Al Qaeda Bans Syrian Women from Sitting in Chairs

Men forbidden from using hair products;


That would be ISIS or the other Al Qaeda operating in Syria as opposed to the Al Nusra Front, which is the main Al Qaeda group operating in Syria.

The likely source for this is Syrian government propaganda, but most of the list is plausible enough. Salafists have banned similar things elsewhere. Hamas has been a number of things on the list in Gaza. None of it is especially crazy by their standards... except the chairs.

A Syrian news clip recounts the following new laws ISIL promulgated in a statement it issued soon after taking over Raqqah:

Women are banned from sitting on chairs (as reported verbatim).

All women are obligated to wear Islamic attire, such as the niqab and burqa (which cover the entire body and face); sweaters, jeans, and makeup of any kind are strictly banned.

Female clothing is not to be displayed in shop windows, and only women are allowed to work there; if a man is found on the grounds the shop faces closure.

Women are banned from seeing male gynecologists.

Smoking—cigarettes, water pipes, etc.—is banned.  Violators could face the death penalty; shops found selling cigarettes are to be burned to the ground.

All barbershops are to be closed down and men forbidden from having short hair, wearing modern hairstyles or using hair products; men are also forbidden from wearing low-waist jeans.

Anyone who uses the word “Daash” (an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Arabic) will receive 70 whippings; the organization is to be referred to by its proper name.

The punishments are indeed severe: swindling taxi drivers face repercussions ranging from chopped hands to chopped heads; the reason cited is that their swindling may somehow interfere with a passenger’s worship (e.g., a Muslim seeking to go to mosque at the proper time).  Likewise, shop owners who do not shut down during prayer times must face the consequences.

Much of it is the usual wacky obsessions. Salafists in Syria appear to be especially obsessed with cigarettes. The hair and pants bans have been seen elsewhere.

The female clothing shops ban is an interesting twist. Banning mannequins is typical, but only allowing women to work there is a reversal of the norm in some Islamist approaches.

The male doctors is also a reasonably typical obsession. Chairs however are a new one.