Islam’s War on Women Continues…
by, Par Aurélie Foulon | Le Parisien | Eeyore @ Vlad Tepes | Original Translation by, CB Sashenka
(Special thanks to our friend and colleague Eeyore and to CB Sashenka for the amazing translation)
Solidarity is being organized in Evry (Essonne), after the terrible tragedy that occurred at Diderot Square, in the rather quiet residential area of Champtier-du-Coq. Since Wednesday, a fund-raising appeal has been circulating on social networks to collect enough money for the funeral of a mother. Monday morning she was killed by her husband with a machete, right before the eyes of their children.
The drama took place in an otherwise uneventful morning, in the family’s apartment. “A known family in Evry, in a good way,” assures someone from the neighborhood. The couple – parents of two older daughters of 16 and 18 and of 6-year old twins – was at home. On this vacation day, one of the older daughters was baby-sitting, which seemed to bother her father.
A conflict broke, and the 50-year old violently attacked the girl. The mother, who was not working that day, quickly intervened. She stepped in, but her husband at that point was uncontrollable. He hit her, struck her several blows with a machete, slashing off her feet and a hand. One of the children called for help but his efforts were futile. The victim died upon arrival at the hospital.
The couple’s children, and the two small children that the eldest daughter was babysitting, were all hospitalized. A psychological evaluation was also set up. The father was immediately arrested and had to be committed. “A real tragedy, I do not know what else to call it, absolutely barbaric, says Francis Chouat, the PS (Parti Socialiste) mayor of Evry. The involuntary commitment of the father suggests serious psychiatric disorders, but this was never a problem before in the family.”
Neighbors and family friends set up a fund-raiser at http://www.yourebe.com for the repatriation of the deceased in Algeria. The investigation was entrusted to the police of Evry.
Photo courtesy of: vocativ
by, Shane Dixon Kavanaugh | vocativ
A Montreal businessman is on a mission to save scores of women and girls from being sold into sexual slavery by Islamic State militants in Iraq, and thousands of people around the world are joining his cause.
With cold hard cash, Steve Maman pays for the release of Yazidis and Christians from their ISIS captors, who have created a cottage industry out of peddling Iraqi minority women to the highest bidder. What began as a campaign among members of Montreal’s Sephardic Jewish community, to which Maman belongs, has become a global movement with a GoFundMe page that topped a half-million dollars on Thursday.
Video courtesy of: CBN News
The swell of donations and growing global awareness could become a lifeline for some 2,700 young women and girls estimated to still be in captivity behind Islamic State lines.
“We cannot sit and remain indifferent to what is going on,” the 42-year-old father of six, who supporters have dubbed the “Jewish Schindler” after German factory owner Oskar Schindler, credited with saving more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust, told Vocativ. “We cannot wait and rely on others to act. ‘Why not me?’ is the question we should all be asking ourselves.”
But critics believe Maman’s campaign will pour thousands of dollars into the hands of ISIS militants, who have waged a brutal campaign against religious and ethnic minorities since their group declared its caliphate across Syria and Iraq last year. The United Nations reported that last August up to 5,000 Yazidis were slaughtered in Iraq’s Sinjar district and beyond. Thousands of Christian and Yazidi women were later taken as ISIS brides or sold into sexual slavery, humanitarian groups have found.
Steve Maman’s campaign to free Yazidi and Christian women and girls held captive by ISIS reached $500,000 on Thursday, August 20. Photo courtesy of: vocativ
News of the atrocities stunned Maman, who runs a classic car dealership and crystal wholesale business. “It’s a level of barbarism which was on another level of persecution,” he told the Toronto Star.
Determined to act, he launched an organization called the Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq. Maman then started calling his business associates, as well as members of Montreal’s Jewish community, to finance the project. Later, he used connections that he had in Baghdad to contact hostage negotiators and humanitarian aid workers.
