Archive for the ‘History’ Category

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Ibn al-Khattab: the bin Laden of Chechnya

April 21, 2013

Well-to-do Saudi served as Chechen commander and jihadist financier

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1952053.stm

Deceased Chechen commander Ibn al-Khattab

In Money Jihad’s earlier post on the history of terror finance in Chechnya, one name came up again and again:  Ibn al-Khattab.  The terrorist leader was an early disciple of Osama bin Laden, and would benefit from bin Laden’s encouragement and financial support for years until al-Khattab’s death in 2002.

But al-Khattab was also a force unto himself, managing the flow of jihadist recruits and financing their operations in the Chechen guerrilla war against Russia.  One of the better descriptions of al-Khattab’s activities comes from the book Chechen Jihad by Yossef Bodansky.  Here’s an excerpt:

The Chechen jihadists received another injection of strength at this time with the arrival of an organized group of hardened Arab mujahedin from the Gulf states, including Saudis and Kuwaities, and the Maghreb region of north Africa, including Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian, and other troops.  These fighters were commanded by one Ibn al-Khattab, often referred to as Emir Khattab or simply Khattab.  Khattab, whose real name was Samir bin Salakh al-Suwailim, was a Bedouin from the Suwailim tribe of northwest Saudi Arabia and southern Jordan; over the years he has identified himself with both nations, depending on the circumstances.  Born in 1970 to a fairly wealthy and well-educated family, Khattab received both Western and Muslim education, including learning English.  In 1987 he was accepted to a college in the United States, but before continuing with his education, he decided to visit Afghanistan and briefly participate in the jihad.

Arriving in Pakistan in the fall of 1987, Khattab met some of the key leaders of the Arab “Afghans,” including Sheikh Abdallah Azzam, Sheikh Tamim Adnani, and Osama bin Laden.  Captivated by their call for jihad, he committed his life to the jihad.  Khattab ccompleted his training in the international camp in Jalalabad, under Hassan al-Sarehi, the commander of the 1987 Lion’s Den operation in Jaji.  Impressed with the zeal and skills of his young trainee, Sarehi invited Khattab to join his forces in Jaji.  Between 1988 and 1993, Khattab participated in all the major operations in the Afghan jihad, including the capture of Jalalabad, Khowst, and Kabul.  He also spent time expanding his knowledge of Islam and his military skills, while becoming conversant in both Pashto and Russian.

Khattab would later claim that he decided to join the Chechen jihad after seeing televised footage of Islamist mujahedin reciting takbirs (Koranic verses) before going into battle.  But his status as a commander also played a role.  By the early 1990s, Khattab had emerged as one of the most fierce and competent commanders, popular with both the Afghan and the Arab “Afghan” mujahedin.  He also became one of bin Laden’s key protégés.  Khattab spent the years between early 1993 and early 1995 commanding a small Arab elite force in support of the Tajik Islamist mujahedin, particularly in the Fergana Valley.  He returned to Afghanistan to train and lead one of the first elite forces to go to Chechnya.

When bin Laden and the Islamist-Jihadist leadership decided to escalate the jihad in the Caucasus, they summoned Khattab back from Tajikistan and dispatched him to Chechnya.  Ali Hammad, a senior al Qaeda commander in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the mid-1990s, knew Khattab as a senior commander under bin Laden and considered him “one of the more important personalities in Al Qaeda.”  Ali Hammad confirmed that Khattab went to Chechnya on bin Laden’s orders, and that he and bin Laden personally managed the subsequent flow of jihadist volunteers into the area.

Khattab arrived in Chechnya in the spring of 1995 with eight veteran Arab “Afghan” commanders, followed by a few dozen combat veterans.  He soon became one of the most important commanders in Chechnya, quickly forming a close relationship with Shamil Basayev.  One of Basayev’s closest personal friends, Chechnya’s onetime foreign minister Shamil Beno, reported that Basayev underwent a profound change in 1995 under Khattab’s influence.  Basayev “started moving from freedom for Chechnya to freedom for the whole Arab world,” Beno said.  “He changed from a Chechen patriot into an Islamic globalist.”

