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    » 03/19/2007, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Islamic groups impose tax on Christian “subjects”



    Islamic militias in Baghdad and Mosul order Christians to pay the jizya, a poll tax which dates back to the period of the Ottoman Empire, which guaranteed non Muslims the right to practise their religion as well as Muslim protection; the groups are ordered “not to reveal their activities” to Iraqi authorities while all contributions are given in alms to the Mosques.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews) – “Non Muslim subjects must pay a contribution to the jihad if they wish to be allowed to live and practise their faith in Iraq”. These orders are being imposed on the Christians of Mosul and Baghdad by Islamic militias.  Besides these threats of extortion, thousands of non Muslims are also being forced to leave their homes by letters assigning their house to Muslim citizens.  The initiative is part of the general campaign to Islamafy the entire country, which begun with the imposition of the veil on all women.  The website Ankawa.com was the first to carry news of this latest development; the website has eye witness accounts of Iraqi refugees in Erbil, in the semi autonomous region of Kurdistan.

    The fourth anniversary of the US military’s arrival in Baghdad, March 20th 2003, brings with it little improvement in the conditions of the ever decreasing Christian community. Bomb attacks, kidnappings and threats continue to mark the daily existence of those few who so far have not been able to leave.  The latest sign of the increasingly worrying situation is news that the community is now being forced to pay the jizya, a “poll tax” requested from non Muslims according to the Koran, guaranteeing “protection” form the Islamic umma. The tax was once extracted by the Ottoman Empire until its collapse in 1918, but now Baghdad and Mosul’s Mosques have ordered it be put in place again, “without revealing it to authorities”.

    According to local Christians it really is a contribution to the holy war, which – the jihad maintains - will also protect their community from external aggression. The monies collected are then given over to Mosques, but “without the knowledge of authorities”.

    Other accounts tell of letters being left in gardens or the entrance to Christian homes, notifying the families that they must leave their dwellings because they have been assigned to others, whose names and surnames are listed in black and white in the letters. 

     

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    See also

    12/01/2007 IRAQ
    Murders, abductions and threats are everyday occurrences in the life of Mosul Christians
    Violence against the Christian community is getting worse by the day. Women are murdered in the streets, men are taken from their homes, and parish priests receive threatening phone calls.

    20/03/2008 IRAQ
    Chaldean Christians, after five years the crestfallen dream of Iraq
    Five years after the American invasion of Iraq, we publish the testimony sent to AsiaNews by a Chaldean Christian in Mosul. The community is still in shock over the loss of its pastor, Archbishop Rahho, killed by his kidnappers this month. The questions that still surround what is today the last stronghold of al Qaeda in Iraq.

    23/11/2007 IRAQ
    The fears and hopes of Iraqi Christians
    A day before the patriarch of Baghdad becomes cardinal, the bishop of Kirkuk looks at the signs of hope that appear on the horizon of Iraqi Christians. Security in the country is improving and moderate Muslims are more open to dialogue. Christians’ cultural and economic contribution is essential for Iraq.

    12/11/2004 SAUDI ARABIA - IRAQ
    Grand Mufti tells young men not to go to Iraq on jihad
    Holy war against crusader West is every Muslim's duty, says al-Qaeda's Saudi chief.

    07/10/2008 IRAQ
    Mosul, another "targeted murder" against the Christian community
    A disabled 25-year-old shopkeeper was killed yesterday, not far from the shop that he owned. The objective of the fundamentalists is to shut down the activities of Christians and force them to flee. A source for AsiaNews denounces the "complicity" of the police, and the "curtain of silence" that has fallen across the slaughter.



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