Bill Muehlenberg

BHO and Dhimmitude

Barack Hussein Obama promised us he would take a different approach to Islam and the Middle East. That he has certainly done. There is a name for it – it is called dhimmitude. On his recent overseas trip he has made it clear that national self-loathing and grovelling to Islam will now be basic elements of American foreign policy.

There were both words and gestures of dhimmitude on display by Obama. While he was in the UK, Obama would not bow down to anyone in the royal family. Just as well – no American President has ever bowed to royalty before. But while in Europe he was happy to bow down before Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.

His words were not much better. He told European audiences that the U.S. has been "arrogant, derisive and divisive." And during a speech to the Turkish Parliament, he said that "We [Americans] do not consider ourselves a Christian nation…." And then to add insult to injury, he said Islam has been a force for good in the world:

“America’s relationship with the Muslim world cannot and will not be based on opposition to al Qaida. We seek broad engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect. We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better, including my own country.”

There you have it: play down any Christian connection with the US, deride the nation itself, and then play up how great Islam has been. This is not only a recipe for disaster; it is a classic example of dhimmitude.

A dhimmi is one who lives as a second-class citizen in Islamic nations. Minority groups living under Islamic rule – especially Jews and Christians – live in a soul-destroying form of subjection and humiliation. They are usually denied basic human rights, must pay the oppressive poll-tax (the jizya) and often live a desperate existence.

Dhimmitude has been amply documented by Egyptian author Bat Ye’or. She has written four major books on the topic. We see plenty of examples of how Christians especially are treated as second-class citizens in Muslim-majority nations.

Not only is there political and social dhimmitude, but there is psychological dhimmitude as well – soon the dhimmi takes on the attitude and mindset of dhimmitude. That is, they begin to look down on themselves, and actually embrace the perspective of their Muslim masters.

That seems to be just what the American President is doing. He wants to minimise or ignore all that is great about the US and its Christian past, and grovel in subservience to an ideology that not only has enslaved entire peoples, but is everywhere known for its violation of basic human rights.

This national self-loathing was expressed in other ways during his first major overseas trip. While at the G20 Summit, he was invited by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to visit the graves at the Normandy beaches. This of course is where the bodies of thousands of U.S. soldiers lie, who had fought for Europe’s freedom in WWII. Obama turned down the invitation, although he was quite happy to visit a mosque in Istanbul during his stay there.

It is one thing to try to be diplomatic, and seek to build bridges to other nations and other worldviews. But it is quite another thing to start off on the wrong foot, playing down American strengths and playing up Islamic weaknesses.

Appeasement is another term for all of this. It did Europe no good whatsoever during the rise of the Nazis, and it will do America and the West no good at all in the face of Islamic expansionism and imperialism. Indeed, try asking Christian dhimmies in Islamic nations just how helpful appeasement and self-loathing is.

Many voices warned that BHO would be bad news for American domestic politics (abortion, homosexuality, etc), and also warned that international relations would suffer as well. We are seeing both happening big time.

Bat Ye’or’s 2005 book Eurabia described the Islamisation of Europe. Melanie Phillip’s 2006 volume, Londonistan chronicled the Islamic take-over of the UK. We now need a similar book to describe how America seems to be slowly but surely heading down the same path.

Perhaps Americastan or Arabica or some such title can be used. Of course others have been trying to sound the alarm. Robert Spencer’s 2008 volume, Stealth Jihad is a very good start to this topic. But with BHO now in office, there will be a whole lot more material that will need to be written up.

The question is, will it be written in English or Arabic?

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