The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham’s dhimmi pact for the Christians of Raqqa province

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Traditionally, a ‘dhimmi’ in Islam is a Jew or Christian who agrees to live under the authority of an Islamic state, agreeing to pay a ‘jizya’ (poll tax) and enduring a number of discriminatory conditions in return for ‘protection’ from the state. The Qur’anic basis for this arrangement is 9:29. In practice of course, the dhimmi pact, far from being a model of historical multiculturalism and tolerance as hailed by Western Islamic apologists such as Karen Armstrong, is actually equivalent to Mafia racketeering, as failure to pay ‘jizya’, whose financial burdens often proved heavy historically, leads to a loss of ‘protection’ by the state.

For the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS), which has the backing of broad elements of classical Islamic theology in this regard, such a development comes as no surprise, as the group’s predecessors- Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) and al-Qa’ida in Iraq- similarly imposed jizya on Christians both in the Baghdad area (al-Dura neighborhood) and the north of the country. In Syria, the group has already imposed dhimmi terms in practice on Christians in Raqqa province, such as in Tel Abyad, where supposed violation of the dhimmi pact was the pretext for ISIS’ desecration of the Armenian church in the fall of last year.

One should also note that this pact has been imposed by ISIS’ leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and bears his signature as the amir al-mu’mineen (“Commander of the Faithful”- the traditional title of a Caliph, illustrating how ISIS is aiming to build the Caliphate and is projecting its leader as the future Caliph). It would thus indicate that Baghdadi is likely to be in Raqqa province at the moment.

Indeed, such a conclusion on Baghdadi’s location is quite logical, for I would also note how my ISIS contacts within Raqqa province have been referring to Raqqa city in particular as ISIS’ ‘capital’ since ISIS took over the city and most of the rest of the province, with the exception of a Kurdish enclave just west of Tel Abyad and two regime airbases (Brigade 17 and Tabqa military airport). Meanwhile, Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa, FSA-banner groupings, and some Jabhat al-Nusra continue to wage an underground insurgency with sabotage attacks (which are also happening in other ISIS strongholds such as Manbij in Aleppo province), and an underground regime presence, which has existed since Raqqa province largely fell into rebel hands, is beginning to flaunt its presence in the city of Raqqa, for a Raqqa branch of the National Defence Force (NDF) has recently been proclaimed, giving news of raisings of regime flags and displays of pro-Assad graffiti in Raqqa.

BhGTVQuCYAALSID
Figure 1: Regime flag recently put up in Raqqa city.

Here is my preliminary translation of the relevant excerpts of the first formal dhimmi pact:

“In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful:

Text of the pact of security the Islamic State has given to the Christians of Raqqa with their embracing the rulings of dhimma.

Fight those who believe not in God, nor the Last Day, nor in what God and His messenger have forbidden, nor adopt the true religion [Islam], [even if they be] from the People of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay jizya with the hand, and feel themselves subdued- Qur’an 9:29.

We bear witness that there is no deity but God alone. He has fulfilled his promise. He has given victory to His servant. He has made mighty His soldiers. He has defeated the parties on His own: there is no deity but God whom we worship, having purified religion for Him even if the kuffar hate it.

And we bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger- may God’s peace and blessings be upon him…and we bear witness that Jesus the son of Mary is God’s servant and His messenger…the Almighty has said: ‘Never would the Messiah disdain to be God’s servant, and nor would the Angels who are near, and whosoever disdains to worship Him and is haughty- He will gather them to Himself together’- Qur’an 4:172.

[...]

And for what follows: This is what the servant of God- Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Commander of the Faithful [NB: this is the title of a Caliph] has given to the Christians concerning the pact of protection. He has given them security for themselves, their wealth, their churches and the rest of their property in the province of Raqqa: their churches should not be attacked, nor should anything be taken [by force] from them, nor from their domain, nor anything from their wealth, and there should be no compulsion against them in religion, and none of them should be harmed.

He has imposed these conditions on them:

1. That they must not build in their town or the periphery a monastery, church or monk’s hermitage, and must not rebuild what has fallen into disrepair.

2. That they must not show the cross or any of their scriptures in any of the roads or markets of the Muslims and they must not use any means to amplify their voices during their calls to prayers or similarly for the rest of their acts of worship.

3. That they must not make Muslims hear recital of their scriptures or the sounds of their bells, even if they strike them within their churches.

4. That they must not engage in any acts of hostility against the Islamic State, like giving housing to spies and those wanted for a reason by the Islamic State, or whosoever’s brigandery is proven from among the Christians or others, they must not aid such persons in concealing or moving them or other such things. If they know of a conspiracy againt the Muslims, they must inform them about it.

