Death and taxes
By Erika Solomon, Sam Jones, Ahmed Mhidi, Jane Arraf and Geoff Dyer
‘This is their lifeblood’
Even under jihadi rule, death and taxes remain the two great certainties of life. Some learn that the hard way. As Isis officials announced a religious tithe known as zakat in the summer of 2014, Mansour, a 26-year-old grocery storekeeper in eastern Syria, stalled payment while he tried to cook his books.
A week later, four Isis officials stormed into his shop, ordered him outside, and tallied the bill themselves — to his dismay they based their calculation on the retail price of his stock. There were no price tags on the tinned beef, so one tax collector rode around town on his motorbike comparing canned beef prices in other stores. ...