I can’t tell if the Hodges piece is parody. If not, he reminds me of a leftist anti-Semitic high-school history teacher I had. He too used that “people of the book” line, to knock Christendom for being more hostile to Jews than Islam is and to explain away Muslim mistreatment of Jews.
In fact the Muslim record, particularly the recent Arab-Muslim record, only looks good in isolated cases or by comparison with the worst abuses of old Christendom. The modern Christian world is astonishingly tolerant by historical standards. Christian institutions have shrunk away from national government while radical Islam seeks to perpetuate Islam’s historical political totalism.
The history of Jews under Islam, particularly in the post-Ottoman Arab world, has typically been one of second-class citizenship at best, punctuated by pogroms (Hebron 1929, Iraq 1941, Aden, etc.). The old southern-white American attitude toward blacks seems like a close parallel to the typical Arab-Muslim attitude toward Jews: they were tolerated as long as they didn’t become politically assertive, but if they became politically assertive they were suppressed viciously. (Do the ignoramuses of the Left who claim to hate Zionism but not Jews realize whose attitudes they are mimicking?)
There have been relatively tolerant Muslim societies, but the Wahabbists and Shiite fascists currently in the vanguard of resurgent Islamic imperialism are anything but. It’s delusional to imagine that Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or other non-Muslims would be tolerated under a modern European Sharia regime, except to the extent that they were socially and politically unassertive and submitted to systematic humiliations of the kind that non-Muslims are accustomed to in Saudi Arabia. Groups like the Bahais, whom the Islamists consider to be apostates, could expect to be suppressed ruthlessly.
The sad and terrible thing about the Hodges essay is that there are probably quite a few westerners who are ignorant enough to accept his argument.