Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Taxing The Iraqi Christians

I have heard from different media sources that some Iraqi Christians have started paying protection tax (jizya) to Muslim groups in Iraq. Australian CathNews reports:

As the number of Christians in Iraq continues to dwindle, reports are emerging that those who remain are being forced to pay Ottoman Empire-style poll taxes in order to be guaranteed protection and religious freedom.

AsiaNews reports that Islamic militias in Baghdad and Mosul are now ordering Christians to pay the jizya, a poll tax which dates back to the period of the Ottoman Empire, with money collected being given in alms to mosques.


If the news are true, then there won't be many Iraqi Christians left in Iraq very soon.

UPDATE 03/22/2007
I e-mailed Queen Amidala in Basra for more details regarding this rumor. She sent me back this e-mail:

The Christians aren't the only people who are paying jizya to militias or gangs. The rich people and others who hold high positions in government offices pay it too.

I know a person who holds a very high and delicate position in a government office. He was threatened few times by the militias. So, he had to pay jizya to a tribe for his own protection. Otherwise, he or his family members would be either kidnapped or killed. Now, most of his security guards are from the tribe he pays the jizya for.

The rich people are doing the same for their own safety.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Even though killing is a violation of the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill", why don't the Christians begin to form militias for self defense purposes? They could carry arms and not use them unless imminately threatened for their lives? I hope that the reports aren't true.

3/20/2007 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

Hi Matt,

Forming Christian militias is like committing suicide. It's would make things worse for them.

The best they can do is to move to Kurdistan where they have safety and freedom of religion. Many of my relatives had already moved to Dehuk in Kurdistan where it's much much much safer.

I'm against relocating the Iraqi Christians to a specific part of the country. But for now, it seems to be the best solution.

3/21/2007 07:50:00 AM  

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