5. That they must not engage in any displays of worship outside the churches.

6. That they must not stop any of the Christians from embracing Islam if he so wishes.

7. That they must respect Islam and Muslims, and not disparage their religion in any way.

8. The Christians must embrace payment of the jizya- on every adult male: its value is 4 dinars of gold…on the Ahl al-Ghina [the wealthy], and half that value on those of middle income, and half that on the poor among them, on condition that they do not conceal anything from us regarding their state of affairs. And they are to make two payments per year.

9. They are not allowed to bear arms.

10. They are not to deal in selling pork and wine with Muslims or in their markets; and they are not to consume it [wine] publicly- that is, in any public places.

11. They should have their own tombs, as is custom.

12. That they must accept the precepts imposed by the Islamic State like modesty of dress, selling, buying and other things.

[...]

So for them is nearness to God and the dhimma of Muhammad, the Prophet and Messenger of God- may God’s peace and blessings be upon him- even as God brings his command: what they have embraced in the conditions outlined in this document.

But if they disagree with anything in this pact, then they have no dhimma, and the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham will deal with them as it deals with the people of war and stubborn enmity.”

Update: After the implementation of this dhimmi pact in Raqqa province, the practice looks set to spread to Hasakah province (Wilayat al-Baraka in ISIS terminology), where ISIS is the dominant force in rebel-held areas. A Twitter account associated with ISIS news from Hasakah province- @barakah53731284- says “After Raqqa province, Christians from Baraka province offer to pay jizya and the Islamic State postpones their matter until it can be made completely possible with a guarantee of being able to implement the dhimmi pact.”

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 17.34.39

Update 2: In case ISIS’ ambitions to a global caliphate were still not apparent to anyone, ISIS’ official Twitter account for Raqqa province had this to say on the imposition of the dhimmi pact: “Today in Raqqa and tomorrow in Rome.” Rome is traditionally seen as the Christians’ global capital.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 19.20.07

Comments (284)


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251. ALAN said:

тrack тhe Crow to steer you towards ruins
The american deep State Ukraine agenda will cement the East/West divide that in the near future will lead to greater catastrophes!

The Farce that is the United States, aka “the tail that wags the world”, is too funny in its in-your-face hypocrisy and hubris that one can only laugh through one’s tears. It is beyond amazing that they could get away with their sh*t so publicly. Of course, when the presstitutes and the owners of their lamestream media are in complete cahoots with that “iron fist in a velvet glove”, it all makes total sense. One can only jeer at these yankees: for above all else, the Devil cannot stand to be mocked.

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March 13th, 2014, 2:25 pm

 

252. omen said:

you better start stocking up on your food pantry, alan. load up on cigarettes, vodka & potatoes.

Russia Said to Ready for Iran-Style Sanctions in Worst Case

Russian government officials and businessmen are bracing for sanctions resembling those applied to Iran after what they see as the inevitable annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, according to four people with knowledge of the preparations.

.

may you get a taste of the same medicine you’ve been so indifferent of with syrians.

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March 13th, 2014, 2:47 pm

 

253. ALAN said:

I hear crows cawing

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March 13th, 2014, 2:54 pm

 

254. ALAN said:

Ukrainian phenomenon will spill over Europe! European right-wing parties will rise as a tsunami in the European elections soon.

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March 13th, 2014, 5:19 pm

 

255. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Syriacomment that once was the ¨creme de la creme¨ of the Syria comments on politics and society has become the ALAN COMMENT, where he speaks with himself and fills the empty space and the silence and solitude created by its billiant criminal Assad.

ALAN, this is really pathethic and boooooooooooring.

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March 13th, 2014, 6:38 pm

 

256. SANDRO LOEWE said:

242. Alan

This is a mercenary of the faith. A fake Christian as much as you are a fake syrian.

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March 13th, 2014, 6:40 pm

 
 

258. apple_mini said:

Those rebels and its supporters dared to ask for exchange those poor Alawite women and children for their fighters as so-called POW swaps.

People cannot expect an iota of honor or moral codes from those savages.

Recent news has mentioned strong support from Iraq. I guess normal people know one thing: there is only one way to deal with those savages.

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March 13th, 2014, 10:01 pm

 

259. Badr said:

Jordanian “veto” against manpads supplied by the Saudis to Syrian rebels

“فيتو”
أردني على مضادات طيران سعودية إلى سوريا

Alarab Alyawm – العرب اليوم

English translation

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March 14th, 2014, 3:22 am

 

260. Badr said:

Syria anniversary: the psychopaths are unstoppable

By Richard Spencer, in Aleppo province
The Telegraph

Then, miraculously, our governments listened, rejecting no-fly zones, humanitarian corridors, or arms supplies to try to strengthen moderates – and moderates there once were – against the regime’s thugs and the jihadists’ crazies.

