The Pact of Umar

Jon MC

This is another of my previously published articles (2011). Again I have taken the opportunity to up-date it (Mar.2013).

The Status of Non-Muslims Under Muslim Rule.

From the Tafseer of Ibn-Kathir (1301–1373) circa. 700 years after Mohammed:

[Sahih] Muslim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said, “Do not initiate the Salaam to the Jews and Christians, and if you meet any of them in a road, force them to its narrowest alley.” This is why the Leader of the faithful `Umar bin Al-Khattab [the second of the “Rightly guided Caliphs” and one of Mohammed’s contemporaries], may Allah be pleased with him, demanded his well-known conditions be met by the Christians, these conditions that ensured their continued humiliation, degradation and disgrace.

The scholars of Hadith narrated from `Abdur-Rahman bin Ghanm Al-Ash`ari [died 78AH/697 A.D.] that he said, “I recorded for `Umar bin Al-Khattab , may Allah be pleased with him, the terms of the treaty of peace he conducted with the Christians of Ash-Sham:

`In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. This is a document to the servant of Allah `Umar, the Leader of the faithful, from the Christians of such and such city. When you (Muslims) came to us we requested safety for ourselves, children, property and followers of our religion.

We made a condition on ourselves that we will neither erect in our areas a monastery, church, or a sanctuary for a monk, nor restore any place of worship that needs restoration, nor use any of them for the purpose of enmity against Muslims.

We will not prevent any Muslim from resting in our churches whether they come by day or night, and we will open the doors [of our houses of worship] for the wayfarer and passer-by. Those Muslims who come as guests, will enjoy boarding and food for three days.

We will not allow a spy against Muslims into our churches and homes or hide deceit [or betrayal] against Muslims.

We will not teach our children the Qur’an, publicise practices of Shirk, invite anyone to Shirk [i.e. proselytise for Christianity] or prevent any of our fellows from embracing Islam, if they choose to do so.

We will respect Muslims, move from the places we sit in if they choose to sit in them.

We will not imitate their clothing, caps, turbans, sandals, hairstyles, speech, nicknames and title names, or ride on saddles, hang swords on the shoulders, collect weapons of any kind or carry these weapons.

We will not encrypt our stamps in Arabic, or sell liquor.

We will have the front of our hair cut, wear our customary clothes wherever we are, wear belts around our waist, refrain from erecting crosses on the outside of our churches and demonstrating them and our books in public in Muslim fairways and markets.

We will not sound the bells in our churches, except discretely, or raise our voices while reciting our holy books inside our churches in the presence of Muslims, nor raise our voices [with prayer] at our funerals, or light torches in funeral processions in the fairways of Muslims, or their markets.

We will not bury our dead next to Muslim dead, or buy servants who were captured by Muslims.

We will be guides for Muslims and refrain from breaching their privacy in their homes.’

When I gave this document to `Umar, he added to it, ‘We will not beat any Muslim.’

These are the conditions that we [the Christians] set against ourselves and followers of our religion in return for safety and protection. If we break any of these promises that we set for your benefit against ourselves, then our Dhimmah [promise of protection] is broken and you are allowed to do with us what you are allowed of people of defiance and rebellion.”’

Other versions conclude with:

Umar ibn al-Khittab replied: Sign what they ask, but add two clauses and impose them in addition to those which they have undertaken. They are:

“They shall not buy anyone made prisoner by the Muslims,” and

“Whoever strikes a Muslim with deliberate intent shall forfeit the protection of this pact.”

According to ibn Hazm (994-1064 AD) circa. 350 years after Mohammed:

“These are the Rules and Regulations that were imposed by ‘Umar ibn-al-Khattab on the Christians of Syria, after conquering their land. The purpose of these rules was to make them submissive and contemptible. Christians were in no way to exhibit any sign of their unbelief, or anything forbidden in Islam; since Allah, the supremely Glorified and Honoured, had said:

“And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do.” (K8:39).

