The terrorist group Islamic State of Mozambique has demanded that all Christians and Jews convert to Islam or pay a tax if they do not want to be killed.
As part of its mission to establish a caliphate, the Islamic State in Mozambique (ISM) wrote a memo addressed to the “Mozambican crusader army” – Muslims, Christians and Jews. In a message posted on social media, the terrorist group demanded that they convert to Islam or pay taxes under pain of death, according to the Christian Megaportal inVictory, citing The Christian Post.
“Submit to Islam, pay taxes, or settle for an ‘endless war’,” warned representatives of the terrorist group of Christians and Jews in the country. “We will intensify the war against you until you submit to Islam. Our desire is to kill you or be killed, for we are martyrs before God, so submit or flee from us.”
The group also demands that “those who call themselves Muslims” cease cooperation with the “godless government”, threatening death if they refuse.
The handwritten note was reportedly found in the Macomia region in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique.
Thousands have been killed and nearly a million have fled the country due to attacks by Islamic extremist groups since an insurgency began in Cabo Delgado province in 2017. During this time, the radicals attacked several villages and took control of a province rich in gas, rubies, graphite, gold and other natural resources.
According to Ryan O’Farrell, senior analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation, Zitamar, who provides news and analysis of events in Mozambique, the ISM group is imitating the behavior and words of the Islamic State in Syria.
“But the group in Mozambique lacks the administrative capacity and permanent presence that the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) province has, which has a fairly well-organized tax system,” O’Farrell added.
In 2014, the Islamic State issued an ultimatum to the declining Christian population of northern Iraq: convert to Islam, pay the religious tax, or die, Reuters reported at the time.
At the time, the group said that Christians who wish to remain in the “caliphate” must pay a special tax known as “jizyah” in order to be protected on Muslim soil.
“We offer them three options: Islam; dhimma contract – with the payment of jizya; if they refuse it, they will have nothing but a sword,” the announcement said.
In Mozambique’s Christian-dominated Muslim-majority region of Cabo Delgado, Islamic extremists are kidnapping women and holding them as sex slaves, while boys are being forced to become child soldiers, the Washington Post reported last month.
At least 24 countries have sent troops to support the fight against insurgents in Mozambique. According to the BBC, the Mozambican military is accused of having 7,000 “ghost soldiers”, with some payments to the soldiers going to defense officials.