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  • Taliban force Sikh citizens to pay jizia


    by Sid (Faisal)
    16th April, 2009 at 11:09 am    

    The Pakistan Daily Times reports:

    The Sikh community living in Orakzai Agency on Wednesday conceded to Taliban demand to pay them jizia – tax levied on non-Muslims living under Islamic rule – and paid Rs 20 million to Taliban in return for ‘protection’.

    Officials told Daily Times that the Taliban also released Sikh leader Sardar Saiwang Singh and vacated the community’s houses after the Sikhs accepted the Taliban demand.

    The officials said the Taliban announced that the Sikhs were now free to live anywhere in the agency.

    They also announced protection for the Sikh community, saying that no one would harm them after they paid jizia. Sikhs who had left the agency would now return to their houses and resume their business in the agency, the officials said.

    Thanks to The Common Humanist in the comments.


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    Filed in: Islamists






    40 Comments below   |  

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    1. pickles

      New blog post: Taliban makes Sikhs pay jizia http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4262




    1. The Common Humanist — on 16th April, 2009 at 11:13 am  

      What, no ‘hat tip to The Common Humanist?’
      (From the ‘Review: From Fatwa to Jihad’ thread)

      But seriously, this is a terrible story but am sure that Munir, Anjem, Yvonnes and all the other islamic imperialists are toasting the success of their ‘brothers in the struggle’ (safely from the UK of course)

    2. Sid — on 16th April, 2009 at 11:17 am  

      Corrected and hat-tipped to TCH, thanks.

    3. Golam Murtaza — on 16th April, 2009 at 11:33 am  

      Right barrel of laughs living under the Taliban, isn’t it? This is just a protection racket. I wonder how much longer the Orakzai Sikh community will last?

    4. platinum786 — on 16th April, 2009 at 12:12 pm  

      Apparently they’re already leaving, as other sikh communities in the area have done. Don’t expect any reaction from the government of Pakistan, the territory currently in the control of the Taliban is hardly a PPP or PML vote base, and a war is hardly a vote winner either. Having said that it’s not like the Khaki’s were too keen on tackling the problem head on either.

      Expect to see similar stories for months (optomistically) and years (realistically). There will be no real attempt to stop the March of the Taliban until they start taking over Punjab and Sindh, then the real power brokers in Pakistan will be threatened, and they will be forced to act as self preservation. The Taliban doesn’t do parliament or Feudal lords, as the Tribal leaders have found out to their demise.

      When eventaully they do act against them, and IF Pakistan comes out of a civil war in tact and without the Taliban on top, consider it nothing short of a miracle.

      Every moment these people are not attacked, is a moment they grow stronger. These guys are taking child soldiers, putting them into terrorist training camps masquerading as Madarsa’s, a 7-8 year old after 10 years of brainwashing, is going to be a perfect scuicide bomber. As their sphere of influence increases the number of people they can force into this system increases, the number of attackers they have increases, the bigger the war they can launch.

      Not that anyone sat in our parliament is concerned. The ANP has saved it’s neck (it forms the provincial government in NWFP) by helping give in to Taliban demands. Everyone else expects the Taliban to be content with what they have, apart from the MQM, who see Karachi as the next target.

    5. Golam Murtaza — on 16th April, 2009 at 12:36 pm  

      There was a very disturbing Dispatches documentary about the Pak civil war screened last month. That focused on the issue of kids being brainwashed into being suicide bombers. And on the massive numbers of refugees generated by the conflict who are, predictably, receiving inadequate assistance from the Government.

      I’m just glad I don’t live there.

    6. The Common Humanist — on 16th April, 2009 at 1:07 pm  

      Golam,

      The kid rocking back and forth saying women were only for domestic purposes was a particularly disturbing moment.

      Although the kid vowing to join the Army to kill Taleban cheered me up somewhat.

      TCH

    7. Golam Murtaza — on 16th April, 2009 at 1:37 pm  

      Ah yes - I remember that. And the adult Taliban guy speaking in favour of child suicide bombings who was ALSO rocking backwards and forwards and looked like he was on drugs.