According to Maman, his organization directs money to brokers on the ground in Iraq, who then use the funds to negotiate a price with Islamic State fighters in the mountain ranges of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Yazidi and Christian captives can be purchased for a fee of between $1,000 and $3,000, which includes a sizable commission for the broker, Maman said.
Once freed, the women and girls are initially taken to refugee camps in Kurdistan. They receive food, shelter and medical care, Maman said. Many of the women and girls say they were sexually abused by ISIS militants. “The rapes, abuse, and brutality they suffer at the hands of their captors are beyond imagination,” wrote Maman on his GoFundMe page.
Dubbed the “Jewish Schindler,” Steve Maman (left) meets with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Photo courtesy of: vocativ
To date, Maman’s group has rescued 128 Yazidis and Christians, he said. Hundreds more, however, may soon be freed from ISIS. By Thursday this week his GoFundMe campaign topped $500,000 from more than 2,500 donations worldwide. Maman’s current goal, according to the campaign, is to raise $2 million.
“If he doesn’t it’s a stunning indictment on humanity,” Pamela Geller, the political commentator and sponsor of the controversial “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas last May, told Vocativ. She, along with other anti-Islamic activists in the United States, have championed Maman’s work for months.
“What should we do? Stand by while these girls are gang-raped, sold, torn apart, and tortured?” said Geller. “Only his group is doing anything to save them.”
News of the businessman’s work continues to spread across countries andcontinents and an increasing number of critics have taken to comment threads online to say that all those donations go straight to ISIS coffers .
“This is both commendable and problematic,” said one commenter on the Toronto Star website. “The priority should be returning these girls and women to their families and relative safety as quickly as possible. But at the price of rewarding their kidnappers and providing ISIS with money?”
Others are less diplomatic. “FOLKS IF YOU GIVE $$ TO ISIS MIDDLEMEN IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM A LARGE CUT ENDS UP WITH ISIS THIS ONLY FUNDS NEW ABDUCTIONS AND FUTURE RANSOMS AT HIGHER PRICES,” wrote a user by the name of Kale Lillian on Maman’s GoFundMe page.
Maman remains undeterred. Compared to the billions ISIS has reportedly madefrom looting from banks, seizing oil fields and other illicit activity, the money spent rescuing these women and girls is nominal, he said. “This is pocket change to them,” he said.
After a pause, Maman added: “Honestly, there is no other option to rescue them. How much longer can we wait to save them?”
Aug. 21: A Thalys train of French national railway operator, SNCF, stands at the main train station in Arras, northern France, after a gunman opened fire injuring three people. (AP)
by, AP | FNC | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
Off-duty members of the U.S. military subdued a gunman “known to intelligence services” after he opened fire, injuring three aboard on a high-speed train en route to Paris from Amsterdam Friday.
Three U.S. servicemen were on board the train and overpowered the man when the train stopped in the northern French city of Arras, 115 miles north of Paris, French media reported. Some reports said the men were U.S. Marines but that could not be confirmed.
Passengers on the train subdued the gunman and prevented further carnage, said Christophe Piednoel, spokesman for national railway operator SNCF. The train was then diverted to Arras, where police arrested the suspect, Piednoel said on French television i-Tele.
The suspect was arrested after the train stopped in Arras, 115 miles north of Paris, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henri Brandet said on French television BFM. Passengers were evacuated and police have secured the area.
The man was armed with an automatic rifle and a knife, Piednoel said.
The suspect is a 26-year-old Moroccan, Alliance police union official Sliman Hamzi said on French television i-Tele.
The victims were identified as an American, a Briton and a Frenchman. Earlier reports said two American service members were among the injured. Two of the victims were in critical condition, according to a statement from the office of President Francois Hollande.
“The situation is under control, the travelers are safe. The train stopped and the emergency services are on site,” Thalys, the train operator, tweeted.
The attack took place while the train was passing through Belgium, according to a statement from Hollande’s office. The statement said he spoke with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, and the two leaders pledged to cooperate closely on the investigation.
Two of the victims were considered to be seriously injured, the French state rail company SNCF said, according to French wire service AFP. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is on his way to the scene. Passengers were evacuated and police have secured the area.
