Recently, a video showing ISIS fighters violently taking young girls and women away from their families to be the fighters’ sex slaves was released by Yazidi activists. The video shows what appears to be women and young girls screaming in terror as the fighters aggressively pull them away from their loved ones, as the men try to hold onto their wives and daughters to protect them.
This heartbreaking video comes after Sky News recently revealed the underground captivity areas where Yazidi sex slaves are kept. Based on this video, it appears that many sex slaves are kept in filthy underground bunkers surrounded by rubble. Yazidi sex slaves who have managed to escape from ISIS have told of the horrors that occur when captured.
One escapee describes the sex slaves starting as young as nine or ten years old. Women are often sold in exchange for guns, small amounts of money, or even cigarettes after undergoing rigorous examinations from ISIS-led OBGYNS to determine if the girls are virgins. Some who were found to be pregnant were even forced to get abortions according to one escapee.
So how do these ISIS fighters justify these gruesome acts? In the name of Islam, of course. One slave who escaped said her rapist justified his acts by claiming that by raping her, he was making her Muslim, and thus the act was justified in the eyes of Allah.
In 2014, ISIS distributed a pamphlet to its followers in which it outlined why beating, trading, and raping sex slaves was permitted by Allah. The disturbing pamphlet has a question and answer section outlining under which circumstances ISIS fights can take women captive and rape them.
One sample of this text? Question 5 asks, “Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female captive immediately after taking possession of her?” The chilling response is “If she is a virgin, he (her master) can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession of her.”
Question 6 of the pamphlet asks “Is it permissible to sell a female captive?” and ISIS fighters are instructed, “It is permissible to buy, sell or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property which can be disposed of…”
Without an intensification of our fight against ISIS, atrocities against females and other innocent civilians in the ISIS-held territory will continue to worsen.