ISIS Publishes Guidelines for Sexual Relations With Slaves

Pamphlet issued by The Research and Fatwa Department of the Islamic State condones buying and selling of female slaves, delineates limitations on allowed 'uses.'

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Iraqi security forces standing guard in front of the Islamic court run by the Islamic State in Sadiyah, north of Baghdad, Nov. 24, 2014.
Iraqi security forces standing guard in front of the Islamic court run by the Islamic State in Sadiyah, north of Baghdad, Nov. 24, 2014.Credit: AP

The Research and Fatwa Department of the Islamic State released a pamphlet on the topic of female captives and slaves, which delineates the organization's interpretation of Islamic law concerning the use of captive non-Muslim women, the Middle East Media Research Institute, an independent Washington-based nonprofit, wrote in a report published last week.

Syrian kurds fleeing to Turkey, fearing capture by ISIS combatants. Credit: Reuters

The pamphlet, written in Q&A form, was published about a month ago and states, the MEMRI report says, that having sex with non-Muslim slave women is permissible, even when these are young girls, and that one may beat them and trade in them.

According to the pamphlet - which was translated by MEMRI - while the buying and selling of captive women is permissible, there are certain limitations on the allowed "uses" of these women: for example, while the beating of a female slave is permissible, one may not torture them or hit their faces.

Any sexual contact with a female slave owned by another man is forbidden, the pamphlet states - unless one first marries the female slave, at which point she continues to belong to her master, who is henceforth forbidden of conducting intercourse with her, a "right" reserved for her husband only. While permitting intercourse with prepubescent slaves, the pamphlet forbids the separation of such girls from their mothers.

According to Islamic State, female slaves - just like all women - must be fully covered with only their necks, feet and hands visible, the pamphlet states.

While stating that the female slaves who attempt to escape - a "grave sin" - are to be punished, it does not state in what way such punishment should be meted out.

A reported published by the United Nations in October charged that ISIS was committing war crimes and charged that the group committed particularly heinous crimes against women.

In August, the report said for example, ISIS took 450-500 women and girls to the Tal Afar citadel in Iraq's Nineveh region where "150 unmarried girls and women, predominantly from the Yazidi and Christian communities, were reportedly transported to Syria, either to be given to ISIL fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves."

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