When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

TOPIC: sharia law

Geopolitics

Inside Boko Haram, How A Cosmetics Salesman Became A Mass Murderer

Boko Haram is one of the most brutal terrorist groups in the world. In Nigeria, Die Welt reporter Christian Putsch got unprecedented access to the group’s former leaders, who describe unlikely beginnings and a litany of atrocities – and now fear for their lives.

MAIDUGURI — The man who is jointly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people and who has terrorized millions more for years, now fears for his own life. He can't rest, he says: Knowing there is a bounty on his head keeps this former terrorist from sleeping.

Mallam Bana Musaid spends the nights in prayer. The former No. 4 man in the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram is deaf in his right ear, after surviving a grenade attack. With his left ear, he listens intently to the sounds outside his tent in the dark camp, where he has been undergoing deradicalization for the past six months.

Have the hundreds of others in this government-run camp on the outskirts of the city of Maiduguri really all renounced the terror group, like him? Or is someone planning to kill him?

Watch VideoShow less

Philippines To Indonesia, Wahhabism Is Spreading In Asia

-Analysis-

PARIS — The Islamic State (ISIS) is like the Hydra, the multi-headed monster of mythology that Hercules alone was able to slay. Whenever he managed to cut off one its heads, two new ones grew back instantly. Likewise, the jihadists — having recently lost Mosul, in Iraq — are already making headlines again, this time far away from the Arab world and Mesopotamia.

Keep reading...Show less

Horror And Despair In Raqqa, Syrians Living Under ISIS Rule

RAQQA — Ever since ISIS captured the Syrian city of Raqqa in early 2014, residents have been consumed by fear and caution. The terrorist group has banned a dangerously long list of goods and behaviors, all of which carry a heavy punishment if violated.

Most noticeably, ISIS has forbidden women from leaving their homes without the supervision of a male relative, and they must wear what is deemed proper attire, dubbed "the shield" — a long, loose dress that covers them from head to toe. Smoking is banned, while it is also illegal to sell tobacco, recordings of secular music, and Arabic or Western films.

Keep reading...Show less

Women Terrorizing Women For ISIS, Syria's Female Jihad

Radicalized Islamic men aren't the only ones punishing non-compliant civilians in Syria. Now women zero in on other women for not following the group's strict brand of Sharia law.

RAQQA — Shortly after the Sunni militant group the Islamic State Iraq and Syria (ISIS) retook control of this northern Syrian city earlier this year, it created the al-Khansaa" Brigade, an all-female unit operating in the city. Its purpose is to apprehend civilian women in Raqqa who do not follow the organization's strict brand of Sharia law, including a mandate that all women be fully covered in public and that they be accompanied by a male chaperone.

“We have established the brigade to raise awareness of our religion among women, and to punish women who do not abide by the law,” says Abu Ahmad, an ISIS official in Raqqa. “There are only women in this brigade and we have given them their own facilities to prevent the mixture of men and women.”

Keep reading...Show less