Posts Tagged ‘religious freedom’

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Tut, tut, Turkmen

February 26, 2010

In addition to blacklisting Iran last week as a significant source of money laundering and terrorist financing, the Financial Action Task Force has declared that Turkmenistan has failed to address long-standing AML/CFT deficiencies.  FATF tried their hardest to sound polite in their public statement:

The FATF welcomes Turkmenistan’s continued progress in addressing its AML/CFT deficiencies, including by taking steps towards establishing a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Given that the FIU is not yet operational, the FATF reiterates its 25 February 2009 statement informing financial institutions that these deficiencies constitute an ML/FT [money laundering/terrorist financing] vulnerability in the international financial system and that they should take appropriate measures to address this risk. Turkmenistan is urged to continue to take steps to implement an AML/CFT regime that meets international AML/CFT standards and to work closely with the Eurasian Group and the International Monetary Fund to achieve this.

This seems to be the latest in a series of black marks for the small, Central Asian state.  Money Jihad readers may remember that Turkmenistan was recently ranked 171 out of 179 countries in terms of economic freedom.  That put Turkmenistan in the “repressed” category just a couple notches below Iran.

The State Department’s annual report of religious freedom for 2009 noted several additional problems.  They found that in Turkmenistan (which is majority-Sunni Muslim with a large Russian Orthodox Christian minority), “Mosques and Muslim clergy are state-sponsored and financed. The Russian Orthodox Church and other religious groups are independently financed.”  The report also that Turkmenistan funded air fare for the hajj by some of their Muslim citizens.

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Modern Muslims defend the jizya

February 7, 2010

Over at Yanabi.com, an online Islamic forum, a participant named “Waxing Crescent” recently started a thread entitled, “Jizya – is it a means tested poll tax?”.

The correct answer (which was artfully dodged by all those who responded to Waxing Crescent’s question on the message board) is that nothing in the Koran or Hadith exempts impoverished non-Muslims from paying the jizya

Somebody named “Faraz Hasan” answered the question by quickly changing the subject to state that Muslims pay more in zakat than non-Muslims pay in jizya.  This is not necessarily true and it is misleading.  Read the rest of this entry ?

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Yemen’s Jews still forced to pay jizya

January 5, 2010

Due to the Christmas bomb plot of Flight 253 and the closure of a U.S. embassy, more Americans have a heightened awareness of the jihadist cesspool that is Yemen. 

While Yemen’s safe harbor for Al Qaeda is widely recognized, its discrimination against religious minorities hasn’t received as much ink yet.  Notably, a Sana’a University sociologist, Adel Al-Sharjabi, appears to be alone in identifying and calling for an end to the imposition of the jizya against Jews in Yemen.

Just last week, Prof. Al-Sharjabi indicated that the jizya is still being used as a bargaining chip against Yemeni Jews.

Adel Al-Sharjabi, another Professor of Sociology at Sana’a’ University, said that Jewish issues in Yemen shouldn’t be used as bargaining chips for political and social biddings. “We should relinquish the Jizyah as it should be imposed only when there is no state, such as when defense is the duty of the group and not the state,” said Al-Sharjabi. “Remaning [sic] under terms of the Jizyah in contemporary political terms is shameful.”

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The Jizya, Part III

November 1, 2009

Having laid out the moral depravity of the jizya and the jizya’s basis in Islamic texts, some readers may question whether the jizya isn’t a mere historical artifact, or a bogey man manufactured by war-on-terror hawks, that plays no real role in the world today.

The new 2009 Report on International Religious Freedom issued by the U.S. State Department last Monday should remove any doubts about the modern jizya push around the globe.  I pulled relevant passages for several countries.  These are all sad accounts which speak for themselves:

Pakistan

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.

On April 22, 2009, a mob attacked a Christian locality, Tiaser Town, in Karachi, Sindh, after threatening signs were posted on the walls of a church stating that Christians should either convert or pay the jizya tax. One person, Irfan Masih, was killed and three others injured in the attack; several houses belonging to Christians, shops, and three churches were ransacked. The attacks came amid fears of growing Talibanization in Karachi, where minority groups had been subjected to violence in the past.

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