The lightning advances of the Islamic State across Syria and Iraq in June shocked the world. But it's not just the group's military victories that have garnered attention — it's also the pace with which its members have begun to carve out a viable state.
As the soldiers of the Islamic State continue in their effort to build up institutions in the north central Syrian city of Raqqa, the Hisbah, or religious police, are tasked with enforcing a particularly harsh form of Sharia law.
In part 4 of The Islamic State, VICE News visits the Sharia courts where those accused of infractions are sentenced to harsh penalties, including execution followed by public crucifixion. But the courts don't just handle crime. Citizens can bring all manners of complaints, including family disputes, and see the Islamic State's form of justice doled out.
With unprecedented access, VICE News reporter Medyan Dairieh also visits the section of the court specifically set up for Christians, where the Islamic State discusses its treatment of minorities, and sees a former Armenian Catholic Church that has been converted into an Islamic center.