Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) [representational image].Reuters

Reports out of Diyala, a provincial town located about 100 km from Baghdad near Iran, claim that ISIS militants have taken up flogging people who miss Friday prayers.

Earlier on Saturday, 20 Iraqis were reportedly flogged -- 25 lashes each -- after ISIS militants found that they had missed out on the Friday prayers.

Large areas of the Diyala province in Iraq are now controlled by the Sunni militant group. The Islamic State, which wants to establish a kingdom run based on the Sharia principles, has made it compulsory for everyone to strictly attend all prayers at the mosque, especially on Fridays.

Anyone failing to turn-up for the prayer is handed out '25 lashes' in full public view.

An unnamed source told the Iraqi News that "this morning [Saturday] the elements of the organisation flogged 20 people who failed to perform Friday prayers in one of the public squares in the area of Jalawla, Khanaqin district (110 km north-east Baquba) with 25 lashes for each person."

The report citing its 'confidential' source stated "the Sharia court of the Islamic State in Jalawla has issued a new resolution which includes the imposition of a penalty of 25 lashes on each civilian who refuses to attend Friday prayers."

The group has also warned the locals in the area that it will be forced to take up harsher punishments, if people don't obey the rules set by ISIS Sharia Court, the source said.

The Islamic State militants, had similarly flogged several youths in Mosul for disobeying its ban on watching the football matches during the Football World Cup in July.

The ISIS fighters had decreed that 'the faithfuls' in Mosul were forbidden from watching the football matches, as it was a distraction from worship during Ramadan.

In the past too, the Islamic State has taken up archaic Sharia punishments such as stoning in Iraq and Syria. 

Meanwhile, the group that controls several areas in Iraq and Syria, recently through an in-house publication justified its act of enslaving women and using them as sex slaves. Through its English digital magazine titled Dabiq, the group claimed that their act of abduction, abuse and rape of women was in complete accordance to Islamic teachings.