Published On: Fri, Feb 28th, 2014

Christians given protected ‘second class citizen’ status in Syrian city by rebels

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an extemist rebel group trying to impose sharia law in Syria, has reportedly forced Christians in a Syrian city this week to begin paying a protection tax, limit their practice of Christianity for protection by the rebels.

 Michael Thompson from One Love, Earth via wikimedia commons

Michael Thompson from One Love, Earth via wikimedia commons

The Christians signed a document outlining the conditions of their “second class” citizenship, called “dhimmi” in Islam.

Reuters reported that the Islamist militants said that Christians would no longer be allowed to renovate churches, display religious symbols outside churches, pray in public, ring church bells, sell wine to Muslims or drink wine in public. Christians would now also be prohibited from owning weapons.

“The document, dated Sunday and disseminated through Islamist Twitter accounts, states that the Christian community in the province of Raqqa, captured last March by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), was recently given three options: to convert to Islam; to remain Christian but pledge submission to Islam; or to ‘face the sword. They opted for the second of those choices, known as dhimmitude,” the Times of Israel reported Thursday.

Every Christian man was now to “pay a tax of up to 17 grams of gold, a levy that was common in Muslim states centuries ago,”

Reuters reported, adding, “The concept of dhimma, governing non-Muslims living under Islamic rule, dates back to the early Islamic era in the seventh century, but was largely abolished during the Ottoman reforms of the mid-19th century.”

The Times of Israel included the prohibition on reading scripture “indoors loud enough for Muslims standing outside to hear,” allowing any Christian who wants to convert to Islam to do so, and to not say anything offensive about Muslims.

“If they adhere to these conditions, they will be close to God and receive the protection of Mohammed his prophet … none of their religious rights will be detracted nor will a priest or monk be wronged,” the document stated. “But if they disobey any of the conditions, they are no longer protected and ISIS can treat them in a hostile and warlike fashion.”


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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Syrian Jihadists Are Forcing Christians to Become Dhimmis Under Seventh-Century Rules | National Review Online | pundit from another planet says:

    […] Christians given protected ‘second class citizen’ status in Syrian city by rebels (theglobaldispatch.com) […]

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