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Applying The Law In The Islamic State Caliphate

Applying the Law in the Islamic State Caliphate

by Anne Speckhard & Ardian Shajkovci

Applying the Law in the Islamic State Caliphate is the 105th counter narrative video in the ICSVE Breaking the ISIS Brand series. This video features 24-year-old Syrian, Abu Qadir, who was interviewed by Anne Speckhard and Ahmet S. Yayla in December 2015 in southern Turkey. The video clip was video edited and produced by Zack Baddorf and our ICSVE team.

“Listen, [ISIS] tells you something and applies something completely different,” Abu Qadir explains in the beginning of this counter narrative video clip. He explains further, “For example, the religious punishment for breaking the law. I [as an ISIS member could] smoke inside the mosque, but when we see someone else smoking, we treat him as a kafir [unbeliever]. Then, we make him pay a fine. They taught us about something, but then not even one percent was applied. This is what made me hate them till this day.”

Abu Qadir explains how unfair life was under ISIS, “The easiest example is that of oil wells. If you have relatives who work for ISIS, you will fill up your car’s tank quickly. But if you don’t, you will have to wait on the line for 2, 3 or 4 days until it’s your turn. You can get shot by an airstrike and die and your turn wouldn’t even come,” he explains.

“Also, they took the captive women [Yazidi girls and women] as sabayah to Iraq for sale,” Abu Qadir recounts. “And they were sold in Iraq and in al Shaddadi. [Among them were] Muslim women,” he states, which would have violated ISIS’ own fatwa setting out restrictions  that ISIS should not take Muslim women into captivity and turn them into sabayah.

Abu Qadir was assigned to the ISIS hisbah, or Islamic police.  He recalls, “When we were in the hisbah, women were the ones harassed the most. For example, a Tunisian [ISIS member] came and flogged a woman because she was not wearing a face covering or because she was not accompanied by her mahram [male chaperone].” This mistreatment of Syrian women by an ISIS foreign fighter angered the local men. He further comments, “So, we got upset of how this Tunisian–a foreigner–was flogging our sisters and daughters  without us being able to stop it.”

“My brotherly advice would be to go and open the Quran and read it,” Abu Qadir advises his viewers. “If one percent of [ISIS] are [truly] Muslim, then support them.” As an insider, he brings first-hand knowledge on the inner workings of the group. “To be honest, they do not represent Islam,” he explains. “They didn’t do anything that benefited Islam. Everything they have done so far has harmed Islam.” He concludes by stating, “To be honest, my brotherly advice to you: Stay away from them. That’s all I have to say.”

Discussion Questions:

What do you feel watching this video?

Do you believe Abu Qadir is who he says he is and is telling the truth of his experiences inside ISIS?

What do you think of his claim that Muslim women were taken captive by ISIS and forced to be sabayah?

How would you feel if you were a Syrian and foreign men came and beat and punished your women?

Do you think the ISIS Caliphate followed Islamic teachings?I

Transcript of Applying the Law in the Islamic State Caliphate

ABU QADIR

24-year-old Syrian

Former ISIS Soldier

Listen, [ISIS] tells you something and applies something completely different.  

For example, the religious punishment for breaking the law. 

I [as an ISIS member could] smoke inside the mosque, 

but when see someone else smoking, we treat him as a kafir [unbeliever].

Then, we make him pay a fine.

They taught us about something, but then not even one percent was applied.

This is what made me hate them till this day.

The easiest example is that of oil wells.

If you have relatives who works for ISIS, you will fill up your car’s tank quickly.

But if you don’t, you will have to wait on the line for 2, 3 or 4 days until it’s your turn.

You can get shot by an airstrike and die and your turn wouldn’t even come.

If you have a neighbor who works for [ISIS], you will fill up your tank quickly.

Also, they took the captive women [Yazidi girls and women] as sabayah to Iraq for sale.

And they were sold in Iraq and in al Shaddadi.

[Among them were] Muslim women.

They chose me, saying, ‘You will be in the hisbah [Islamic police].’

When we were in the hisbah, women were the ones harassed the most.

For example, a Tunisian [ISIS member] came and flogged a woman because she was not

wearing a face covering or she was not accompanied by her mahram [male chaperone].

So, we got upset of how this Tunisian –a foreigner–was flogging our sisters and daughters 

without us being able to stop it.

My brotherly advice would be to go and open the Quran and read it.

If one percent of [ISIS] are [truly] Muslim, then support them.

To be honest, they do not represent Islam.

They didn’t do anything that benefited Islam.

Everything they have done so far has harmed Islam.

For example, in our area, if you’re in the Islamic State, you will get two propane tanks every month. 

If you’re not in it, you will not get anything.

You will have to go and buy it from an ISIS employee for 5,000 or 6,000 lira.

To be honest, my brotherly advice to you: Stay away from them. That’s all I have to say.

The Truth Behind the Islamic State

Sponsored by the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism www.ICSVE.org 

See more at www.TheRealJihad.org

About the authors:

Anne Speckhard, Ph.D., is Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She has interviewed over 600 terrorists, their family members and supporters in various parts of the world including in Western Europe, the Balkans, Central Asia, the Former Soviet Union and the Middle East. In the past two years, she and ICSVE staff have been collecting interviews (n=101) with ISIS defectors, returnees and prisoners, studying their trajectories into and out of terrorism, their experiences inside ISIS, as well as developing the Breaking the ISIS Brand Counter Narrative Project materials from these interviews. She has also been training key stakeholders in law enforcement, intelligence, educators, and other countering violent extremism professionals on the use of counter-narrative messaging materials produced by ICSVE both locally and internationally as well as studying the use of children as violent actors by groups such as ISIS and consulting on how to rehabilitate them. In 2007, she was responsible for designing the psychological and Islamic challenge aspects of the Detainee Rehabilitation Program in Iraq to be applied to 20,000 + detainees and 800 juveniles. She is a sought after counterterrorism expert and has consulted to NATO, OSCE, foreign governments and to the U.S. Senate & House, Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, Health & Human Services, CIA and FBI and CNN, BBC, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, CTV, and in Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, London Times and many other publications. She regularly speaks and publishes on the topics of the psychology of radicalization and terrorism and is the author of several books, including Talking to Terrorists, Bride of ISIS, Undercover Jihadi and ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate. Her publications are found here: https://georgetown.academia.edu/AnneSpeckhard and on the ICSVE website https://www.icsve.org Follow @AnneSpeckhard

Ardian Shajkovci, Ph.D., is the Director of Research and a Senior Research Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE). He has been collecting interviews with ISIS defectors and studying their trajectories into and out of terrorism as well as training key stakeholders in law enforcement, intelligence, educators, and other countering violent extremism professionals on the use of counter-narrative messaging materials produced by ICSVE both locally and internationally. He has also been studying the use of children as violent actors by groups such as ISIS and how to rehabilitate them. He has conducted fieldwork in Western Europe, the Balkans, Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, mostly recently in Jordan and Iraq. He has presented at professional conferences and published on the topic of radicalization and terrorism. He holds a doctorate in Public Policy and Administration, with a focus on Homeland Security Policy, from Walden University. He obtained his M.A. degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University and a B.A. degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from Dominican University. He is also an adjunct professor teaching counterterrorism and CVE courses at Nichols College. 

Anne Speckhard

Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine and has also taught the Psychology of Terrorism for the Security Studies Department in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is the Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism. Dr. Speckhard has been working in the field of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since the 1980’s and has extensive experience working in Europe, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union.

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