ISIS released these chilling images today of Syrian Christians lined up in the rows of a theater or lecture hall to pay their tax — the jizya — in lieu of converting to Islam.
When the Islamic State moves into an area, Christians are officially told to convert, pay a high tax that’s out of reach of many families, or get out of town. Though ISIS won’t state this in their dhimmi offers to the local populace, Christian women are also kidnapped as sex slaves and churches are destroyed.
The new photos are from Al Quaryatayn, a Syrian city southeast of Homs and just an hour and a half drive from Asal Alward on the Lebanon border. The city is also an hour and a half southwest of the ancient city of Palmyra, demonstrating ISIS’ advance since sacking the town and destroying its archaeological sites. ISIS wanted the city for its strategic location near the International Highway that links Damascus and Homs.
Quaryatayn, a city of about 200,000, had been housing many of the displaced who fled from Assad attacks and/or ISIS attacks.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that ISIS “received money in the last 48 hours from Christian clerks” in the city, and “is still keeping the Christian citizens’ IDs.”
“The sources reported that most people of the city are going leave after taking their IDs.”
ISIS captured Quaryatayn in early August. Soon after, dozens of Christians were kidnapped. On Aug. 20, ISIS bulldozed the Monastery of St. Elian in the town; some parts of the building were 1,500 years old.