In light of Magdi Allam’s high profile, public conversion by Pope Benedict, it is worth remembering that Sicily experienced full-fledged, jihad-imposed dhimmitude for both its Christian and Jewish inhabitants, particularly during the 9th century.
Perhaps The Pope has been made aware of this?
At any rate, here is an extract from Michele Amari, the great Italian scholar of Islam, extracted from his seminal, Storia dei Musulmani di Sicilia. [“History of the Muslims in Sicily”] published in multiple volumes from 1933-1939.
Injurious and troublesome were the statutes of the civil regulations. The dhimmi were forbidden to carry arms, to ride horseback, or to put saddles on their donkeys and mules; to build their homes taller than or even as tall as those of the Muslims; to use Islamic first names and even to use seals with Arabic lettering. Furthermore they were forbidden to drink wine in public, to accompany their dead to the cemetery with funeral pomp and lamentation; the women were forbidden to enter a public bath when Muslim women might be there, or to remain there if Muslim women arrived. And just so that they wouldn’t forget their inferior status for a moment, the dhimmi were enjoined to keep a sign on the doors of their homes, one on their outer garments, to use turbans of a different style and color, and above all to wear a belt made of leather or wool. Along the streets they were forced to yield the right of way to the Muslims or, if they were seated in a group, to stand up at the arrival or departure of a man of the victorious race…
The Jews, as every one knows (and there were quite a few living in