The Charter of Privileges is a historic document, granted by the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt. Sinai. It was from the year 628CE, and consisted of several clauses covering all aspects of human rights including such topics as the protection of Christians living under Islamic rule, freedom of worship and movement, freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their property, exemption from military service, and the right to protection in war. As I understand it, that Monastery is still in existence today, and Muslims still uphold that contract in regards to them.

Here is an english translation of the text:

This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.
Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by God! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
No compulsion is to be on them.
Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.
No one is to destroy a house of their religion [church], to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.
The Muslims are to fight for them.
If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.
Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world)."
The English translated text of the Charter of Privileges was extracted from the Book 'Muslim History: 570 – 1950 C.E.' by Dr. A. Zahoor and Dr. Z. Haq, ZMD Corporation. P.O. Box 8231 – Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8231 – Copyright Akram Zahoor 2000. P. 167.

Mild political rant:
In the spirit of this and numerous other authoritative Islamic texts, one wonders why contemporary policy makers in the West insist on supporting the secular, corrupt, and authoritarian regimes of the predominantly Muslim nations. What is the wisdom of allocating billions of dollars to overthrow, through well-crafted public and covert operations, the popularly and legitimately elected Muslim governments? For example, Iran's democratic Mosadeq regime was overthrown in the 1950's by CIA planning (they admitted it), or the coup against the peaceful Algerian election that guaranteed an Islamic party in power, or US money going to fund the campaigns of secularists (i.e. bankrolling the unpopular Iraqi National Accord party of Iyad Allawi) in the 2005 Iraqi elections, and many more cases?

Should the predominantly Christian West fear and fight genuine Islamic regimes or should it change its outlook by trusting those who uphold God's Words and Muhammad's (pbuh) commands above secular and cultural values? I'm not naming anyone specific, because the current governments are all flawed and un-Islamic, but the ideal Islamic government is nothing to dismiss. Clearly some of these places do it better than others today, but that could change if the people were allowed to change it.

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