“They are forbidden to build churches, or monasteries, in their cities or nearby areas. They are not allowed to renovate such buildings. They must allow any Muslim to lodge in these buildings for three nights, and provide him with food. They must never shelter a spy, nor show any duplicity to Muslims. They are not to teach their children the Qur’an. They must not display any sign of their unbelief, or forbid their relatives from converting freely to Islam. Furthermore, they must show reverence to Muslims, and give them pride of place at their assemblies. They should avoid appearing like Muslims in their clothing, their head covers, their shoes, and the parting of their hair. They must not speak the language of Muslims, nor use their names. They are not allowed to use a saddle on a beast of burden, nor bear a sword, nor any other weapon. Their rings must not bear any Arabic inscriptions. They must refrain from selling wine. They must have the front of their hair cut, and wear their own kind of clothing all the time, and must use belts. They are not to display a cross or any of their books, as they are passing Muslims on their way. Their dead must not be buried nearby a Muslim cemetery. They should not ring their bells in a loud manner; equally, they must not raise their voices while reading their Scriptures in their churches. They are forbidden to parade their palm branches (on Palm Sunday.)

Now should Christians ever deviate from obeying these rules, Muslims would cease to honour the covenant that had protected them. In that case, Muslims can deal with them as if they have become people of discord and trouble [fitnah].”

According to a legal treatise composed by the great Hanafi jurist Abu Yusuf (d. 798), Caliph Umar II Caliph (717-720 AD), thus not the Umar (supposedly) quoted above, wrote the following to one of his governors, who seems to have become a little lax …

“…do not allow any cross to be exhibited without smashing and destroying it; no Jew or Christian may be allowed to ride upon a saddle, but must use a pack-saddle, and let none of their womenfolk use a padded saddle, but only a pack-saddle; formal decrees must be issued in this respect and the public restricted from disobeying them. No Christian may wear a kaba, nor a fine cloth nor a turban! It has been reported to me that several Christians under your jurisdiction have relapsed into the custom of wearing turbans, no longer wear belts at the waist, and let their hair grow freely without cutting it. Upon my life! if this happens in your entourage, it is on account of your weakness, your incompetence, and the flatteries that you heed, and these people know, in resuming their former customs, what kind of person you are. Keep a watch on all I have forbidden and do not contradict those who have done it. Peace.”

As can be seen, the things that Umar II is objecting to are items found within the Pact(s) of Umar above.

Notes on the above:

  • The authenticity of the Pact of Umar is suspect, in that no other of Umar’s “pacts” contains all these clauses and further it exists in several versions as exemplified above. However, most Muslim scholars accept it as a compilation of the terms of Umar’s pacts and thus as authentic in that it sets out the rapidly evolved pattern of treaties between the Muslims and conquered non-Muslim groups.

  • The consequences of breaking any of the debilitating and humiliating conditions non-Muslims (mostly Jews and Christians) were made to accept in order to be granted a degree of safety by the Muslim state – including things like giving up their seats to Muslims as a show of “respect” – were stark: “If we in any way violate these undertakings for which we ourselves stand surety, we forfeit our covenant [dhimmah], and we become liable to the penalties for contumacy and sedition.” That is, they become viewed as “unprotected infidels” Arabic: “Harbis”, & thus exposed to the same treatment, i.e. enslavement, rape, despoilment and murder.

  • The actions of the individual affect the entire group – hence the “hostage” aspect (everyone is under threat to ensure that each one behaves). Even a breach by a single individual dhimmi could, in theory at least, result in sword-jihad against the whole community. Some Muslim jurists have made this principle explicit; for example the Yemeni jurist al-Murtada wrote that ‘The agreement will be cancelled if all or some of them break it…’ and the Moroccan al-Maghili taught ‘The fact that one individual (or one group) among them has broken the statute is enough to invalidate it for all of them’.

    • Worse, as the world continues to shrink, the Muslim world’s indigenous Christians are being conflated with people in the West and the actions of western people – more accurately Western nations (whom the Islamic world persistently call “Christian” at best and “crusader” at worst) – are reflected in the Muslim treatment of their minorities. Race or geography is no longer important; shared religion – albeit nominally – makes them all liable for one another. “These are the conditions that we set against ourselves and followers of our religion”. This phrase from the pact can be understood to apply to allfollowers of our religion” wherever they may be found. Put another way, Islam regards all non-Muslims as existing under an implicit Dhimmah and thus feels justified in “punishing”, i.e. killing, those Christians within reach for the “crimes” or “sins” of those Westerners it can’t reach.

    • It should be noted that this approach applies to all non-Muslim groups – Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. – living amidst Muslim majorities. Yet, because Christians are the most visible “infidel” minority in the Islamic world, most modern examples relate to them, e.g. Coptic Christians in Egypt, Iraqi Christians, Pakistani Christians etc. have all been targeted as “retaliation” for accusations levelled against Christians elsewhere. Indeed, in history Egyptian Copts were massacred in ‘retaliation’ for the crusaders making inroads into the Muslim lands.

