ISIS Cracks Down On Drugs, Cigarettes And Musical Instruments

The Islamic State says its religious police in Raqqa are the busiest

ISIS militants hold their weapons as they stand on cigarettes — REUTERS
Mar 30, 2016 at 11:26 AM ET

The Islamic State’s religious police are on a mission to confiscate items prohibited in territories under their control: Cigarettes, drugs and musical instruments.

In an infographic the terror group published on Tuesday in its weekly magazine, ISIS claims its police force in Syria, known as the Hisbah, confiscated no less than 55,876 cartons of cigarettes, 1,850 pills and 315 musical instruments since the start of March, Vocativ found. The items are prohibited in areas the group controls, and ISIS has taken action to demolish and burn them.

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The report also claim the police dealt with a total of 12,300 cases about a variety of outlawed goods and activities. Thirty-one percent were related to “prayer issues,” such as “selling and buying during prayer times.” Another 13 percent were linked to smoking and drugs, while 56 percent were described as “miscellaneous”—in some cases dealing with issues related to clothing and makeup, ISIS says.

The Islamic State claimed its religious police in its Syrian stronghold, Raqqa, have been the busiest, dealing with more than 53 percent of all cases.

The infographic is only the latest indicator of how ISIS rules: It implements a strict version of Islamic law and attempts to governs every aspect of daily life for people living under it so-called caliphate.

Pictures ISIS has published in the past show the terror group cracking down on hookah factories, lashing cigarette smugglers and burning instruments. Several months after it captured the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014, it launched a dress-code campaign with billboards displaying guidelines for being a “good Muslim woman.” The group has also imposed strict policies on policies on how women dress in other areas under its control.