But al-Khattab didn’t only receive funds from the Middle East and Al Qaeda.  He was the recipient of zakat donations from U.S. Muslims.  Benevolence International Foundation, a Saudi-created Islamic charity which relocated to Chicago in 1993, was shut down by the Bush administration after 9/11 for its role in financing jihad in Bosnia and Chechnya.  The racketeering trial against BIF’s leader revealed that “[Al-Khattab] did have ties to Saudi Arabia: a fund-raising website listed the Benevolence International Foundation—originally a Saudi-based charity—as a vehicle for contributions.”

The Obama administration and its allies would later criticize George W. Bush for creating a “chilling effect” on Muslim charitable giving by closing down organizations such as BIF, and Pres. Obama personally promised to make it easier for American Muslims to donate zakat.

In addition to receiving money from BIF, al-Khattab secured funding from Osama bin Laden in 1999 to fund Chechen operations.  The website History Commons has noted that Osama bin Laden and Ibn al-Khattab also shared the same wealthy Arab donor network.  By October 2001, Khattab had an enough of a financial war chest to offer to pay salaries and death benefits to jihadists who went to fight in Afghanistan against the impending American and coalition invasion.

It’s a mistake to think that any single terrorist operation only cost the price of materials used to carry out the operation.  It takes a lot of money to create a culture of indoctrination, training, and media messaging.  A single attack is the result of sizable investments over a long period of time by men such as Ibn al-Khattab.

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North Caucasus jihadists’ money traces back to Saudi Arabia and Osama bin Laden

April 19, 2013

The seed money of major North Caucasus or Chechen terrorist groups such as the Caucasus Emirate, the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (IIPB), the Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR) and the Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM) can all be traced back to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Although we don’t yet know to which groups the two Russian-born brothers of Chechen descent who were identified as suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings may belong, it’s important to take a look back at the origins of the money behind the North Caucasus jihadist network overall.

Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade

The Council on Foreign Relations says that, “According to the U.S. State Department, the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade is the primary channel for Islamic funding of the Chechen guerillas, in part through links to al-Qaeda-related financiers on the Arabian Peninsula.”

The Middle East Forum has more on IIPB:

In October 1999, emissaries of [IIPB founder Shamil Basayev] and [mujahideen leader] Ibn al-Khattab traveled to Kandahar where bin Laden agreed to provide fighters, equipment, and money to conduct terrorism and aid the fight against Russia. Later that year, bin Laden reportedly sent substantial sums of money to Basayev, Ibn al-Khattab, and Chechen commander Arbi Barayev to train gunmen, recruit mercenaries, and buy ammunition.

The United Nations says that, “With Al‑Qaida’s financial support, Al-Khattab also mobilized fighters from Ingushetia, Ossetia, Georgia and Azerbaijan to fight in Chechnya and Dagestan.”

History Commons offers further details similarities between Ibn Khattab and Osama Bin Laden, and the U.S. and U.K.-based imams who have funded Chechen rebels:

They share fundraising and recruiting networks. For example, a Florida cell of radical Sunnis that is monitored by the FBI starting in 1993 is involved with both organizations (see (October 1993-November 2001). Radical London imam Abu Qatada raises money for jihad in Chechnya (see 1995-February 2001 and February 2001) and is a key figure in al-Qaeda-related terrorism who is in communication with al-Qaeda logistics manager Abu Zubaida. [BBC, 3/23/2004; Nasiri, 2006, pp. 273] The Finsbury Park mosque of fellow London imam Abu Hamza al-Masri is used as a conduit for funds for both jihad in Chechnya and bin Laden’s Darunta camp in Afghanistan (see March 1999 and March 2000-February 2001)…

Khattab repaid Bin Laden in kind:  “In October 2001, Khattab sent additional fighters to Afghanistan and promised to pay the volunteers’ families a substantial monthly stipend or a large lump-sum payment in the event of their death.”

