Islamic State militants issue dhimma contract for kidnapped Syrian Christians

September 24, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

Syrian ChristiansSyria, September 17, 2015: According to classical Islam, Christians and Jews as well as some other non-Muslim groups, are labelled dhimmi, which means “protected”. As such, they are allowed to live in the Muslim community and practise their religion. However, the protection extended to dhimmi goes only so far as to say that they will not be forced to convert to Islam, leave their homes, or be killed (a protection that is not offered to pagan communities). Moreover, dhimmi are forced to live with second-class status, subjected to humiliating restrictions on their freedoms and forced to pay a poll tax known as jizya.

Barnabas Fund is deeply distressed at the news that on 3 September Islamic State (IS) militants posted a photograph on the Islamist forum Shumoukh Al-Islam showing captured Christians in the seized town of Qaryatain, in Syria, signing a dhimma contract that listed eleven articles. The Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) confirmed the next day that IS had released 15 Christians who had signed the contract and paid the mandatory jizya tribute.

Around 260 Christians were kidnapped on 6 August as jihadists captured the town and hunted out its Christian population. Dozens of the Christians were taken to Raqqa, the so-called capital of IS territory. On 2 September, militants gave those who remained 48 hours to decide whether they would convert to Islam, pay the jizya tribute, or leave.

These are the eleven articles of the dhimma contract that Qaryatain’s Christians were forced to sign by the jihadists who seized their city and hunted out its Christians.

1. Christians may not build churches, monasteries, or hermitages in the city or in the surrounding areas.

2. They may not show the cross or any of their books in the Muslims’ streets or markets, and may not use amplifiers when worshipping or during prayer.

3. They may not make Muslims hear the reciting of their books or the sounds of church bells, which must be rung only inside their churches.

4. They may not carry out any act of aggression against IS, such as giving refuge to spies and wanted men. If they come to know of any plot against Muslims, they must report it.

5. They must not perform religious rituals in public.

6. They must respect Muslims and not criticise their religion.

7. Wealthy Christians must pay an annual jizya of four gold dinars (about £364; €500; US$560); middle-class Christians must pay two gold dinars (about £182; €250; US$280), and the poor must pay one (about £91; €125; US$140). Christians must disclose their income, and may split the jizya into two payments.

8. They may not own guns.

9. They may not engage in commercial activity involving pigs or alcohol with Muslims or in Muslim markets, and may not drink alcohol in public.

10. They may maintain their own cemeteries.

11. They must abide by IS dress code and commerce guidelines.

– dr. patrick sookhdeo

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