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Quasi-state-level jihadist groups, including Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, have captured and enslaved women and children, often for sexual slavery.In 2014 in particular, both groups organised mass kidnappings of large numbers of girls and younger women.
The first report of slave-taking by Boko Haram was on 13 May 2013 when a video was released of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau saying his group had taken women and children - including teenage girls - hostage in response to the arrest of its members' wives and children.
According to Islamism expert Jonathan N.C. Hill, Boko Haram began kidnapping large numbers of girls and young women for sexual use in 2014. The attacks echoed kidnappings of girls and young women for sexual use by Algerian Islamists in the 1990s and early 2000s, and may reflect influence by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
According to a community leader from Borno state quoted by the BBC, some captured young women and teenage girls held by Boko Haram have been forced to marry one Boko Haram fighter after another as the fighters are killed. "Any time they go for an operation and one of the fighters is killed they will force the young woman to marry another one ... Eventually she becomes a habitual sex slave."
|Islamic State price list for |
women and children slaves
|1–9 years old||$165|
|SOURCE: Zainab Bangura,|
UN special envoy on
sexual violence in conflict.
The Economist reports that ISIS (also called "Islamic State") has taken "as many as 2,000 women and children" captive, selling and distributing them as sexual slaves. Some women were reportedly sold via auction and even via online auction to Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.Matthew Barber, a scholar of Yazidi history at the University of Chicago, later stated to have compiled a list of 4,800 captured Yazidi women and children, and estimated that the overall number could be up to 7,000. Yazidi are a small minority who practice a religion based on "a mix of Christian, Islamic, and ancient Mesopotamian beliefs".
According to reports endorsed as credible by The Daily Telegraph , virgins among the captured women were selected and given to commanders as sexual slaves.According to an August 2015 story in The New York Times , "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."
In April 2015, Zainab Bangura, the United Nations special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, visited Iraq and was given a copy of an Islamic State pamphlet including a list of prices for captured women and children. According to a story on the list in Bloomberg, the list's authenticity "was established by UN researchers who'd gathered anecdotes on similar slave markets in Islamic State-controlled areas". The captives are non-Muslim minorities, "mostly Arab Christians and Yazidis" who have refused to convert to Islam and whose adult male relatives have been murdered. Bidders for the captive women and children include "the groups own fighters and wealthy Middle Easterners."
In a study of the Arab slave trade from 650 CE to 1905 CE, which considered human trafficking in North Africa, the Middle East, and India, Professor Ralph Austen estimates the number of slaves to be 17,000,000.
Female slavery was common during the medieval Arab slave trade, where prisoners of war captured in battle from non-Arab lands often ended up as concubines (who are considered free when their master dies).During the Islamic Golden Age, some Muslim jurists writing on military jurisprudence advocated severe penalties for rebels who use "stealth attacks" and practise abductions, poisoning of water wells, arson, attacks against wayfarers and travellers, assaults under the cover of night and rape.
In 1899, Winston Churchill wrote about the Islamic slave trade: "...all [of the Arab tribes in The Sudan], without exception, were hunters of men. To the great slave markets of Jeddah a continual stream of negro captives has flowed for hundreds of years. The invention of gunpowder and the adoption by the Arabs of firearms facilitated the traffic...Thus the situation in the Sudan for several centuries may be summed up as follows: The dominant race of Arab invaders was increasingly spreading its blood, religion, customs, and language among the black aboriginal population, and at the same time it harried and enslaved them...The warlike Arab tribes fought and brawled among themselves in ceaseless feud and strife. The negroes trembled in apprehension of capture, or rose locally against their oppressors."
Earlier in the 20th century, Islamist authors declared slavery outdated without actually clearly affirming and promoting its abolition. This has caused at least one scholar (William Clarence-Smith) to criticize the notable "evasions and silences of Muhammad Qutb". and the "dogged refusal of Mawlana Mawdudi to give up on slavery".
According to some scholars,there has been a "reopening" of the issue of slavery by some conservative Salafi Islamic scholars after its "closing" earlier in the 20th century when Muslim countries banned slavery and "most Muslim scholars" found the practice "inconsistent with Qur'anic morality."
In response to the Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram's Quranic justification for kidnapping and enslaving people,and ISIL's religious justification for enslaving Yazidi women as spoils of war as claimed in their digital magazine Dabiq , 126 Islamic scholars from around the Muslim world, in late September 2014, signed an open letter to the Islamic State's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, rejecting his group's interpretations of the Qur'an and hadith to justify its actions. The letter accuses the group of instigating fitna – sedition – by instituting slavery under its rule in contravention of the anti-slavery consensus of the Islamic scholarly community.
