JihadistsAFP photo

Al-Qaeda’s main branch in Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has raided a wedding party in the suburb of Aleppo and ordered that music and singing be stopped, Al Arabiya reports, citing the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

“One leader of the Islamic State warned residents that if a music band is invited to a wedding again, the person responsible will be arrested because this is immoral,” the newspaper reported, citing an internet page belonging to Syrian activists.

The Al-Qaeda leader reportedly asked the man in charge of the wedding to memorize a verse of the Quran and attend several religious courses at Al-Qaeda’s center in Maskana, near Aleppo.

The newspaper said Syrian activists are increasingly cautious when talking about ISIL because of the group’s increasing influence in areas outside the government’s control.

Observes fear that the practices of Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups in Syria are being exploited by the regime to portray itself as fighting terrorism, according to Al Arabiya.

Nearly a year ago, several Islamist groups split off from the Western-backed Syrian National Council opposition force and declared Aleppo to be an independent Islamist state.

The jihadists in Aleppo have set up a court based on Sharia (Islamic law) which is authorized to issue execution orders for serious offenses.

Recently, Al-Qaeda affiliated jihadist rebel groups in Syria warned citizens against “hurting the dignity” of the prophet Muhammad, threatening those who do so with execution.

As the civil war in Syria has raged on, both rebels and regime troops have carried out atrocities.

One horrific atrocity carried out by members of Islamist Syrian rebel groups was the public beheading of a Catholic priest who was accused of collaborating with Assad’s regime.

Some of the Islamist groups have attempted to soften their image in an attempt to win hearts and minds - holding stand up comedy shows and handing out toys to local children.