Yazid I and several other Umayyad Caliphs were relativelyintolerant of those who were not Arab and Sunni Muslim. In additionto the Dhimmi, the non-Muslims like Jews and Christians in anIslamic State, the Umayyads systematically disenfranchised andweakened the Mawali (Muslims who were not Arab – like Persians,Amazigh/Berbers, and Iberians), directly attacked and torturedShiite Muslims (regardless of whether they were Arab or Mawali),and enslaved Turks to create their Mamluk (Slave) Armies. Ofcourse, more enlightened leaders did not engage in Muslim-on-Muslimrepression, but to pretend it did not happen betrays the lives ofthe Muslims who paid dearly for their ethnicity and beliefs at thehands of cruel Muslim rulers.

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However, some general principles were adhered to throughout theMiddle Ages. Even with all of the repression previously mentioned,the Caliphs were tolerant conquerors for the time-period (think ofCatholic Spain with its Inquisitions), but there was no concept ofequal rights (especially since the concept of “rights” did notexist until the Enlightenment in Europe). Dhimmi lived in Muslimterritories at the will of the sovereign. It is also important tonote that polytheists such as the Zoroastrians and the Hindus weretreated belligerently by their Muslim conquerors at severalcritical moments.

The Dhimmi had to pay the Jizya, or tax for not believing in Islam.Dhimmi also had to pay additional taxes on land-holdings and thesetaxes where called Kharaj. In addition, Dhimmi could not sell wineor pork in the public marketplace. They were not allowed to buildnew places of worship, restore old places of worship, or performany act which could be viewed as proselytization. In manyjurisdictions, a Dhimmi could not trust law enforcement to protecthim, a judge to accept his testimony (especially against a Muslim).The Dhimmi was a humiliated second-class citizen.

Muslims argue that the taxes that the Dhimmi were compelled to payare similar to Alms or Zakat in Islam. However, Muslims pay theZakat as an act of faith and belief in the same way that Christianspaid tithes to the Church in the Middle Ages. This argument isflawed. Paying the Zakat is a privilege and an honor and a pillarof faith. Paying the Jizya is a form of repression. The moneyexpended by each party is irrelevant, it is the purpose behind thetax that is important. In the case of the Kharaj, while Muslims didhave to pay it, it was often used as a tool to extort more moneyfrom Dhimmis. Since the court system was unbalanced, Dhimmis wouldbe unable to properly contest the higher rates charged to themconcerning the Kharaj.

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