Held at gunpoint by an al-Qaeda offshoot in the northern Syrian town of Raqa, up to 20 regional Christian leaders on Sunday were forced to publicly chose between converting to Islam, signing an Islamist document formally submitting themselves and their community to servile, or ‘dhimmi’ status or face death by public decapitation.
News of the “accord” was heralded through numerous Islamist and jihadi websites as a great victory for the Umma and setback for “infidels” and “unbelievers.”
According to classic Islamic law, Christians and Jews living under Muslim sovereignty must pay a tax known as jizya in return for the Muslim ruler’s protection, known as dhimma.
In exchange for their lives, the Christian leaders were forced to agree to pay the infamous “jizya” or head tax twice a year for the ‘privilege’ of living under Islamist supremacy.
They were never to renovate or expand any of their churches or schools or cemeteries; never to pray loud enough – either inside or outside – that any Muslim might hear; never to permit the display of crosses or any other Christian religious items in public; never to engage in any Christian religious ceremony outdoors; never to take any steps to prevent or discourage other Christians from convert to Islam nor to speak ill of them and never to speak ill of any Muslim – all under pain of death.
The names of the leaders who signed the document were blacked out.