The motivation for the attack is unknown, officials said. AFP cited French officials saying the suspect is “known to intelligence services.”
Investigators from France’s special anti-terror police are leading the investigation, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office said.
“As always where an act that could be terrorist in nature is involved, the greatest care and the greatest precision will be used,” Cazeneuve said.
Cazeneuve said the two Americans “were particularly courageous and showed great bravery in very difficult circumstances” and that “without their sangfroid we could have been confronted with a terrible drama.”
A third person, French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, suffered a minor injury while activating the train’s emergency alarm, Lorthiois said.
Passenger Christina Cathleen Coons of New York described the drama in car 12 of the train in an interview with Ouest France newspaper.
“I heard shots, most likely two, and a guy collapsed,” she is quoted as saying.
Coons, identified as a 28-year-old vacationing in Europe, said a window broke above one woman’s head. “A guy fell to the floor and had blood everywhere,” she is quoted as saying.
She described lying on the floor herself and taking photos with her phone.
“I thought there would be a shootout in the train,” the newspaper quotes her as saying. Then, “people came to take care of him.”
A White House official told Fox News that President Obama was briefed on the incident Friday evening:
“The President’s thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims of this attack, and he wishes them speedy and full recoveries,” the official said.
“Echoing the statements of French authorities, the President expressed his profound gratitude for the courage and quick thinking of several passengers, including U.S. service members, who selflessly subdued the attacker. While the investigation into the attack is in its early stages, it is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy. We will remain in close contact with French authorities as the investigation proceeds.”
by, Mrigank Tiwari | The Times of India TNN | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
BAREILLY, India: Two brothers, enraged by the affair their 17-year-old sister was carrying on with a cousin, beheaded the girl and marched around the village with the severed, bleeding head. The incident occurred at Bamani Chowki village, under the jurisdiction of Paraur police station in Shahjhanapur district on Monday.
Gul Hasan, 25, and his brother Nanhey, 20, spotted their sister Phool Jahan outside the house of their cousin on Monday afternoon. The girl had also spent the night at her cousin’s house. She had earlier expressed a desire to marry him. Her brothers had opposed the idea of marriage and warned her to stay away from their cousin.
Enraged that she had also spent the night there, they dragged her away and cut her head off with a chopper. Marching around the village with their sister’s head, the brothers said, “Dekho, hamne apni behen ko maar dala aur pyar karney ki yehi sazaa hoti hai” (This is what happens as punishment for having an affair.)
Muslims Slaughter Dozens of Hindus and Buddhists at Erawan Hindu Shrine in Bangkok.
by, Sky News Australia | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
A bomb has exploded outside a religious shrine in a bustling hub of the Thai capital, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 120 others in an attack authorities said targeted foreigners.
The blast occurred about 6.30pm (2130 AEST) on Monday when the streetside Erawan Shrine close to upscale shopping malls was packed with worshippers and tourists.
‘I heard a very loud bang, it made the whole building shake so I ran outside to see what had happened,’ Panupan Chansing, 20, a hotel worker at the nearby Grand Hyatt Erawan, told AFP.
‘I saw bodies lying on the ground and I saw vehicles on fire. I feel very sad and sorry that this has happened to Thai people … I’m scared.’
Police confirmed 19 people were killed, including 10 Thais, one Chinese and one Filipino citizen. More than 120 others were injured, according to police.
The nationalities of the other people who died were not immediately clear.
But China’s official Xinhua news agency said two Chinese nationals had died, while the governments of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan reported that some of their citizens were injured.
Video courtesy of: JSM Media Productions
Bangkok has endured years of deadly political violence, with a military junta now ruling the nation, and a decades-long Muslim insurgency in the far south that has claimed thousands of lives.
Police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri told AFP the blast was likely politically motivated and designed to bring ‘chaos’.
Thailand’s defence minister said the bombing was aimed at foreigners in an attempt to damage the country’s tourist industry, which is a rare bright spot in an otherwise gloomy economy.
