Thursday, The New York Times published a disturbing piece about the Islamic State having enshrined “a theology of rape,” specifically against women and girls who aren’t Muslim. In other words, if the female isn’t Muslim, it’s totally fine to assault her, sell her, and keep as property. The opening paragraphs are harrowing, describing the rape of a 12-year-old girl:
In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.
He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.
When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.
“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,” she said in an interview alongside her family in a refugee camp here, to which she escaped after 11 months of captivity.
The systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.
The trade in Yazidi women and girls has created a persistent infrastructure, with a network of warehouses where the victims are held, viewing rooms where they are inspected and marketed, and a dedicated fleet of buses used to transport them.
A total of 5,270 Yazidis were abducted last year, and at least 3,144 are still being held, according to community leaders. To handle them, the Islamic State has developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery, including sales contracts notarized by the ISIS-run Islamic courts. And the practice has become an established recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies, where casual sex is taboo and dating is forbidden.
The rest of the long form piece is riddled with equally barbaric and appalling details that revolve around the topic of sex slavery. Here’s a trip to an ISIS sex slave market:
In August of 2014, thousands of Yazidis fled the forces of the Islamic State by heading to the Sinjar Mountains. The conditions were abysmal, with little shade, food, water, and other essential supplies. In all, 20-30,000 Yazidis remained trapped on top of the mountain. U.S., British and Iraqi aircraft had been dropping supplies at the time to aid the beleaguered group. The U.S. was considering air evacuations for the refugees. By December of 2014, the Kurds relieved the siege on Sinjar.
Yet, for CNN’s Chris Cuomo, the New York Times piece might promote stereotypes.
“This feeds the impression that these Muslims are animals, savages and their faith makes them that way,” he said.
Muslim women’s rights activist Qanta Ahmed aptly noted that the end goal for these Islamists is one thing: totalitarianism.
“This is Islamism at work …there Islamists are dominating to extinction girls and women; it’s very calculated,” she said.
At the same time, ISIS is raping 12-year-olds and justifying it through religious means. They’re engaging in sex slavery. These aren't stereotypes or brash over-generalizations; they're actually happening. Saying that the members of the Islamic State are animals and savages not only fits the bill, one could argue that it's overly generous given the utter evil they're partaking in on a daily basis. I mean, is this even up for discussion?
You would think that one would come to that conclusion after the various execution videos they’ve released; the beheadings of Americans James Foley and Steve Sotloff; or when they blew up a baby.