Rebels in Syria Implement Shariah in Strongholds


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Rebel-controlled areas of Syria have begun implementing some of the severest aspects of Shariah. In the rebel-held city of Aleppo a 14-year-old boy, Mohammed Qataa, was killed for insulting the prophet Mohammed.

From the BBC:

They dragged him to a car and took him away. Half-an-hour later, a badly beaten Mohammed was dumped back in the road by his cart.
The men, showing no fear that anyone would question what they were doing, summoned a crowd with shouts of "Oh People of Aleppo. Oh people of Shaar." Their bellows alerted Mohammed's mother.

Recalling what happened next, she buries her face in her hands and weeps."One of them shouted: 'Whoever insults the Prophet will be killed according to Sharia',"

"I ran down barefoot to the streets. I heard the first shot. I fell to the ground when I got there."One of them shot him again and kicked him. He shot him for a third time and stamped on him."

Mohammed's brother claims that the city is suffering a loss of freedom under rebel control, "We had it when the rebels first took over in Aleppo but now we have nothing. What we have instead are countless [Sharia] committees, each following its own interpretation of religion."

The spread of extremism has left many Syrians fearful of jihadist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, which was recently accused of beheading a Catholic priest. 

Other repressive aspects of Shariah have also begun to predominate in rebel-controlled areas. The Islamic law council in in Aleppo's Fardous neighborhood has issued a fatwa banning women from wearing makeup and revealing clothing.

The spread of Islamic extremism in rebel controlled area should be of grave concern to the U.S., which has recently authorized the CIA to coordinate the arming of rebels in Syria. U.S. officials are preparing to vet Syrian rebel groups before supplying arms. But despite the best efforts of the CIA it may be close to impossible to ensure that arms do not end up in the hands of Jihadist groups.

Despite the proliferation of Islamic extremism in Syria Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) have offered wholehearted support for the move to arm the rebels, saying in a joint statement,  "The president's red line has been crossed. U.S. credibility is on the line. Now is not the time to merely take the next incremental step. Now is the time for more decisive actions."