The rules in ISIS’ new state: Amputations for stealing and women to stay indoors.

The battle between Islam's two major branches began centuries ago and is threatening Iraq's path to a stable democracy today. The Post's senior national security correspondent Karen DeYoung explains. (Davin Coburn and Kate M. Tobey/The Washington Post)

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is now effectively governing a large chunk of Iraqi territory. Considering this is a group that al-Qaeda broke ties with for being too extreme, that's a pretty big deal.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda splinter group that has seized a huge chunk of northern Iraq, is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a relatively unknown and enigmatic figure. (The Washington Post)

 

Now, as a de-facto government, they have released a document aimed at civilians in Nineveh, a province in the country's northeast that contains the major city Mosul. Branded a "Contract of the City," the document contains 16 notes for residents.

Among the 16 notes are a number of rules ranging from the benign to the worrying. Here are some of the highlights (these are paraphrased, not direct translations):

  • All Muslims will be treated well, unless they are allied with oppressors or help criminals.
  • Money taken from the government is now public. Whoever steals or loots faces amputations. Anyone who threatens or blackmails will face severe punishment (This section also quotes a verse from the Quran (Al-Ma'idah: 33) that says that criminals may be killed or crucified).
  • All Muslims are encouraged to perform their prayers with the group.
  • Drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes are banned.
  • Rival political or armed groups are not tolerated.
  • Police and military officers can repent, but anyone who insists upon apostasy faces death.
  • Sharia law is implemented.
  • Graves and shrines are not allowed, and will be destroyed.
  • A women are told that stability is at home and they should not go outside unless necessary. They should be covered, in full Islamic dress.
  • Be happy to live in an Islamic land.

The document is signed by the "Media Office for Ninawa Province." You can read the full text in Arabic here.

Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University.

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