The Islamic State now governs its caliphate from the north central Syrian city of Raqqa, which was once a relatively westernized agricultural hub. As the State’s power base, Raqqa is where it imposes its version of Sharia law throughout large swaths of Iraq and Syria. The “Hisbah” are the new Sharia police.
In the latest episode of The Islamic State, VICE News joins them on their daily patrols during Ramadan, and witnesses how they check on shops and scrutinize produce, while at the same time ensuring their strict rules on women’s appearances are adhered to.
We are also taken to an Islamic State prison and speak with inmates accused of abusing drugs and selling alcohol. There we learn firsthand of the prisoners’ punishments, and how they have since “rediscovered” their devotion to the Islamic faith since their incarceration — but are yet to be granted permission to declare their allegiance to the caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.