Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What Does Islam Teach About... Jizya (Extortion)

From the serious and important website
TheReligionofPeace.com - TROP, edited by Glen Roberts:
Does Islam require that people of other faiths 
pay money to support the Muslim religion?

Muhammad clearly established that people 
of other religions have to pay a poll tax to Muslims 
called the jizya, as a reminder of their inferior status. 
This abrogates an earlier verse stating that 
there is "no compulsion in religion" 
and it destroys any pretense 
that Islam is merely a religion 
and not a political system.


Quran (9:29) - "Fight those who believe not in Allah 
nor the Last Day, 
nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah 
and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, 
(even if they are) of the People of the Book, 
until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, 
and feel themselves subdued."

Hadith and Sira

Muslim (19:4294) - There are many places in the hadith 
where Muhammad tells his followers to demand the jizya 
of non-believers. 
Here he lays down the rule that it is to be extorted by force:
"If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. 
If they agree to pay, accept it from them 
and hold off your hands. 
If they refuse to pay the tax, 
seek Allah's help and fight them"

Bukhari (53:386) 
- The command for Muslims to spread Islamic rule by force, 
subjugating others until they either convert to Islam or pay money, 
is eternal: Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, 
has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone 
or give Jizya (i.e. tribute); and our Prophet 
has informed us that our Lord says:-- 
"Whoever amongst us is killed (i.e. martyred), 
shall go to Paradise 
to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, 
and whoever amongst us remain alive, 
shall become your master." 
This is being recounted during the reign of Umar, 
Muhammad's companion and the second caliph,
 who sent conquering armies into non-Muslim Persian 
and Christian lands (after Muhammad's death). 

Ishaq 956 & 962 - 
"He who withholds the Jizya is an enemy of Allah 
and His apostle." The words of Muhammad.


According to the esteemed historian Ibn Kathir, 
Muhammad established the jizya 
as a means of compensating the "converted" Meccans 
for their loss of revenue 
following the total ban of other religions from the Kaaba. 
This had ended the centuries-old tradition of pilgrimages 
by people of all faiths during the holy months, 
on which the local economy depended:
Allah, most high, ordered the believers 
to prohibit the disbelievers from entering 
or coming near the sacred mosque. 
On that, [Muhammad's home tribe of] Quraysh 
thought that this would reduce their profits from trade. 
Therefore, Allah most high compensated them 
and ordered them to fight the people of the Book 
until the embrace Islam or pay the jizya. 
Ibn Kathir, The Battles of the Prophet, p. 183-184
This practice enabled Muhammad and his successors
to fund Islamic military expansion 
and the lifestyle of the religious class through extortion 
from non-believers. In 630, the prophet of Islam 
marched an army into Christian lands, 
in what came to be known as the "Battle of Tabuk." 
In fact, there was no battle 
because there was no opposing army. 
The residents were taken by surprise. 
Some were killed, 
and the survivors were forced to pay protection money 
to Muhammad. 
(Clearly abrogating the previous rule of "no compulsion in religion" 
that contemporary apologists are so fond of repeating).

Only eleven years after Muhammad's death, 
his companions swept through North Africa, 
putting to the sword 
those who would not submit to Islamic rule. 
In 643, Tripoli was conquered 
and the native Christian Berbers 
were forced to give their wives and children 
to the Muslims as slaves, to satisfy the jizya.

Like the mafia, Muslims told their unwilling donors
 that they were paying for 'protection' - 
even though the main threat to their livelihood and safety was,
of course, from their Muslims benefactors.

This lucrative extortion racket 
was practiced down through the centuries, 
and was a part of the brutal Ottoman rule 
over Christians, Jews and others. 
The Serbs of Europe were particularly hard hit 
and often had to hand over their children 
to satisfy the collector. 
The children were then converted to Islam 
and trained as Jihad warriors 
for use in foreign campaigns (the so-called Janissaries). 

In India, well into the 17th century, 
Muslim tax collectors would also take the wives and children 
of impoverished Hindus and sell them into slavery 
for the jizya requirement. 
The only way for many to avoid losing their families 
was to convert to Islam. 
This tremendous discrimination 
is how Islam made inroads into populations 
that wanted nothing to do with it 
(as a cleric so much as admitted in 2013).

Technically, there is no such thing in Islam 
as an innocent non-Muslim
which makes those ballyhooed condemnations 
of "terror against innocent people" even more useless. 
There is a basis for protecting the "People of the Book" 
(originally Jews and Christians, 
but later extended to Hindus when Muslim leaders realized 
that killing them was less profitable than taxing them). 
"Dhimmis" place themselves completely under the rule of Muslims,
relinquishing all rights and agreeing to finance the Muslim expansion. 
Unfortunately, even this has not been enough
 to spare religious minorities extreme persecution and massacre.

Traditionally the collection of the jizya 
occurs at a ceremony that is designed to emphasize 
the subordinate status of the non-Muslim, 
where the subject is often struck in a humiliating fashion. 
M.A. Khan recounts that some Islamic clerics encouraged 
tax collectors to spit into the mouths of Hindu dhimmis 
during the process. 
He also quotes the popular Sufi teacher, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi:
"The honor of Islam lies 
in insulting the unbelief and the unbelievers (kafirs). 
One who respects kafirs dishonors Muslims... 
The real purpose of levying the Jizya on them 
is to humiliate them... 
[and] they remain terrified and trembling." Islamic Jihad
British preacher Anjem Choudary points out 
that "the normal situation is for [Muslims] 
to take money from the kuffar" 
(at the time, he was encouraging believers in the UK 
to quit working and live on public benefits). 
The Quran also affirms that the collection of jizya 
is is the ideal relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims. 
The verse mandating this (9:5) occurs much later 
than the verse stating that there is 
"no compulsion in religion" (2:256), 
meaning that it takes precedence 
and abrogates the earlier verse. 
This is why Islamic purists such as Hamas 
and the Taliban wish to reinstate the jizya. 
One of the first orders of the self-declared caliphate 
formed by the Islamic State in 2014 
was to impose the jizya by force on Christians 
who refused to embrace Islam.

An Egyptian cleric on al-Hafaz TV said in 2013 
that American foreign aid to that country 
was a form of jizya "owed" to them. 
He believed that Muslims should demand more money 
from the Americans so that, 
in his words, "we can leave them alone." 
Only when the jizya is paid will America 
"be allowed to to recognize its own interests, 
the ones we agree to."

Contemporary Muslim apologists 
frequently tout the earlier "no compulsion in religion" verse 
when attempting to portray Islam as peaceful - 
and are somewhat reluctant to admit 
that the jizya is a penalty for not being Muslim. 
They usually fall back on claiming that the jizya 
is merely a tax paid to the government - 
glossing over the fact that this "tax" 
was imposed on the basis of religious status 
and was nearly always a much greater burden 
than that required of Muslim citizens. 
The interesting thing about this rhetorical strategy 
is that it directly contradicts any pretense 
that Islam is merely a religion and not a political system.

Tolerance in Islam isn't free. 
The jizya is money paid by non-Muslims 
in order to keep practicing their religion. 
Under Islamic law, if the money is not paid, 
the people are to be killed or enslaved.

See also: Islamic Jizya: Fact and Fiction by Raymond Ibrahim
and Rights of Non-Muslims in an Islamic State
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