‘It was a TNT bomb … the people who did it targeted foreigners and to damage tourism and the economy,’ said Prawit Wongsuwong, a former general who is believed to have been one of the key coup-makers.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack, however, and it was unclear immediately who was responsible.
Islamic militants have carried out many attacks in other parts of Southeast Asia, including on Indonesia’s holiday island of Bali in 2002 that killed 202 people.
But they have not made Thailand a prime target.
A government spokesman said it was too early to speculate on who was behind the attack.
Glass was strewn across the street after the explosion inside the gates to the shrine, which is in the central Chidlom district close to the famous Sukhmuvit Road shopping strip.
Charred and shattered motorcycles littered the scene, alongside hunks of concrete, with pools of blood on the pavement and two bodies crumpled on the steps of the shrine.
The attack drew quick condemnation internationally, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s office releasing a statement saying he was shocked.
‘He expresses his condolences to the bereaved families and to the people and government of Thailand,’ the statement said.
‘He hopes that those responsible will be brought to justice.’
Howard Fenton, a 50-year-old computer programmer from Australia, said he was dismayed to see violence return once more to Bangkok’s streets.
‘There’ve just been so many problems in Thailand over the years,’ he told AFP.
‘You sort of hope that it’s going to go away but when it comes back again it’s pretty shocking. And coming this violently is a real worry.
‘I really hope sense will prevail and it doesn’t spiral into something really, really shocking,’ he added.
The blasts came just hours after fresh economic data showed Thailand’s economy had slowed in the second quarter.
Tourism, which accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s GDP, was one of the few positive growth areas.
Thailand had been expecting a surge in Chinese visitors in October for the annual National Day holiday, often dubbed ‘Golden Week’ by China’s neighbours because of the huge tourism bonanza it produces.
Soon after the blasts the country’s tourism minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul visited the nearby Chulalongkorn Hospital where many of the Chinese victims were taken.
‘We wanted to make sure there are translators … because a lot of the Chinese they cannot speak English,’ she told AFP.
Asked whether the bombs would impact tourism she said: ‘This is a big concern for us.’
Jews/Judeo-Christians United With Hindus & Buddhists
Our hearts and prayers are with you…
Pictured above: (the victim) 49-year-old health-care worker Freddy Akoa. Photo courtesy of: Leo Hohmann | WND
by, Leo Hohmann | WND | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
Authorities in Portland, Maine, have arrested three Somali-American men in connection with the brutal killing of a man inside his apartment, then moved quickly to seal the case from public view.
Police arrested Abil Teshome, 23, Mohamud Mohamed, 36, and Osman Sheikh, 31, on Thursday. All three are charged with the murder of 49-year-old health-care worker Freddy Akoa.
Police have provided almost no information on the killing, not the cause of death, not the type of weapon used, nor any possible motive for the killing. They even refused to release prison mugshots of the suspects. The Associated Press and local TV stations failed to identify the three suspects by their country of origin or race.
Akoa was found dead in his apartment at 457 Cumberland Avenue on Tuesday and it was revealed at a court hearing Friday that he had been dead since Sunday. He lived alone and, according to his LinkedIn page, worked as a hospital and health-care professional in the Portland area.
Police said all three suspects were arrested on unrelated charges and placed in custody Wednesday and Thursday when they were charged with Akoa’s murder.
Video courtesy of: WMTW-TV | Leo Hohmann | WND
Akoa was found dead about 12:15 p.m. Tuesday by an apartment manager after his mother called police and requested a check on his well being.
The killing “wasn’t random in nature,” said Police Chief Michael Sauschuck, indicating the alleged killers knew their victim.
The U.S. State Department, in cooperation with the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, has sent 1,379 Somali refugees to Maine since 2002, with 1,010 of them going to Portland, according to the State Department’s refugee database. Records prior to 2002 are not kept online, but the U.N. has been sending Somali refugees to the United States since the early 1990s with the full support of the U.S. Congress, despite the fact that hundreds of them have turned out to be jihadists or criminals.