    8. The Common Humanist — on 16th April, 2009 at 1:46 pm  

      Its the learning of the Koran by rote - little understanding except what their Taleban teachers want them to understand - a highly slanted and selective reading as you can imagine.

      Drugs - you bet, cheapest place for all sorts of gear and no mistake.

      It has strking parralells with the Nazi era education system and the Hitler Youth in its brainwashing impact.

      These kids end up being functionally ignorant weapons. Terrifying really and coming to a Pakistani street corner ready to kill.

      And, given recent arrests, inevitably to the UK.

    9. Jai — on 16th April, 2009 at 1:55 pm  

      This is just a protection racket.

      That’s exactly what I thought when I read TCH’s original post on the other thread.

      The Taliban’s activities in this regard are practically identical to the Mafia and other organised crime groups worldwide involving gangsters and extortion. They’re even using some of the same terminology, for God’s sake (re: “protection” etc).

      There was a very disturbing Dispatches documentary about the Pak civil war screened last month. That focused on the issue of kids being brainwashed into being suicide bombers.

      Although the kid vowing to join the Army to kill Taleban cheered me up somewhat.

      I saw that too, and yep it was extremely disturbing.

      As for those two kids who were best friends but intended to join the Taliban and the Pakistani Army respectively when they were older, and said they’d kill each other if they ever met on the battlefield…..It was like some surreal ’70s Amitabh Bachchan/Vinod Khanna/Shashi Kapoor Bollywood film scenario, until it hits you shortly afterwards that this is very much “real life” and is potentially going to end horribly and very tragically indeed for these two young friends.

    10. Rumbold — on 16th April, 2009 at 1:59 pm  

      I doubt that Sikhs will be left alone by the Taliban after this, which is what is supposed to happen under the jizya.

    11. Sid — on 16th April, 2009 at 2:02 pm  

      Yes, it’s very depressing.

    12. Jai — on 16th April, 2009 at 2:12 pm  

      Expect to see similar stories for months (optomistically) and years (realistically). There will be no real attempt to stop the March of the Taliban until they start taking over Punjab and Sindh, then the real power brokers in Pakistan will be threatened, and they will be forced to act as self preservation. The Taliban doesn’t do parliament or Feudal lords, as the Tribal leaders have found out to their demise.

      Some good articles from The Economist recently:

      “Pakistan’s Murderous Extremists: The Slide Downhill — In the world’s most dangerous place”:

      http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13446862&source=most_commented

      “The War on Pakistan’s Taliban: Stalking Baitullah Mehsud”:

      http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13415309

      ******************************

      It has strking parralells with the Nazi era education system and the Hitler Youth in its brainwashing impact.

      There is a long but superb article from last weekend’s FT Magazine which discusses TCH’s observation (along with several other relevant areas). I strongly recommend everyone here reads it in its entirety when you have some spare time:

      http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/3a7d0dfc-24b7-11de-8bb2-00144feabdc0.html

      Quote:

      “With the bin Ladenists, the notion of the Umma has been corrupted into fascistic and supremacist ideas analogous to the Volk or the Razza, with their primacy over individual human rights and the universal rights of humanity, a muscular Islamism that appeals to the young yet elicits a vicarious thrill among orderly conservatives. As the American scholar of fascism, Robert Paxton, puts it well, “war is indispensable for the maintenance of fascist muscle tone”. Substitute “jihad” for war and “Islamist” for fascist and you have an important element of the attraction of the modern holy warrior.”

    13. The Common Humanist — on 16th April, 2009 at 2:15 pm  

      Jai,
      thanks for the FT link, one to read with cocoa when Mrs Humanist is out Belly Dancing (No, reallY)

      TCH

    14. platinum786 — on 16th April, 2009 at 2:17 pm  

      Someone on the Pakistani Defence Forum said;

      It took people living under communism to reject it. Educated people refused to see Hitler’s wrongs. Both promised utopia and were attractive. Utopia never came. It was always around the corner.

