Criticising the imposition of 'Jizya' on Sikh community in Pakistan by Taliban, top Muslim clerics on Tuesday said this is nothing more than "extortion" by an armed and lawless gang.
Head of Darul Uloom Farangi Mahal Maulana Khalid Rasheed and Naib Imam of Lucknow Idgah expressed serious concern over the reports of Taliban extracting huge amount of money from Sikhs as 'Jizya' in Pakistan's Aurakzai tribal region.
They also flayed the Talibani militants for damaging the property of those Sikhs who have not paid the "tax".
"The imposition of the so-called Jizya is nothing more than extortion by an armed and lawless gang which does not constitute a sovereign government or state or even an organ thereof," Maulana Khalid Rasheed said.
Moreover, Pakistan's tribal areas are not "conquered lands" and the non-Muslim population has been living there for centuries", Maulana Khalid pointed out.
As per Islam, Jizya is a tax paid in an Islamic state for exemption from military service by healthy non-Mulsim adults, he said in a statement.
He added that "for many centuries 'Jizya' had not been levied by Muslim states and today even the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not levy Jizya on non-Muslims".
Prominent Islamic scholars of the modern times are of the view that 'Jizya' should not be imposed now as non-Muslims are equal citizens of the Muslim states and pay all the taxes paid by other citizens and also share the duties, he stated.