Syria: Islamists Forbid Women to Sit in Chairs

The fighting between rebel groups in Syria continues, and women’s suffering is worsening day by day.  No matter which Islamic rebel group claims victory, the end result is the same: strictly enforced rules and limits on women’s rights.  The list of new Sharia (Islamic) compliant laws being enforced in Syria’s northern district of Ibid are listed below.


After taking over areas of northern Syria, the Al-Qaeda-linked group ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) instituted draconian, sharia-based laws and made known its expectations of the population to follow them.

“It is absolutely forbidden for women to sit on the chairs, according to the instructions of the authorities,” stated a prominent sign.

Other promulgations stated that women must wear the abaya and the burqa (coverings for the entire body and face), and that sweaters, jeans and makeup of any kind were strictly forbidden.  Any type of smoking was forbidden upon the penalty of death.

Syrian rebels groups, including those associated with Al Qaeda, like the Nusra Front, are now fighting against ISIS. The fight is not so much over the end result – as the end goal of both groups is to establish a sharia-based Islamic state – but over tactics and strategy.  It is a well-known battle between Islamists who believe in a gradualists approach (for example, groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, who seek to win over world powers by purporting to be “moderates”) and the Salafists (“purists”) – this time being played out in the Syrian civil war.

Recent infighting between the rebel groups has left close to 700 dead, including 100 civilians (of which 21 were executed by ISIS in a children’s hospital in Aleppo).

The decision to fight ISIS by other rebel groups was in part made after the group took over El-Dana, a town in Syria’s northern district of Idib. As reported by a Syrian news station, ISIS terrorized the town, instituting the following new laws (in addition to the ones stated above):

  • All barbershops must be closed down. Men are forbidden from having short hair, wearing modern hairstyles or using hair products.
  • If a taxi driver tries to take an unfair price, his penalty will start from cutting off his hand to cutting off his head because, according to the laws of ISIS, he has “violated the interests of the people.”
  • All signs and advertising for beauty salons for women are forbidden.
  • It is forbidden to visit female doctors.
  • Shops that employ women seamstresses will be closed if there is a man in the shop.
  • It is forbidden to open places of business during prayer times. Violators will be punished.
  • Female clothing may not be shown in shop windows and only women are allowed to work in these shops. If a man is found on the grounds, the shop faces closure.
  • Men are forbidden from wearing low-waist jeans.
  • Shops found selling cigarettes will be burned to the ground.

Article from wonderful organization: The Clarion Project


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