Tonight, BBC Arabic will air a new documentary, Slaves of the Caliphate, which documents the horrendous plight of captured Yazidi girls and women. This film will be broadcast on BBC World on January 17, 2015.
The first Yazidi sex slave to reveal her identity—Hamshe—talks about what happened to her and to others. Disclosed for the first time: in addition to being forced to sexually service ISIS jihadists, these girls and women were also forced to “give blood to wounded fighters.”
Activist Nareen Shammo has been keeping track of hundreds of kidnapped Yazidi; she has tried to locate them and negotiate their return.
In December, 2014, Amnesty International released a report about the “abducted hundreds, possibly thousands of Yezidi men, women, and children who were fleeing the IS takeover….younger girls and women were forced to convert to Islam under threat of death. Younger women and girls, some as young as 12, were separated from their parents and older relatives and sold, given as gifts or forced to marry IS fighters and supporters. Many have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment, including rape.” According to Amnesty, about three hundred of those abducted have escaped captivity. Amnesty interviewed 42 such women and girls.
Amnesty considers what ISIS is doing “war crimes.”
According to The Daily Mail, “it is estimated that over 2600 women remain captive… (However), the Yazidi community in Iraq say that 3500 of its women and girls are still being held by ISIS.”
These girls and women are being sold as sex slaves for both pitifully small and outrageously large sums of money. Girls who are beaten and injured are allowed to recover and are then re-sold. ISIS’s Department of Research and Fatwas issues legal/religious documents, posts them online, and gives them out in pamphlet form after prayers. This concerns the Sharia basis for the taking of captives and slaves.
According to MEMRI, quoted in Newsweek, the pamphlet is titled: “Su’al wa-Jawab,” (“Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves”).
ISIS justifies capturing the women due to their unbelief in Islam: “Unbelieving [women] who were captured and brought into the abode of Islam are permissible to us.” According to the pamphlet, ISIS members are permitted to have sex with the women: “Allah the almighty said: ‘[Successful are the believers] who guard their chastity, except from their wives or the captives and slaves that their right hands possess, for then they are free from blame [Quran 23:5-6]’.”
This can occur as soon as a woman is captured: “If she is a virgin, [her master] can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession of her. However, if she isn’t, her uterus must be purified. A female captive cannot be sold, however, if she has been impregnated by her ‘owner.'”
The pamphlet ends with these lines:
Before Satan sows doubt among the weak-minded and weak-hearted, remember that enslaving the kuffa (infidels) and taking their women as concubines is a firmly-established aspect of Sharia.
Some will insist that this interpretation of Sharia law is a “deviant” or a “perverted” form of religion. Some Arabists will tell us that the masses do not really understand Sharia law and that the experts who do are afraid of reining in their followers lest they be fired from their pulpits and shamed.
Western human rights experts are very clear that such behaviors are barbaric and legally constitute “war crimes.”
If we do not stop ISIS in the Middle East they may be coming our way soon.