Of all the countries participating in the U.S. refugee resettlement program, Somalia has the worst record. Countless Somalis resettled in America have been investigated, arrested and convicted of violent crimes and terrorism-related charges. More than 50 have left the U.S. to join the ranks of ISIS, al-Shabab and al-Qaida, the FBI has confirmed.
Yet, the Obama administration, with the full support of Congress, continues to infuse American cities with a steady stream of Sunni Muslim “refugees” from Somalia. They arrive in the U.S. at a rate of 7,000 to 10,000 per year, or about 600 to 800 a month, according to records obtained by WND through a search of State Department databases. They get resettled in more than 190 cities and towns, with many sent to the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota; Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Maine; San Diego, California; Fargo, South Dakota; Wichita, Kansas, Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho; Amarillo, Texas; and Seattle, Washington; among other cities.
WND has reported on numerous other criminal and terrorist elements who entered the country legally through the refugee resettlement program, including one case where a refugee from the west African country of Togo was in the country only nine days before raping a woman in Virginia.
Pictured above: Muslim Murderers, (left) Osman Sheikh Said, 31, a Somali-American and (right) Mohamed Mohamud. Photo courtesy of: Leo Hohmann | WND
Congressman calls for ‘pause’ in refugee program
Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, recently introduced H.R. 3314, the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act, which would press the pause button on a program that grants permanent legal residency to nearly 70,000 new refugee immigrants a year. The refugees qualify for a smorgasbord of welfare benefits on day one upon arrival, including food stamps, subsidized housing, public education, Medicaid and WIC (federal aid for women, infants and children).
Babin’s bill would temporarily suspend the program until the Government Accountability Office completes a thorough examination of its costs on local governments, states and American taxpayers, as well as the risks to national security.
“The Refugee Resettlement Program has been running on autopilot for far too long with little regard to economic, social and national security implications,” Babin wrote in a recent op-ed. “We need to step back and examine all aspects of this program. Such as, why is the U.N., whose policies often run counter to the best interests of the U.S., even in the equation?”
Babin introduced his bill July 29 and is still looking for his first co-sponsor.
The Portland Press Herald reported that Akoa, the murder victim, had a clean record with no arrests, but at least two of his alleged killers have extensive criminal rap sheets.
Sheikh has 33 criminal convictions, mostly public order crimes such as criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and drinking in public, according to the State Bureau of Identification. Teshome’s criminal record includes convictions for drinking in public and theft.
Akoa lived alone on the third floor of the Cumberland Avenue apartment building. He is divorced and has three children, according to the Press Herald article.
Alice Page, a resident of the complex, said the apartments are not as safe as they were when she first moved in six years ago. She told local TV station WMTW 8 that she used to be able to do her laundry at any time of the day or night, but “now, you do it during the day or you don’t do it at all.”
Authorities tight-lipped, keep case files sealed
An autopsy was performed on Akoa’s body, but police declined to release the results, the Bangor Daily News reported.
Police announced Wednesday they were investigating the death as a homicide but refused to say how the killing was carried out. When the final arrest was made Thursday, they remained mum, and the secrecy then spilled over into Friday’s court hearing.
Assistant Attorney General John Alsop, who is prosecuting the cases, asked the judge at the start of Friday’s first-appearance hearings to seal the case files against each of the three men from public view for one week as investigators continue to compile evidence in the murder investigation, the Press Herald reported.
Warren granted Alsop’s motion with the condition that if the prosecution doesn’t file an extension within a week, the cases against the men will become public, including the detailed affidavits police filed to obtain arrest warrants against each man, the Press Herald reported.
Victim was ‘kind and loving person’
Akoa’s brother, Benoit Akoa, released an emailed statement on behalf of the victim’s family.
“Freddy was a very kind and loving person. Freddy did not deserve to be the victim of such acts of violence, no one deserves that. We, his brothers sisters and parents will miss him dearly. This was a senseless and violent crime and we trust in the system, that justice will prevail,” Benoit Akoa said in the email.
