The Islamic State’s outreach commission organized a Quran contest this week, encompassing the territory under the group’s control in Iraq, the IS-affiliated Amaq news agency reported.
The “first Dar al-Islam” contest was divided into levels, and started with regional qualifiers participated in by hundreds of people each. The three top performers in each qualifier reached the national finals, which were held in the IS stronghold of Mosul.
The winner of each level won a prize of $10,000, while the others received consolation prizes of $1,000 each.
The organizers of the contest said that it was held under the patronage of the “Emir of the Faithful, the Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”
The big winner was a blind man from the Nineveh region, who knew the entire Quran by heart “without a single mistake.”
A video was later posted by IS showing the contestants in a conference room of one of the city’s hotels.
At the same time as they are celebrating the verses of the Quran, IS continues to clamp down on cigarettes, which are illegal in areas under the organization’s control. IS-affiliated media outlets post pictures of operations against cigarette and tobacco traders on an almost daily basis.
IS’s “surveillance department” often confiscates shipments and stages their public burning.