In a new video purportedly released by the Islamic State titled “Clashing of the Parties in the Yarmouk Camp, South of Damascus City,” ISIS religious police dole out public floggings and executions. The video was released on ISIS terrorist channels on October 23 and comes from “Wilayat Dimashq,” or “the State of Damascus,” Syria.
Damascus has been a hotbed of ISIS activity, with the unofficial Palestinian refugee camp of the Yarmouk neighborhood being a major flashpoint. According to The Wall Street Journal, the constant violence has taken its toll on the civilian population and deaths from starvation have been reported in at least one suburb.
In the video, a camera zooms into a CGI Damascus from a bird’s eye view. A time line of dated, Islamic State events is then shown. The dates begin in the Islamic calendar year of 1433, which is 2011 in the Gregorian calendar. The Syrian Civil War began in 2011.
The video briefly focuses on Shia militias, Sunni ISIS’ rival in the region.
It then cuts to images of starving children before guerrilla warfare is shown.
The ISIS religious police known as “hisbah” are then introduced. Hisbah is short for “Rijaal al-hisbah” and translates to “men who guard against infringements.” “Infringements” in this context refers to anything seen as non-Islamic by sharia law interpretation. According to the Learn to Read the Quran, hisbah police duties includes the monitoring of:
1- Free mixing of the sexes and wanton display of beauty (tabarruj) which are forbidden according [to sharia.]
2- Imitation of either of the sexes by the other.
3- Men making approaches to women either verbally or by their actions.
4- Profane, obscene or indecent speech.
5- Playing radios, TVs or recorders etc. near mosques or in such a way as to disturb the worshippers.
6- Non-Muslims openly manifesting their beliefs or the symbols of their religion, or showing disrespect towards the symbols and rulings of Islam.
7- Displaying or selling pictures, books or video or audio recordings which go against Islamic etiquette or Islamic beliefs.
8- Displaying 3-D or promiscuous images, or the symbols of non-Islamic religions such as the cross, the star of David, images of the Buddha, and the like.
9- Manufacturing or promoting or trading in intoxicants.
10- Means that lead to immoral actions such as adultery, homosexuality and gambling, or running houses and places where evil and immoral actions may be committed.
11- Manifest bid’ah (innovation), such as venerating certain times and places for which there is no sanction in sharee’ah, or celebrating innovated, un-Islamic festivals and occasions.
12- Practising witchcraft, magic and trickery in order to consume people’s wealth unlawfully.
13- Cheating in weights and measures.
Hisbah enforce sharia law, which enforces “hudud.” Hudud means “boundaries” in Arabic. Most hudud crimes fall under the category of “sex crimes,” such as adultery, fornication, accusing someone of illicit sex, etc.
However, sometimes beyond public floggings for sex crimes, hisbah carry out executions for alleged spying.
In the video, an alleged spy is executed with a handgun in a public area, as mandated by sharia law. Public punishments are meant to dissuade further infractions by other individuals.
After the execution, the burning of “un-Islamic” things, like a guitar, is shown.
Footage of life under ISIS is then shown.
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