A victim of ISIS' Islamic sex slavery
I've debated Leftists and Islamic apologists online many times in recent years, and one of the most common arguments I see from them is something along the lines of the following, made based purely on assumption and with no evidence: Islamic State and similar Muslim "extremist" groups are nothing to do with Islam. They are merely people with a "twisted ideology" who do the evil things they do because of lust for power, or money, or pleasure, and they place a thin veil of religious justification over the top of it. But really, religion is the last thing they are motivated by.
It takes a sturdy concrete wall of a mind to continue to believe this, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, and it seems that even among the left-wing media, cracks are starting to appear, allowing thin rays of light to come through. Witness this remarkably thorough and generally honest piece of journalism from the New York Times, which outlines - in exquisitely revolting detail - the extent to which the Islamic State bases all of its actions and beliefs around Islamic teachings.
The article primarily concerns the rape and sexual enslavement of Yazidi women by IS in Iraq, but even before we get to that, the Islamic character of Islamic State is laid bare.
In a passage describing the IS invasion of Yazidi villages around Mount Sinjar last year, we read this:
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 [and subsequently enslaved].
Now read the following passages from Ibn Ishaq's biography of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and from the hadith traditions, regarding the fate of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe, and try not to feel the gooseflesh prickle up your arms as you note the chilling similarities:
Sa'd [bin Muadh, one of Muhammad's followers] said, 'Then I give judgment that the men should be killed, the property divided, and the women and children taken as captives.'...
[T]he apostle said to Sa'd, 'You have given the judgment of Allah above the seven heavens.'
Then they [the Qurayza] surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina...Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for [the men of Banu Qurayza] and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches...There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900...This went on until the apostle made an end of them... (Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, p.464)
I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair. (Sunan Abu Dawud, b.38, no.4390)
In this case, we can see clearly that IS were simply emulating the example of their Prophet down to the minutest detail.
Later in the NYT piece, Matthew Barber, a professor from the University of Chicago, explains that "the focus on Yazidis was likely because they are seen as polytheists, with an oral tradition rather than a written scripture. In the Islamic State’s eyes that puts them on the fringe of despised unbelievers, even more than Christians and Jews, who are considered to have some limited protections under the Quran as 'People of the Book.'" We also learn that according to Islamic State, Yazidis do not have the option to pay the jizya poll tax mandated in Qur'an 9:29, in exchange for security, because "unlike the Jews and Christians", they are not a protected people (although if you think "protected people" sounds good, think again).
All of this is based solely on religion. No other explanation makes the remotest sense, given that the Yazidis make up less than 1.5% of the Iraqi population and are a political threat to nobody.
There is also this, from the October 2014 issue of ISIS' propaganda magazine Dabiq:
“After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Shariah amongst 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]..."
Why did they choose one fifth, specifically? Why not half, or one third? Because of the Qur'an: "You should know that if you gain any spoils in war, one-fifth shall go to Allah and the messenger, to be given to the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien." (8:41) [note: the chapter of the Qur'an this verse comes from is named Al-Anfal, or "Spoils of War"]
Again, unless it is a massive coincidence, the taking of one fifth of the spoils is clearly a decision made on the basis of obedience to religious texts.
The NYT notes that "Islamic State cites specific verses or stories in the Quran or else in the Sunna, the traditions based on the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad, to justify their human trafficking". Cole Bunzel, a scholar of Islamic theology at Princeton University, points to the numerous references to the phrase “Those your right hand possesses” in the Qur'an (e.g. in verses 4:3 and 4:24), 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 Mr. Bunzel, the author of a research paper published by the Brookings Institution on the ideology of the Islamic State. “You can argue that it is no longer relevant and has fallen into abeyance. ISIS would argue that these institutions need to be revived, because that is what the Prophet and his companions did.”
And on and on it goes. One victim told how her torturer would pray between rape sessions, "bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion."
“He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever," she said. "He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God.”
Child rape is also 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 last December. This is undoubtedly because Muhammad himself is reported to have married and had sex with a nine year old girl when he was in his fifties: "A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old." (Sahih Muslim b.8, no.3311, and others)
And so "This has nothing to do with Islam" is confirmed to be not just a hollow platitude, but a thoroughly insidious one. With every denial, the rape and murder of innocent people is facilitated and enabled, as an honest examination of the roots of this savagery is ruled out of bounds, thus perpetuating behaviours that no one can stop if they refuse to understand them.
Denial of the truth of Islamic teachings, and their role in inspiring the most horrific acts mankind has witnessed in the 21st century, costs lives. It is time those who engage in such casuistry are held to account.