Home > News > World
Thursday February 20, 2014 MYT 1:40:01 AM
Thursday February 20, 2014 MYT 1:40:54 AM
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamist rebels in eastern Syria have ordered women to put on the Islamic veil, warning that anyone not doing so would be held to account, in a concerted new attempt by hardliners to impose their strict views on society.
In a statement, an organisation calling itself the Islamic Law Council of Deir al-Zor gave women until Saturday to don the face veil. It did not say what punishment would befall women who fail to comply with the order.
Armed Islamist groups have become the most powerful force in the almost three-year-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, who has long portrayed himself as the defender of a secular order in Syria.
"Given that sins are the main reason delaying victory, the legal counsel in the town of Deir al-Zor is obliged to promote virtue and prevent vice," said the statement posted by an activist on Facebook and also reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, whose monitors records violence in the Syrian civil war.
Last month, the New York-based Human Rights Watch reported that the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - both hardline Islamist rebel groups - were enforcing their strict interpretation of Islamic law by requiring women to wear head scarves and full-length robes.
Citing interviews with refugees, Human Rights Watch also said Islamists were imposing discriminatory rules banning women and girls, particularly those not abiding by their dress code, from moving freely in public, working and going to school.
(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
Islamists in Syria's Aleppo ban 'provocative dress' for women
Islamists bomb Shi'ite shrine in eastern Syria - activists
Syria's Islamists disenchanted with democracy after Mursi's fall
Islamists storm Tunisian school after it bars veiled student
Islamist rebels seize first coastal village in north Syria
Italy's Renzi wins regional polls, low turnout sends warning
Italian Ebola patient due to be flown home - health ministry
Low voter turnout could erode Japan PM Abe's call for fresh mandate
China corruption watchdog launches inspections, eyes Sinopec
China says parties to Iran deal will 'eventually reach' agreement
Katy Perry confirmed as Super Bowl halftime singer
Gorilla Glass for smartphone screens just got tougher
Closer to you: The appeal of location based mobile services
Najib: Internet should not be a medium for stoking racial tension
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)