Sayyid Qutb, a leading scholar of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood wrote in his tafsir (commentary of the Quran) that slavery was a way of handling prisoners-of-war and it "was necessary for Islam to adopt a similar line of practise until the world devised a new code of practise during war other than enslavement".Qutb's brother and promoter, Muhammad Qutb, vigorously defended Islamic slavery, telling his audience that "Islam gave spiritual enfranchisement to slaves" and "in the early period of Islam the slave was exalted to such a noble state of humanity as was never before witnessed in any other part of the world." He contrasted the adultery, prostitution, and (what he called) "that most odious form of animalism" casual sex that are found in Europe, with (what he called) "that clean and spiritual bond that ties a maid [i.e. slave girl] to her master in Islam."
Abul A'la Maududi, the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami has written:
Islam has clearly and categorically forbidden the primitive practice of capturing a free man, to make him a slave or to sell him into slavery. On this point the clear and unequivocal words of [Muhammad] are as follows:There are three categories of people against whom I shall myself be a plaintiff on the Day of Judgement. Of these three, one is he who enslaves a free man, then sells him and eats this money" (al-Bukhari and Ibn Majjah).
The words of this Tradition of the Prophet are also general, they have not been qualified or made applicable to a particular nation, race, country or followers of a particular religion.....After this the only form of slavery which was left in Islamic society was the prisoners of war, who were captured on the battlefield. These prisoners of war were retained by the Muslim Government until their government agreed to receive them back in exchange for Muslim soldiers captured by them.....
According to CNN and The Economist , the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant "justifies its kidnapping of women as sex slaves citing Islamic theology." An article entitled, 'The revival (of) slavery before the Hour,' (of Judgement Day), published in the ISIL online magazine, Dabiq, claimed that Yazidi women can be taken captive and forced to become sex slaves or concubines under Islamic law, "[o]ne should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar -- the infidels -- and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah, or Islamic law."
It not only justified the taking of slaves but declared that those who "deny or mock" the verses of the Koran or hadith that justified it were apostates from Islam, asserting that concubinage is specifically justified in the Koran:
Yazidi women and children [are to be] divided according to the Shariah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations [in northern Iraq] … Enslaving the families of the kuffar [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Koran and the narrations of the Prophet … and thereby apostatizing from Islam.
Another article in Dabiq rebuked supporters of ISIS who had denied ISIS had taken slaves "as if the soldiers of the Khilafah had committed a mistake or evil," and promised "slave markets will be established."
ISIL appealed to apocalyptic beliefs and "claimed justification by a Hadith that they interpret as portraying the revival of slavery as a precursor to the end of the world."In late 2014, ISIL released a pamphlet on the treatment of female slaves.
Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, a Nigerian Islamist group, said in an interview "I shall capture people and make them slaves" when claiming responsibility for the 2014 Chibok kidnapping.Shekau has justified his actions by appealing to the Quran saying "[w]hat we are doing is an order from Allah, and all that we are doing is in the Book of Allah that we follow."
clarence-smith muhammad qutb slavery disturbing.
Sexual slavery and sexual exploitation is attaching the right of ownership over one or more people with the intent of coercing or otherwise forcing them to engage in sexual activities. This includes forced labor, reducing a person to a servile status and sex trafficking persons, such as the sexual trafficking of children.
A takfiri is a Muslim who commits takfir, i.e. accuses another Muslim(s) of apostasy, i.e. of not being a true Muslim(s), potentially a cause of strife and violence in the Muslim community (ummah), since the sharia punishment for apostacy is death. Takfirism has been called a "minority ideology" which "advocates the killing of other Muslims declared to be unbelievers".
Islamic views on slavery represent a complex and multifaceted body of Islamic thought, with various Islamic groups or thinkers espousing views on the matter which have been radically different throughout history. Slavery was a mainstay of life in pre-Islamic Arabia and surrounding lands. The Quran and the hadith address slavery extensively, assuming its existence as part of society but viewing it as an exceptional condition and restricting its scope. Early Islamic dogma forbade enslavement of free members of Islamic society, including non-Muslims (dhimmis), and set out to regulate and improve the conditions of human bondage. The sharīʿah regarded as legal slaves only those non-Muslims who were imprisoned or bought beyond the borders of Islamic rule, or the sons and daughters of slaves already in captivity. In later classical Islamic law, the topic of slavery is covered at great length. Slaves, be they Muslim or those of any other religion, were equal to their fellow practitioners in religious issues.
The history of slavery spans many cultures, nationalities, and religions from ancient times to the present day. However, the social, economic, and legal positions of slaves have differed vastly in different systems of slavery in different times and places.
The rules and regulations concerning prisoners of war in Islam are covered in manuals of Islamic jurisprudence, based upon Islamic teachings, in both the Qur'an and hadith.
The Boko Haram insurgency began in July 2009, when the jihadist group Boko Haram started an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria. The conflict takes place within the context of long-standing issues of religious violence between Nigeria's Muslim and Christian communities, and the insurgents' ultimate aim is to establish an Islamic state in the region.