Special Purpose Islamic Regiment

In a 2003 study, the CDI found that, “Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network provided much ideological and financial support to the SPIR after the mid-1990′s. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Oil discovered in Arabia 75 years ago this month

March 20, 2013

Standard Oil of California, which would later become Chevron, obtained a concession in the early 1930s to explore for oil in Saudi Arabia by paying $175,000 in gold up front.  After five difficult years of dry holes, Socal struck oil at Well Number 7 in the Arab Zone in March 1938.

Several years ago, Time magazine explained the significance of this discovery in a short article called “Finding the King’s Fortune“:

March 3, 1938

The king of Saudi Arabia, Abd-al-Aziz ibn Saud, had authorized a team of American engineers to explore the trackless desert bordering the Persian Gulf, an arid landscape marked only by the occasional palm-fringed oasis. He hoped they would find water. A tribal leader with precarious finances, Ibn Saud believed the Americans might discover places where he could refresh his warriors’ horses and camels. But the team, from Standard Oil of California, had something else on its mind.

Oil had been discovered in other countries in the region, and the engineers thought they would find more in Saudi Arabia. Over several years, they drilled more than half a dozen holes without result. In desperation, they decided to dig deeper at well No. 7. They plumbed to a depth of 4,727 ft. and finally hit what would turn out to be the largest supply of crude oil in the world.

The King did not appear to appreciate the news fully at first. It was an entire year after the discovery when he and his retinue arrived in a caravan of 400 automobiles at the pumping station of Ras Tanura to witness the first tanker hauling away its cargo of Saudi crude. Henceforth the King would no longer rely for income on the pilgrims arriving in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. And his kingdom’s petroleum wealth would emerge as a crucial factor in Middle East politics and the bargaining over global energy supplies.

Princeton University professor Bernard Lewis has memorably described what this discovery of oil in Wahhabi-backed Saudi Arabia meant for Islam and the world today:

…Imagine that some such group as the the Ku Klux Klan or Aryan Nation were suddenly to come into the possession of unlimited wealth and use that money to set up schools and colleges all over the world promoting their particular version of Christianity and you get an idea of what has happened to Islam as a result of the enormous wealth that oil has brought to some people in Saudi Arabia.

It has enabled them to set up schools and colleges all over the Muslim world teaching their brand of Islam—this kind of fanatical, extremist version of Islam—which has thus acquired a scope and expansion which it could never otherwise would have had.  Without oil money, this kind of Islam would have remained a fringe group in a marginal country…

In addition to funding schools and Wahhabi causes around the world, Saudi Arabia has funded terrorism through two main methods:  1) governmental “charitable” foundations such as the Muslim World League, World Assembly of Muslim Youth, and the International Islamic Relief Organization, and 2) private zakat and sadaqa donations from rich Arabs—who themselves had become wealthy from oil and oil-related Saudi boom sectors in banking and construction—such as those listed in the Golden Chain document.

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Blistered by the Arab oil embargo

October 16, 2012
Price controls caused run on service stations

Gas station line during the Arab oil embargo

Thirty-nine years ago today, OPEC announced the price hikes that would result in the oil crisis of 1973.  U.S. attempts to limit the price of gasoline resulted in supply shortages and long lines at American gas stations.  The instigators of the Arab oil embargo were rewarded for their mischief-making by obtaining concessions on Israeli troop withdrawals negotiated by the U.S.

Here’s the official history from the State Department:

The OPEC Oil Embargo, which lasted from October 1973 to March 1974, posed a major threat to the U.S. economy. Moreover, the Nixon Administration’s efforts to address the effects of the embargo ultimately presented the United States with many foreign policy challenges.

During the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced an embargo against the United States in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military during the war. OPEC members also extended the embargo to other countries that supported Israel. The embargo both banned petroleum exports to the targeted nations and introduced cuts in oil production. Several years of negotiations between oil producing nations and oil companies had already destabilized a decades-old system of oil pricing, and thus the OPEC embargo was particularly effective.

