Friday, July 25, 2008

Bishop Jumoad Receives Extortion Demand

Did you know that Bishop Martin Jumoad of the Basilan province in the Philippines has received a threat of violence if he doesn't convert to Islam?

The bishop received a letter written by persons calling themselves “Muslim warriors.” They said of they “don't follow any laws other than the Qur'an.” The letter instructed Bishop Jumoad to convert to Islam or pay “jizya.” A jizya is an Islamic tax generally assessed from non-believers being protected in Islamic states; however, it does not come into play in non-Muslim countries. The letter writing "Muslim warriors" said the jizya will afford the bishop protection “in the place of Muslims.”

The letter stated that if the Bishop did not comply, “force, weapons or war may be used” against him.

In other words, these thugs are solely seeking protection money - there is no way they, in their wildest dreams, are imagining a letter is going to cause Bishop Jumoad to convert. Absurdly, they are trying to legitimize the extortion by citing a taxation that is part of the social order in governments under Islamic rule. In those countries the tax is used to support the needy. I'm thinking that is not the case with these people.

Unfortunately, this is yet another volatile area of Muslim extremism. Other Catholics have received such threats. Just this past Monday five Catholics were abducted in Basilan. The three adults and two children were abducted from a public jeep.

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