[Ed. – To the tenth century, if not earlier]
In the two weeks since it was seized by Sunni militants, some residents of the northern Iraq city of Mosul feel the clock has been turned back hundreds of years.
The militants, led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group, have begun imposing an extreme interpretation of Islamic law in the days since they took the city, residents reached by telephone told AFP.
“These militants will return us and our country hundreds of years backwards, and their laws are the opposite of the laws of human rights and international laws,” said Umm Mohammed, a 35-year-old teacher.
“We live in continuous fear of being subjected to new pressures,” she said. “We are afraid of being prevented from working and contributing to building the community.”
The city, known before 2003 for its historic sites and parks and in later years as a hub for deadly violence, fell on June 10 to the militants, who subsequently overran surrounding Nineveh province and swathes of other territory.
Security forces in Mosul, a city of some two million people before the offensive, wilted in the face of the onslaught, in some cases abandoning uniforms and even vehicles in their haste to flee.