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Syrian Salafists oppose opening of movie theatre in Idlib

Salafist groups opposing Hayat Tahrir al-Sham are criticizing the group for allowing the reopening of a film theater in Idlib, accusing it of steering away from Islam to court the West.
Syrians attend the screening of the Oscar nominated film "Last Men in Aleppo" at the university of Idlib, Idlib province, Syria, Feb. 12, 2018.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which controls Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, has recently brought back cinema to the city of Idlib as part of its ongoing attempts to market itself as a moderate group. 

Cinema Al-Zahra has reopened its doors in Idlib, after being closed for more than 20 years due to neglect and war. The theater has now reopened under a new name — “The Royal Palace” — and it welcomes visitors once a week to watch a film for free, without the need for booking a ticket. The theater screens entertainment, cultural, family and children's films.

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