Posts Tagged ‘rikaz’

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Afghan mining deal could fund terror

December 16, 2012

Taliban may tax supply routes

A business deal for copper mining rights at Aynak in Afghanistan by a Chinese consortium poses the risk of inadvertently funding local conflict and increasing the likelihood of extortion by armed groups, according to a November report from the human rights organization, Global Witness.

Excerpts from Witness’s report on the secret Aynak contract follow (with internal citations omitted):

The development of the mine and associated infrastructure brings with it a host of valuable supply and sub-contracts.  The international aid experience over the past ten years has shown that, without appropriate safeguards, the management of such supply and sub-contract can end up inadvertently funding conflict.  Aynak is a high-profile target for attacks which could be aimed at gaining attention or extorting money…

The risk of off-budget gains by, for example, security forces or powerbrokers controlling supply routes also needs to be guarded against.  [In the Democratic Republic of Congo] they do this by imposing illegal taxes at mine sites and along transportation routes, or by confiscating and trading minerals directly.  Companies sourcing minerals from the DRC are now required to carry out due diligence to ensure that their mineral purchases do not contribute to conflict or human rights abuses.

In the Afghan context, where conflict is ongoing and mines have traditionally played a role in providing financing to armed groups, supply chain due diligence by companies is an important step.

Indeed, given the Taliban’s history of profiting from flawed subcontracting measures and by levying taxes dictated by sharia law, including Taliban taxes on the mining sector (see here and here), the importance of forestalling Taliban infiltration in the Afghan-Chinese supply chain cannot be overstated.

Islamic law imposes a zakat tax of 20 percent (also known as khums) on rikaz, which Islamists regard as any source of wealth discovered underground, including oil, minerals, and buried treasure (Sahih Bukhari 2.24.575).

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Pak Taliban taxes miners per the Hadith

June 23, 2011

The Hadith (Sahih Bukhari 2.24.575) says, “Khumus is compulsory on Rikaz.”  Khumus, or khums, means one-fifth–here referring to a one-fifth tax.  Whether it’s a pirate’s chest or oil & minerals, rikaz means buried treasure.

This is why Islamists love to see 20 percent oil royalties or 20 percent taxes on mineral discoveries (see here and here for related coverage).

Consequently, the news that the Pakistani Taliban has been levying a tax on coal miners, and abducting or killing them if they don’t pay it, comes as little surprise.  The “experts” in Washington, D.C., will continue telling us that we need to worry about “criminal activity” used to fund terrorism.  The real concern should be about “Koranic activity” which is used to fund terrorism on a far wider basis.

From Dawn (h/t Rantburg) on June 12:

Militants kidnap 18 miners from Darra

KOHAT, June 11: About 100 armed militants belonging to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attacked heavily-guarded Darra Adamkhel and kidnapped 18 coalminers from Akhorwal area late on Friday night.

0fficials said that the TTP of Tariq Afridi group, which supports Hakeemullah Mehsud, penetrated into the area in the night from Tora Chinna area, which connects Darra Adamkhel with Khyber Agency.

They abducted 26 miners some of whom were also armed. Some people showed resistance and fired at the militants and escaped from their custody, but 18 men were taken away to Khyber Agency.

The security forces and political administration learnt about the incident on Saturday morning and conducted a search operation for the recovery of the kidnapped miners, who were taken across the tribal borders by that time.

The coalmines were taken over by the armed lashkar of the area when the TTP started collecting monthly tax from the miners and asked them to stop providing any kind of assistance to the army or the political administration. The sources said that the TTP had been killing and kidnapping people of those tribes in the past, who ferried food and water to the security forces trenched in the high mountains.

They said that lashkar men had refused to fulfill their demands and challenged their atrocities in Darra Adamkhel. They said that the opponent Momin Khan Afridi group, which leads the lashkar, had been asking the TTP to end their terror in Darra and threats to the local parliamentarians and businessmen because they were innocent and could not afford to support any side.

The sources said that the TTP of Tariq Afridi tried to kill his opponent, Momin Afridi, and his commanders in a suicide attack at a mosque during Friday prayers in Atariwal area. But Momin Afridi was not present in the area on that day.

