Thursday, December 31, 2015
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Currently: ISIS leader. Favorite color: Black. Hobbies: Fomenting terror, long walks in the sand.
Most of what the terrorist army of ISIS has done in its murderous march across a wide swath of the Mideast these last two years appears incomprehensible to outside eyes: video beheadings, mass street killings, children enlisted to execute neighbors, victims tossed from tall buildings.
Now one document from a stash seized during a bold Special Ops raid into Syria seven months ago has provided a shocking window into the medieval minds of these radical Islamic extremists who would impose harsh Sharia law wherever their caliphate spreads. Hard to believe we're reading such material in what to most of the world is the 21st century.
The weirdly explicit document is a varsity-level fatwa. It was translated by U.S. government officials and obtained by Reuters, which was unable to independently verify it. A fatwa is a religious edict by Muslim clerics. This one sets 'rules' for the systematic rape of thousands of women captured by ISIS forces, mostly Yazidis and Christians.
Reports from ISIS-occupied areas, including Mosul in Iraq, tell of a thriving trade in sex slaves, involving females from their sixties down to pre-schoolers. Because most of those women for sale are covered, prices are set by age and eye color, with green and blue eyes drawing the most money.
This fatwa is supposedly to change and govern the behavior of terrorist soldiers who've captured or paid for women or perhaps received one as an award for gallantry. "Some of the brothers," the English translation notes, "have committed violations in the matter of the treatment of the female slaves. These violations are not permitted by Sharia law."
In this netherworld of arcane barbaric niceties, the edict basically okays rape but not during pregnancies or menstrual cycles, no anal sex or causing abortions.
It states that if a female sex slave has a daughter suitable for sex, the owner can force intercourse with only one of the women, not both. Likewise, if a man owns two sisters, he can have forced sex with only one of them and can have intercourse with the other only if he releases the first sister.
If a father owns a captive female, his son is forbidden from having sex with her too. That is, unless the father sells or gives the woman to the son, in which case, she becomes off-limits to the father. Got that?
If an ISIS woman happens to own a slave, the female captive is off-limits to the woman's husband. That one seems pretty clear.
ISIS boys celebrate something.
Now, if two men jointly purchase a woman, neither one may have sex with the slave because neither has clear title to her.
If a slave becomes pregnant by her owner, he can no longer sell her and she gains her freedom upon his death.
The fatwa orders male slave owners to show compassion and kindness to their captive property, not to assign work beyond their physical abilities, nor to sell her to someone who would mistreat her or "do unto her what Allah has forbidden."
Above all, an ISIS slave owner is not to humiliate a sex slave during his rapes. (Am I really writing this?)
Here, however, is where this slavery ownership business gets a little tricky in ISIS-land. If the owner of a female sex slave releases her from captivity, he can not have sex with her because she is no longer his property. Her wishes are obviously irrelevant.
But another rule in the same fatwa stipulates that if a woman's owner gives her freedom, then only he can have sex with her. And it is his duty to prohibit any other male from having intercourse with her, even though he no longer owns her.
A freedom-granting slave owner -- as well as any covetous male friends -- would surely want to clarify which interpretation local Sharia police are currently enforcing because they have been known to cut off things other than heads.