - I'm no expert on early Islam. I just find it hard to believe that given the scant state of literacy and publishing at the time, that religion could have had the sort of profound, and wildly divisive, impact that it has now.

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