      I hope it doesn’t come to that, but it’s certainly looking that way.

    15. platinum786 — on 16th April, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

      It’s at moments like this why you can understand why Kamal Attaturk had to be pretty much anti Islam to protect Turkey.

    16. The Common Humanist — on 16th April, 2009 at 2:21 pm  

      Platinum,
      Good stuff throughout and I suspect ypu may well be right.

      How depressing is that? (your comment @ 14, not that you were right)

      Still, on a lighter note, the darker the…er…darkness, the brighter the dawn! (Look at Germany and Japan) But ignore Russia and think of the Czechs.

      This analogy isn’t going well is it?

    17. The Common Humanist — on 16th April, 2009 at 2:30 pm  

      Aye, Attaturk had a point. Make Islam private and in the home. Like the CofE!

    18. platinum786 — on 16th April, 2009 at 2:59 pm  

      ^^^ Not that much of a fan of that concept. Reason being Islam provides us with orders to improve society, to act as a community, to look out for eath other, can’t do that sat in front of the telly. Even in things like prayer, we’re encouraged to pray together in Mosques, regularly, rather than alone at home. To me that makes my faith a part of a larger community, it means spiritually developing alongside others, so i can’t see it as a private affair.

      At the same time, it’s not the stuff rammed down your throat bt the likes of the Taliban or the Saudi’s either.

    19. The Common Humanist — on 16th April, 2009 at 3:05 pm  

      Platinum,
      No, I mean, out of the sphere of governance but within the community. Should have made that clearer.

      TCH

    20. platinum786 — on 16th April, 2009 at 3:12 pm  

      ^^^ Now that’s a whole different arguement. We can have that on another topic, it always feels a bit rude to hijack a topic, not that it stops me doing it, the Somalia E-pirate in me is stronger than the urge to observe proper netiquette (not that I’m somali).

    21. Chris Baldwin — on 16th April, 2009 at 3:16 pm  

      “Aye, Attaturk had a point. Make Islam private and in the home. Like the CofE!”

      I’m all in favour of secularism, but the C of E isn’t like that.

    22. Amrit — on 16th April, 2009 at 5:40 pm  

      Wooo, this is going to give the fam more fuel for their ‘Bomb Pakistan off the face of the Earth’ views.

      I agree with those who feel this is just the beginning. I fear there’ll be no heartwarming Lagaan-style cricket-based solution to tyranny here. I think they will, like all racketeers, keep pushing until the Orakzai Sikh community is no more. That’s probably the point though.

      Are these Talibanis trying to ‘return Pakistan to how it should be’ or promoting a Saudi-style extremist agenda? Or using the latter to achieve the former? I’m just curious.

      TCH:

      It has striking parallels with the Nazi era education system and the Hitler Youth in its brainwashing impact.

      Yes. What struck me about this was how much it made me think of the Bertolt Brecht play, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.

    23. Shafiq — on 16th April, 2009 at 5:53 pm  

      At first, I dismissed worries about the Taliban and their chums, but after seeing what they’ve done to Pakistan, I fully support efforts to destroy them.

    24. Sid — on 16th April, 2009 at 6:09 pm  

      but after seeing what they’ve done to Pakistan, I fully support efforts to destroy them

      Your voice on here, so far as British Islamists are concerned, is to tolerate them and learn to live with them. On your blog you take a “inclusive” attitude to Hamas.

      But when it comes to the Taliban in Pakistan you say:
      “destroy them”!?

      That’s pretty extreme, isn’t it?

      Why exactly are you so cuddly towards Jamaatis and the Hamas, but so utterly, utterly conclusive towards the Taliban?

      And how do you propose we do that without consolidating Pakistan’s Western border, bumping up troop numbers and bombing campaigns?

