Last updated: August 14. 2014 1:37AM - 301 Views

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Totalitarian rule in Iraq will not long endure. Despotic regimes that defy civil liberties never do.

But for the moment, part of that nation exists under a reign of terror reminiscent of George Orwell’s novel, 1984.

Christians and other minorities are told to convert to Islam or face execution, USA Today reports

The homes of anyone other than Sunni Muslims are claimed to be state territory. Women are forbidden from wearing bright color or prints. Anyone who even utters the name of the former national government receives a mandatory 70 lashes.

Sound trucks travel the streets of Mosul, Tikrit and other cities to inform residents of the new rules.

Clothing merchants are given 20 days to sell what they have, and then the only clothing allowed will be the jubba, the flowing one-piece robe common across the Middle East.

A common response from people who suffer from these bans is flight.

“I told my husband, ‘We have to leave,’” one Christian school teacher said. “I told him they might kill us and kill our sons in front of us. We took our money and my jewelry and a bag of clothes and left.”

But they were caught. The jewelry and money were confiscated, and the family was told, “That’s punishment for your refusal to be Muslim.”

The new Islamic State has fired non-Sunni municipal employees, and those who remained — their wages cut in half — are responsible for trying to restore services heavily damaged by retreating government forces.

Already, Iraqis are beginning to rebel under these strictures. Their anger is fueled by the fact that many of the fighters for the Islamic State are foreigners.

It is an unhappy time for one of the world’s most ancient cultures. It cannot last.

— The Post-Intelligencer, Paris, Tennessee

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