The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) has issued a decree in the northern city of Raqqa changing the official weekend to Thursday and Friday instead of Friday and Saturday, the opposition website All4 Syria reported. The decree stated that Friday and Saturday is the weekend practice in “faithless countries,” the website reported. ISIS has imposed a strict form of Islam in Raqqa, enforcing the veil and banning cigarettes. They have doled out harsh punishments under Shariah courts for religious crimes, including beatings and executions. In Al-Bab, Aleppo, pictures showing ISIS fighters burning tons of cigarettes were recently published.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 22, 2014, on page 10.