Sick attacks & tax on Sikhs

February 22, 2010

One, two, or three (depending on which news account you ready) Sikhs in Pakistan were beheaded by the Taliban yesterday for refusing to be forcibly converted to Islam and for refusing to cough up ransom or jizya (depending on which account you read).  From The Times of India:

[A]ccording to security sources in New Delhi, Jaspal and Mahan [two of the Sikhs] were reportedly told to convert to Islam or face death. When they refused, their heads were chopped off and sent to the Bhai Joga Singh gurdwara in Peshawar.

The Indian government has taken serious note of this and is in touch with the high commission in Islamabad. “This incident is shocking. We are looking into it,” a source said.

The miniscule Sikh community in NWFP and Afghanistan has been under pressure from the Taliban to embrace Islam, official sources said. The Taliban, during their reign in Afghanistan, had imposed jiziya — a religious tax — on all minorities, mostly Hindus and Sikhs. They were made to wear a piece of yellow cloth on their breast pocket to identify themselves.

That the jizya is being imposed on Sikhs is not news.  Even the slumbering U.S. State Department acknowledged that in a report last year (which I have blogged about before), saying:

In April 2009 the Taliban began to extort money under the guise of a jizya tax (traditionally a tax on non-Muslims paid in exchange for government protection) in Orakzai Agency, FATA. In response to extortion and attacks, some members of the Sikh community fled the area after paying approximately $240,000 (20 million rupees) as jizya tax after the Taliban forcibly occupied their homes and kidnapped a Sikh leader, Kalyan Singh.

Remember, jizya (Koran 9:29) is mandated by Islam and ransom (Koran 47:5) is authorized by Islam.  Whether this particular case technically qualifies as jizya or ransom is immaterial:  the concepts are two wings of the same jihadist bird of prey.

One comment

  1. […] yesterday for refusing to be forcibly converted to Islam a… Originally posted here:  Sick attacks & tax on Sikhs Tags: ghana, kali-ini, News, sikhs, the-newer News, Technology, […]

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