Religion in action: one year of ISIS in Mosul (BBC report)
The BBC managed to get witness accounts of what it is to live under literal religion.
The article has 6 parts, each with witness reports and one video.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32831854 (four comments in italics by me.)
Exclusive footage reveals how Islamic State wields power over people's everyday lives in Iraq's second city, Mosul, a year after it was captured.
Secretly filmed videos obtained by the BBC's Ghadi Sary show mosques being blown up, abandoned schools, and women being forced to cover up their bodies.
1. Control of women
women are forced to cover up, with one woman challenged for not having her hands fully covered.
Hanaa: "IS is very strict about the dress code for women. Women have to be fully covered up in black, head to toe.
"We had heard stories of men being flogged because their wives didn't put their gloves on. Another woman's parents were banned from driving their car. Those who objected would be beaten and humiliated.
2. Persecution of minorities
The footage, which was passed from house to house before being smuggled out of the city, reveals how homes belonging to Mosul's ethnic and religious minority communities have been confiscated by Islamic State. Many residential areas once popular with minorities now stand empty.
Christian homes marked with 'N'Arabi. Many Christian neighbourhoods are now empty
3. Intimidation, punishment and torture
Clips also show mosques and shrines being destroyed. (it's OK because they are the 'wrong' mosques..) Residents speak of brutal punishments for anyone contravening the jihadists' interpretation of Islamic law, which is imposed across the "caliphate" whose creation they proclaimed weeks after seizing Mosul.
"Theft is punished by amputating a hand, adultery by men by throwing the offender from a high building, and adultery by women by stoning to death. (literal application of religious texts) The punishments are carried out in public to intimidate people, who are often forced to watch.
4. Disruption of daily life
Hisham: "Daily life has changed in an indescribable way. Those who were in the military and day labourers no longer have any income because there are no jobs anymore.
The rich have been relying on their savings, those with a salary are just about getting by, but the poor have been left to the mercy of God. (so theocracy leaves the poor to god; full circle) "Meanwhile, my brother was given 20 lashes just because he didn't shut his shop during prayer time - as if you can just impose religion by force!"
5. Indoctrination and surveillance
Mahmoud: "My 12-year-old brother remained in school despite the fact that it became controlled by IS. We thought that, with no alternative available, he would at least be able to continue some sort of education, and that it would be better than nothing.
"But one day I came home and found my little brother drawing Islamic State's flag and humming one of its most famous songs. I went crazy and began yelling at him. "I've come to the conclusion that the goal of this organisation is to plant the seeds of violence, hate and sectarianism into children's minds."
6. IS tactics and logistics
Zaid: "IS knows the army will try to retake Mosul, so they're taking precautions. They've destroyed the city by digging tunnels, building barricades, planting mines and bombs, and filling the city with snipers, which will make it very difficult for the army.
"The government should arm local people so that they can protect the city themselves. With the help of God, we will defeat IS." (With the help of god? Thought IS was acting on god's words?)
How is it different than the Islamist/mercenary front-groups that the US has been supporting, in the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and now Yemen?
Of course our side is of honor, of God, the one true God.
So there's no way that our side might have been the one that fucked up big time.
No. Not that.
It's those Arabs, they've been killing each other for thousands of years and .... they aren't ready for democracy US style.
If you wish me to say all the harm GW and Blair have done in the name of religion, I'm game.
But in what does it change anything to the fact ISIS in Mosul exemplifies what religion does?
Clue: It's been quite some time since GW and Blair were doing the dirty. There've been other hands on the tiller for years.
Didn't you know that?
Yes, many Libyan insurgents were islamists. But Qaddafi had vowed to slaughter people in rebel regions.
The choice was:
Let the slaughter take place (and be seen by the Arab street as not caring for muslims), or
Intervene, at the risk of seeing the Libyan rebels turn into islamist militias later
Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
In retrospect, I still think the best course of action was to intervene to show the West cares about Muslims.
(which has nothing to do with the fact Islam is a fundamentally flawed ideology)
I'm not hugely in favor of moderate Islam either as I know it, but to lump them all in the same bucket is inaccurate.
We haven't been directly arming and training the extremist groups, to my knowledge. In fact the very reason we held back supporting the anti-Assad forces in Syria was because we couldn't insure those weapons wouldn't end up in extremist hands. I remember a lot of discussion here at DU over that decision.
Of course it was Bush's disastrous Iraq policy that set the stage for ISIS in Iraq. He basically gave away massive amounts of military equipment and arms. But I'd suggest that was more incompetence than intention, abetted by the lust for profits by the M.I.C.