    25. platinum786 — on 16th April, 2009 at 6:24 pm  

      To be fair to Shafiq Sid, the Middle East is a little different, the difference being there is no political alternative for the people of the region to Fateh, Hamas have presented them as a political alternative to Fateh and are trying to be a military entity which can cause enough harm to Israel to bring it to the table in a similar mould to Hizbollah.

      Is that desireable in the perfect world, of course not, but the lack of backing and power that Fateh has and the deep seated corruption within the organisation has legitimsed Hamas. Similalry many Taliban sympathisers see them as legitimate in the face of the current Pakistani government, the difference is Pakistan has at least 4 political faces you can turn to, the PPP, the PML, the regional parties (MQM/ANP) and the religious parties (JUI, JI). All who are viable alternatives, so the Taliban are not the “alternative”.

      If the world doesn’t want Hamas to have control in Palestine then it must empower Fateh, it must make Fateh a success and it must also nuture political alternatives to Fateh as the only way to reduce corruption with Fateh. There is no doubt that Hamas are also gangsters, but sometimes when your only choice is between two gangs, you choose the stronger one, or the one which controls the territory around your home.

      You’ll never finish extremism without providing a good political alternative and an alternative that can produce results. If you finished Hamas today, but in 60 years time the Palestinians are worse off or in the same place, you can bet that Hamas or someone like them would be back again.

      Even in the Pakistan situation it can be seen to be valid to an extent, not such a great an extent as it is in the middle east, but even in Pakistan, politics has punished the elecorate rather than reward them, and it’s something our political minds should not ignore. Fair enough nobody wants the Taliban as an alternative, but for how long? We paused to think about and they’ve knocked us back and taken Swat, they’re making inroads into the big cities and have influence in large areas of FATA and spreading into NWFP. That all because of a pause, if we survive this time round and nothing changes, how long before they come back, and how long will the pause be next time, if we survive for a next time?

    26. The Common Humanist — on 16th April, 2009 at 8:45 pm  

      Plats,
      You are now, in my minds eye, always going to have an eye patch and a cutlass by ya side!
      TCH ;-)

    27. Ashik — on 16th April, 2009 at 10:59 pm  

      As the Pakistani state has pretty much abdicated it’s responsibility to protect it’s own citizens in certain areas it actually makes sense for them to pay off the local authority (de facto the Taliban). If the Taliban actually keep their promises of ‘protection’ then it might be considered money well spent. After all, this is just another form of feudalism in Pakistan.

    28. Roger — on 17th April, 2009 at 8:33 am  

      Actually. aren’t the Taleban being very tolerant by their standards in recognising sikhs as people of the book who ought to pay jizya? Sikhism began long after Mohammed’s revelation and so technically sikhs are followers of a false prophet.

    29. Jai — on 17th April, 2009 at 9:41 am  

      As the Pakistani state has pretty much abdicated it’s responsibility to protect it’s own citizens in certain areas it actually makes sense for them to pay off the local authority (de facto the Taliban). If the Taliban actually keep their promises of ‘protection’ then it might be considered money well spent.

      Not really, as (somewhat ironically) the Taliban themselves are the group that local Sikhs (and everyone else there) need to be “protected” from most of all.

      ************************************

      Roger,

      Actually. aren’t the Taleban being very tolerant by their standards in recognising sikhs as people of the book who ought to pay jizya?

      “Jizya” is levied on all non-Muslims, not just “non-Muslims who are people of the book”. The Taliban aren’t necessarily viewing Sikhs as belonging to the latter group at all.

    30. Ravi Naik — on 17th April, 2009 at 9:43 am  

      If the Taliban actually keep their promises of ‘protection’ then it might be considered money well spent. After all, this is just another form of feudalism in Pakistan.

      So you think it is right and sensible for the Taliban to tax citizens because they are of a different religion? I agree that it is progressive for them to actually give this option, but it is rather embarrassing for you to endorse it. Surely you would disagree if the British government started taxing British Muslims or British non-whites.

    31. Shafiq — on 17th April, 2009 at 10:31 am  

      Sid,

      I’m not sure what you mean by my attitude towards British Islamists. As far as I’m concerned, if they’re breaking the law, then they shouldn’t be tolerated, but if they’re not breaking the law, I don’t have a problem.

