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Syria's Sharia courts

Sharia courts founded by armed groups in Syria are currently the sole judicial power in the areas outside the regime’s control.

Five years into the revolution, different ideologies have begun to rule different areas of Syria. Some areas are controlled by the Syrian regime, others by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and some by extremist organizations. These organizations established Sharia courts to rule the areas under their control, and they run them based on their own interpretation of Islam to solve everyday problems in the absence of legitimate judicial bodies.

Since the Syrian regime lost swathes of land — including large parts of Aleppo province in northern Syria at the end of 2013, as well as Idlib province in northwestern Syria in March 2015 — these areas have fallen under the control of rebel forces of different backgrounds and beliefs. Some factions, such as the FSA, aim to establish a civil state, while others, such as Jabhat al-Nusra, want an Islamic state.

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