    • Treating non-Muslim minorities as hostages can even have international consequences. According to the New York Times (3rd and 4th June 1982), the Turkish government pressured Israel’s policies by threatening “the lives and livelihood of the 180,000 Jews” in Turkey:
      In the Spring of 1982 when Jews scheduled an International Conference on Genocide in Tel Aviv, they invited Armenians to participate. Ankara protested. The Israeli Government moved swiftly to get organizers to cancel insisting that the conference as planned would threaten “the humanitarian interest of Jews.” The New York Times explained what “humanitarian interest” meant. Organizers were told by Israeli officials that Turkey meant to sever diplomatic relations and had threatened “the lives and livelihood of the 180,000 Jews” in the country. (NYT 6.3.82 and 6.4.82) To drive home the message, Ankara even sent a delegation of Jews from Istanbul who warned that they could be in jeopardy if the conference included Armenians. Chairman Elie Wlesel was first quoted as saying, “I will not discriminate against the Armenians, I will not humiliate them.” Later, citing threats to the lives of Jews in Turkey, he resigned.

  • This sort of “contract” or “treaty” is known as a “dhimmah” (can be spelt with or without the final “h”). It sets up the conditions under which a non-Muslim is “protected” as a “dhimmi” and institutes his/her dhimmitude.

In practice the restrictions on the Dhimmi go far beyond the conditions of Pact of Umar itself. For instance: the Dhimmi often has no legal recourse against a Muslim, nor any political representation. They may be barred from a range of jobs both within government and beyond either officially or unofficially.

Education may be denied them, or else may be deliberately denigrating to them and their religion (see addenda to main article). Disaster relief may be denied them and medical treatment or aid also – all because they are non-Muslims. (There is evidence that this occurred during the 2010 Pakistan flood relief efforts for example. Aid from international donor organisations “bypassed” Christian communities.)

Whilst such restrictions are not part of the Pact of Umar they are commonly experienced by non-Muslim minorities in Islamic Countries. There is plenty of well-documented evidence on the web for this. It is worth remembering that Islam regards the “kaffir” – the non-Muslim – with a mixture of contempt, disdain, fear, hatred and suspicion.

The conditions of the Pact of Umar were divided into two: those which were considered mandatory and those which were understood to be optional and therefore not universally or consistently enforced.

The Christian scholar and professor Nabeel Jabbour of Columbia International University (current as of 2011) writes:

[There were] the Required Rules, which were compulsory, including:

  1. Not to criticize or slander Islam.
  2. Not to criticize or slander the Quran.
  3. Not to mention the name of the prophet in contempt or falsification. Comment: don’t criticize Mo either.
  4. Not to commit adultery [or marry] with a Muslim woman.
  5. Neither to proselytize a Muslim to another religion, nor entice the Muslim to consider changing his religion.
  6. Not to attempt to kill a Muslim or take his money.
  7. Not to take the side of the house of war (“Dar-ul-Harb”, i.e. non-Muslim world) against the house of Islam.

The Favourable or Desired Rules:

  1. A specific dress code for Christians to identify them as non-Muslims.
  2. Not to beat the bells of churches loudly, nor raise their voices in chanting Christian songs or scriptures.
  3. Not to build the houses of Christians higher than those of the Muslims.
  4. Not to display idolatry, crosses, nor display freedom in drinking wine or eating pork.
  5. Not to display Christian funerals or mourning for the dead.
  6. Not to ride horses.

Muslim rulers who were moderate put into practice the required rules and ignored the “favourable” rules and Muslim rulers who were “devout” put them all into practice.

Imam al-Mawardi (died 1058 A.D.) placed only six of the conditions in the obligatory category (wajibat), as follows:

  1. Not to abuse the Quran.
  2. Not to abuse the Prophet.
  3. Not to abuse the religion of Islam.
  4. Not to fornicate with (or marry) a Muslim woman.
  5. Not to harm a Muslim. Comment: this is not necessarily restricted to physical harm. Harm is generally understood to mean anything that distresses/upsets Muslims.

  6. Not to help the enemy or spies.

Imam al-Farra (d. 1061 A.D.) had a similar list of obligatory conditions:

  1. Not to fight the Muslims. Comment: thus a ban on physical harm.
  2. Not to fornicate with a Muslim woman.
  3. Not to marry a Muslim woman.
  4. Not to undermine a Muslim’s faith in Islam. Comment: this would be regarded as mental “harm”. It also acts as a ban on any proselytisation.

