Islam vs. Non-Muslims: Doctrinal Sources

Because Islam gets criticized for many things — from hostility to modernity and democracy to calls for theocratic rule, radical “patriarchy,” misogyny, and draconian punishments, to name a few — it is helpful to step back and distinguish between those (many) doctrines that affect Muslim society alone, and those that extend to and affect Western or non-Muslim peoples in general.

On doing this, three interrelated doctrines come into sharp focus. They are: 1) total disavowal from, and enmity for, “the infidel,” that is, constant spiritual or metaphysical hostility against the non-Muslim (in Arabic known as al-wala’ w’al bara, or “loyalty and enmity“); this naturally manifests itself as 2) jihad, that is, physical hostility against and—whenever and wherever possible—attempts to subjugate the non-Muslim); finally, successful jihads lead to 3) dhimmitude, the degrading position of conquered non-Muslims who refuse to forfeit their religious freedom by converting to the victor’s creed.