      As for my blog, I haven’t specifically talked about Hamas apart from the one post about Christians in Gaza and Israeli accusations towards Hamas. I do however, see Hamas as legitimate because they were elected, and therefore I do support their right to resist an occupation within the constraints of International Law.

      Jamaatis, I have no opinion towards them simply because I don’t know who they are (unless you’re referring to Tablighi Jamaati’s - if this is the case, then I have no problem with them seeing as they’re apolitical)

      The reason why I take a different stance towards the Taliban is triple-fold:
      - They don’t represent mainstream Pakistani or Afghani opinion (i.e. they haven’t been elected)
      - Their attitudes towards women and religious minorities
      - Their murdering of anyone that doesn’t agree with them politically

    32. Ashik — on 17th April, 2009 at 10:35 am  

      Naik:

      ‘Surely you would disagree if the British government started taxing British Muslims or British non-whites’.

      Of course I would.

      However, in a dystopian setting if British authority collapsed in and around London & SE and the ‘Knights of St. George’ or some such outfit was in control then I’d try and make the best deal for myself, family, community. My taxes would be transferred from the state to the de facto power. You wanna argue finer points of morality with a guy armed with an AK-47?

      Besides, such extortion is hardly exclusive to the Taliban in Pakistan. In India dozens of Maoist, naxalite and regional nationalist groups extract taxes from locals to fund their struggle against New Delhi. Don’t see such a fuss being made on PP.

    33. Raja Sahib — on 17th April, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

      Hiya folks.

      I was just thinking if the Sikhs are paying “jizya tax” to the Taliban. What are non-Sikhs i.e. Muslims (I assume the vast majority) paying the Taliban?

      Are they getting away without paying any tax at all?

      Does anyone here know?

    34. Roger — on 17th April, 2009 at 5:22 pm  

      ““Jizya” is levied on all non-Muslims, not just “non-Muslims who are people of the book”. The Taliban aren’t necessarily viewing Sikhs as belonging to the latter group at all.”

      However, under sharia aren’t the only non-muslims that are tolerated people of the book, Jai?

    35. 5K — on 18th April, 2009 at 7:22 am  

      The Taliban are continuing a very old tax that was used on all non-muslim during Mughul rule. In the entire history of any muslim leader they have always acted against non-muslims, they are not tolerant and only want to convert everyone to Islam.

      I think if Taliban continue to grow history may have to repeat it self to get rid of these pests.

    36. Mangles — on 19th April, 2009 at 11:14 pm  

      And some deranged fools want to bring sharia laws to the UK.

      I am yet to see a Muslim outcry anywhere about this clearly discriminatory practice, but hey who said Islam was about fairness and justice. And with so many flaws where do you start?

      Salaam from the religion of peace hey (PEACE ONLY IF YOU’RE ONE OF US THOUGH!)

      5K- can’t wait for a repeat of the historical outcome. The irony is its the North West Frontier region again. Cant wait to see the new Hari Singh Nalua- LOL

      Rab Rakha!

    37. Jai — on 20th April, 2009 at 11:20 am  

      Roger,

      However, under sharia aren’t the only non-muslims that are tolerated people of the book, Jai?

      No.

      The term ‘People of the Book’ does not include, for example, Hindus and Sikhs, because there are some fundamental differences between some of the basics of these faiths compared to the ‘Abrahamic’ religions, ie. Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

      More details here here (I refer you to the paragraph on Sikhism in particular):

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_of_the_Book

    38. Raja Sahib — on 26th April, 2009 at 9:45 pm  

      i wonder if these were the same sikhs?:

      http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20080428/main5.htm

    39. Raja Sahib — on 26th April, 2009 at 9:53 pm  

      i suppose the csm may be “jihadist-extremist, wahabist-takfiri, islamist-extremist, etc,etc,etc” website:

      http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0413/p7s1.html

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