Jizya And Latter Day Barbary Pirates

Exercising the Muslim tradition of extracting jizya from any and all, the Taliban demanded and South Korea paid $2.46 million to Taliban extremists in Afghanistan to secure the release of 19 hostages. Citing unidentified sources in Afghanistan, a Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun said Afghan mediators persuaded South Korea's ambassador in Kabul that there was no other way to end the six-week kidnap ordeal.

"Two million dollars were paid to release all 19 people," an Afghan mediator was quoted as telling the influential Japanese daily.

Officially however, the Asahi Shimbun said both a South Korean official and a Taliban spokesman contacted by the newspaper denied any payment. The Taliban, who earlier killed two of the hostages, freed the 19 Christian aid workers this week after South Korea promised to withdraw its military from Afghanistan as planned and ban missionary groups from the Islamic country. South Korean officials have not commented on whether a payment was made to any party to help secure the release.

In 1622 the Dutch entered into a treaty with the pasha of Algiers in which payments to the pasha would “buy the peace” and Dutch merchant vessels would be allowed to pass in the Mediterranean unmolested. By 1624 the depredations of the Algerian corsairs on Dutch ships returned to the pre-treaty levels.

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The Algerians would capture the Dutch ships, seize their cargo as war booty and return to Algiers with the Dutch crews who would then be sold into slavery throughout the Islamic empire. All of which of course is sanctioned by the Islamic canon that enjoins jihad upon the non-Muslims wherever they may be encountered.

The Dutch leaders had their fill of the unprovoked jihad and so dispatched a squadron of warships under the command of Admiral Lambert Hendrickszoon (”Mooy Lambert”) to deal with the pasha. Admiral Lambert soon arrived at the mouth of the Algerian harbor with several Algerian corsairs in tow that he had captured along his way. He anchored his squadron in the harbor and sent word to the pasha that he demanded the immediate release of all Dutch citizens and return of their ships and cargo. If the pasha did not comply, the admiral would hang all of the Algerian officers and crewman in his possession. The pasha refused, believing that Lambert was bluffing. Lambert promptly turned his squadron out to sea with every one of the Algerian captives hanging from the spars as the Dutch squadron disappeared over the horizon.

The spectre horrified the Algerian populace and the city convulsed with wailing crowds and tumultuous clamor at the gates of the pasha’s palace. There was no time for the pasha and his officers to fully ponder the implications of the event as soon they beheld the return of Lambert’s squadron with a fresh collection of captured corsairs and their crews. Lambert again anchored in the harbor and repeated his demands with the same threat if they were not met. The pasha relented immediately, all the Dutch captives in the city were freed and their property restored. Admiral Lambert turned to sea and returned to Holland.

Unfortunately the victory of Lambert had only a temporary effect but it did demonstrate to all the Europeans that the jihad emanating from the Maghreb could be stemmed if the Europeans were willing to wield an uncompromising sword in their hand. It would be nearly two centuries before the United States, under the leadership of President Thomas Jefferson would adopt the Lambert solution to subdue the depredation on American merchant ships by Algiers, Tripoli, Tunisia and Morocco. It took the Americans nearly 15 years of intense and often brutal military effort to finally achieve a lasting cessation to the jihad. Consistent with over a thousand years of experience, it also proved again that the jinn of jihad can only be contained with direct and overwhelming force.

Thanks to Dr. Mack for this lesson of the Dutch fighting back against the Muslim pirates.

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