Levying the jizya tax in the Palestinian Authority

Jizya is a tax specified in the Koran (9:29) to be paid by non-Muslim males living in dar al-Islam, that is, under Muslim political rule. In theory, it is what non-Muslims pay extra for the privilege of being protected by the Muslim state, in whose military they may not serve. In fact, beyond the often penurious sums involved, it has a humiliating quality to it, reminding the kafirs that they are second-class subjects for refusing the Islamic truth. The tax was regularly collected through Islamic history, fading out only in the nineteenth century.

But Islamists, in keeping with other retrograde ideas, like reviving slavery, would like to re-impose the jizya. Hamas has long wanted non-Muslims in “Palestine” to pay it and as it approaches the corridors of power, this abstract wish takes on new vitality and importance.

“We in Hamas intend to implement this tax someday,” says a Bethlehem city council member, Hassan El-Masalmeh. “We say it openly—we welcome everyone to Palestine but only if they agree to live under our rules.”

(cross-posted on Divest from “Palestine”)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *