An Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria has issued new decrees restricting certain personal freedoms in the areas under its control in Raqqa province. The new laws prohibit music, and smoking cigarettes and shisha. Violators will be “punished by sharia law.” The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has issued four statements that “decree new laws” coming into force on January 23rd.
Starting on that day, women are obliged to wear the niqab, or full face veil, and cover their hands with gloves. They will also not be allowed in public without a male guardian. Walking late at night will also be prohibited for the women in Raqqa, which is the first and only city to have fallen completely under the jihadist group’s control. The statement issued by the group says “Any sister who does not comply with this moral code will be punished by the rules of sharia, her male guardian will also be punished.”
In its second statement, the jihadist group has also prohibited music from being played in public and photographs of people being posted in shop windows. It has also declared selling music CDs or musical instruments illegal, and the playing of “scandalous” music in cars or shops will be strictly forbidden.