  5. Not to commit highway robbery.
  6. Not to support a spy.
  7. Not to write to the enemy about the situation of the Muslims to aid them in battle.
  8. Not to kill a Muslim.

Abul Kasim said that eight deeds made a dhimmi an outlaw. They are :

  1. an agreement to fight the Muslims,
  2. fornication with a Muslim woman,
  3. an attempt to marry one,
  4. an attempt to pervert a Muslim from his religion,
  5. robbery of a Muslim on the highway,
  6. acting as a spy for unbelievers or
  7. sending them information or acting as a guide to them,
  8. the killing of a Muslim man or woman.

Before going into detail there is one general remark to be made. In theory the dhimmi had to fulfil all the mandatory conditions of the covenant if he would claim protection. Hanbal and Malik hold that four things put the dhimmi outside the law: blasphemy of God, of His book, of His religion, and of His Prophet.

Abu Hanifa taught that they must not be too severe with dhimmis who insulted the Prophet. Shafe’i said that one who repented of having insulted the Prophet might be pardoned and restored to his privileges.

(Malik, Shafe’i, Hanbal and Hanifa are the originators of the four main (and eponymously named) schools of Islamic Jurisprudence in Sunni Islam.)

Ibn Taimiya (1263–1328 A.D.) taught that the death penalty could not be evaded.

As can be seen, the required rules revolved around preventing the non-Muslims from “harming” the Muslims physically, mentally, “religiously” or even verbally.

As one apologist group writes: “Many of these rules are objectionable in today’s context; but , to be fair, one must understand that it was the norm back then. Certainly in medieval Europe it was not permissible to attack Jesus, the Bible, or Christianity.” (Loonwatch -update: as far as I can tell their article has been taken down, Mar.2013).

However, where Islam diverges from Christianity is that this admittedly “medieval norm” is practised by many Muslims today (albeit in a quasi-subconscious way).

(There is the irony that the apologist’s statement is both bigoted and “Islamophobic”: It is Islamophobic in that it implies that Muslims are incapable of living life other than by medieval “norms” and it is bigoted in that it implies that nothing better can be expected.)

My Commentary on the Pact of Umar:

Although unlikely to have been written by Umar I (the second of the “rightly guided Caliphs”) – and thus many apologists call it “unauthentic”, it is “authentic” in the sense that many Muslim sources (e.g. see above) use the same or similar terms in outlining dhimmah contracts for non-Muslims.

When we consider evidence from a range of Muslim and non-Muslim sources (you can also find such sources quoted on pro-Islam websites) we find that the key conditions of the Pact are supported. This, I think, tends to confirm the veracity (if not the literary authenticity) of the Pact beyond all reasonable doubt.

A fairly quick reading of the various mandatory conditions shows that any “insult” to Islam is a breach of the Dhimmah, as is any proselytisation or “harm” (of any kind) to a Muslim (although Abul Kasim’s list does not explicitly include Insult to Islam/Mohammed/Allah, this might be construed from item#4).

In addition to the conditions of the Pact, the dhimmi also had to pay the Jizya.

The Jizya

In addition to the mandatory laws of the Dhimmah (which varied from place to place and across time in minor ways) another way in which a “Dhimmi” could put himself outside the law was by the failure to pay the Jizya – a special head-tax levied solely on non-Muslim minorities. Of the four main Sunni schools, those of Malik, Shafe’i, and Hanbal hold that failure to pay the poll-tax deprives them of protection.

The Jizya is often called a “poll-tax”, though this is a partial misnomer in that a “poll-tax” in western thought is usually something that has to be paid (where used) in order to become enfranchised – i.e. have political representation through voting rights. The dhimmi never has a say in who governs him (according to various Sharia law systems), thus a better understanding of “Jizya” is as a “head tax”, a sum payable “per head” of the dhimmi population since this reflects the manner in which it was levied – per head of able bodied male Kaffir is one typical levy system.

Although not in the conditions of these Dhimmah, the Jizya is established in the Koran and failure to pay this is also a breach of the Dhimmah (as confirmed by Malik, Shafe’i, and Hanbal), which renders the person not paying (or the community as a whole, less often) liable to be treated as “people of defiance and rebellion”; which in turn means that the life and property of the “outlaw” (i.e. the person/people in breach of their dhimmah) is “fair game” for the Muslims.

