Syrian Rebel Council to Impose Moderate Sharia Across Territory

Aims to Counter More Harsh Brands Imposed by Other Factions

by Jason Ditz, April 17, 2013

When Syria’s rebels take over a town, it means the imposition of Sharia law on the public. But what exactly Sharia law is differs wildly across the Sunni spectrum, and different Islamist rebel factions are imposing their own conflicting brands across the region.

The rebel Syrian National Council, itself dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood in no small measure, has announced that it intends to establish a more specific, more moderate version of Sharia backed by Syrian Islamic scholars, with an eye toward standardizing religious law in rebel-held Syria.

Details are scant, but while the hope seems to be that everyone will just default to the SNC’s version, al-Qaeda backed factions like Jabhat al-Nusra are likely to insist on their own particularly harsh religious interpretations, and will keep the law varied across rebel territory.

Nusra’s Taliban-style strict religious conservatism seems to be a tough sell in a lot of towns in the traditionally secular-driven nation, and is leading rebel fighters to violently enforce the laws, particularly as they relate to non-Sunnis and non-Muslims.

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