Numerous news sources are reporting that ISIS leaders in the new Islamic State, have ordered Christians in the city of Mosul to either convert to Islam, pay a protection fee (known as a jiziya), or face death. According to these sources, Christians have until tomorrow, Saturday, to make their choice.
The Islamic State group has threatened Christians in the Iraqi city of Mosul with death if they do not to convert to Islam or pay a tax, Al Jazeera has learned.According to the Daily Star, those Christian families which remain in Mosul are heeding ISIS' warning and leaving.
The Sunni rebel group issued the orders in a letter after Friday prayers. The document, obtained by Al Jazeera, states that the order was issued after Christian leaders failed to attend a meeting called by the group.
In response, the group says in the letter that Christians must either convert to Islam, pay a special tax on non-Muslims known as jiziya, or face death "as a last resort".
“Christian families are on their way to Dohuk and Irbil,” in the neighboring autonomous region of Kurdistan, Patriarch Louis Sako told AFP. “For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians.”Reuters confirms that Christians have been ordered to leave and indicated that in addition to paying for protection, Christians must not display evidence of their faith:
Witnesses said messages telling Christians to leave the city by Saturday were blared through loudspeakers from the city’s mosques Friday.
“We were shocked by the distribution of a statement by ISIS calling on Christians to convert to Islam, or to pay unspecified tribute, or to leave their city and their homes taking only their clothes and no luggage, and that their homes would then belong to ISIS,” Sako said.
--bolding by diarist
It said Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which the group has now named Caliph Ibrahim, had set a Saturday deadline for Christians who did not want to stay and live under those terms to "leave the borders of the Islamic Caliphate".I am sure many recall the outrage we felt when the Jews in Donetsk were presented with flyers ordering them to register with the regional council. This issue in Mosul takes things to a whole new level.
"After this date, there is nothing between us and them but the sword," it said.
The Nineveh decree echoes one that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the former name for the Islamic State, issued in the Syrian city of Raqqa in February, demanding that Christians pay the jizya levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection.
I am going to apologize in advance for this being a hit and run diary. I will be going out in an hour or so, and won't be able to attend to the diary until late this evening or tomorrow morning. But I felt this was far too important not to share.