Being a little cynical, describing the jizya as a “head-tax” is entirely apt, since it allows the Dhimmi to keep his head on his shoulders.

The Hedaya, a Hanafi Sharia law Manual has this to say…

“[The] capitation-tax [Jizya] is a sort of punishment inflicted upon infidels for their obstinacy in infidelity, (as was before stated;) whence it is that it cannot be accepted of the infidel if he send it by the hands of a messenger, but must be exacted in a mortifying and humiliating manner, by the collector sitting and receiving it from him in a standing posture : (according to one tradition, the collector is to seize him by the throat, and shake him, saying, “Pay your tax, Zimmee!) It is therefore evident that capitation-tax is a punishment; … Secondly, capitation-tax is a substitute for destruction in respect to the infidels, and a substitute for personal aid in respect to the Muslims, (as was before observed;) – but it is a substitute for destruction with regard to the future,”

Thus in the Hanifi school – which was the most liberal of the four with regard to Jizya – the Jizya is clearly identified as a “humiliation” and a “substitute for destruction”. Thus we can see who it primarily was the such “protected persons” as Dhimmis were actually protected from. In other words: Jizya is a protection racket and if you don’t pay you will be killed.

One renowned modern Muslim commentator, S. Abul A’la Mawdudi writes:

They [Jews and Christians] should be forced to pay Jizyah in order to put an end to their independence and supremacy so that they should not remain rulers and sovereigns in the land.”(Mawdudi, S. Abul A’la, The Meaning of the Qur’an, 1993 edition, vol 2, page 183.)

Which clearly shows that the purpose of the Jizya is the impoverishment of non-Muslims.

The Pact of Umar thus becomes the “pro-forma” for the attitude towards and interaction with non-Muslims by the main schools of Islamic thought. We may regard the Pact of Umar as the “Doctrinal Ideal” of how Muslims should treat non-Muslims. This is not to say that even the “mandatory” elements of the Pact were fully enforced throughout Islamic history – they were not (especially in those times and places were non-Muslims provided essential governmental services that the Muslims could not fulfil) – but it shows how things should be in an “ideal” Islamified world. It is also worth pointing out that when the mandatory conditions were not enforced this often gave rise to resentment within the Umma and a period of persecution and repression of non-Muslims followed (see below).

As a further point the exceptions given by Muslim apologists often refer to a very specific minority of the Dhimmi population – civil or public servants we would term them today, rather than to the subjugated people as a whole, thus quoting the fact that this or that non-Muslim rose to a high position in Islamic society ergo Islam is tolerant of, or even favourable towards, minorities is disingenuous to say the least, since such “favoured” non-Muslims were often providing essential services that the Muslims either could not or would not provide for themselves.

Neither is it true that all Muslims believe in such discriminatory practices; but it is a fact that to this day non-Muslim minorities in Islamic Countries face the sort of continuous discrimination (or worse) throughout their lives that would, were it Muslims suffering the same in non-Muslim Countries, cause Muslim advocacy groups to instantly melt-down in terminal apoplectic outrage.

The savage irony of this is not lost upon the writer.

The pact in History.

There are many examples of how the Pact of Umar was used in history, but I wish to consider just one which exemplifies the tight-rope walked by even the most “favoured” of the Dhimmi populations, that of Shmuel Ha-Nagid (993-1056 AD) and his son. Shmuel Ha-Nagid was a Jew who lived in the “Islamic golden age” in Islamic Spain (al-Andalus). He was a Rabbi and Theologian, wrote secular poetry, served as Prime Minister to two Andalusian Monarchs and proved himself an able military commander for the Islamic state. In all this he “brandished influence discretely”. He died in 1056 and his son Yosef, who was also exceptionally talented was appointed in his place. Unlike Shmuel, Yosef was an “arrogant” man. Consequently he was disliked by the Muslims and this resulted in his murder in 1066. Not content with that, his Jewish community in Grenada was largely massacred the next day (December 31, 1066).

Why did this happen? Both Shmuel and Yosef were in breach of the Pact by having jobs that put them in authority over Muslims (neither could they have declined those posts of course since they were the Caliph’s appointees and not doing the Caliph’s bidding would also be seen as breaching the pact). This was ignored in the case of Shmuel because he acted with exceptional humility and deference to Muslims (in line with conditions in both the ibn Kathir and ibn Hazm versions), but when Yosef acted “arrogantly” – i.e. without abject grovelling deference and self-debasement – then his breach of the Dhimmah was “noticed” and he was killed and his community devastated due to the “hostage” clause of the Pact.

