Islamic State: Death and Taxes
Writing for the New York Times (November 29, 2015), Matthew Rosenberg, Nicholas Kulish, and Steven Lee Myers inform us that the "Predatory Islamic State Wrings Money From Those It Rules." The bastards! What's ISIS up to now?
"They fight in the morning and they tax in the afternoon," said Louise Shelley, the director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University.Taxes, eh? The rates must be high:
Officials of the so-called caliphate dislike the term "tax," preferring the Islamic term "zakat," which refers to the alms Muslims are required to pay. Although the norm would be 2.5 percent of a person's wealth under typical interpretations of Islamic law, the militants are taking 10 percent, justifying the high rate by saying they are a "nation in a time of war," according to a citizen journalist in Raqqa who asked for his safety to be identified only as Abu Mouaz.Only 10 percent? I knew life was cheap in the Islamic State, but I'd never have guessed the reason! A fellow could almost consider moving there . . . if the ISIS authorities weren't such sticklers about punishing us for enjoying some of life's simple pleasures . . . you know, like getting your head chopped off for drinking a good cold beer.