..then, He Proceeds to Violently Rape a 12-Year-old Yazidi Girl.
by, Rukmini Callimachi | The Irish Times | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
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 pre-teen girl practised a religion other than Islam, the Koran 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 in Qadiya, Iraq, 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 organisation and the radical theology of 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 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, Islamic State has developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery, including sales contracts notarised by IS-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.
A growing body of internal policy memos and theological discussions has established guidelines for slavery, including a lengthy how-to manual issued by the Islamic State Research and Fatwa Department just last month. Repeatedly, the Islamic State leadership has emphasised a narrow and selective reading of the Koran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous.
“Every time that he came to rape me, he would pray,” said F, a 15-year-old girl who was captured on the shoulder of Mount Sinjar one year ago and was sold to an Iraqi fighter in his 20s. Like some others interviewed by the New York Times, she wanted to be identified only by her first initial because of the shame associated with rape.
“He kept telling me this is ibadah,” she said, using a term from Islamic scripture meaning worship. “He said that raping me is his prayer to God. I said to him, ‘What you’re doing to me is wrong, and it will not bring you closer to God.’ And he said, ‘No, it’s allowed. It’s halal,’” said the teenager, who escaped in April with the help of smugglers after being enslaved for nearly nine months.
This is the effect these Muslim Bastards (ie. Islam) are having on these little girls…
Islamic State’s formal introduction of systematic sexual slavery dates to August 3rd, 2014, when its fighters invaded the villages on the southern flank of Mount Sinjar, a craggy massif of dun-colored rock in northern Iraq. Its valleys and ravines are home to the Yazidis, a tiny religious minority who represent less than 1.5 percent of Iraq’s estimated population of 34 million. The offensive on the mountain came just two months after the fall of Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. At first, it appeared that the subsequent advance on the mountain was just another attempt to extend the territory controlled by Islamic State fighters.
Almost immediately, there were signs that their aim this time was different. Survivors say that men and women were separated within the first hour of their capture. Adolescent boys were told to lift up their shirts, and if they had armpit hair, they were directed to join their older brothers and fathers. In village after village, the men and older boys were driven or marched to nearby fields, where they were forced to lie down in the dirt and sprayed with automatic fire.
The women, girls and children, however, were hauled off in open-bed trucks. “The offensive on the mountain was as much a sexual conquest as it was for territorial gain,” said Matthew Barber, a University of Chicago expert on the Yazidi minority. He was in Dohuk, near Mount Sinjar, when the onslaught began last summer and helped create a foundation that provides psychological support for the escapees, who number more than 2,000, according to community activists.
Fifteen-year-old F says her family of nine was trying to escape, speeding up mountain switchbacks, when their aging Opel overheated. She, her mother, and her sisters – 14, 7, and four years old – were helplessly standing by their stalled car when a convoy of heavily armed Islamic State fighters encircled them.
“Right away, the fighters separated the men from the women,” she said. She, her mother and sisters were first taken in trucks to the nearest town on Mount Sinjar. “There, they separated me from my mom. The young, unmarried girls were forced to get into buses.”
The buses were white, with a painted stripe next to the word “Hajj,” suggesting that Islamic State had commandeered Iraqi government buses used to transport pilgrims for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. So many Yazidi women and girls were loaded inside F’s bus that they were forced to sit on each other’s laps, she said.
Once the bus headed out, they noticed that the windows were blocked with curtains, an accouterment that appeared to have been added because the fighters planned to transport large numbers of women who were not covered in burqas or head scarves.
F’s account, including the physical description of the bus, the placement of the curtains and the manner in which the women were transported, is echoed by a dozen other female victims interviewed for this article. They described a similar set of circumstances even though they were kidnapped on different days and in locations miles apart.
