Iran’s state-controlled Ahlul Bayt News Agency picked up this story without attribution from Shia Rights Watch, the “SRW” referenced in the article. It could be accurate, or it could be another example of the anti-Saudi propaganda that the Iranians produce with some regularity.
What is noteworthy about it in any case is it’s matter-of-fact explanation of the jizya, the poll tax that the Qur’an commands be paid by “the People of the Book” to the Muslims, “with willing submission,” so that the non-Muslims “feel themselves subdued” (9:29). The claim that “jizya can only be collected from male [sic] who meet certain criteria in return of the security and job opportunities that they enjoy in Islamic country” is apologetic nonsense, and is belied by the piece’s overall tone of wounded outrage. The author is angry that a Sunni cleric would consider Shia to be non-Muslims and demand the jizya from them — yet Islamic apologists in the West routinely claim that the jizya was a grand thing, a lower tax rate than the zakat payments that Muslims had to make, and it exempted one from military service to boot!
If this were even close to true, it is unlikely that the author of this piece would be so indignant over a cleric calling for Shi’ites to pay the jizya. So here we have yet another example of Muslims in Muslim countries taking for granted the understanding of Islam that Muslim spokesmen in the U.S. claim is held only by “extremists” and “Islamophobes,” and knowing that their audience will take it for granted as well.
“Saudi Wahhabi cleric calls Shia Muslims as non-Muslims and requests to pay tribute (Jizya ),” from the Ahlul Bayt News Agency, February 5:
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – Ali Alrabieei a Saudi Wahhabi cleric calls Shia Muslims as non-Muslims and calls on Islamic governments to collect jizya from them.
Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state’s non-Muslim citizens who meet certain criteria. The tax is and was to be levied on able-bodied adult males of military age and affording power.
Alrabieei calls Shia non-Muslim when Shia believes in the same God, Prophet and principles of Islam as any other Muslim sects do. In Arab countries one is called non-Muslim only to be looked down at and it is a way of degrading a person or a group. Anyone with basic knowledge and minimal education about Islam knows Shia are minorities within Islam, say Mustafa Akhwand the director of SRW. Also jizya can only be collected from male who meet certain criteria in return of the security and job opportunities that they enjoy in Islamic country.
Shia are Muslims. Even IF they were not considered Muslim, they would have to pay IF they enjoyed any security and financial ease…As the world witnesses Shia Muslims have no security in Islamic nations, and they are among the poorest population because of the oppression of their governments. Thousands of Shia Muslims are being killed and now they have to pay because they live in such environment?
This claim of Alrabieei is harmful and can lead to more human rights violations. SRW holds Saudi Arabia government responsible for this humiliating accuse since in this country all clerics are official employees of the government. Ali Alrabieei must be questioned by the authorities and stopped from enabling Shia rights violations immediately.