Last month, the Islamic State mandated that each citizen complete a one-week sharia (Islamic law) course in the eastern Deir e-Zor city of al-Bukamal in order to receive a new identity card granting the bearer “basic civilian rights.”
Without completing the course, citizens will not be able to travel, buy and sell goods or use internet cafés, Hamoud al-Mousa, the director of the Deir e-Zor opposition media campaign “Sound and Picture,” tells Syria Direct’s Noura al-Hourani.
Q: How does IS deal with those who have not taken the sharia courses?
IS has threatened to strip anyone who hasn’t taken the course of their basic civilian rights. They will not have the right to travel, file complaints, use internet cafes and buy or sell goods.
Q: What is the objective in issuing civilian identity cards to the city’s population?
IS intends to force the city’s population to take their sharia courses in order to spread their ideology. Those who pass will obtain identity cards, which allow them issue complaints and travel between regions [in Iraq and Syria] under IS control.
Travel is permitted only within IS borders in Iraq and Syria. Several months ago, IS began allowing people to travel between Raqqa and Mosul as a way of telling the world that they had broken the borders created by the Sykes-Picot agreement.
IS previously forbade anyone under the age of 40 from traveling outside their borders, especially after they were targeted with airstrikes.