F says she was driven to the Iraqi city of Mosul about six hours away, where they herded them into the Galaxy Wedding Hall. Other groups of women and girls were taken to a palace from the Saddam Hussein era, the Badoosh prison compound and the Directory of Youth building in Mosul, recent escapees said. And in addition to Mosul, women were herded into elementary schools and municipal buildings in the Iraqi towns of Tal Afar, Solah, Ba’aj and Sinjar City.
They would be held in confinement, some for days, some for months. Then, inevitably, they were loaded into the same fleet of buses again before being sent in smaller groups to Syria or to other locations inside Iraq, where they were bought and sold for sex.
“It was 100 per cent preplanned,” said Khider Domle, a Yazidi community activist who maintains a detailed database of the victims. “I spoke by telephone to the first family who arrived at the Directory of Youth in Mosul, and the hall was already prepared for them. They had mattresses, plates and utensils, food and water for hundreds of people.”
Detailed reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reach the same conclusion about the organised nature of the sex trade. In each location, survivors say Islamic State fighters first conducted a census of their female captives. Inside the voluminous Galaxy banquet hall, F sat on the marble floor, squeezed between other adolescent girls. In all, she estimates there were more than 1,300 Yazidi girls sitting, crouching, splayed out and leaning against the walls of the ballroom, a number that is confirmed by several other women held in the same location.
They each described how three Islamic State fighters walked in, holding a register. They told the girls to stand. Each one was instructed to state her first, middle and last name, her age, her home town, whether she was married, and if she had children.
For two months, F was held inside the Galaxy hall. Then one day, they came and began removing young women. Those who refused were dragged out by their hair, she said. In the parking lot the same fleet of Hajj buses was waiting to take them to their next destination, said F. Along with 24 other girls and young women, the 15-year-old was driven to an army base in Iraq. It was there in the parking lot that she heard the word “sabaya” for the first time.
“They laughed and jeered at us, saying ‘You are our sabaya.’ I didn’t know what that word meant,” she said. Later on, the local Islamic State leader explained it meant slave.
Months later, Islamic State made clear in its online magazine that its campaign of enslaving Yazidi women and girls had been extensively preplanned. “Prior to the taking of Sinjar, Sharia students in the Islamic State were tasked to research the Yazidis,” said the English-language article, headlined “The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour,” which appeared in the October issue of Dabiq.
The article made clear that for the Yazidis, there was no chance to pay a tax known as jizya to be set free, “unlike the Jews and Christians”. “After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Sharia among the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations, after one fifth of the slaves were transferred to the Islamic State’s authority to be divided” as spoils, the article said.
In much the same way as specific Bible passages were used centuries later to support the slave trade in the United States, Islamic State cites specific verses or stories in the Koran or else in the Sunna, the traditions based on the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad, to justify their human trafficking, experts say.
Scholars of Islamic theology disagree, however, on the proper interpretation of these verses, and on the divisive question of whether Islam actually sanctions slavery. Many argue that slavery figures in Islamic scripture in much the same way that it figures in the Bible – as a reflection of the period in antiquity in which the religion was born.
“In the milieu in which the Koran arose, there was a widespread practice of men having sexual relationships with unfree women,” said Kecia Ali, an associate professor of religion at Boston University and the author of a book on slavery in early Islam. “It wasn’t a particular religious institution. It was just how people did things.”
Cole Bunzel, a scholar of Islamic theology at Princeton University, disagrees, pointing to the numerous references to the phrase “Those your right hand possesses” in the Koran, which for centuries has been interpreted to mean female slaves. He also points to the corpus of Islamic jurisprudence, which continues into the modern era and which he says includes detailed rules for the treatment of slaves.
“There is a great deal of scripture that sanctions slavery,” said Bunzel, the author of a research paper published by the Brookings Institution on the ideology of Islamic State. “You can argue that it is no longer relevant and has fallen into abeyance. Isis [Islamic State] would argue that these institutions need to be revived, because that is what the Prophet and his companions did.”
