'Consumer Protection' in the Islamic State (Video)

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Format avi, Bitrate 4.121 mbps

November 9, 2014
Raqqa, 2014

The Islamic State "Control and Inspection Office" is one of the most active governing ministries in Raqqa. This footage shows members of the ministry searching for expired or spoiled products and products subject to poor storage in the stores and warehouses of Raqqa. The products are then confiscated and destroyed in public.

Other active Islamic State public offices in Raqqa include the Traffic Police Office and the Islamic Services Office.

Shot List:

-Ministry employee finishing his work in the office

-Ministry workers parading in the streets of Raqqa

-Ministry officers fining shop owners for having poor or expired products in their stores.

-One of the shop owners (interviewed) talks about the fining process: either they sign a commitment (pledge paper) or their shop will be sealed with red wax for several days.

-Products are taken to a public square in Raqqa, where Hisbah [Islamic State enforcers] men destroy a small amount of these products in front of the citizens, and the larger amount is taken to the dumpsite.


(00:08) Abu Al Bara’, worker at the Control and Inspection Office: The office was established in the city of Raqqa, and it is divided into two departments: the first is the most important department, the “Health Control Office”. Its main task is to monitor the markets and control the goods in the shops. This division fines shop owners and the case is referred to the court in order to take the right decision. The second division is the “Meat Department”. It is responsible for monitoring all kinds of meat in the State. This department punishes those who slaughter [their animals] outside a slaughterhouse (00:45).

(01:33) Abu Ahmad, a shop owner: Al hamdulillah [Thank god], the Islamic State established the Control and Inspection Office, and it has played a good role. He who defrauds is not one of us من غش فليس منا [Islamic Saying]. However sometimes, the shop owner unwittingly forgets some products on the shelves, and other times, other shoppers do it on purpose, but God punishes them. They usually warn the owners the first time, and then they destroy their products if they repeat.

(02:27) Abu Qahtan, one of the Hisbah men: Bismillah ir-Rahmanir-Rahim [In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate], this is the Control and Inspection Office of the Islamic State. We seized large amounts of spoiled or expired products and products that were subject to poor storage. [This includes] food to beauty products. These products were seized in the shops of the Raqqa market, [and are valued at] approximately 2,000,000 SYP (11979.66 USD). We will destroy them now in front of everyone in this public square (03:12).

This footage was shot by a contributor who had clearance from the Islamic State to film in Raqqa. The footage was reviewed and approved by the Islamic State before being released.

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