Jizya: Protection Money?
Through reading a Memri article, "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Forces Poll Tax (Jizya) on Christians Of Al-Raqqa/Syria" (Special Dispatch, No. 5664, February 28, 2014), we learn that the ISIS, "which controls the city of Al-Raqqa, announced that it had signed a 'Security' pact with the Christian residents of Al-Raqqa in return for their embracing the laws of dhimma."
Part of this dhimma agreement is that the Christians are "to pay a poll tax of '4 golden dinars' i.e. 17 grams of gold for the wealthy, 8.5 for middle income owners, and half of that for the poor." A tax, eh? That doesn't sound so bad. What's the penalty for not paying? Reading further, we learn that the ISIS "posed three alternatives to Christians who had fled Al-Raqqa, but now sought to return":
1. Convert to IslamI see how this works now: It's death or taxes! The word "dhimma" is Arabic for "protection," and the Christians pay jizya to the ISIS to be protected from from the ISIS! Quite an ingenious little money-making scheme! The ISIS is demanding 'protection' money! Exactly like the Mafia!
2. Accept the conditions of dhimma [e.g., pay the jizya]
3. Reject these offers and face war [i.e., to the death!]
Or one could convert to Islam, become a member of the ISIS 'mafia,' and receive protection money. But suppose some Christian who did this was later conscience-stricken and decided to leave Islam. Sorry, but the penalty for leaving Islam is death . . .