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March 14th, 2014, 4:20 am

 

261. ghufran said:

Walid Al-Mouallem was rushed to the AUB hospital in Beirut, news that he is having heart surgery have surfaced.

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March 14th, 2014, 9:09 am

 

262. Observer said:

If they can find a heart in the first place :)

Why not in the glorious Syrian Arab University Al Assad Tichreen Hostpial? Or they may harvest his organs there?

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March 14th, 2014, 10:23 am

 

263. Tara said:

I wish Tabl al Moulem a divine just fate with his current ordeal. I’d like his punishment (or rewards) now, not in the afterlife.

His morbid obesity at the expense of Syrian and Palestinian children killed by starvation is not going to play in his favor.

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March 14th, 2014, 11:39 am

 

264. Ghufran said:

The army is inside Yabroud now, I did not think that a land incursion will take place because of the possible high scale loss of lives but it is clear that the army wants to take Yabroud and not just surround the rebels and the jihadists.

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March 14th, 2014, 1:07 pm

 

265. omen said:

all is forgiven, alan. now i understand your attraction:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BissvCYCcAANW5o.png

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March 14th, 2014, 1:46 pm

 

266. omen said:

give us a death bed confession, fatso.

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March 14th, 2014, 1:51 pm

 

267. sami said:

La Vache Syrie is at AUB, there goes the moqawameh BS…

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March 14th, 2014, 2:49 pm

 

268. ghufran said:

This is how the parliament of a country at war look like under albaath and the guided Assad,II
the council of clowns is giving Bashar a new election law that is tailor-made, the same council changed the constitution in 2000 to appoint Assad president at age 34

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March 14th, 2014, 3:00 pm

 

269. omen said:

who was it who argued syrians put down their arms and rely upon this same parliament to introduce reform & to somehow edge assad out of power? even if it would take decades.

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March 14th, 2014, 3:14 pm

 

270. omen said:

anybody know why?

255. Badr said: Jordanian “veto” against manpads supplied by the Saudis to Syrian rebels

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March 14th, 2014, 3:24 pm

 

271. omen said:

254. apple_mini – how was your dinner?

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BihBQ3xIUAE8aC9.jpg

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March 14th, 2014, 3:55 pm

 

272. Sami said:

Ghufran,

I am guessing you’re with the Falaheen and not falahoun club? (considering your dislike of bedouins et all)

what a sad and pathetic display of a “parliament”; if one can even call it that.

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March 14th, 2014, 6:24 pm

 

273. Tara said:

“Mahdi is going to behead the leaders of the western powers”. Said an ayatollah in Iran.

Haven’t I told them again and again that Mahdi بحرستا ظهر. He lives in Harasta and we, the Syrians, got him married.. And he ain’t beheading anyone. And…the couple is now expecting. A نونو مهدي or نونو مهدية والله اعلم. Don’t these people read?!

رجل دين إيراني: المهدي سيضرب رقاب قادة الدول العظمى
السبت 14 جمادي الأول 1435هـ – 15 مارس 2014م
إمام جمعة طهران المؤقت آية الله محمد إمامي كاشاني

دبي – سعود الزاهد
قال إمام جمعة طهران المؤقت، آية الله محمد إمامي كاشاني، في خطبة صلاة الجمعة اليوم، إنه “عندما يظهر المهدي المنتظر
سيضرب رقاب قادة القوى العظمى في العالم”، ووصفهم بالأوباش، رداً على دفاع الدول العظمى عن حقوق الإنسان بإيران.

http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/iran/2014/03/15/رجل-دين-إيراني-المهدي-سيضرب-رقاب-قادة-الدول-العظمى-.html

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March 14th, 2014, 6:30 pm

 

274. Uzair8 said:

What’s this talk of alleged US/Saudi preparations for a major rebel push from the South towards Damascus?

If true it’ll give the regime camp a real headache. They’re currently focusing on the border areas with Lebanon (Yabroud, Qalamoun etc) and Aleppo. They’ll have to drop everything, even after spending much effort, blood and treasure in them areas, and divert resources to face the threat from the Jordanian border.

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March 14th, 2014, 7:00 pm

 

275. ghufran said:

Sami,
I am a member of the “Arfaneen Club” (disgusted) like most Syrians, I am just lucky to be safe and live in a country that respects the rights of its citizens who in return do not cheer the killing of other citizens with different religious affiliations or political beliefs.
I wish that all of us do something to help the needy, I gave up on politicians from all sides, the Middle East is a hopeless case, and regional and Western power are only making things worse for Syria. I posted the video because I want the expats who think Assad is the best Syria can offer to take a look at Syria’s “parliament” under Assad and albaath and compare it to the Congress or People’s Assembly where they live. Syria may not have been ready to be the Switzerland of the Middle East but it certainly deserves a better government.

