In the classical Islamic ideology of conquest, the first choice offered to non-Muslims was conversion to Islam; the second choice was the sword; and the third was surrender. Mark Durie’s innovative book exposes the history and ideology of surrender – the ‘Third Choice’ – which has determined the lived reality of non-Muslims – known as ‘dhimmis’ – living under Muslim rule. Durie grounds his analysis of the dhimmi condition in the teachings of Islam and the life of Muhammad. His ground-breaking analyses show how the ideology of the terms of surrender, known as a ‘dhimma’ pact, determines life for non-Muslims under Islamic dominance. The worldview of dhimmitude, he argues, offers indispensable keys for understanding current trends in global politics, including the widening impact of sharia revival, deterioration of human rights in Islamic societies, jihad terrorism, recurring patterns of Western appeasement, and the increasingly fraught relationship between migrant Muslim communities in the West and their host societies.
The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom
4 thoughts on “The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom”
This is a very scholarly and methodical approach to explaining the concept of dhimmitude to anyone who will listen, Muslim or not. To be brutally literal, one could argue that dhimmitude per se only refers to civilisations who were under Islamic rule, and since the west is not, then use of the term is misleading. However, it is correct to suggest that dhimmitude is not only a geo-political or historical state, but a state of mind. It is a figure of speech, of sorts, to warn against an uncritical acceptance of Islamic claims. The book is not written for a pro-Christian echo chamber, but rather to those who believe (correctly) that all faiths are deserving of critical scrutiny and reasoned unbiased analysis.
Durie makes no attempt to feign “tolerance”, nor pander to those multicultural sensitivities which so stifle honest debate these days. However, he does go to lengths to show compassion for Muslims at a personal level, without patronising them. Where Durie does not compromise, is insisting that “interfaith dialogue” is not a path to learning objectively about Islam regardless of how fashionable this might be to career religionists. He insists that personal study of Islam’s own scriptures, overlaid against a backdrop of past and current Islamic behaviour, is the only way to fully understand. Durie doesn’t fail at providing real world examples of Islamic behaviour or incidents to underpin his points, and his work is fully referenced. In fact, the scope and depth of his references and their relevance is quite alarming. You might say that this book does not pontificate or editorialise, so much, on the rights or wrongs of Islam, instead crediting the reader with the intelligence and autonomy to work out those moral issues for themselves. Rather, it suggests how these issues can and do affect our own society and how we must deal with it at a personal level.
HIs writing style is scholarly and erudite but could be read and understood by all levels. An excellent and vitally important book.
Rating: 5 / 5
A must read for all concerned about dealing with a more agressive Islam from a Christian perspective.
Rating: 5 / 5
Westerners have a hard time understanding why Muslims are so sensitive to criticism of their ideology. This new book by an Australian evangelical minister, Mark Durie, provides some valuable insights. The author recounts about a young scholar who was in Egypt and wanted to study the Coptic theological analyses of Islam. He went to the Coptic Bishop in Cairo and asked where he could locate such books. The Bishop told him that they don’t exist. How could this be, with Copts living under Islamic domination for 1,400 years? This would be baffling to Westerners, but perhaps not to Copts.
Durie’s book gets down to basics in “unpacking” the Islamist thinking about dhimmitude — the non-Muslim’s liability for refusing to submit to Islam — and jizya — money paid to Muslims to restore what was their Allah-given rightful inheritance (being the entire world). One of the requirements of dhimmis is that they never criticize Islam or Muhammad, explaining why to this day, any criticism of Islam is seen as a serious offense to Muslims. The book is well-documented and carefully reasoned. It is not your typical anti-Islam rant, nor is it at all preachy.
Non-Muslims must resist the incipient dhimmitude attitude in the West that we shouldn’t offend Muslims by criticising their ideology. On the contrary, this fact-filled book will help non-Muslims speak the truth in love to Muslims who most need to hear that their ideology, based on the Quran and the Sunna of the Prophet, runs counter to prevailing attitudes of freedom, equality, and true brotherly love in the West. This message is timely and important.
Rating: 5 / 5
This is the book I’ve been waiting for since before 911. (Yes, I read “Jihad in the west” by Fregosi before 911 and few other important books.)
Open it up and find out what people like Ravi Zacharias, Andrew Bostom, Robert Spencer and Bat Yeor are saying about “The Third Choice”.
It maybe the most important book on Islam ever written. I’ve read more than a few and it is the best one I’ve ever read. It explains the real reason we are fighting this war on terror. It also explains why so many Jews and Christians have good things to say about Islam. (Yes, that’s always confused me too.)
Buy a copy or 100. Every academic, journalist and politician ought to read this book. Atlas Shrugs calls it a “Blockbuster”. She’s right.
Everyone needs to read this book, even those Muslims who believe that the Sharia is great. Maybe they’ve never heard about the detrimental effects it had on non-Muslims and Muslims. (Yes Muslims, because extremists don’t allow any criticism of the Sharia most Muslims have never even dared to think that there might be a serious problem with trying to implement the Sharia no matter how well meaning or moderate the implementers are.)
Like the dvd “The Third Jihad”, “The Third Choice” introduces people to the difficult issues gently. Durie does not avoid the difficult issues or water them down but tells us plainly, from history, what it was like to live under the Sharia and why we must resist it at all costs. After reading this book people will be more inclined to consider what Mark Steyn, Robert Spencer and Bat Yeor have to say.
Just buy it!
Rating: 5 / 5