ISIS imposes Dhimmitude on Syrian Christians

"The directive from ISIS, citing the Islamic concept of "dhimma", requires Christians in the city to pay tax of around half an ounce (14g) of pure gold in exchange for their safety.  It says Christians must not make renovations to churches, display crosses or other religious symbols outside churches, ring church bells or pray in public. Christians must not carry arms, and must follow other rules imposed by ISIS (also known as ISIL) on their daily lives. The statement said the group had met Christian representatives and offered them three choices – they could convert to Islam, accept ISIS' conditions, or reject their control and risk being killed. "If they reject, they are subject to being legitimate targets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword," the statement said. A group of 20 Christian leaders chose to accept the new set of rules, ISIS said."  BBC


This set of restrictions was normal practise in Islamic states before colonial administrations interfered with their freedom of action.  The post colonial governments have ,in the main, shrunk from re-imposing this set of restrictions.  The Baath and Hashemite states never tried to restrict Christians in this way.  Yes, I mean Syria among them.  This is why the Syrian Christians support Assad.  pl



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31 Responses to ISIS imposes Dhimmitude on Syrian Christians

  1. Thomas says:

    One of Joshua Landis’ contributors has an in depth post on this subject for those interested.

  2. nick b says:

    Once the Dhimmi pact has been created, is the ISIL bound to it in a sacred way? Could they disregard the pact without it violating their faith? Would other Muslims, not affiliated with ISIL, be bound to the pact as well? If not would the ISIL be religiously bound to protect the Dhimma from other Muslims?

  3. turcopolier says:

    nick b
    It is not a “oact.” It is an acknowledgement of conditions for survival. pl

  4. nick b says:

    I only used the word ‘pact’ as it was mentioned that way a few times in the article Thomas offered. There are no protections offered to the Dhimma for this acknowledgement, just survival?

  5. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think you are being unkind; this clearly and indisputably is a form of “Social Contract” – a la Rousseau and his acolytes – into which the Syrian Christians voluntary have entered at the point of a gun.
    They are free not to enter such a contract and die en-mass.

  6. turcopolier says:

    In re, “The Social contract?” Delicious. pl

  7. turcopolier says:

    nick b
    The “protection” is the same as that offered by Cosa Nostra. The “protection” is against annihilation by the “protectors.” Let us understand that our many Muslim friends here are equally outraged at this medievalist view of their religion. pl

  8. nick b says:

    Thank you, Sir. That makes things much clearer.

  9. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Colonel Lang,
    Outraged? yes! Surprised? Not at all. This is just further proof of the accuracy of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s diagnosis almost a century ago: political islamists are a bunch of murderous, backward kleptocrats. Hopefully those who are supporting these humanoids would learn from these developments. More democracy sermons, anyone?
    The game going on in Middle-East is now becoming interesting. It is going to be educational to see how the Turkish-Russian relationship is going to evolve, given the (now-exposed) complicity of the erdogan regime in the Ukrainian issue.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  10. turcopolier says:

    I am your spiritual brother and a fervent Kemalist. pl

  11. Babak Makkinejad says:

    It was Ataturk who ethnically cleansed the Christians (Pontic Greeks) from their ancestral homes around the Southern shores of the Black Sea.
    He & his government made the Israelis look good.
    The Republic also sheltered the military officers who bore direct responsibility for the Armenian massacres of 1905.
    Other than those two cases; yes, the Turkish Republic is a shining tribute to the principles of popular sovereignty, the rule of law, and respect for the rights of minorities.
    Erdogan. almost certainly, is carrying policy in collaboration with US & EU – both in Ukraine and in Syria.
    I am very doubtful that the secularists in Turkey would have gone against their NATO allies – either in Syria or in Ukraine.
    Both policies in Ukraine and in Syria have been harmful to Turkey but she has to comply with what her allies want her to do since she is so dependent on them – it matters not if Islamists or Secularists rule Turkey in that regard and in my opinion.

  12. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I am truly honored. Thank you.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  13. My understanding is that this action under International Law could trigger RETORISON or RETALIATION!

  14. Did not Attaturk hang until dead over 400 Mullahs?

  15. Babak,
    As I recall, the expulsion of the Greek population followed the attempt by Greece to re-establish Ionia and retake Constantinople in the wake of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. This was with the support of Britain and France. The Greek army was unsuccessful, to say the least, and afterward the expulsion took place. This was in the 1919 to1921 time period. It was more akin to the ethnic cleansing of parts of Europe of the German populations in 1945 than to an Islamist, religion based event.

  16. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    The Pontic Greeks had nothing to do with the peninsular Greeks; their languages were mutually unintelligible even.
    I think the distinction that you make regarding ethnic cleansing of the Christians by the Turkish Republic is not very useful.
    For one could argue that as long as the Islamist Ottoman Padeshah – claiming both spiritual and temporal authority over Sunni Islam – and therefore an Islamics Par Excellence was in power, the Pontic Greeks could have lived their lives in their ancestral lands and maintained their property.
    In effect, what you argue is what the Israelis could have as well, expelling all Arabs from Palestine since repeated Arab attempts by multiple Arab states to annihilate them did not succeed.

  17. Medicine Man says:

    Off-topic, Col., but do you have an opinion on the efforts in Israel to remove the service exemptions from the Haredim? I’m not clear on what effect this will have on the character of their military or their country in general.

