IS erects preaching tents, temporarily shuts schools


November 9, 2014

Deire-Zor

LIFE LESSONS: Above, a group of civilians from Deir e-Zor city, primarily children, attend a lesson at an Islamic State (IS) “preaching tent” in Deir e-Zor city, in a photo circulated Saturday by the media campaign Deir eZor is Being Slaughtered Silently. 

IS preaching tents catered to children are not confined to Deir e-Zor city, nor are they a recent phenomenon. Videos uploaded by IS-affiliated YouTube accounts show tents erected in Aleppo province as early as July 2013.

Class attendees receive instruction in IS’s “religious vision, from a political standpoint,” and study IS leader al-Baghdadi’s sermons, reported pro-opposition daily Zaman al-Wasl in August.

Children participate in Quranic recitation sessions and receive prizes, mainly religious pamphlets and DVD’s, as demonstrated by a video reportedly showing a preaching tent in the Aleppo city neighbourhood of al-Kalasa, uploaded to YouTube in September 2013.

In related news, IS has temporarily shut down most schools in areas under its control in Deir e-Zor province until teachers complete a month-long “shariah course,” reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Friday.

Teachers will introduce new curricula to take the place of previous, supposedly blasphemous material.

The Deir e-Zor Under Fire media campaign uploaded video of a November 5 protest in Deir e-Zor city against IS’s decision to close down schools, in which young children chant “we want schools, we want schools.”

-November 9, 2014

-Photo courtesy of @dierezzore5.

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