Implementation of the embargo, and the changing nature of oil contracts, set off an upward spiral in oil prices that had global implications. The price of oil per barrel doubled, then quadrupled, leading to increased costs for consumers world-wide and to the potential for budgetary collapse in less stable economies. Since the embargo coincided with a devaluation of the dollar, a global recession appeared imminent. U.S. allies in Europe and Japan had stockpiled oil supplies and thus had a short term cushion, but the longer term possibility of high oil prices and recession created a strong rift within the Atlantic alliance. European nations and Japan sought to disassociate themselves from the U.S. Middle East policy. The United States, which faced growing oil consumption and dwindling domestic reserves and was more reliant on imported oil than ever before, had to negotiate an end to the embargo from a weaker international position. To complicate the situation, OPEC had linked an end to the embargo to successful U.S. efforts to create peace in the Middle East.

To address these developments the United States announced Project Independence to promote domestic energy independence. It also engaged in intensive diplomatic efforts among its allies, promoting a consumers’ union that would provide strategic depth and a consumers’ cartel to control oil pricing. Both of these efforts were only partially successful.

The Nixon Administration also began a parallel set of negotiations with OPEC members to end the embargo, and with Egypt, Syria, and Israel to arrange an Israeli pull back from the Sinai and the Golan Heights. By January 18, 1974 Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had negotiated an Israeli troop withdrawal from parts of the Sinai. The promise of a negotiated settlement between Israel and Syria was sufficient to convince OPEC members to lift the embargo in March 1974. By May, Israel agreed to withdraw from the Golan Heights.

Rather than supporting energy independence that would prevent American foreign policy from being held hostage by the Arab world again, Democrats and environmentalists have continued limiting energy production at every turn over the years by prohibiting ANWAR drilling, blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, imposing a moratorium on Gulf of Mexico drilling, pushing for heavy taxes on oil companies and gasoline, keeping excessively long permitting processes for building new oil refineries or authorizing hydraulic fracturing, and by fabricating doomsday scenarios about peak oil.

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Aurangzeb: How to tax, oppress, and humiliate

August 3, 2012

A history lesson comes to us from the Bikaner Museum’s exhibit on Aurangzeb, the Muslim emperor who ruled over India and forced the Koran-based jizya tax upon Hindu subjects:

Aurangzeb, as he was according to Mughal Records

an exhibition mounted by FACT – India

Aurangzeb versus dhimmis

Exhibit No. 18: Hindus forced to suffer humiliation in paying the Jizyah tax

On 2nd April 1679, Aurangzeb re-imposed Jizayah upon the Hindus which had been abolished by Emperor Akbar in 1564. The author of Maasir-i-Alamgiri writes: ‘As all the aims of the religious Emperor (Aurangzeb) were directed to the spreading of the law of Islam and the overthrow of the practices of the infidelity, he issued orders ….. that from Wednesday, the 2nd April 1679/1st Rabi I, in obedience to the Qur’anic injunction, “till they pay Jizyah with the hand of humility”, and in agreement with the canonical traditions, Jizyah should be collected from the infidels (zimmis) of the capital and the provinces’.

The economic burden of Jizyah was felt most by the poor who formed the vast majority of the Hindus; for the middle classes and the rich, it was not so much the economic burden which mattered but the humiliation involved in the prescribed mode of payment, which the Jizyah collector could always insist upon, as of right i.e. by insisting that he would accept it only when paid personally. The Qur’anic injunction that war must be made upon all those who do not profess Islam “till they pay Jizyah out of their hand and they are humiliated”, was interpreted to mean that the Hindus must be made conscious of their inferior position when paying this tax.

In the painting, a number of Hindus, both rich and poor are lining up to pay Jizyah while the arrogant Jizyah collector is picking up the coins from the palm of a Hindu Jizyah payer. Some people have come from the neighbouring areas in their bullock-carts; their bullocks are resting under the shade of the trees.

More on the history of jizya can be found in our prior coverage here.

Okay, trolls, here’s your big chance.  This is where you can respond and repeat your false claims that jizya isn’t in effect today (even though it is), that the jizya tax rate is low (even though it isn’t), that jizya isn’t a tax but some type of “compensation,” or “recognition” of the state (which it isn’t), that jizya is “fair” because Muslims pay zakat (which is irrelevant), that jizya is a progressive or “graduated” tax (a misleading claim), or that jizya has been imposed by Hebrews against their enemies (which is false), etc.

