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Tipsheet

Not The Onion: ISIS Has A Luxury Hotel

So, the Islamic State has a luxury hotel in Mosul. No, seriously, these jokers have a five-star luxury hotel. And they will kill you if you break hotel policy, those being a multitude of dos and dont's from their medieval code of religious-based laws. According to Jamie Dettmer of the Daily Beastthis is part of an ongoing project for the Islamic State, who want to distinguish themselves from al-Qaeda. The latter were able to make their home in Afghanistan, but they were guests; ISIS doesn’t want that says Dettmer:

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You won’t be able to reserve a room ahead of time with any of the major online sites if you want to stay at Mosul’s Ninawa International Hotel. Orbitz announces it doesn’t support bookings anywhere in Iraq, and Booking.com without explanation reverts immediately to the original search page when you enter “Mosul, Iraq.” But old TripAdvisor reviews say it is well worth the stay—or certainly was before the jihadis stormed into town last year.

The local ministry of propaganda has posted a series of pictures showing jihadis refurbishing the hotel, including one of workmen hammering away at intricate carvings on the front deemed idolatrous. One picture of the hotel lit up for re-opening night shows the Islamic State’s black flags unfurling in the breeze; others show workmen planting the flower beds, trimming hedge rows, cleaning floors and windows, and making the place spick and span. Colored balloons are outside for inaugural night and there are photographs of bearded male guests milling around the reception with not a woman in view, covered up or otherwise.

Reports suggest the hotel will be reserved only for commanders, but jihadi brides apparently will be welcome for weddings. Drinks will be soft, only, there’ll be no smoking, a strict dress code will be enforced, and punishments for infractions, if you are woman, will range from the application by female enforcers of a medieval-style spiked device to your breast, whippings, beatings, and death by a wide variety of means.

And don’t be checking in as Mr. and Mrs. Smith when the Ninawa opens to the general public. Adultery will get the missus stoned to death. If you are a gay couple, check into separate rooms. Otherwise you risk being hurled off the hotel roof or, yet again, stoned. (You might get an expiating hug before you are killed, but that’s not much consolation.)

Of course, sadly, you can’t make this stuff up: ISIS in its alternative universe is utterly unself-conscious about the surrealism of its propaganda (and the evil of its behavior) aimed at legitimizing a state of barbarity, one not validated by any mainstream Muslim scholar and looked at in horror by the vast, overwhelming majority of Muslims.

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Dettmer also breaks down the conditions of ISIS as well. They’ve opened schools, which no one within their sphere of control plans on attending; they only have three to four hours of water and electricity running in the capital of Raqqa a day; food prices are being driven by inflation; store owners are getting hit with new fines for violations of their code; and just complete disorganization within their societal structure. It’s a shambles. And we shouldn’t be surprised. Yet, they have a luxury hotel if you can manage to make it through a landscape that’s something akin to a Mad Max film.

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