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March 14th, 2014, 7:37 pm

 

276. Hopeful said:

#270 Ghufran

Thumb’s up!

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March 14th, 2014, 10:38 pm

 

277. ghufran said:

The man behind the kidnapping and the release of the nuns was killed:
أكد المركز السوري للتوثيق أن “أبو عزام” الكويتي نائب قائد تنظيم “جبهة النصرة” قتل خلال اشتباكات مع الجيش العربي السوري في أطراف مدينة يبرود بمنطقة القلمون بريف دمشق.
الجدير بالذكر أن “أبو عزام” ظهر مؤخراً في تسجيل بثته “جبهة النصرة” حول عملية تبادل الراهبات المحتجزات،
حيث كان يشرف شخصياً على سير عملية التبادل
ISIS is on the retreat, the terrorists left Idlib country side and Northern Latakia and are now in Raqqa and eastern Aleppo outside the city.
قالت مصادر إعلامية متقاطعة إن تنظيم داعش سحب قواته من ريف إدلب و ريف اللاذقية بشكل كامل.
و قال المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان إن عناصر التنظيم أكملوا اليوم انسحابهم الكامل الذي بدأ قبل أسبوع.
و تم الانسحاب من ريف جسر الشغور في محافظة إدلب إلى الرقة و ريف حلب الشرقي بوساطة من جبهة النصرة دون معارك.
و في سياق متصل، أنهت داعش تواجدها في ريف اللاذقية أيضاً حيث استكملت انسحابها الذي بدأته في قرية دورين، بالانسحاب من كافة قرى جبل الأكراد في ريف اللاذقية.
و نقل ناشطون أنباء عن انشقاق أكثر من ثلاثين عنصراً من التنظيم، غادر معظمهم مع عوائلهم إلى تركيا.
و بهذا الانسحاب، يتركز تواجد داعش في الرقة و ريف حلب الشرقي.

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March 15th, 2014, 12:53 am

 

278. Uzair8 said:

There’s only one way to deal with shrine vandals:

Posted on AJE Syria blog yesterday:

Turkey has put its military on alert against any threat from armed groups to a historic tomb inside Syria, local media has reported.

Approximately 25 Turkish soldiers on guard around the Tomb of Suleyman Shah were ordered to retaliate in case of any attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to the Hurriyet newspaper, on Friday.

The area – 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the border – remains Turkish territory under a 1921 treaty signed between France and Turkey.

“The risk has been there since the Syrian crisis first erupted,” a Turkish official said on condition of anonymity. “We are prepared for any scenario as always,” the official said, without elaborating.

Another official said: “We are following the issue in its entirety and we are in coordination with the relevant institutions.”

[AFP]

http://live.aljazeera.com/Event/Syria_Live_Blog/109093171

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March 15th, 2014, 10:50 am

 

279. ALAN said:

عزير
What temperature at you there ?

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March 15th, 2014, 11:21 am

 

280. Uzair8 said:

آلان

A couple of days ago days we had the arrival of beautiful blue sky and warm weather. Spring is upon us. Yesterday was chilly and windy. Today it’s cloud cover.

Why Alan, how’s the weather in Tartous?

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March 15th, 2014, 12:14 pm

 

281. Alan said:

عزير

By suspending you feel that you have the hot weather! There is no place in Turkey more sanctity than Aleppo or other !Shown warm of faith! I am from Aleppo! For Turkey we have file does not accommodate the World Wide Web to its contents about criminal Turkish adventures!

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March 15th, 2014, 12:49 pm

 

282. ghufran said:

AFP is reporting that rebels lost most of their leaders in Yabroud:
أفادت وكالة “الصحافة الفرنسية” (أ ف ب) عن مقتل قادة العمليات العسكرية للمعارضة في يبرود.
وقالت الوكالة انّ “القادة الـ 13 الذين يقودون العمليات الميدانية للمعارضة في يبرود، قد قتلوا جميعهم”.

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March 15th, 2014, 2:34 pm

 

283. Badr said:

“HOPEFUL”,

You gave “GHUFRAN’s” comment, in which he wrote that “the Middle East is a hopeless case”, the thumbs up. So what are you still hopeful for?

On the other hand,

Syria activists undeterred by death and disillusionment

Lina Sinjab, Damascus
BBC

“Our dream of a free democratic Syria has not been achieved yet, but change is on the way and will find different ways to end dictatorship”.

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March 15th, 2014, 2:58 pm

 

284. Tara said:

انشاالله الله يرحمه ويدخلوا الجنة ويعطي ٧٢ virgins

هو ي اللي قال “بعًًد عنها أيدك ولا”

https://mobile.twitter.com/search?q=%23استشهاد_أبو_عزام_الكويتي

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March 15th, 2014, 5:06 pm

 

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