Sharia law has been imposed on the province of Nineveh by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a Sunni jihadi offshoot of Al Qaeda hellbent on turning the entire nation of Iraq into an Islamic Caliphate, reports International Business Times. The following document, which has been circulating on ISIS' social media account, outlines a strict code of conduct based on Sharia law that bans drug, cigarette and alcohol consumption; prohibits women from wearing showy clothes; and warns tribal leaders and Sheikhs against cooperating with the Iraqi government:
According to Arabic Al Aan TV reporter Jenah Moussa, the document also outlines plans by ISIS to destroy all Shrines and graves. Furthermore, those members of the Iraqi army who do not repent and pledge allegiance to ISIS will be executed.
This comes just days after 1500 ISIS militants captured the provincial capital of Mosul, a move so bold and unexpected that The Economist labeled the city "terror's new headquarters." Keep in mind that the jihadists managed to capture the Turkish consulate, take 49 Turkish employees hostage, seize the Mosul International Airport, release 1,000 inmates from Mosul's central prison, and loot $420 million from Mosul's central bank, despite being outnumbered 15 to one. The fact is that many Iraqi soldiers simply threw down their weapons and surrendered.
The same thing happened in Saddam Hussain's hometown city of Tikrit this past Wednesday. Iraqi soldiers simply abandoned their posts. Those who remained were swiftly captured and then paraded through the city:
The goal of these ISIS jihadists is to impose an Islamic Caliphate that submits to the fundamentalist Islamic law known as Sharia Law. The latter is simply a strict code of laws based directly on the the teachers of Prophet Mohammed, whereas an Islamic Caliphate is a state (think government) that's based on Sharia law.
Unfortunately for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens who are having to flee their homes, ISIS continues to grow in strength and power. It doesn't help either that they now have close to half a billion dollars on their hands - more than enough money for them to afford the equipment and weapons needed to continue battling Iraqi's severely weakened government and install an Islamic Caliphate.
What still continues to baffle many is just how ISIS managed to so easily defeat Iraq's security forces, as Hamad al-Mutlaq, a member of the Iraqi parliament's defense committee, explained to The Guardian:
"Isis can't have had more than a few thousand men versus two divisions made up of 30,000 Iraqi soldiers. This signifies that the army has been built on weak foundations. The Iraqi government is the one to blame and should be held responsible for this failure; it has been unable to build a healthy state and unable to defend it."This despite the fact that the United States spent a whopping $20.2 billion on training Iraqi security forces.
Regardless, if ISIS is allowed to continue on its mission of spreading Sharia law throughout Iraq, it may in fact just be able to achieve the Islamic Caliphate it so fervently desires. Will the US involve itself in the affairs of Iraq yet again? That remains to be seen, though the debate has already begun to rage across the states.
Image via [Google Images]