The jizya is a tax that non-Muslims must pay as a sign of their subjugation to the Muslims, and it is mandated in the Qur'an: "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." -- Qur'an 9:29
The Tafsir al-Jalalayn says that this when v. 29 specifies that Muslims must fight against those who “follow not the Religion of Truth,” it means those who do not follow Islam, “which is firm and abrogates other deens [religions].” Ibn Kathir gives a hint as to why this is so when he explains that the People of the Book were in bad faith when they rejected Muhammad, and that they are not true believers even in their own religions:
Therefore, when People of the Scriptures disbelieved in Muhammad, they had no beneficial faith in any Messenger or what the Messengers brought. Rather, they followed their religions because this conformed with their ideas, lusts and the ways of their forefathers, not because they are Allah’s Law and religion. Had they been true believers in their religions, that faith would have directed them to believe in Muhammad, because all Prophets gave the good news of Muhammad’s advent and commanded them to obey and follow him. Yet when he was sent, they disbelieved in him, even though he is the mightiest of all Messengers. Therefore, they do not follow the religion of earlier Prophets because these religions came from Allah, but because these suit their desires and lusts. Therefore, their claimed faith in an earlier Prophet will not benefit them because they disbelieved in the master, the mightiest, the last and most perfect of all Prophets.
As-Sawi specifies that the payment of the jizya signifies that the non-Muslims are “humble and obedient to the judgements of Islam.” As-Suyuti notes that the jizya is “not taken from someone in a state of hardship,” although that was a stipulation at times honored in the breach. For example, a contemporary account of the Muslims’ conquest of Nikiou, an Egyptian town, in the 640’s, says that “it is impossible to describe the lamentable position of the inhabitants of this town, who came to the point of offering their children in exchange for the enormous sums that they had to pay each month…”
This was a manifestation of the “state of abasement” specified by this verse and spelled out by the Bedouin commander al-Mughira bin Sa’d when he met the Persian Rustam. Said al-Mughira: “I call you to Islam or else you must pay the jizya while you are in a state of abasement.”
Rustam replied, “I know what jizya means, but what does ‘a state of abasement’ mean?”
Al-Mughira explained: “You pay it while you are standing and I am sitting and the whip hanging is over your head.”
Similarly, Ibn Kathir says that the dhimmis must be “disgraced, humiliated and belittled. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.” The seventh-century jurist Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab stated: “I prefer that the people of the dhimma become tired by paying the jizya since He says, ‘until they pay the jizya with their own hands in a state of complete abasement.’” As-Suyuti elaborates that this verse “is used as a proof by those who say that it is taken in a humiliating way, and so the taker sits and the dhimmi stands with his head bowed and his back bent. The jizya is placed in the balance and the taker seizes his beard and hits his chin.” He adds, however, that “this is rejected according to an-Nawawi who said, ‘This manner is invalid.’” Zamakhshari, however, agreed that the jizya should be collected “with belittlement and humiliation.”
Muslim spokesmen in the West routinely claim that this verse has no applicability in the modern world. They're lying.
"Two Christians Murdered in Egypt for Refusing to Pay Jizya to Muslims," by Mary Abdelmassih for AINA, September 13:
(AINA) -- Two Coptic Christians government employees were shot dead yesterday for refusing to pay Jizya, the Muslim poll tax on Christians. Emad Damian, 50, and his cousin Medhat Damian, 37, from the village of Sahel Selim in Assuit Province, were contacted two days before their murder by the leader of a Muslim gang, who was identified by Watany Coptic Newspaper as Ashraf Ahmed Mohammed Khalajah, a registered criminal from the village.
Accoring to Emad's brother Dr. Samy Damian, Emad was contacted about 9:30 PM by a member of the gang, who demanded 10,000 Egyptian pounds so that he could buy weapons. "My brother said that he had no problems with anyone, does not require services from anyone, and does not have the money."
In an interview on Al Nahar TV Channel on September 12, Ahmed Fawzi, secretary for the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, said the two murdered Copts, who were members of his political party, reported the matter to the police in Sahel Selim and asked for police protection, but the police did nothing.
"A couple of days later the gang surprised the two Copts by going to their home in the morning and showering them with bullets, leaving both dead," Fawzi said. "The police know who the killers are but are doing nothing to arrest them."
The districts of Sahel Selim and Ghanayem are the most unsafe areas in Assuit and their police stations were heavily shelled by the Muslim Brotherhood on August 14.
Meanwhile, the security situation remains tense in the village of Delga, Deir Mawas, 160 miles south of Cairo in Minya, where Muslim Brotherhood gangs completely control the village after the ouster of ex-president Morsy. They target the 20,000 Coptic inhabitants by imposing Jizya on them allegedly to "safeguard" them from acts of violence and vandalism to their homes and shops. Despite the arrival last week of a new director of security in the province, the scene is still grim for many.
Rev. Youannas Shawky, Pastor of the monastery of Our Lady and Saint Ebram in Delga, which was completely destroyed on 3rd July by pro-Morsy supporters (AINA 7-6-2013), said the practice of collecting Jizya from Copts started after the departure of Morsy and continues to be imposed on all Copts in the village without exception, pointing out that the value of the tribute and methods of payment vary from one place to another within the village. The amount varies from 200-500 Egyptian pounds daily, which are exorbitant amounts to many villagers. Rev. Youannas estimates 50 families have left the village so far.
Many Egyptian activists have sounded the alarm on what is happening to Christians. In an open letter to the Egyptian provisional government prominent journalist Fatma Nahoot said "Where is the government, the Interior Minister and General al-Sisi on what is happening to the Copts in Minya, including harassment, murder, intimidation, displacement and imposing Jizya on them?"