  18. turcopolier says:

    The Haredim and others (seminary students)have gotten away with draft evasion since the fifties on the grounds of their sanctity. The more secular are subject to conscription and resent this special privilege. the inclusion of these barbudos in the IDF would mark one more stage in the decline of the IDF. pl

  19. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Dr. Makkinejad,
    A few points:
    1-Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was a Turkish nationalist/patriot first and foremost. He deemed that secular government was better suited for his purposes than an islamist kleptocracy.
    2-A strong Turkish nationalist government might have behaved differently against Western pressure. I am sure you know past examples.
    3-Weakening Turkish nationalists has been a major goal of the neo-cons and zionists for the past several decades. They have been mostly successful; erdogan,the islamist thief-in-chief, is their creature. The game might change in the next few years.
    Per Virgil, “una salus victis nullam sperare salutem”. Not much has changed in several millenia, has it?
    Ishmael Zechariah

  20. Fred says:

    How can it possibly be in the US national interest for the US government to support a group that at best make Christians separate but equal citizens in the “new” Syria?

  21. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    Justice demands impartiality; the secularist Muslim, hiding behind a para-European nationalism, is stealing your land and kicking you out of your ancestral home – the socialist-Secualarist Jew who is confiscating your land claiming as historical truth the legends of his ancestors, or the uncouth and ignorant Muslim fanatic that behaves as thought he has a direct line to the Prophet.
    All of them are wrong and all of their actions utterly indefensible.
    You do not need to tell me not much has changed: your Turkish Republic acts like the vassal of the Europeans and Americans – non-Muslims have ordered Turkey to destroy Syria and that is what she is doing – harming another Muslim country.
    A Vassal is as a vassal does.

  22. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Dr. Makkinejad,
    1-How do you justify judging actions of a century ago with the “idealist rhetoric” of today? Can you describe to us how this “justice” of yours have evolved over the years? You might start with the Aneid.
    2-Ataturk’s Turkey, 1923-1938, was no one’s vassal. Can you provide proof otherwise?
    3-We are in violent agreement that the political islamist kleptocrats running Turkey today are creatures (and vassals) of the neo-cons and zionists. The followers of Ataturk would like to change this. They are the only group in Turkey who may still have a chance.
    4-Where are the enlightened islamist governments from which we might learn wisdom?
    Ishmael Zechariah

  23. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not need Aneid to learn of Justice for I have read Shahnameh, the text of which was well-known to the Islamist Ottoman ruling circles; they knew Persian.
    My comments about Turkey being a vassal state was meant to apply to post World War II Turkey.
    I suspect that even if Mr. Erdogan were not the Turkish Prime minister, Turkey would have been carrying out the orders of her betters in NATO to destabilize and destroy Syria.
    NATO decided that enemies of Israel are her enemies and Turkey had to comply.
    There is no enlightened government – Islamist or otherwise – among Muslim polities. The most competent governments among Muslim states are those of Turkey and Iran – which occupy complementary political formulations of governance.
    There is, however, a substantial and qualitative difference between Iran and all the others – she is not a vassal and has charted an independent foreign policy for 34 years.
    I think in that respect, other Muslim states, including Turkey and Pakistan, could learn from Iran.

  24. Thomas says:

    It is Erdogan’s turn to receive the full attention of the Neo-cons.
    Considering what is happening in other parts of world, I don’t believe the hardcore AKP members are going to accept it. And with all the weapons awash along the border, it is another disaster in the making.

  25. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Dr. Makkinejad,
    We seem to have one point of agreement: :”Ataturk’s Turkey was a successful, non-vassal, secular republic before WW-II”. The followers of Ataturk think that, given this “existence proof”, properly revised versions of Ataturk’s policies can be successful to reclaim Turkey.
    That quote from Virgil’s Aneid simply states that “the only safe bet for the vanquished is to expect no safety”. I know of no empire, Islamic ones included, which was uniformly compassionate to subjugated peoples. Do you have any examples?
    Lastly, here is a link to a picture from 1911 you might like:
    I am sure you know its provenance. A first rate application of the Shahnameh.
    Pax Vobiscum.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  26. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Thanks for the link. I had missed this one.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, the Empire of Ashoka…

  28. Thomas says:

    Your welcome.

  29. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    “Ashoka, the Mauryan Emperor, looked at the bodies strewn around the smashed city, and at the Daya River that ran red with blood. He was surveying the damage that his army had inflicted on the recalcitrant Kalinga region. About 100,000 civilians were dead, as well as 10,000 of Ashoka’s soldiers.
    Far from feeling the glorious rush of victory, Ashoka felt sick and saddened. He vowed that never again would he rain down death and destruction on other people…”
    Ishmael Zechariah

  30. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Ishmael Zechariah :
    Ashoka repented.
    Has the Turkish Republic repented?
    I think not.
    At a minimum, per Muslim Law, the Turkish state must pay compensation to the Pontic Greeks for the losses in their property and businesses and additionally blood money to the Armenians.
    Per the recent change in the Laws of Spain, a further act of Turkish parliament would be to restore citizenship to the descendants of the Pontic Greeks and Armenians.
    Of course, that is not going to happen.
    Tow wrongs do not a right make.

  31. Ishmael Zechairah says:

    Dr. Makkinejad,
    This provides tragicomic relief from a possibly imminent nuclear exchange between the two Great Powers, but here we go:
    1-You keep shifting positions. My question had the magic word “uniformly”. Once you have secured all you want, it is easy to “repent” and become a “liberal”. Scipio also cried when he watched Carthage burn (again, the Aneid).
    2-Has Iran “repented” per your definition and paid up to the kin of those 18 straw filled heads @ the link I posted previously?
    3-Turkey, as a secular republic, does not obey Islamic law. If we have our way, it will NEVER obey the medieval nonsense called “islamic law”.
    4-What makes you think that we hold your idea of “right” to be the “right”? Is using 200 foreskins of your enemies to pay for a bride “right”?
    You might have more leverage trying to fix Iran. The “revolutionary guard” may need some civilizing.
    Ishmael Zechariah

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