Monday, June 11, 2007

Islam, By the Book

The following appeared in this Sunday's Detroit News/Free Press:

Insurgents' threat: Convert, pay up or get out

June 10, 2007

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- An Al Qaeda-affiliated insurgent group is giving Christians in Baghdad a stark set of options: Convert to Islam, marry your daughters to our fighters, pay an Islamic tax or leave with only the clothes on your back.

A U.S. military official said U.S. forces became aware of the threats last month and now have erected barriers around the largest Christian enclave in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood in an effort to protect its residents.

Christians in Baghdad refuse to discuss the threats for fear of retribution.
But in Syria, where thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled, tales abound of families that were killed or driven from their homes because they either refused or couldn't afford to pay the jizya, a tax usually levied on non-Muslim men of military age that's been part of Islam for more than 1,000 years.

"Two or three months ago, we heard we were going to be forcibly removed from Dora," said Rafah Elia Daoud, 53, who fled to Damascus, Syria's capital, in May. "Not everyone got a paper with the threat, but we knew. The choice was to convert, pay the jizya or get out."

Madeline Shukr Yusuf, 74, recalled her flight from Iraq. She said she didn't have enough money to pay a monthly jizya of 250,000 Iraqis dinars, about $200. The insurgents were determined to collect their tax, she said.

"They wanted to kill me and take my gold bracelets," she said, tears filling her eyes at the memory. "They tell us pay or give a daughter in marriage to a fighter."

Christian communities

Iraq long had been home to thriving Christian communities, primarily Assyrians and Chaldeans, who trace their roots to ancient Mesopotamia. Some of Saddam Hussein's closest confidants were Christian, including his foreign minister, Tarik Aziz. Christian communities were prominent in many major Iraqi cities, including Mosul in the north and Basra in the south.

Iraqi Christians are a tiny minority in the country of some 24 million.

In metro Detroit, where more than 50,000 Chaldeans live, many of whom emigrated from Iraq, there is concern about relatives in Baghdad and traditional Chaldean enclaves near Mosul.

Chaldeans are Iraqi Catholics. They speak the ancient language used by Jesus, Aramaic.
As Iraq has descended into chaos, many Christians have fled, joining an estimated 2.2 million exiles, including 1.4 million Iraqis now estimated to be living in Syria. At least 19,000 Iraqi Christians have registered in Damascus with the United Nations refugee agency, and thousands more are thought to have sought shelter there but have yet to register.
Copyright © 2007 Detroit Free Press Inc.

The jizya tax is an integral part of triumphant Islam towards its subjects, (dhimmis), intended both to humiliate those forced to pay it, and to help fund the sharia system. Robert Spencer describes it, in part, in a recent FrontPage Magazine article, ("Whitewashing Radical Islam"):

Dhimmis must endure inferior status under the Sharia; if they protest, they risk forfeiting the “protection” that they buy with their special high tax rate (jizya) and their humiliation.

The elaborate legal superstructure of dhimmitude in Islamic law is founded on the Qur’an’s Sura 9:29, which calls on Muslims to “fight” against the “People of the Book” (primarily Jews and Christians) “until they pay the Jizya [special tax for non-Muslims] with willing submission, feel themselves subdued.” A vast body of Muslim theology and jurisprudence guaranteed dhimmis relative security as long as the jizya was paid; if payment ceased, jihad would resume.

This is the origin of the system of dhimmitude — a vast, uniquely Islamic institution of religious apartheid, implemented for over a millennium across three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe) and still influential in Islamic nations’ policies toward non-Muslim populations. The native “infidel” populations of lands conquered by Islamic armies were required to pay the jizya, recognize Islamic ownership of their land and accept laws forbidding them to own weapons, ring church bells, build new places of worship or repair old ones, testify in Muslim courts, or dress like Muslims. If they complained about these inequalities, they risked forfeiting their “protection.”

No comments: