In a newly released video, the Islamic State said that Christians in a Syrian town it recently conquered were given the choice to sign a contract pledging subservience to Muslim rule or “be killed” and have their women and children enslaved.
The jihadist group claimed that it has “displayed kindness and generosity” to the Christian minority in Qaryatayn, which it seized in August, even as the video showed jihadist militants throwing a cross from a church and ransacking a church hall.
The narrator also had a special message to American Christians, promising that, if they convert to Islam, “no harm will come to you.”
The Middle East Media Research Institute reported Monday that the video, which was released over the weekend, encouraged Islamic State followers to fight those who don’t believe in Allah until, as the title of the video declared, “they give the jizya willingly while they are humbled.”
MEMRI reported that the title is a quote from a section of the Koran that describes imposing the jizya tax on non-Muslims living as second-class citizens under Muslim rule.
The video asserted that some Christians converted to Islam, while others signed a “dhimma contract,” establishing them as citizens inferior to their Muslim neighbors, and paid the jizya tax, thus being allowed to live safely under the group’s self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate.
MEMRI described the video:
The ISIS member says that the Christians who had been taken captive and remained in the city had four options: One, the men could be killed and the women and children could be enslaved. Two, they could be exchanged for prisoners, money, or booty. Three, they could be pardoned, provided they leave the caliphate. Four, they could sign the dhimma contract and pay the jizya.
In the end, he says, "the caliph of Muslims [Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi] displayed kindness and generosity [to the Christians] and agreed to receive their jizya tax and allow them to live under caliphate rule as part of the dhimma contract." He adds that "the leader of the Muslims" had agreed to give the Christians who fled the city an opportunity to sign the dhimma contract and to return within a month to their homes and fields.
The Islamic State claimed these men are Christians who returned to the city conquered by the jihadist group and agreed to sign a contract pledging to give up basic individual rights. (Image source: MEMRI)
The narrator issued a warning to Christians in the West.
"This is a message to all Christians in the East and West, and to the defender of the Cross — America: Convert to Islam and no harm will come to you,” the narrator said. “If you obey, you will have to pay the jizya poll tax."
Last month, MEMRI translated the text of the dhimmi contract that Christians were forced to sign in which they agreed to an array of curbs on their faith and self-defense, promised they will not own guns, build churches, display crosses, worship in public or ring church bells.