Tuesday, July 3nd, three “unknown assailants” in al-Minya, Egypt, attacked two Coptic Christian youths with knives and robbed them of 1,300 pounds, before fleeing the scene. While this incident may be dismissed as a mere crime inspired by plunder, there is little doubt that the victims were targeted because they are Christian: such attacks are on the rise and coterminous with calls for Egypt’s Christians to begin paying jizya. Seen as “second-class” citizens who, according to Islamic law (e.g., Koran 9:29), should be paying tribute, Christians in Islamic countries are increasingly being robbed and extorted for money—in Iraq and Syria—in lieu of jizya.
Last summer in Egypt, for instance, a priest was almost “killed at the hands of the Salafis because of his refusal to pay them jizya money…. [T]he church’s priest had declared that the Copts would not pay jizya, in any way, shape, or form. This is what caused the Salafis to want to banish him from the region, so they could collect jizya from the Copts.” The logic appears to be: If the Christians won’t pay jizya willingly, we will take it from them by force.