ISIS cracks down on school playgrounds to enforce gender separation of parents – report

The terrorist group Islamic State has shut down playgrounds in a Syrian city, because unrelated men and women bringing their children to play there could mingle, a monitoring group has reported.

The Islamic State morality police Hesbah targeted playgrounds in the city of Mayadin in the eastern Deir ez-Zor province, local sources told the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Several men and women were arrested by ISIS gunmen “for not abiding by Islamic rules on dress.”

A similar crackdown on playgrounds was reported in the ISIS Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, where three women were arrested for not being accompanied by men.

The radical Islamist group is enforcing a harsh interpretation of Islam, including a Saudi Arabia-style segregation of genders, under which men and women cannot interact unless they are related by blood or are married. Women also must be accompanied by male relatives in public places under those rules.

ISIS has taken large swaths of Iraq and Syria and is aspiring to create a theocratic Sunni Islam state. It resorts to act of harsh violence to quench opposition and demands conversion from those who want to stay.