Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State leaders in Kirkuk are telling fighters not to refer to their trucks with the name of an Egyptian cinema superstar, deeming the custom against the group’s doctrine.
A local source told Alsumaria News that IS members were instructed not to refer to their 1994 Toyota Land Cruisers with the name of Laila Elwi, 54, an Egyptian TV and cinema superstar.
The leadership in the IS stronghold town of Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk, deemed the nickname “enticing”, and warned that violators could be punished.
It has been a tradition in Iraq and some other Arab countries to name famous automobile brands from the 1990s after celebrities.
Laila Elwi’s never-aging shape has been a common punchline for both envious and admiring Arab social media users.
Islamic State militants, who adopt an extreme version of Islam, have regularly sentenced violators of their religious directives to harsh sentences that could mount to death in many cases.
The militants have been in control over Hawija since 2014, when they proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” spanning a third of Iraq and Syria.
Local tribal leaders and politicians from Kirkuk have mounted pressure on the Iraqi government to hasten with invading Hawija, suggesting that its people were experiencing a humanitarian crisis under the group’s rule. The Iraqi government is currently employing the largest portion of its military effort in Mosul, IS’s capital in Iraq where the group is reportedly cornered in a few square kilometers.