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Caravan raids yielded Islamic upshoot

December 12, 2011

Here’s a clever graph and piece from Citizen Warrior last summer which makes some very good points.  It concludes that we should be buying flex fuels.  That certainly wouldn’t hurt, but in the U.S., voting for candidates who would expand domestic oil drilling would do more to decrease our Middle East oil dependence more rapidly.

The Key to Jihad is Money

MONEY IS THE POWER behind jihad. This has been the case since Muhammad began his raids on caravans. Look at the graph below. Before Muslims started gaining plunder, their numbers hardly increased for 13 years. Once the money started coming in, Islam’s success rate skyrocketed.

Upswing in ummah tied to money

Plunder from raids was only part of the cash flow. They also confiscated goods from the Jews they expelled from Medina (and the Jews they slaughtered, taking their women and children as slaves).

The other very crucial part of the Islamic cash flow was the jizya they took from the dhimmis.

All of these forms of income were parasitical. They took wealth from non-Muslims and added it to the cause of Islam.

And it is happening today. The non-Muslims of the world paid OPEC nations three and a half TRILLION dollars last year. That number should make you sit down to catch your breath. It is a literally incomprehensible sum of money. Much of it is now in the hands of orthodox Muslims.

Just like the use of jizya in Muhammad’s time, orthodox Muslims drain the wealth of non-Muslims, keeping them weak and struggling, while strengthening and enriching Islam’s prime directive.

The world is now in a severe and prolonged recession. Why? We’re paying a rapidly growing percentage of our income to Islam.

Do you want this to stop? We need to all become flex fuel fanatics. Petroleum must get competition. It must get so much competition that its strategic status is reduced to just an ordinary commodity like any other (rather than the indispensable commodity everyone must have). This can be done. It MUST be done if we have a hope of stopping the third jihad from succeeding. The key to jihad is money. The key to stopping jihad is stopping the money.

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Allah requested loan, offered interest

November 27, 2011

The Koran, Sura 57 (“Iron”), Verse 11 says “Who is he that will lend a generous loan to God?”  The verse continues by assuring that Allah will “double it” as repayment to the lender.

Several passages of the Koran parallel this verse.  From a theological standpoint, it is curious that an all-powerful god would request a loan from the people he created.  An outsider could wonder, as did some of the Jews in Arabia during the time of Muhammad, if “Allah is poor and we are rich.”

But Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s best friend and himself a rich man, did not like being confronted with the possibility of Allah’s state of financial dependence or the verse from the Koran which suggested it.  Here’s the story of the Jewish rabbi Finhas, who resisted Abu Bakr’s appeals by saying:

“We have no need of Allah, but He has need of us! We do not beseech Him as He beseeches us. We are independent of Him, but He is not independent of us. If He were independent of us, He would not ask for our money as your master Muhammad does [for a war against Mecca]. He forbids usury to you, but pays us interest; if He were independent of us He would give us no interest.”

At this, Abu Bakr became angry, and struck Finhas violently, saying, ‘I swear by Him in whose hands my life rests that if there were no treaty between us I would have struck off your head, you enemy of Allah!’

Abu Bakr wished he could cut off Finhas’s head for pointing out the contents of the Koran and the contradictions of riba.  Even assuming that the loan-to-Allah verse is a non-literal expression, we are still left with the contradiction that Allah will “double” the repayment of loans made to him, which sounds a lot like the riba (interest) or usury which is outlawed throughout most other texts of Islam.

Many Muslims now claim in public that the loan to Allah in Verse 11 is actually charity for the poor, but the preceding verse of the Koran suggests, as Finhas suspected, a more warlike purpose:  “Those among you who contributed before the victory, and fought, shall be differently treated from certain others among you!” (Koran 57:10).  Charity toward “victory”?  Charity toward “fighting”?  Charity toward “iron”?  No—in context, the loan does not appear to be for charity for poor people, but financing the conquest of Mecca and the establishment of the Islamic state.

Rewards promised to those who give their money toward the military victory of Islam are frequent throughout the Koran.

