Mosul shop owners recount the restrictive practices under ISIS

During the three years of ISIS control, the group placed a plethora of damaging restrictions on all aspects of social, political, religious and business life in the city of Mosul.

Shop owners in the recently liberated areas of Mosul – Iraq’s second largest city – have recounted the restrictions placed upon them by the occupiers.

Shop owners state ISIS banned manikins for being “idols” and “fetishes”. ISIS also banned clothing which had any form of pattern or design, such as a drawing of a tower. These restrictions had a significant effect on the products the businesses were able to sell.

All goods found with a design or pattern were confiscated.

“One day they came to the second floor. They saw something with triangles and geometric figures were hanging from it or some sort of shapes and drawings on it,” said a shop owner as he recounted an incident with ISIS officials.

“They said it’s a Masonic cross. I told them that I studied and I knew shapes and this wasn’t true. They said this was a Masonic Cross and must be confiscated. They confiscated goods worth almost 800,000.”

As a result of these practices, the group negatively affected trade and threatened livelihoods. “Our businesses stopped and then so did our lives,” the shop owner added, as he remembered the effect the restrictions placed on his businesses by the group.

A majority of Mosul, a city which had served as ISIS’s stronghold in Iraq, has now been liberated by Iraqi Security Forces.

Free from damaging restrictions by ISIS, businesses have begun to manufacture and sell clothes inside of Mosul in an attempt to rebuild the businesses “from scratch” and reverse the effects of ISIS occupation.