Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pact of Omar: An old Islamic/Christian agreement with new meaning

by Bob Taylor, Washington Times
via — June 13, 2014

Much of the persecution of Christians taking place in Middle Eastern nations that have come under the cloud of Sharia law today is based upon the Pact of Omar and, as Muslims seek to reclaim what they perceive as their lost Islamic heritage, they are increasingly enforcing these age-old precepts on non-Muslims around the world, especially Christians.

Since 9/11/2001 we have learned much about Sharia law and the tenets of Wahhabi Islam which are so pervasive in Saudi Arabia, but the Pact, or Covenant of Omar goes largely unnoticed in the West.

Following the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632, Islam ushered in a line of succession known as the caliphate. According to some historians, the Pact of Omar was an agreement between Christians and their Muslim conquerors that was created in the 7th century by Omar ibn Khattab, Islam’s second caliph.

Other authorities believe the covenant may be a 9th century document, but either way it is a major foundation of Sharia law and the conflicts raging throughout the Middle East today.

In exchange for personal safety, protection of property and limited religious freedom, Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims, known as “dhimmis”, were forced to endure numerous demeaning sanctions in deference to their more superior Islamic rulers. Among the conditions were that churches could not be built or fixed and crosses, bibles and singing must be suppressed around Muslims. Dhimmis were also required to give up their seats and to honor Muslims above all others.

Similar requirements are still demanded in Saudi Arabia today during Ramadan. Infidels are threatened with immediate deportation if they are seen eating, drinking or smoking in the presence of a Muslim during the holy month.

Unfortunately, thanks to a liberal multicultural media and a president with an Islamic upbringing who empowers jihadi thinking, much of this movement is seen as an attempt to be more inclusive and culturally diverse by accepting a greatly misunderstood minority.

The truth is that Islam, for all of its 14 centuries of existence, has never undergone or experienced an enlightenment. Some educated Muslims, many of whom were born into the faith before they could walk or talk, quickly recognize Islam’s fallacies and begin to critically question some of its beliefs. Christians have been doing this for centuries and continue to do so, making it a religion that is constantly in a state of interpretation.

[Actually, the 'Enlightenment' was a purely Western phenomenon, and was a symptom and result of Western Christianity falling away from the Apostolic Faith and into scholasticism and rationalism. Eastern Christianity — the Orthodox Christian Church — has had no need of an 'Enlightenment' nor a Reformation, as the Holy Spirit abides in and perpetually renews the Church. The Orthodox Church is not in need of and does not exist in a constant "state of interpretation," but rather is in a constant state of pilgrimage, the Body of Christ proceeding through its historical sojourn towards the Kingdom which is to come, which is "not of this world."]

Critical Muslims who cannot accept the precepts of their faith frequently convert or secretly become apostates out of fear of discovery.

Islam is a desert based concept born of a poor nomadic Bedouin culture. Its worldview is largely founded upon emotion rather than in-depth thinking. Like it or not, it is based upon violence rather than peace, a fact which any reasonable observer in the 21st century cannot ignore.

As author Raymond Ibrahim notes in his book Crucified Again, 

The long record of Muslim violence specifically targeting churches, monasteries, and crosses is conclusive evidence of Muslim hostility toward the Christian religion itself. This centuries-old, continents-wide pattern of violence cannot be explained by the race, culture, or particular circumstances of the perpetrators… The common factor in all these attacks on Christian worship — the real reason behind them — can only be Islam itself.

Any honest evaluation of the global war on terrorism must accept Ibrahim’s statement as truth.

Americans generally shy away from confrontation when it comes to the prospects of offending other religions. It is a double edged sword, however, that is not only a great strength but also a major weakness. In our efforts to be inclusive, we fail to recognize the elephant in the room because we are not as directly influenced by such matters as is much of the rest of the world.

If we continue to ignore such realities, such vulnerabilities may quickly be exposed before there is time to respond. The Middle East is on fire and Europe is struggling to build a fire-wall of protection. Ultimately however, the goal is the United States.

It is time to wake up. The Pact of Omar has been around for somewhere between 12 and 14 centuries. The concept is not new, even though we may think it is.