Archive for October, 2009


The Jizya, Part II

October 31, 2009

Part II of III:  The Islamic basis of the jizya

The Koran 9:29 says:

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

 The word “tax” here has been translated in different versions of the Koran as “tribute” or simply “jizya.”  Christians and Jews, “who have been given the Book,” but do not accept Islam, must convert or pay the jizya.

The Hadith, the collection of the words and deeds of Muhammad, are even more explicit.  The Sahih Muslim, one of the Hadith accepted by all Muslims, lays out Islam’s famous three-part ultimatum of conversion, payment of the jizya, or death:

When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them…  If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.  (Book 19, Number 4294.)

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The Jizya

October 30, 2009

This will be the first of three special posts on the jizya, the most despised of all Islamic taxes.  Part I today will examine the moral cavity of the jizya.  Tomorrow, Money Jihad walk through the legal foundation of the jizya in Islamic texts, and on Sunday we’ll examine the current imposition of the jizya throughout the world against non-Muslim minorities.

Part I of III:  Why all the fuss

Suppose you are a Methodist living in a majority-Baptist community in America.  Now suppose that in addition to all the state, federal, and local taxes you are required to pay, you are also forced to pay tithes to the local Baptist church.  Remember that you’re a Methodist.

Or suppose you’re a Muslim living in America in a majority-Christian community.  Now suppose that in addition to paying all your government taxes, you’re required to give tithes to the local Christian church.

Unthinkable, right?  But that is what is so insidious about the jizya, the Muslim poll tax on non-Muslims.  If you search for the term jizya on the Internet, you will find a wide range of definitions, from defensive explanations that the jizya is only a substitute for military service, to more accurate definitions that address the punitive, discriminatory character of the jizya.

The unique ugliness of the jizya is difficult for the Western mind to appreciate fully.  First, with our tradition of separating church and state, an obligatory tax levied by the church seems totally foreign to us.  Second, our general theory of taxation is that taxes are levied by the state on those who derive a benefit from the state.  In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith said:

The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under protection of the state [emphasis mine].

Islam, however, blends concepts of the state and religion.  If we think of Islam as a religion only (as most Americans perceive it to be), and if we think of our own principles of taxation, the jizya appears to be, not just discriminatory, but utterly perverted.  In theory, Islamic taxes should only be imposed on thos who derive a benefit “under protection” of Islam.  What benefit is there, pray tell, to being considered a second-class dhimmi in Muslim society?

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“Money Jihad” blog is turning heads

October 29, 2009

In less than three weeks from its inception, Money Jihad has drawn readers from all over the web!  It was recently brought to my attention that MJ is WordPress‘s featured blog about terrorist financing, and it is the featured blog for Islamic taxation.

Thanks most especially to the wonderful readers and commenters from Jihad Watch–my favorite blog on the Internet–who have educated me on jihad over the years, and who are visiting this gem of a blog today!


Immoderate military spending by the Hashemite Kingdom

October 29, 2009

The adjective used most often to describe Jordan is “moderate.”  How does moderate Jordan’s military spending stack up against our own?


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Get your sexist finance laws off our women! (But keep the burqa)

October 28, 2009

Is counterterrorism sexist?  According to a recent United Nations report, yes.

Section J of the report deals with sex discrimination in anti-terrorist financing laws.  You’re welcome to read it for yourself, but as a public service I’ll quote the mind-numbing UN-speak here with my own translation interspersed for your convenience:

The Special Rapporteur [yes, the rapporteur refers to himself in the third person throughout the entire report] is also concerned that terrorism financing laws that restrict donations to non-profit organizations have particularly impacted organizations that promote gender equality, including women’s rights organizations…

[Translation:  The U.N. (and liberals worldwide) and are concerned that Muslims can’t give their zakat to charities of their choice because some charities have been designated as jihad terrorist funding front groups (because they actually are).  President Obama expressed a similar view this summer in Cairo when he said, “In the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That’s why I’m committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.”]

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Iraq bomb & extortion network news

October 27, 2009

As Money Jihad speculated yesterday, the Al Qaeda group known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s bomb blasts in Baghdad.

In separate news on Iraq’s terrorist bomb network, Iraqi security forces have arrested 14 Al Qaeda suspects in Fallujah and Kirkuk four days ago.

This follows news of 49 arrests of ISI-linked “extortion emirs” in Mosul earlier this month.  Coalition forces described the extortion activity:

The suspects are part of an ISI-led terrorist group that extorts money from innocent people by threatening violence against them. People typically targeted by the extortion network include those who own or work at construction sites and local businesses, although individuals at their private residences have been victims as well. ISI extortionists then use the stolen money to fund terrorist attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces.

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The “richest of the insurgency groups” behind Baghdad blasts?

October 26, 2009

Over 150 people may have died in bomb blasts in Baghdad yesterday.  Somewhere around the eighteenth paragraph of this report, the New York Times finally hints at the culprits of the attack: 

No one has so far claimed responsibility for the pair of bombings, but they were remarkably similar to a pair of coordinated attacks on Aug. 19 that struck the Foreign and Finance Ministry buildings. Those attacks were claimed five days later by the Islamic State of Iraq…

This would be a good time to review just how the Islamic State of Iraq, a jihadist group with foreign (ie, Al Qaeda) leadership, is funded.  Reporting from Britain’s Channel 4 two years ago is worth revisiting:

An Iraqi Security Services report obtained by More 4 News identifies the ISI as the richest of the insurgency groups, estimating that between $1bn to $1.5bn has been collected in revenue by the group through foreign donations, enforced taxation and confiscation of the property and funds of Iraqis (both Sunni and Shia) the ISI accuse of collaborating with the “Crusaders”.

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