Claims about “Dhimmitude” in Obamacare and Muslim Exemptions – Fiction!

Claims about “Dhimmitude” in Obamacare and Muslim Exemptions – Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:  

The word “dhimmitude” is included in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and refers to the Muslim system of controlling non-Muslim populations.

The Truth:


The word dhimmitude is not included in the Obamacare healthcare law.

A chain email claims that the word dhimmitude appears on page 107 of the healthcare law, and it defines the word’s meaning as:

“Dhimmitude is the Muslim system of controlling non-Muslim populations conquered through jihad (Holy War). 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.”

A search for the word dhimmitude in the healthcare law turned up no results. A search for the word in a companion bill to the healthcare law also yielded no results, so the eRumor’s claim is false.

And the word dhimmitude does not appear in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam. However, a number of definitions for the word “dhimmi” can be found:

“Dhimmi (Subject Entry)

Non-Muslim under protection of Muslim law. A covenant of protection was made with conquered “Peoples of the Book,” which included Jews, Christians, Sabaeans.

Dhimmī (Subject Entry)

In Islamic law, a non-Muslim who is under a covenant of protection (dhimmah) with the Muslim authority is considered dhimmī.

Dhimmī (Subject Entry)

In Islamic law one who is in the covenant of protection (dhimmah) with the Muslim power is considered dhimmī.”

In the book “Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide” dhimmitude is described as a social system in which non-Muslims (or dhimmis) live under Muslim law. The term appears to have been coined in the last 30 years or so by scholars and social commentators, but it doesn’t’ specifically refer to jihad or taxing non-Muslims, as the eRumor claims.

And it’s true that individuals can be exempted from penalties under Obamacare for religious reasons, but no specific exemptions are listed for Muslims. And the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to exempt Hobby Lobby from the healthcare law’s contraceptive requirement based on the Christian beliefs of its owner demonstrates that religious exemptions do not apply solely to one religious group.