The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, considered to be the most ruthless of the Sunni Islamic militant groups fighting in Syria, has ordered a Christian community in Raqqa, Syria, to pay nearly 38 pounds of gold as a “guarantee of their safety.”
WND (h/t Frederic F) The requirement is part of the implementation of a form of Islamic law, or Shariah, in areas under ISIS control. Each ounce would cost, at Feb. 26 rates, about $1,330, making the total needed for the required 600-plus ounces of gold more than $800,000.
Raqqa, or ar-Raqqah, is a city in north central Syria with a population of some 300,000 people, of which less than 1 percent, or 3,000, are Christian. That means each Christian then would be required to come up with more than $260 in gold.
Prior to issuing the demand for the gold, sources say the Christians had met with ISIS fighters who offered three choices: Convert to Islam, accept ISIS conditions or reject their control and possibly be killed.
“If they reject, they are subject to being legitimate targets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword,” a separate ISIS statement said. Prior to ISIS taking over Raqqa, many Christians fled the city.
In the video, ISIS said it would require the Christian community to pay 17 kilograms of gold as “jizya,” or a tax on non-Muslims, who also “must refrain from any public expression of their religion in exchange for a guarantee of their safety,” according to the English-subtitled video.
“The group made this announcement over the Internet,” the video said, adding that the Christians are prohibited from renovating their churches, ringing church bells and praying in public. The video also said ISIS forbade Christians from possessing weapons and selling pork or alcohol to Muslims.