Abraham Kuyper's "Mystery of Islam"

Reading online, "Mystery of Islam" by Abraham Kuyper. Kuyper is famous for among other things this quotation: "No single piece of our mental world is to be sealed off from the rest and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’"

Section: "Christian Dhimmi Status"

Christians in a land militarily occupied by Muslims have only three choices. The first is to adopt Islam so as to be absorbed into the faithful. The second is to pay the special tax known as jizya, which turns them into dhimmi or second-class citizens. The third is simply to be killed by the sword. Choosing to pay the tax is in effect to submit and thereby to accept conditions of tolerance that were painful and humiliating. These treaties or, as they are sometimes called, “covenants” were all designed to socially oppress and humiliate. When Omar conquered Jerusalem, he included the following conditions in the decree of capitulation often referred to as the “Covenant of Umar:”
  1. Christians are free to worship in their churches, but Muslims are allowed to attend at any time, day or night;
  2. they will never perform their worship services on the street;
  3. they will not teach the Qur’an to their children;
  4. they will not convert anyone to their religion;
  5. they will not hinder anyone from becoming Muslim;
  6. they will always give Muslims the highest seat of honour in their meetings;
  7. they will not dress like Muslims
  8. they will never write in Arabic, the glorious language of Islam;
  9. they will not adopt Muslim names;
  10. they will not ride on large saddles;
  11. they will never carry weapons;
  12. they will shave their beards;
  13. they will never place crosses on their churches;
  14. they will never play their carillons;
  15. they will bury their dead without public display;
  16. they will never harbour a slave that belongs to a Muslim;
  17. they will never peek into Muslim houses;
  18. they will never raise a hand against a Muslim.
These conditions were to be accepted at the time of the capitulation for themselves and their descendants. Should they ever fail to strictly observe any of these conditions, they would in effect concede to Omar the right to apply any penalty against them that is due to a sovereign over against rebel subjects.

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