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Recalling the post-Ottoman tax on non-Muslims

November 17, 2011

In November, 1942, the government of Turkey imposed the varlik vergisi, a tax on wealth, assets, and capital, that was applied mostly and at the highest rates against Turkish non-Muslims.  The rates were often higher than 100 percent of one’s total wealth.  The non-Muslims who could not afford to pay the tax where railroaded off to forced labor camps.

A recent article from Today’s Zaman noted that, “Within the scope of wealth tax payment requirements, 1,229 non-Muslims were sent to Aşkale via the Haydarpaşa railroad station in İstanbul to perform the jobs assigned to them.”  According to Wikipedia, 21 non-Muslims died at the labor camps.  The government collected over 320 million Turkish lira (approximately 270 million USD at the time) from Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Jews, and Armenians through the tax.

The varlik vergisi showed that the devshirme blood tax and the jizya against non-Muslims from the days of the Ottoman Empire could not be permanently purged from the “secularist” Turkish regime that replaced it.

Fortunately, Turkey rescinded the tax in 1944.

However, Turkey continues to impose the jizya against Greek Cypriots to this day, according to published reports.

Discriminatory taxes against non-Muslims in the post-caliphate Islamic world are much overlooked but not uncommon, whether it was the Turkish varlik vergisi, Malaysia’s bumiputra system, or government-endorsed jizya against Sikhs in Pakistan, Jews in Yemen, and Copts in Egypt.

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Islamic law creates economic toilet bowl

November 9, 2011

Michael Schuman at Time magazine has written a good article openly supporting the theory that the Islamic world suffers economically because of Islamic law itself.  Normally, the mainstream media subject readers to arguments about the legacy of colonial “exploitation” or some other nonsense to explain Muslim poverty, so this honest acknowledgement of the obstacles to economic growth that Islam creates is quite refreshing.

Islam’s prohibition of riba (interest), while not specifically cited in the article, is certainly one of the major factors which retarded the development of modern financial systems in the Islamic world.

The economic condition of Islamic nations is quite depressing.  One recent article revealed that inequality is rampant across Islamic countries, and that 230 million people in Islamic countries suffer from hunger.  Amazingly, while millions of Muslims live in misery created largely by Islam, Iranians and Muslim allies of the Occupy Wall Street protestors have the nerve to criticize American capitalism and its effects on the world.

From Time’s Curious Capitalist blog on Oct. 18:

Is Islamic law to blame for the Middle East’s economic failures?

One of the great mysteries of economic history concerns how the Islamic world lost its mojo. A thousand years ago, the Middle East was richer and more influential in the global economy than Europe. According to data compiled by the late economist and statistical wizard Angus Maddison, the Middle East accounted for about 9.5% of global GDP in the year 1000 while Western Europe’s share was less than 9%. By 1700, however, the situation had totally reversed, with Western Europe commanding a hefty 22% of global GDP and the Middle East a pathetic 3%. The Arab world had controlled many of the lucrative trade routes between Asia and the West, but that role got usurped first by the Portuguese, then by the British and Dutch. What went wrong?

Economists and historians have struggled over that question for centuries. The answer is not just of academic interest. The revolutions that have swept through the Middle East, toppling dictators in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, got a good part of their momentum from the widespread public frustration over the persistent lack of economic progress and opportunity omnipresent in the Middle East. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the new governments that have emerged from the Arab Spring is providing the jobs and higher incomes all of those young people who participated in the rebellions desperately expect. If the new political leaders fail to deliver, the Arab Spring, which has brought such hope to the region, could deteriorate into a cycle of protest and political upheaval that will only set back its economic development.

There have been many theories of how the Middle East lost out economically to the West. But they have generally felt unsatisfactory. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Muslims in India levied jizya and shameful abuse

November 3, 2011

We hear so frequently that the jizya that even “moderate” Muslims would like to impose on non-Muslims would be “modest” and less than zakat.  That is a lie.

