Muslim Cleric Calls U.S. Aid to Egypt ‘Jizya’ (Infidel Tax)
Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood, which was founded much earlier, doublespeak is not second nature to the Salafis.
The most recent example comes from Al Hafiz TV, an Egyptian Islamic station. During a roundtable discussion on the U.S. and foreign aid to Egypt, an Islamic cleric, clearly of the Salafi bent—he had their trademark mustache-less-beard—insisted that the U.S. must be treated contemptuously, like a downtrodden dhimmi, or conquered infidel; that Egypt must make the U.S. conform to its own demands; and that, then, all the money the U.S. offers to Egypt in foreign aid can be taken as rightfully earned jizya.
Historically, the jizya (tribute) was money that conquered non-Muslims had to pay to their Muslim overlords to safeguard their existence (as indicated in Koran 9:29). And this is not the first time of late that Muslims have called for non-Muslims -- especially Christian minorities under Islam -- to resume paying the jizya, which was abolished in the nineteenth century thanks to European intervention.
According to the sheikh, Egypt must be less cooperative with the U.S. and, at the same time, insist for more monetary aid. If so, the sheikh believes that “America will accept; it will kiss our hands; and it will also increase its aid. And we will consider its aid as jizya, not as aid. But first we must make impositions on it.”
When the host asked the sheikh “Do the Americans owe us jizya?” he responded, “Yes,” adding that it is the price Americans have to pay “so we can leave them alone!” When the host asked the sheikh if he was proclaiming a fatwa, the latter exclaimed, “By Allah, of course!”
The sheikh added that, to become a truly Islamic state, Egypt must “impose on America to pay aid as jizya, before we allow it to realize its own interests, the ones which we agree to.”
While the Egyptian cleric was focused on “international jizya”—that is, money paid by one non-Muslim nation to a Muslim nation (in this case, U.S money to Egypt)—other Muslims have been receiving and enjoying individual “jizya” from Western, infidel governments, in the form of welfare aid.
Just last February, for example, Anjem Choudary, an Islamic cleric and popular preacher in the United Kingdom, was secretly taped telling a Muslim audience to follow his example and get “Jihad Seeker’s Allowance” from the government—a pun on “Job Seeker’s Allowance.”
The father of four, who receives more than $38,000 annually in welfare benefits, referred to British taxpayers as “slaves,” adding, “We take the jizya, which is our haq [Arabic for “right”], anyway. The normal situation by the way is to take money from the kafir [infidel], isn’t it? So this is the normal situation. They give us the money—you work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar [“Allah is Great”]. We take the money. Hopefully there’s no one from the DSS [Department of Social Security] listening to this.”
Thus, the non-Muslim world should be grateful to the Salafis for always and ever exposing the teachings and beliefs of Islamic (Sharia) law. Convinced that Allah is on their side and they can do no wrong, today’s Salafis are unabashed when it comes to the things of Islamic law, from evoking them to upholding them.
But of course, all this honesty is for naught for those many in the West who, having eyes and ears, do not see or hear reality.
Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum. A widely published author, he is best known for his book, The Al Qaeda Reader . Mr. Ibrahim's dual-background—born and raised in the U.S. by Egyptian parents —has provided him with unique advantages to understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets.