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Europe and the Islamic WorldA History$
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John Tolan, Henry Laurens, and Gilles Veinstein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147055

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147055.001.0001

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The Social Inferiority of Religious Minorities

The Social Inferiority of Religious Minorities

Dhimmis and Mudejars

(p.49) Chapter 3 The Social Inferiority of Religious Minorities
Europe and the Islamic World

John Tolan

Gilles Veinstein

Henry Laurens

, Jane Marie Todd
Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the fate of the minority Christians in the Muslim countries of Europe and of minority Muslims in Christian countries in the aftermath of conquest. It shows that, once the conquest was achieved, the new subjects had to be integrated into the political and social order. These religious “minorities,” who in actuality were often in the numerical majority immediately after the conquest, were usually granted a protected but subordinate place in society. Theologians and jurists justified their subordination, defining their role with reference to the founding texts (Qur'an, Hadith, Bible, or Roman law). These minorities were sometimes the victims of persecutions, acts of violence, and expulsions, but in general they enjoyed a status where their theoretical inferiority (religious and legal) did not prevent some of them from achieving clear economic and social success.

Keywords:   Christian minorities, religious minorities, dhimmis, mudejars, subordination, conquest

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