Further evidence of that lie comes to us through a wonderful piece posted to Satyagni last month by somebody called “Rushmore,” who documents the degree to which Hindus in India historically faced tyrannical taxation and shameful abuse under the invading Muslims.  Past is prologue…

Islamic tradition says Hindus should pay the jizya and accept shameful abuse

…Unlike the lightning victories that Muslim armies saw from Spain to Mongolia, India was way too large, too populous, too varied (geography, society, customs) and importantly too resistive to Islamic onslaughts. While Muhammad Bin Qasim gained a toehold in Sind, be it him or any of the future Islamic warriors could not gain complete control from Kashmir to Deccan or from Sind to Bengal. In fact prior to Hajaj, two other Caliphs had sent at least ten expeditions to subjugate India but they were all beaten back.

As the Islamic rule was beginning to get established in pockets of North West India and then in Delhi, the invading Islamic rulers and their advisers realized the futility of completely Isalmizing India, unlike a Syria or Egypt. So they fell back on a combination of forced conversions and jizyah in order to forward the Islamic cause. And India did not have one emperor or figure head, who, once defeated, would mean the subjugation of the entire land mass. As soon as a Muslim army won and beheaded a Hindu king and plundered the city, another Hindu ruler had to be contended with. And there were always open revolts in many parts of India against the Muslim rulers.

All these prompted Islamic rulers had to come up with an innovation, where, the wealth of the people that was propelling the rebellions had to be rooted out. Simply put, if the people are brought down to a hand to mouth existence they will not have any wherewithal to revolt. This mindset of Muslim rulers is reflected in Fatawa-i-Jahandari by Barani and in Farishtah, where, the strict imposition of jizya was followed up with a rise in the land tax (kharaj) to 50% and they started taxing possessions like cows, buffaloes and goats. Added to this was another tax called the grazing tax. Barani proudly writes that all these meant “Hindu women and children went out begging at the doors of the Musalmans.”

The same is chronicled in Tarikh-i-Wassaf and Futuh-us-Salatin by Wassaf and Isami respectively. In order to ensure the realization of these tyrannical taxing systems, a separate department called Diwan-i-Mustakhraj was established by the Muslim rulers. There were many recorded instances where defaulting of tax payments by peasants led to their wives and children being carried away as slaves. The tillers were made to part with more than 2/3rd of the produce failing which, they were apprehended and if an entire village opposed it, the village was sacked by the local Muslim commander [Abdul Fazal, Akbar Nama].

All this not only led to the complete crippling of the agriculture based economy driving people out of their settlements but the desperate situation gradually led people to convert to Islam to escape taxes and lead a normal life. While the fanatic brainwashed Muslims, today, claim that even Muslims pay Zakat as an obligatory tax, Muslims rulers usually levied jizya to be twice that of zakat. (And please remember that Zakat is not the symbol of any inferior status of the payer but Jizya is). This is permissible based of “Hedaya” which is an Islamic legal text.

In FuthuHat-i Firozshahi by Shaikh Abdur Rashid, one can read the following, after Firoz Shah Tuglaq imposed jizyah on Hindus also said that jizya would be exempted if they converted to Islam: “‘the Hindus thronged in clusters after clusters and groups after groups and were glorified by the glory of Islam. And likewise to this day of ours, they come from far and wide, embrace Islam, and Jizyah is off from them.” Kashmir had a unique situation, where Sikandar Butshikan levied both zakat and jizyah upon Hindus, which obviously multiplied the economic miseries manifold. And Amir Khusrau writes about jizya being a hatch for the dhimmis: “Did the Dhimmis not enjoy the concession of the Shariah, all trace of the Hindus would vanish root and branch.”

And the actual event of a collector of Islamic jizya visiting a Hindu neighborhood was shameful for the kinds of things he engaged in. Qadi Mughith ad-Din told Sultan Ala’ud-Dîn Khaljî: “If the Jizyah-collector asks a Hindu for silver, the latter should offer gold in all humility. If the collector wishes to spit into his mouth, the latter should open his mouth without demur, so as to enable the former to spit into it.” [from Diyâ' ad-Dîn Baranî, Tarîkh-i Firozshâhi, Sayyid Athar Abbas Rizwi, selected Hindi tr., in his Khaljî-Kalîna Bhârata, Aligarh, 1955, p. 70]

In conclusion, while jizya was viewed as the second best thing by Islamic rulers of India (given the factors unique to India that prevented complete Islamization), it is this Islamic tax system that led to so much of economic hardships of the common Hindus that many ended up converting to Islam to escape the tyranny and many had their wives and children enslaved by Islam.

