IRGC Commander Ali Fadavi’s recent threat to “drown American vessels” in the Persian Gulf is only the latest indication that America’s relationship with Iran resembles a dhimma contract more than a traditional foreign policy.
Since the seventh century, anyone defeated by Islamic conquest was given three choices: conversion, death, or a dhimma contract, which Bat Ye’or calls the “treaty of submission for people conquered by jihad.” By accepting the third choice, they became dhimmis: members of a “protected” class whose failure to submit to Allah was replaced by a compulsory submission to Muslims.
Isolated, disarmed, insulted at every turn, and coerced into acknowledging their inferiority with regular self-abasement, dhimmis are expected to show humility and gratitude to their conquerors.
President Obama’s approach to the Muslim world in general has been replete with gratitude, flattery, and apologies – even, and especially, for violence perpetrated by Christians one thousand years ago. Obama refuses to utter the words “Islamist terrorism.” He wildly exaggerates Islam’s role in “saving” Western culture. At the United Nations, Obama demanded that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” He even put one filmmaker in jail for doing so.
Obama’s overtures may not be consciously designed to follow a dhimmi’s accommodation of his master. However, Ali Khamenei certainly treats Obama as if a dhimmi contract is in effect, offering only contempt in return for the president’s obsequious deference.
Obama insists that Iran’s path forward lies at the UN with the P5+1 partners. Khamenei answers:
[T]hose who say the future is in negotiations, not in missiles, are … ignorant.
Within Iran and elsewhere, each Iranian provocation that goes unanswered by Obama reinforces the appearance of his dhimmi status: Obama pays his tribute and endures his proscribed submission with gestures of obeisance.
Under Obama’s administration, Iran has attempted an assassination in Washington, D.C., shipped arms to Palestinian terrorists in Gaza and Houthi rebels in Yemen, and attempted to hack a dam in New York and the electrical grid in California.
Obama’s administration has responded with self-effacing conciliation.
Iran’s violations of sanction have grown more flagrant with each passing year — with zero consequences. As the supposed weaker side, Iran should be expected to deny it had conducted missile tests, or to claim its ICBM program is just a space program. Instead, Iran has boasted of the tests. An emboldened, confident Iran has acted as though it possesses the upper hand.
Among the humiliations dhimmis are forced to endure at the hands of Muslims is a tax called the jizya. This originates in the Koran:
Fight those who believe not in Allah … until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued (9:29).
As they present their payment, dhimmis are often required to prostrate themselves and accept slaps to the head and neck, symbolic of the fate they avoided with the treaty. In 1799, British historian William Eton referred to the jizya as a “capitation tax” — permitting dhimmis to “wear their heads” for another year.
The $100 to $150 billion Iran receives under the U.S.-brokered Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is, surely, the largest jizya payment in history.
Last July as the White House celebrated the JCPOA, Khamenei tweeted an image of Obama holding a gun to his own head.
Six months later, the IRGC fired missiles dangerously close to the USS Harry S. Truman.
Despite Iran’s defiant and aggressive behavior, the president continues to grant concessions. Obama has pushed for Iran to gain access to the U.S. monetary system. Obama has even purchased Iranian nuclear waste.
Meanwhile, Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz and to kill Americans found there.
Shortly after the American Revolution, the Barbary Pirates of Morocco, Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli began seizing U.S. merchant vessels and demanding ransom. These Islamic pirates — from whence the English term “barbarians” arose — explained that the Koran simply gave them the “right and duty to make war” on non-Muslims.
George Washington did not pay tribute to the sheikhs. Instead, George Washington ordered the creation of the U.S. Navy.
They were send to fight what Washington termed the “nests of banditti.” In 1815, James Madison used that Navy to defeat the Barbary sheikhs at sea, and on “the shores of Tripoli.”
Two hundred years later, the Obama administration is accommodating the “banditti” in Tehran — and lying to the American people about it.
President Obama has assumed the role of a meek and humbled dhimmi paying tribute to his Muslim protector while enduring his insults. Washington and Madison would be disgusted.