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Pay money

"Pay money" Continued...

Issue: "Obama," Nov. 15, 2008

Wilson by then was on his way to a rendezvous near Hamrin Mountain where he was to deposit the ransom money inside an abandoned tank. Once the money was retrieved, Yousif would be freed, the kidnappers told Wilson. But along the way a U.S. convoy blocked the road, forcing him to wait. Then Wilson received a call on his cell phone from a shepherd. Soon he heard Yousif's voice, telling Wilson he no longer had to make a ransom payment.

Yousif returned to a village outside Mosul where he was reunited with his family. Under better circumstances, that would be the happy ending to his story. But in the reality that is Iraq, Yousif remains in as much if not more danger. He now has round-the-clock bodyguards and is secretive about his whereabouts, even though he has made two trips to Baghdad. When I asked him if he has or would pay protection money to stay alive, he said, "You have to pay money. It is life or money, so you pay money."

Jizya

A tax insurgent groups sometimes impose on Iraqi Christians, mandated by the Quran, Surah 9, verse 29: "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden that 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 Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

Mindy Belz
Mindy Belz

Mindy travels to the far corners of the globe as the editor of WORLD and lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

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