And from the standpoint of economy, the Islamic tax system simply broke the back of the wealthy Indian economy, where, Hindus were reduced to a hand to mouth existence, agricultural productions dropped, as, many agrarian families escaped from their native agricultural land for fear of punishment and in general, the human enterprise of the native Hindu was thrown out.

What a tragic development that Indian Muslims- the descendants of those Hindus who had to pay Jizya and later convert to Islam from the fear of enslavement- are now paying Jakat to strengthen the same Arabic system that once enslaved their forefathers! May Eeshvar give strength to all Muslims to come to their ancestral roots, Vedas. In the next article we will discuss Islamic way of spreading the cult- Imperialism.

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Non-Muslims bear burden in Islamic tax law

November 2, 2011

More from the Islamic department of discriminatory taxation.  Let’s jump in a time portal through Bernard Lewis’s The Arabs in History to look back at taxes under the Umayyad dynasty:

The Arabs took over only state lands and the lands of enemies of the regime.  Other landowners who recognized the new government retained effective freehold rights on payment of certain taxes.  The confiscated lands were registered and administered by the state.  Muslims were allowed to buy land outside Arabia and many were granted lands in a form of lease known as Qati’a (pl. Qata’i’).

These concessions might be cultivated lands or of dead lands, and in the latter case were usually accompanied by state aid in the form of tax remissions.  While few such grants were made by ‘Umar, many were made by his successors.  Muslim landowners outside Arabia did not pay the full land tax, but, after some dispute, paid a much smaller due known as the ‘Ushr, or tithe.  Apart from a small religious levy on Muslims all other taxes were paid by the subject non-Muslim peoples.  These included the Jizya and the Kharaj.  The Jizya, but not the Kharaj, is mentioned in the Qur’an.  In later times these terms were differentiated to mean the poll-tax payable by non-Muslims and the land tax.  Under the early Caliphate, however, while Jizya apparently already acquired the technical meaning of poll-tax, Kharaj was still a generic term for any kind of tax, and was used loosely for the collective tribute levied by the Arabs as a lump sum from each region.

What Lewis is saying is that the Umayyad rulers gave away a lot of the land conquered by Islam through concessions to Muslim ethnic Arabs.  And once those Muslim Arabs acquired the land, they only paid the ushr (which actually isn’t always a ten percent tithe—in the case of artificially irrigated land, the harvest tax is only five percent).  The “small religious levy” is, of course, zakat, although you wouldn’t know it to read all the falsehoods from modern Muslim liars who claim that zakat is greater than jizya.

As if the land giveaways and jizya of the early Umayyad period weren’t bad enough, Lewis paints a grim picture of tax policy under the later Umayyad period as well:

The main basis of the new order was the legal fiction that the land and not the landowner paid Kharaj.  From this time on, all land assessed as Kharaj land paid the full rate irrespective of the religion or nationality of its owner.  The ‘Ushr land formed under the early Caliphate continued to pay the lower rate, but could no longer be added to.  The Dhimmis in addition paid the Jizya, or poll-tax.  The working of this new system, which was to become the canonical system of Islamic jurisprudence, was made more effective by the appointment of separate financial superintendents alongside the provincial governors with the task of carrying out a survey and a census as the basis of new assessments.

“All land assessed as Kharaj land paid the full rate irrespective of the religion or nationality of its owner.”  On the surface that almost sounds fair or egalitarian, but the truth is quite the opposite.  The land assessed as kharaj land was land originally owned by non-Muslims prior to the incursion of Arab Muslims to the area.  Even those who converted to Islam were still liable for kharaj.  This was a central tenet of Arab racial supremacy during the Umayyad reign.  Non-Arabs, not just non-Muslims, suffered under Islamic taxation.

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