Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has reportedly revived the concept of the Jizya tax, a levy imposed on non-Muslims living in Muslim territory, imposing a fee of 17 grams of gold (about $725) on every Christian man in Raqqa.
The Jizya tax was designed to replace the collection of Zakat, charitable contributions given by Muslims, which in the past were collected by the state like a tax. It was extremely common throughout history, but is virtually unheard of today.
Raqqa is the largest city under AQI control, and they also control much of the surrounding province. The number of Christians living in Raqqa is unclear, but most of Syria’s Christian minority lives in the west.
Though the Jizya is considered an outdated concept in most of the Muslim world, the move by AQI to start collecting it may actually be an encouraging sign that the group does not intend to wipe out the Christian minority living in their territory.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- White House Assembling a Team for Upcoming North Korea Summit - March 16th, 2018
- US Shifts Toward Harsher Stance on Russia With Sanctions and Condemnation - March 16th, 2018
- Putin Furious After Britain Says He Ordered Attack - March 16th, 2018
- Cluster Bombs Reportedly Dropped on Syria's Eastern Ghouta - March 16th, 2018
- Turkey Attacks Hospital in Syria's Afrin, Killing Nine - March 16th, 2018