ISIS Publish Pamphlet On How to Treat Female Slaves

Yazidi Women
Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate August 11, 2014. Rodi Said/Reuters

ISIS has released a list of rules about how females slaves, women and children should be treated once captured by Jihadi warriors.

The rules, published by the Research and Fatwa Department of ISIS in a pamphlet on 3rd December, are written in the form of questions and answers and say, among other things, that it is “permissible” to have sexual intercourse with, beat and trade non-Muslim slaves, including young girls.

As ISIS moved through the remote communities of northern Iraq in August, the group reportedly enslaved thousands of Yazidi women, whilst men were lined up by the side of the road and shot dead one by one into mass graves.

According to human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and the accounts of women who have managed to escape, these women were then taken to detention camps in the cities of Mosul and Tal Afar and sold off as servants or concubines.

More than 2,500 Yazidi women have been captured by the hardline terrorist group, according to work carried out by a team of researchers from Bristol University's Gender and Violence Research Centre. The team is led by Nazand Begikhani, an adviser to the Kurdistan regional government on gender issues,

"These women have been treated like cattle," she told CNN. "They have been subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery. They've been exposed in markets in Mosul and in Raqqa, Syria, carrying price tags."

Yazidi activists say that the number of women missing is closer to 4,600.

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI, who translated the pamphlet, it was likely released in response to the public uproar about the kidnapping and treatment of the Yazidi women.

In the pamphlet, titled Su'al wa-Jawab fi al-Sabi wa-Riqab ("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, is 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 also details how a female slave can be beaten, but her face should not be hit. “It is permissible to beat the female slave as a form of disciplinary beating, but it is forbidden to beat for the purpose of achieving gratification or for torture. Further, it is forbidden to hit the face.”

One of the final questions asks what happens when a female slave runs away from her master. “A male or female slave running away is among the gravest of sins,” the pamphlet reads. Although it does not specify a punishment, it says that the woman will be “reprimanded [in such a way that] deters others like her from escaping."

In September, 120 senior Muslim scholars and imams from around the world, including Sheikh Shawqi Allam, the grand mufti of Egypt wrote an 18-page, open letter to ISIS, calling its members un-Islamic and condemning the treatment of Yazidi women. “It is forbidden in Islam to ignore the reality of contemporary times when deriving legal rulings,” they argued.

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