From this we can see that those non-Muslims who rose to great prominence were only permitted to do so “on sufferance” and that if they dared to consider themselves in anyway the equal of the Muslims retribution could be both swift and savage and extend well beyond the “outlaw” himself to the wider Dhimmi community.

As a second, reverse, example I wish to briefly consider Abu’l-Fath Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad Akbar (aka Emperor Akbar) (1542-1605 AD), the Mughul Emperor of India. Whilst he started out as a highly orthodox Hanafi Sunni Muslim, his open-mindedness led him to listen to the beliefs of others and he eventually extended religious tolerance to all religious groups in his empire. He even went so far as to abolish the Jizya, Kharaj and other Islamic taxes levied on non-Muslims, replacing them all with a single tax levied on Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

This constituted a breach of the pact of Umar in the sense that Akbar not only did not enforce its mandatory conditions and the Jizya, he explicitly legislated against them.

As a consequence of his attitudes and actions he was heavily criticised by Muslim scholars (the Ulema) and members of his Court, and he received the soubriquet “the apostate” to his name (after his death) – this despite him being also recognised as a very capable, moral (at least for his day) and, overall, good King even by his critics.

From this we can see that Muslim rulers who do not adhere to the ideas inherent in the Pact are considered to have stepped outside the bounds of Islam.


The Pact in use today.

There are plenty of examples to demonstrate that the “Pact of Umar” is actioned today, even if the pact is only an implicit one i.e. there is no written pact, merely one assumed to be operating by the Muslims of a given Country. Although the majority of the examples given involve the persecution of Christians (they being the most visible minority in Muslim-majority Countries) it can be shown that any minority which is in ‘breach’ of their (implicit) dhimmah is liable to attack.

For example:

Sudan, 17.11.2011. Church destroyed. Muslim mobs destroy a part-built Church in “Islamic” Northern Sudan – Church building is banned by the Pact.

Egypt, 17.11.2011. Xtians murdered. Christians murdered for protesting Church destruction. All this started with Muslims “protesting” (read mob violence) about legal (by Egypt’s laws) attempts to renovate a Church in Edfu – renovating a Church is banned by the Pact.

Pakistan, 19.11.2011. Persecution by association. This is a generalised report highlighting how Pakistan’s Xtians are being persecuted because of the “close association of the West and Xtianity in the minds of Pakistanis”. In terms of the Pact this is Pakistan’s Xtians being attacked because the “Xtians” of the West broke their (implicit) Dhimmah. In other words every Xtian is “responsible” for the actions of all Xtians in their minds, as the Pact implies.

India, 21.11.2011: Murder. Christian Priest murdered for openly professing Christianity and being prepared to argue for his religion, this is proselytisation which is banned by the Pact.

Pakistan, 21.11.2011: Beatings. Christians beaten into testifying against a Christian Pastor accused of converting Muslims, i.e. proselytisation, which is banned by the Pact.

India, 23.11.2011: Rioting In response to the photo-shop morphing of a picture of a Muslim shrine, Muslims (here the minority) riot against this “insult to Islam”. Such insults are banned by the Pact.

Indonesia, 28.11.2011. Closing a Church. In this incident Muslims objected to a new Church – which is banned by the Pact. In this case no lives have been lost, but the local Muslim Authorities have acted illegally with respect to their own civil law and Courts, but legally according to the pact.

Egypt, 30.11.2011 Murders. In this incident a violent altercation led to the death of a Muslim at the hands of a Christian. In “revenge” a huge Muslim mob killed two unrelated Christians and injured several others as well as looting and destroying Christian homes and businesses, whilst Police watched without intervening. Clearly the Christian had killed the Muslim (even if unintentionally or in fear of his life) and this is banned by the Pact. Therefore the (implicit) Dhimmah was broken and the Muslims were “justified”, according to the Pact, in treating them as “people of defiance and rebellion” – i.e. the lives and property of all the Christians in the area became “fair game” for the Muslims.

Pakistan, 01.12.2011. Death threats. Ahmadhi family threatened under Pakistan’s notorious (and evil) “Blasphemy” laws. If an accusation is actually made they will be under a death-sentence since accusation is taken as proof in Pakistan and even questioning this can get you murdered (c.f. Salman Taseer). Such ‘insults’ against Islam are banned by the Pact.

