Islamic State to Christians in Iraq: Convert to Islam, Pay Jizya or Die

ISIS/ISIl, recently rebranded as IS, the Islamic State, is giving Christians three choices:

  1. Convert to Islam
  2. Dhimma – pay protection money called jizya
  3. Death

Iraqi Christians most of whom see these choices as actually no choice at all are fleeing for their lives as the militants sweep through the Iraqi city of Mosul. a report by the BBC said that had until midnight on Saturday to either comply…or die.

“We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of the jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword,” ISIS said in a statement.

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The persecution of Christians is increasing, with people driven from their homes, taking only what they can carry. The dhimma is a historic contract that offers protection to non-muslims if they pay for it. The fee is called a jizya. In February of this year, ISIS delivered a similar ultimatum. to Christians in Raqqa, Syria. The protection fee was half an ounce of pure gold, something most people don’t have.

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The United Nations lists the average per capita income for 2011, the most up to date statistics they have, as $2484, and an employment rate of 69.4%. With gold at $1313 per ounce, and half an ounce representing almost four month salary ISIS can be pretty sure that most people will not be able to afford the jizya,narrowing the choices to conversion to Islam or death.

“Christian families are on their way to Dohuk and Irbil,” in the neighbouring autonomous region of Kurdistan, Patriarch Louis Sako told the AFP news agency.

10,000 Christians fled Mosul after ISIS took control at the beginning of June and numbers have fallen rapidly to zero since then.

“For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians,” he said.

Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi has been declared caliph of the newly created Islamic State and he is calling for Muslims from around the globe to make Hijrah, to emigrate to the new state. This is apparently the duty of all Muslims if they are able to make the trip.

The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) called on the world’s Muslims to immigrate to the territory seized by the Sunni militant group in Iraq and Syria to help build a new Islamic State.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made the call in a 19-minute audio recording posted online, saying: “Muslims, rush to your state. Yes, it is your state.”

He made a special call to skilled workers, such as scholars, judges, doctors, engineers and people with military and administrative expertise. (source)

Yesterday, fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) stormed the Saint Behnam monastery on Monday, located 30 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.

News agency AFP quoted a cleric who heard the militants saying, “You have no place here anymore; you have to leave immediately.” The monks were reportedly forced to abandon all their possessions and leave the monastery with nothing except the clothes they were wearing.

The monks were not given any ultimatums and all left the monastery unharmed.

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