April 20, 2015
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — A new video released by ISIS on April 19th, shows militants killing two separate groups of Ethiopian Christians for the crime of not paying the jizya tax. Coptic Solidarity condemns these monstrous murders in the strongest terms and urges the international community to urgently protect Christians and other minorities in the region and to defeat ISIS. Confirmation of the victims’ identities is awaited.
The video shows two different Islamic State affiliate groups who have each captured about 15 Ethiopian Christians. The spokesman explains how these Christians refused to pay the jizya tax, and the consequence is death. Other sources indicate that, in fact, the victims were impoverished immigrants who simply could not pay as demanded. Jizya is a tax mandated in Sharia law that non-Muslims must pay in order to be allowed to stay alive, having refused to convert, in an Islamic state. At that point, the video switches back and forth between scenes of the Christians wearing orange jump suits on the beach in Barqa being brutally beheaded with knives, and the other group of Christians in the desert area of Fezzan in southern Libya dressed in dark suits each being shot in the back of the head.
This latest ISIS video leaves no doubt regarding the motivation for martyring these Christians. The majority of the video is dedicated to explaining how Muslims are to treat non-Muslims. The video highlights the situation of Christians in Raqqa, Syria who accepted the terms of jizya and dhminnitude (life as 2nd class citizen) and so their lives and property were spared. In contrast, the Christians in Nineveh, Iraq refused the terms and faced death. Yet, the video claims in a hypocritical effort to show ‘mercy,’ they were instead exiled from their homes and had their property taken, as proscribed by the laws of Islam.
Coptic Solidarity calls upon the United States and other concerned countries to stop obfuscating and to acknowledge ISIS’ stated purpose of killing these individuals because they were Christians who did not want to deny their faith.
Coptic Solidarity emphasizes that life as a dhimmi under Islamic rule is infinitely worse than life for African slaves in America prior to the Civil war and for African Americans prior to the civil rights movement. Accepting life as a dhimmi rather than death means living the rest of your life without the most basic equality in every aspect from education, employment, judicial rights, religious freedom and more. The situation for women and girls under this rule is the most severe as they are forced to veil themselves, may not leave home unaccompanied by a male relative, and can be killed for dishonor should they have the misfortune of being raped or kidnapped.
Coptic Solidarity urges the UN Security Council to follow its mandate and immediately act in protection of the innocent and vulnerable groups in the region, rather than pursuing the mirage of a peaceful coexistence between murderous jihadis of the Islamic State and minority groups. Urgent action is necessary to both protect these minorities and defeat ISIS militarily. The UNSC must act before these barbarities continue spreading across the region and Libya turns into a springboard permitting attacks in near-by countries including Europe. Particularly, Coptic Solidarity urges the UNSC, based on the MECHRIC memos of August 2014 and March 2015 to evacuate all communities under ISIS and Jihadi threat, including Ethiopians, Copts, and other Christians in Libya under Chapter 7 as soon as this is possible
Coptic Solidarity extends its deepest condolences to the friends and families of the deceased.
Coptic Solidarity is non-profit organization dedicated to leading efforts to achieve equal citizenship for the Copts in Egypt and minorities in Middle East