The Sinjar District is a district of the Nineveh Governorate. The district seat is the town of Sinjar. The district has two subdistricts, al-Shemal and al-Qayrawan. The district is one of two major population centers for Yazidis, the other being Shekhan District.
The persecution of Christians by ISIL involves the systematic mass murder of Christian minorities, within its region of control in Iraq, Syria and Libya by the Islamic extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Persecution of Christian minorities climaxed following its takeover of parts of Northern Iraq in June 2014.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has employed sexual violence against women and men in a terroristic manner. Sexual violence, as defined by The World Health Organization includes “any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic, or otherwise directed, against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work.” ISIL has used sexual violence to undermine a sense of security within communities, and to raise funds through the sale of captives into sexual slavery.
Dabiq was an online magazine used by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for Islamic radicalisation and recruitment. It was first published in July 2014 in a number of different languages. Dabiq itself states the magazine is for the purposes of unitarianism, truth-seeking, migration, holy war and community.
The state of human rights in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) is considered to be one of the worst in modern history and has been severely criticised by many political and religious organisations, and individuals. Islamic State policies included severe acts of genocide, torture and slavery. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) has stated that the Islamic State "seeks to subjugate civilians under its control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror, indoctrination, and the provision of services to those who obey". ISIS actions of extreme criminality, terror, recruitment and other activities has been documented in several regions worldwide, including the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and America.
Executions by ISIS refers here to killing by beheading, immolation, shooting or other means of military and civilian people by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). ISIL has released a number of propaganda/publicity videos of beheadings or shootings of captives. Houtat Sulūk is reported to be a mass grave.
The ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has been described as being a hybrid of Salafism, Salafi jihadism, and Wahhabism. Through its official statement of beliefs originally released by its first leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi in 2007 and subsequently updated since June 2014, ISIL defined its creed as "a middle way between the extremist Kharijites and the lax Murji'ites".
The Muslim world initially inherited the institution of slavery from pre-Islamic Arabia; and the practice of keeping slaves subsequently developed in radically different ways, depending on social-political factors such as the Arab slave trade. Throughout Islamic history, slaves served in various social and economic roles, from powerful emirs to harshly treated manual laborers. Early on in Muslim history slaves provided plantation labor similar to that in the early-modern Americas, but this practice was abandoned after harsh treatment led to destructive slave revolts, the most notable being the Zanj Rebellion of 869–883. Slaves were widely employed in irrigation, mining, and animal husbandry, but most commonly as soldiers, guards, domestic workers, and concubines. Many rulers relied on military slaves and on slaves in administration - to such a degree that the slaves could sometimes seize power. Among black slaves, there were roughly two females to every one male. Two rough estimates by scholars of the numbers of just one group - black slaves held over twelve centuries in the Muslim world - are 11.5 million and 14 million, while other estimates indicate a number between 12 and 15 million African slaves prior to the 20th century.
Nadia Murad Basee Taha is an Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist who lives in Germany. In 2014, she was kidnapped from her hometown Kocho and held by the Islamic State for three months.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is recognized by the United Nations as the perpetrator of a genocide of Yazidis in the Sinjar area, northern Iraq. The genocide led to the expulsion, flight and effective exile of the Yazidis from their ancestral lands in Upper Mesopotamia. Thousands of Yazidi women and girls were forced into sexual slavery by the Islamic State, and thousands of Yazidi men were killed. Five thousand Yazidi civilians were killed during what has been called a "forced conversion campaign" being carried out by ISIL in Northern Iraq. The genocide began following the withdrawal of the Kurdistan Regional Government's Peshmerga, which left the Yazidis defenseless.
Yazda: Global Yazidi Organization, is a United States-based global Yazidi nonprofit, non-governmental organization (NGO) advocacy, aid, and relief organization. Yazda was established to support the Yazidi, especially in northern Iraq, specifically Sinjar and Nineveh Plain, and northeastern Syria, where the Yazidi community has, as part of a deliberate "military, economic, and political strategy," been the focus of a genocidal campaign by ISIL that included mass murder, the separation of families, forced religious conversions, forced marriages, sexual assault, physical assault, torture, kidnapping, and slavery.
Nareen Shammo is a Yazidi investigative journalist and a human rights defender.
Classical Islamic law allowed men to have sexual intercourse with their female slaves. Medieval Muslim literature and legal documents show that those female slaves whose main use was for sexual purposes were distinguished in markets from those whose primary use was for domestic duties. They were called "slaves for pleasure" or "slave-girls for sexual intercourse". Many female slaves became concubines to their owners and bore their children. Others were just used for sex before being transferred. The allowance for men to use contraception with female slaves assisted in thwarting unwanted pregnancies.