This is in just a fortnight.

More recently:

Iran, 11.02.2013: Christians persecuted. According to the report Iranian Christians are “treated as second class citizens” – thus according to the requirements of Pact of Umar. This also shows that Shia Muslims view non-Muslims in the same light as their Sunni co-religionists.

Egypt, 18.01.2013. Property destroyed Church attacked. Christian properties destroyed in response to the allegation that a Muslim girl had been molested by the Christian owner of one of the properties. Here the community was attacked as a result of the (alleged) actions of one member. The “hostage clause” of the Pact of Umar legitimises such actions.

Egypt, 18.01.2013: Church destroyed. 5,000 strong Muslim mob destroy a Church being built after it had received “official permission” to go ahead. Church building is banned by the Pact.

Tanzania. Priest shot. The shooting, in Zanzibar, was “in retaliation” for an alleged Koran desecration that took place in Dar-es-Salaam (a different part of the Country). Such “abuse of the Koran” is banned by the Pact. The fact of the attack being “unrelated” is due to the hostage clause of the Pact.

Indonesia, 25.12.2012 Christians attacked. Despite having the permits to build a Church on land they own, local Muslims attacked Christians trying to hold an open air service at the site. Church building is banned by the pact.

Sudan, 19.12.2012. Priests arrested. After the conversion of a Muslim to Christianity, the Police of Islamist state Sudan arrested to Priests involved. Such “proselytisation” is banned by the Pact.

Pakistan, 13.12.2012. Murder. 70 year old Birgitta Almby, Bible school teacher and director of a Christian-run technical training institute in Lahore, shot to death by “Islamic extremists”. Her crime? It is reported that she spoke about Christianity to a Muslim. Such “proselytisation” is banned by the Pact.

Be assured that you can find such events taking place on at least a weekly if not a daily basis in the “Islamic world”.

An apologist for Islam on reading these brief lists would, no doubt, say that all these were “political”, or due to “tensions between communities”, or “anger” or some other excuse and they would certainly deny any link between Islam and these events, indeed they would say that they are all just “isolated incidents” – a favourite way of dismissing such evidence.

However I suggest that there is a link and that link is the Pact of Umar.

Each of these events is the result of a clear breach of the Pact which permits the treatment of those non-Muslims who breach it (and/or any of their co-religionists within reach, see K.9:123) as “people of defiance and rebellion” who then become liable to despoilment, enslavement and murder at the hands of the Umma (or possibly Caliphate), if they so wish and as demonstrated above.

However, it seems that some inklings of the truth may be permeating into the mainstream media:

In this ABC report 2013, Mar.3rd (worth a read) is this telling paragraph: “Clashes between Coptic Christians and Muslims usually are sparked by rumours of conversion, Muslim-Christian love affairs and construction of churches.” What is meant is “Attacks on Coptic Christians by Muslims are usually sparked…” but expecting ABC or any other mainstream Western media to put the truth so boldly would be asking too much. A further obfuscation is that Muslim men are specifically allowed by the Koran to marry Christian (and Jewish) women, thus the only type of “Muslim-Christian love affair” that can spark a riot is when a Muslim woman falls in love with a Christian man. But note the three “triggers” identified in the report – conversion of Muslims, “love affairs” and Church-building. All these (proselytisation, marriage/sex with a Muslim woman and building Churches) are banned by the Pact. At least ABC has (partially) identified the common triggers even if not the underlying reason – the Pact of Umar – for them.



Throughout history and into the present day the interactions between Muslims and their non-Muslim minorities has been predicated on the Pact of Umar.

In history the implementation of the pact, including it’s mandatory rules, has been patchy (often out of the necessity to keep government functioning), but a failure to implement at least the mandatory elements gave rise to a backlash against dhimmis privileged beyond the terms of the Pact and, often, greater persecution of the dhimmi population as a whole.

In the modern world this predication has been extended to encompass non-Muslims everywhere – even when Muslims are a minority in a Country – and thus many Muslims regard all non-Muslims as existing under an implicit Dhimmah based on the Pact.

I am not suggesting that all, or even most, Muslims today (or even in history) are/were consciously familiar with the terms of the Pact; rather that throughout history Muslims have generally dealt with non-Muslims according to it’s precepts (or the precepts of similar such “agreements”), so that the attitude and behaviour mandated by the Pact is ingrained in the Muslim psyche and thus manifests itself in the way in which non-Muslims are treated by Muslims. Once we realise that Muslims implicitly, perhaps almost sub-consciously, believe that all non-Muslims are permitted to exist only as Dhimmis under a Dhimma – even if only in terms of an attitude of “this is how to treat the kaffirs”- then a frighteningly large number of these “inexplicable” and “isolated” events suddenly become completely explicable and not isolated at all.

