Iraqi residents of the ISIL-controlled city of Mosul say Sunni extremists have begun imposing an extreme interpretation of Islamic law and turning back the clock hundreds of years.
“These militants will return us and our country hundreds of years backwards, and their laws are the opposite of the laws of human rights and international laws,” Umm Mohammed, a 35-year-old teacher in Mosul, told Agence France-Presse.
The city was captured June 10 by militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an offshoot of al Qaeda that seeks to establish a caliphate in Sunni majority regions of Iraq.
“We live in continuous fear of being subjected to new pressures,” Mr. Mohammed said. “We are afraid of being prevented from working and contributing to building the community.”
Militants declared the surrounding Nineveh province a part of their Islamic state and issued a 16-point document outlining new rules, AFP reported.
The ordinance prohibits the selling and consumption of alcohol and drugs, as well as smoking and carrying weapons.
Gatherings are strictly forbidden and women are to keep to their homes.
Militants have also destroyed art in the city and removed statues depicting famous poets and Christian figures, which are considered idolatrous under their extreme interpretation of Islam, AFP reported.
The militants have ordered mosques in the area to not make any statement that isn’t first approved by ISIL. One mosque has been designated for the acceptance of the “repentance of apostates.”
ISIL has appointed representatives to conduct a survey of its residents and threaten those who are not Sunni to convert, AFP reported.