Tax Resistance Deployed Against Islamic State

Researchers Isak Svensson, Jonathan Hall, Dino Krause, and Eric Skoog of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala Uniersitet have examined the role of nonviolent civil disobedience among the conquered subjects of the Islamic State movement. They summarize their conclusions in today’s Washington Post. Excerpt:

A more common type of resistance was to withdraw one’s full cooperation with the Islamic State authorities. After seizing control of Mosul, the Islamic State established a sophisticated bureaucracy and tax system. Public institutions were largely taken over and operated under the Islamic State’s control, including schools, universities and courts. Some residents manifested their defiance by not paying taxes, refusing to cooperate with the Islamic State’s legal institutions, or withdrawing from schools and universities.

Our survey shows that this type of resistance was common and widespread: If we put all types of noncooperation together, 62 percent of the respondents reportedly engaged in at least one of them. While generally less risky because it was less visible, this type of resistance still entailed significant risks if detected. The Islamic State is known to have publicly whipped people for alleged tax evasion or because they taught private classes.

The U.K. organization Conscience (“Taxes for Peace Not War”) is hiring campaign, fundraising, and membership campaigners.

The organization was once the war tax resistance group in the U.K. but has since become more involved in peace tax fund legislation promotion and attempts to lobby the government to shift military funding to nonviolent defense programs. It hardly mentions war tax resistance as an option anymore, much less promotes it.

I’d like to see them return to their roots. Maybe you could help?