Crime

HTS bars female students from entering cultural centre in Idlib for dressing immodestly

Syria

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) prevented female students from entering the cultural centre for wearing clothes that were "too bright". This has incited the wrath of the local population, who are no longer accepting HTS' abuses.

In the city of Idlib, Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has banned female students from entering the city’s Cultural Centre for being dressed “immodestly.” Local activists say that the Hisba Council [morality police council] affiliated to the HTS-aligned Syrian Salvation Government, which is responsible for enforcing religious law on the citizens, said females wanting to enter the Cultural Centre should be dressed more modestly by wearing dark-coloured clothes, covering their faces with a veil, and covering their hands.

As a result of this, citizens and local activists protested the HTS’ rules, saying that their actions are not founded in religion.

This uproar also comes after HTS announced that they would be giving Christian citizens till the end of November to leave their homes and threatened that their homes would be forcefully confiscated by the militant organisation as “spoils of war.” After this warning was issued, Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta released a statement condemning this announcement and saying that this action is unacceptable and is not part of Islam. Activists have stood up against the militant organisations saying that their abuses are no longer seen as acceptable by the residents of Idlib because it is a threat to their way of life.

“What kind of religion is this? I do not know any fatwa that allows them to do what they are doing,” said a young resident of Idlib. “I challenge all of them to declare the fatwa that permits the confiscation of any Christian’s house.”

In response to these protests, HTS’ militants began firing and detaining protesters in front of the HTS-aligned Ministry of Justice, in addition to preventing media officials from documenting and interviewing protesters.

Despite this, the protests have not died down.

In recent days, HTS’ abuses and gross violations against the city’s residents have become more prevalent and consistent, resulting in the Idlib’s citizens rejecting their rule as they see HTS as no longer representing the ideals of the Syrian Revolution.

According to some estimates, around 3 million people are currently living in Idlib and its surroundings. International organisations have claimed that if an advance is made against Idlib, the world will see a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.