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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

“Dhimmitude” and the Muslim Exemption

Q: Will Muslim Americans be exempt from the mandate to have health insurance?

A: The Muslim faith does not forbid purchasing health insurance, and no Muslim group has ever been considered exempt under the definitions used in the health care law.


Are Muslims exempted from the new health care law? Is any of the following chain e-mail true?

Word of the Day: Dhimmitude

Dhimmitude is the Muslim system of controlling non-muslim populations conquered through jihad. Specifically, it is the TAXING of non-muslims in exchange for tolerating their presence AND as a coercive means of converting conquered remnants to islam.

The ObamaCare bill is the establishment of Dhimmitude and Sharia muslim diktat in the United States . Muslims are specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance, and also from the penalty tax for being uninsured. Islam considers insurance to be “gambling”, “risk-taking” and “usury” and is thus banned. Muslims are specifically granted exemption based on this.

How convenient. So I John Smith, as a Christian, will have crippling IRS liens placed against all of my assets, including real estate, cattle, and even accounts receivables, and will face hard prison time because I refuse to buy insurance or pay the penalty tax. Meanwhile, Louis Farrakhan will have no such penalty and will have 100% of his health needs paid for by the de facto government insurance. Non-muslims will be paying a tax to subsidize muslims. Period. This is Dhimmitude.

Dhimmitude serves two purposes: it enriches the muslim masters AND serves to drive conversions to islam. In this case, the incentive to convert to islam will be taken up by those in the inner-cities as well as the godless Generation X, Y and Z types who have no moral anchor. If you don’t believe in Christ to begin with, it is no problem whatsoever to sell Him for 30 pieces of silver. “Sure, I’ll be a muslim if it means free health insurance and no taxes. Where do I sign, bro?”

I recommend sending this post to your contacts. This is desperately important and people need to know about it – quickly.


In our article “More Malarkey About Health Care,” we wrote that some religious groups may indeed be considered exempt from the requirement to have health insurance. The law defines exempt groups using the definition from 26 U.S. Code section 1402(g)(1), which describes the religious groups currently considered exempt from Social Security payroll taxes. Eligible sects must forbid any payout in the event of death, disability, old age or retirement, including Social Security and Medicare.

Since we posted our article, we’ve obtained a list through the Freedom of Information Act of all the groups that have successfully applied for exemptions from payroll taxes. (We have posted the Excel file here.) The overwhelming majority of them are explicitly Anabaptist — that is, Mennonite, Amish or Hutterite. Those that don’t specify their denomination are still explicitly Christian. Having gone through the list, we can say with certainty that no Muslim group, and indeed no non-Christian group, has ever qualified for an exemption under the statute used to define exempt religious groups in the health care law.

Nor are they likely to want to, says Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which opposes discrimination and defamation against Muslims. “I’ve never even heard it brought up as an issue,” Hooper told us. “I have health insurance. We give health insurance to our employees. Every Muslim group I know of does the same thing.” Hooper told us that he has seen some Muslims raise religious objections to life insurance, but not health insurance, and that, in fact, providing health coverage is very much in line with Islamic ideals of social justice.

As for “dhimmitude,” it’s a politically charged academic concept, not a tenet of Muslim faith. The term was coined by scholar Bat Ye’or to describe the condition of the “dhimmis,” protected non-Muslims living in Muslim empires starting in the 7th century. Dhimmi populations, Ye’or says, were allowed by their lands’ Muslim conquerors to keep property and practice their faith, as long as they paid a poll tax. It is Ye’or’s assertion that the condition of dhimmitude still persists in countries under shari’a law, and that, furthermore, it is spreading worldwide. In particular, she says, Europeans are accepting a state of dhimmitude and moving toward becoming “Eurabia.” This position is controversial, and Ye’or is not secretive about her political commitments. For instance, she is a vocal supporter of Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who was once banned from the United Kingdom because of his inflammatory anti-Islam views. For the e-mail to present “dhimmitude” as an established Muslim value rather than a scholarly concept from an author with open political commitments is misleading.

Finally, the e-mail repeats one other claim we’ve debunked before. It says that “I … will face hard prison time because I refuse to buy insurance or pay the penalty tax.” This is false. The House version of the bill left open the possibility of criminal penalties for deliberately evading a tax for not having health insurance, but the Senate version did not, nor did the final law.

— Jess Henig


Social Security Administration. List of recognized religious sects or divisions that the Commissioner of Social Security has determined meet the criteria of 26 U.S.C. 1402(g)(1). Compiled Oct 2009.

Interview with Ibrahim Hooper, Council on American-Islamic Relations. 20 May 2010.

Ye’Or, Bat. “Dhimmitude Past and Present : An Invented or Real History?” 10 Oc. 2002.

Whitehead, John W. “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis: An interview with Bat Ye’or.” Oldspeak. 9 Jun 2005.

National Review Online symposium. “Western Civilization on Trial: Why We Should Be Watching Geert Wilders.” 8 Feb 2010.