n.— «Tolerated unbelievers were called dhimmi, or ahl al-dhimma, “the people of the pact.” This was a legal term for the tolerated and protected non-Muslim subjects of the Muslim state.…The dhimma, which determined their status, was conceived as a pact between the Muslim ruler and the non-Muslim communities and was thus essentially a contract. The basis of this contract was the recognition by the dhimmis of the supremacy of Islam and the dominance of the Muslim state, and their acceptance of a position of subordination, symbolized by certain social restrictions and by the payment of a poll tax (jizya) to which Muslims were not subject. In return, they were granted security of life and property, protection against external enemies, freedom of worship, and a very large measure of internal autonomy in the conduct of their affairs.» —by Bernard Lewis The Middle East 1996, 1996. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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