The Islamic State has reportedly banned men in Mosul from shaving their beards on the grounds that it is haram (forbidden) in Islam and as those without the facial hair look effeminate.
The Isis decree issued earlier this week makes it mandatory to grow beard and claims that under the Sharia law it is forbidden for men to shave facial hair.
According to Mosul Eye, a media activist group which secretly documents Isis activities inside the Iraqi city, the militants are 'persistantly harassing' those who disobey the rule and punishing them.
The Isis militants have also distributed leaflets inside Mosul explaining why shaving is banned as per Sharia. The leaflets stated that the beard is "obligatory for every Muslim, so that they will not resemble the kuffaar (nonbelievers)."
"It is forbidden to shave the beard, and no one does this except men who are effeminate," the Isis leaflet stated. It further explained that Prophet Mohammad too advocated it and all Muslim men should let the beard grow long.
This is not the first time Isis has issued such repressive ban in parts of Iraq and Syria held by the militant outfit.
The UK-based monitor, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), had reported in December that Isis had banned al-Mayadin residents from shaving. The militants had also banned local residents from wearing engagement rings, on the grounds that it was a Christian tradition.