Such has been the brutality of the ISIS that people are often numbed by its excesses. But particularly horrifying is the Islamic State’s treatment of women. A new television series, produced by Saudi Arabia’s MBC Group, tries to shine a light on the lives of women under the Islamic State. Called Black Crows, the show is the first of its kind and will air during Ramzan, prime time for Arabic television viewers.
“We wanted to tell real stories that would both touch people and reflect the ugly reality of terrorism,” MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek told AFP at the network’s Dubai headquarters. “We realised that the Arab media could no longer sit and watch while terrorist groups used media as a central part of their war.”
One of the episodes reportedly has a girl and her grandmother, in Muslim veils, selling dinner plates with images of animals in an IS-controlled village. When the grandmother refuses to stop selling her wares, despite being told to do so by Hesba, an extremist female police outfit, she is shot in the head.
Another episode focuses on a training camp for children that teaches them how to use machine guns. Bits and pieces of these episodes can be seen in the video above, a trailer for the show.
One of the show’s producers said that security was the “biggest challenge”, adding by way of explanation, “When you transform an area in Lebanon into what resembles an IS headquarters, you have to consider security and safety of your crew.”
In 2015, the same company had produced a Ramzan television special called Selfie, a satire aimed at IS, which had resulted in the lead actor receiving death threats online.