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.