Rather they form a pattern of behaviour, a pattern mandated by the Pact of Umar.


Addendum 1:

In early 2012 I came across this report and felt that I had to abstract parts of it to show the pervasiveness of the attitudes inherent in the Pact.

Taken from a report on education in Pakistan:

“[non-Muslims] are often portrayed as inferior or second-class citizens who have been granted limited rights and privileges by generous Pakistani Muslims, for which they should be grateful.”

This is almost exactly the attitude to non-Muslims inherent in the Pact.

Non-Muslims are generally portrayed in the madrassa textbooks reviewed in one of three ways: (1) kafirs (infidels) or mushrakeen (pagans), (2) dhimmis (non-Muslims living under Islamic rule), or (3) murtids (apostates, i.e., people who have turned away from Islam). Non-Muslims are never described as citizens with the constitutionally-protected rights which accompany citizenship.”

This attitude, too, is consistent with the attitudes implicit in Pact of Umar and the Koran.

As many as 80% of the respondents [school teachers] considered non-Muslims to be enemies of Islam.”

A non-Muslim is only allowed to exist in an Islamic Country as a Dhimmi and remember that a Dhimmi is basically a “Harbi” (i.e. an enemy of Islam) who is “on parole”.

Not surprisingly, but consequentially: “Students often expressed negative views of followers of other religions [and] the majority of students simply identified non-Muslims as the enemies of Islam.

There are also similar reports from 2012 about the nature of the curriculum in Saudi schools, see here and here.

Thus whether consciously or sub-consciously, we can see here that the attitudes to the non-Muslim implicit in the Pact of Umar are still being promulgated today and that, again whether consciously or sub-consciously, many Muslims regard all non-Muslims as “Dhimmis” whose safety is only guaranteed provided they abide by the terms of their (implicit) dhimmah.

Addendum 2.

In Feb. 2013 I came across this instance of what the Pact of Umar can mean in practice. Admittedly this is at or near the “worst case” end of the scale, but it is not outside the rules governing Dhimmis. In this video a Syrian Christian man begs for his life before a ‘Shariah Court’ whilst being told he must convert to Islam – or else. Accusation = proof when the accused is a non-Muslim and the accusers Muslim because the non-Muslim has no rights against a Muslim in (some) Shariah law systems.

Addendum 3.

Mar. 2013. This article (worth a full read) is interesting since it shows exactly what a breach of the (notional) pact entails. A Christian Pastor in Pakistan (therefore a notional Dhimmi) is wrongly accused of “blasphemy” against Islam (a breach of the Pact). The crowd that attacked his home were shouting “Pastor Karma Patras is a blasphemer and infidel, liable to be killed.” He always was an infidel (i.e. non-Muslim) but since he breached his (notional) pact he is now “liable to be killed” as a consequence.

Addendum 4.

28th Mar.2013 In this Washington Post article Egyptian Cleric Khaled Said states that foreign aid (in the article American aid) is “Jizya” (elsewhere he says it is a “poll-tax” – the common translation of Jizya). Jizya is paid by Dhimmis who are under a Dhimmah. Thus this cleric thinks Americans are Dhimmis existing under a (notional) Dhimma.

In a similar vein, British Imam Anjem Choudhary is on record (Feb.2013) saying that state benefits are “jihad seekers allowance” and that “the normal situation is for you [Muslims] to take money from the kuffar [non-Muslims].” Again, this is a reference to Jizya – the head-tax paid by Dhimmis.

Although these last two items do not refer directly to the Pact, they still reflect the attitude that non-Muslims everywhere – including in the “free world” – are really Dhimmis.

Further reading.

Read this article by Andrew Bostom which, amongst others things, gives examples from history ancient and modern of the sort of “blasphemy” that gets Kaffirs killed.

(All links correct at original date.)

Jon MC

Jon MC is a retired Chemist, Physicist and teacher (not necessarily in that order) who still has professional commitments. His interest in Islam was kindled when he met some "radical Muslims up close and personal" and he has studied the foundational texts of Islam ever since. He writes under a nomme de plume in order to keep his professional life and views separate.

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