Later, the TTP in a telephonic message warned the tribesmen of Atariwal to stop supporting Momin Afridi otherwise more attacks would be conducted against his tribe. The Atariwal sub-tribe of Momin Afridi group lives in the main Akhorwal area of Darra Adamkhel from where 18 miners had been kidnapped.

Momin Khan Afridi group formed a parallel Islami Taliban Momin Afridi Group in 2008 to flush out the TTP.

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Jihadists demand their Koranic cut

November 25, 2009

Pakistan, a country that already has a fully Islamized tax system, isn’t done placating jihadist notions of Islamic public revenues just yet.  Now “insurgent” jihadists in Baluchistan are demanding a share of oil and mineral profits based on rates invented by Muhammad.  From Bloomberg:

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) — Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani invited insurgents in the country’s oil- and gas- rich southwest Baluchistan province for talks as he announced in Parliament a new package to end the fighting.

“The government hopes the proposed economic, political and constitutional reforms package will end deprivation of the people of the province,” Gilani said in the capital, Islamabad. He asked lawmakers to debate and approve the proposals soon.

Pakistan’s government says the insurgency in Baluchistan, which accounts for 44 percent of the country’s area, is backed and fueled by neighboring India and groups in Afghanistan. India denies the charge. The province produces a quarter of Pakistan’s natural gas output.

The Baluch group of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, a tribal leader killed in an operation by security forces in 2006, says it’s fighting for rights for local people, including royalties from the minerals and fuels discovered in the province.

This article didn’t specify the amount, but as soon as I read the sentence above, I thought to myself, “I bet it’s 20 percent.”  And guess what their cut really is?

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The Zakat: Part II

November 7, 2009

Leaving aside the profound flaws of the zakat for the moment, this second post in Money Jihad’s zakat series will address the legal and administrative details of zakat collections.

Who pays & when:  Muslim men and women pay the zakat.  Paupers who are eligible to receive the zakat do not pay the zakat.  However, there are numerous statements in the Hadith to the effect that giving just one date fruit is better than giving nothing.  Payment is due annually at Ramadan.

How much:  The Sahih Bukhari says “For silver the Zakat is one-fortieth of the lot (ie 2.5%)” (2.24.534).  In this passage “silver” has been interpreted throughout Islamic history as liquid monetary wealth, whether it’s in cash, gold, or silver.  The zakat tax rate of 2½ percent should be carefully distinguished from the Christian tithe of 10 percent, or American marginal income tax rates of 10 to 35 percent.  The zakat taxes wealth, not income; that is, it counts against everything a Muslim possesses at the end of their lunar year after paying any debts or expenses.  It is not a tax on profits or net revenues (which are subject to different tax rates, especially among Shiite Muslims).

Just to give you a sense of what the zakat tax rate means, multiply your net worth by 2½ percent.  Compare the result to what you paid in income taxes last year.  If your personal finances are like mine, the two figures are comparable.

Deductions:  With the zakat (somewhat similarly to taxes on personal property such as commercial inventory or privately owned boats in the United States), there is an established threshold value under which no goods are taxed.  In Arabic, this threshold value is known as the “nisab.”  For example, Sahih Bukhari 2.24.534 establishes that no zakat is due on less than 200 silver dirhams (which today would be several hundred U.S. dollars).

Animal wealth:

  • Animal nisab:  Apart from the 200 dirham nisab on monetary wealth, the Hadith outline nisab for animal wealth.  A Muslim pays no zakat on less than five camels or less than 40 sheep.  For animal wealth in general, the zakat is paid with a smaller number out of your animals or an animal of lesser value.  For example, if a Muslim owns between five and 24 camels, he pays the zakat with one sheep.  The larger your herds, the higher animal zakat you’ll pay. 
  • Camel taxesI’m trying to convey the animal tax as simply as possible, but the Hadith’s arcane rules on camel wealth are beyond my powers to condense.  Strikingly, Islam’s tax on money is explained in just one sentence, while the tax on camel wealth goes on for paragraphs after paragraphs.  I suppose this is what happens when a tax system that is supposed to endure for eternity is established in 8th Century Arabia.
  • Horse exemption:  The zakat is not due on horses (Shahih Muslim 2.24.542).  I cannot find a Koranic explanation for the exemption, but I have read elsewhere that it was granted because horses help carry holy warriors in jihad.

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