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Islamic State Fatwa Codifies Sex with Female Slaves


A newly released religious ruling, or fatwa, handed down by the ISIL Committee of Research and Fatwas stipulates in great detail the sexual conduct of Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) slave owners toward their infidel female captives.

The ruling is a response to a query concerning the regulation of sexual behavior toward female slaves, noting that some of the brothers have committed “violations” in this area.


Fatwa No. 64, dated January 29, 2015, was contained in documents seized by U.S. special forces in a raid in eastern Syria last May. A U.S. government translation of the document has been posted online.

The keeping of sex slaves is interpreted as in keeping with the will of Allah, a natural result of jihad in his name.

The ruling declares that it is an “inevitable consequence of jihad” that women and children of infidels will “become captives of Muslims,” which is in turn a consequence of the conquest of large surface areas—“one of the graces which Allah has bestowed on the State of Caliphate.”

Nonetheless, sex with female slaves must be properly regulated according to a series of specific injunctions, and the owners of sex slaves should show them “compassion” and seek not to “humiliate” them, the ruling states.

Among the particular norms of conduct, owners are not to have intercourse with pregnant slaves, and if a man owns both a mother and her daughter, he must choose which of the two to have sex with because he cannot have both as sexual partners. The same applies to a man who owns two sisters: he can only have sex with one of them.

Moreover, an ISIS slave-owner’s son is not permitted to have sex with the father’s slave, and the father is not permitted to have sex with his son’s female slaves.

The ruling also forbids having intercourse with a female slave during her menstrual cycle, as well as having anal sex with her at any time.

The Islamic State has come under fire repeatedly for its sexual abuse of female captives, a practice integral to its specific form of terrorism.

In recent testimony before the United Nations Security Council, Yazidi survivor Nadia Murad Basee Taha described in detail the horrendous treatment she endured as a sex slave to the Islamic State.

“Rape was used to destroy women and girls and to guarantee that these women could never lead a normal life again,” she declared. The jihadists raped Taha until she passed out.

In October, a young Yazidi woman, known only as Noor, told CNN that the ISIS fighters justified raping her because the action would make her Muslim.

“He showed me a letter and said, ‘This shows any captured women will become Muslim if 10 ISIS fighters rape her.’ There was a flag of ISIS and a picture of [ISIS leader] Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi,” she said.

Earlier this week, another fatwa (No. 68) obtained from the same bundle of documents was made public; it revealed the approval of harvesting of organs from live victims to save the lives of Muslims, even if the operation kills the captive.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.

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