Dhimmi Pact


Definition

Dhimmi Pact

Historically, the dhimmi pact refers to a covenant of protection to the non-Muslim 'People of the Book' (Jews, Christians and Sabeans – those following religions acknowledged in the Quran to be based on the revelation of God) living in Muslim territories. In return for paying a tax (the jizyah), they would be guaranteed protection, self-government in personal status matters, and freedom to practice their religion subject to certain constraints. Their subordinate status would be demonstrated by restrictions in dress, property ownership and occupation.

There are no internationally recognized modern states that apply dhimmi status to non-Muslim minorities. Territories controlled by jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq have imposed such contracts, leading to the mass exodus of Christian communities. Failure to abide by the contract is sanctioned by expulsion or death.

Peter Welby, The Centre on Religion and Geopolitics