Buildings where the women were collected and held sometimes included a viewing room. “When they put us in the building, they said we had arrived at the ‘Sabaya Market,’” said one 19-year-old victim, whose first initial is I. “I understood we were now in a slave market.” She estimated there were at least 500 other unmarried women and girls in the multistory building, with the youngest among them being 11.
When the buyers arrived, the girls were taken one by one into a separate room. “The emirs sat against the wall and called us by name. We had to sit in a chair facing them. You had to look at them, and before you went in, they took away our scarves and anything we could have used to cover ourselves,” she said. “When it was my turn, they made me stand four times. They made me turn around.”
The captives were also forced to answer intimate questions, including reporting the exact date of their last menstrual cycle. They realized that the fighters were trying to determine whether they were pregnant, in keeping with a Sharia rule stating that a man cannot have intercourse with his slave if she is pregnant.
Property of Islamic State
The use of sex slavery by Islamic State initially surprised even the group’s most ardent supporters; many of whom sparred with journalists online after the first reports of systematic rape. Islamic State’s leadership has repeatedly sought to justify the practice to its internal audience. After the initial article in Dabiq in October, the issue came up in the publication again this year, in an editorial in May that expressed the writer’s hurt and dismay at the fact that some of the group’s own sympathisers had questioned the institution of slavery.
“What really alarmed me was that some of the Islamic State’s supporters started denying the matter as if the soldiers of the Khilafah had committed a mistake or evil,” the author wrote. “I write this while the letters drip of pride,’’ he said. “We have indeed raided and captured the kafirahwomen and drove them like sheep by the edge of the sword.” “Kafirah” refers to infidels.
In a pamphlet published online in December, the Research and Fatwa Department of Islamic State detailed best practices, including explaining that slaves belong to the estate of the fighter who bought them and therefore can be willed to another man and disposed of just like any other property after his death.
Recent escapees describe an intricate bureaucracy surrounding their captivity, with their status as a slave registered in a contract. When their owner would sell them to another buyer, a new contract would be drafted, like transferring a property deed. At the same time, slaves can also be set free, and fighters are promised a heavenly reward for doing so.
Though rare, this has created one avenue of escape for victims. A 25-year-old victim who escaped last month, identified by her first initial, A, described how one day her Libyan master handed her a laminated piece of paper. He explained that he had finished his training as a suicide bomber and was planning to blow himself up, and was therefore setting her free.
Labelled a “Certificate of Emancipation,” the document was signed by the judge of the western province of Islamic State. The Yazidi woman presented it at security checkpoints as she left Syria to return to Iraq, where she rejoined her family in July.
Islamic State recently made it clear that sex with Christian and Jewish women captured in battle is also permissible, according to a new 34-page manual issued this summer by the terror group’s Research and Fatwa Department.
Just about the only prohibition is having sex with a pregnant slave, and the manual describes how an owner must wait for a female captive to have her menstruating cycle, in order to “make sure there is nothing in her womb”, before having intercourse with her. Of the 21 women and girls interviewed for this article, among the only ones who had not been raped were the women who were already pregnant at the moment of their capture, as well as those who were past menopause.
Beyond that, there appears to be no bounds to what is sexually permissible. Child rape is explicitly condoned: “It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty, if she is fit for intercourse,” according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute of a pamphlet published on Twitter in December.
One 34-year-old Yazidi woman, who was bought and repeatedly raped by a Saudi fighter in the Syrian city of Shadadi, described how she fared better than the second slave in the household – a 12-year-old girl who was raped for days on end despite heavy bleeding.
“He destroyed her body. She was badly infected. The fighter kept coming and asking me, ‘Why does she smell so bad?’ And I said, she has an infection on the inside, you need to take care of her,” the woman said. Unmoved, he ignored the girl’s agony, continuing the ritual of praying before and after raping the child. “I said to him, ‘She’s just a little girl,’” the older woman recalled. “And he answered: ‘No. She’s not a little girl. She’s a slave. And she knows exactly how to have sex.’’’ “And having sex with her pleases God,” he said.
I S L A M I S A P A E D O P H I L E S D R E A M C O M E T R U E