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IS slaves: captive females of the entire Arab society Open in fullscreen

Lamis Andoni

IS slaves: captive females of the entire Arab society

Iraqi Kurds protest against IS's treatment of Yazidi women in August 2014 [AFP]

Date of publication: 22 December, 2014

See the album, The Yazidi plight
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To be honourable is to protect the dignity of a human being, certainly and primarily a woman, and not to take possession of her and eliminate her. There is no honour in “honour killing”.
I can’t shake the image of the Yazidi father crying with anguish for his kidnapped daughters, without knowledge of their fate. They are probably either dead now, sold to the new slave market, or taken as concubines, for their beauty, to satisfy the desires of those who say they want to establish God’s state on earth.

What is appalling is not only that we see young people flock to join the Islamic State group (IS, formerly ISIS). I am sure that they weren’t born out of the womb of ignorance, but lived in open or even Western societies; not all IS members lived in closed societies. What is horrible is that
     We talk about the female slaves of IS. Let us face the truth: they are the captive females of the entire Arab society.
they found in the so-called “Caliphate State” the liberty to satisfy their whims and humiliate women.

Within the logic of the supreme authority that claims religion as its source, it is permissible for the other, in other words, for the non-Muslim or the Muslim that doesn’t agree with the IS vision, to be killed.

In the case of a woman, it is permissible to sell or enslave her, and of course, kill her. She is not only considered to be an inferior creature and the origin of sin. She is deprived of her humanity if Christian or Yazidi or simply opposed to IS.

What is really shocking is the absence of anger over these practices from so many, particularly the religious, or even the moderately religious. It expresses, frankly, the male chauvinist view, particularly in our societies. If a woman’s voice is a private part and it is permissible to harass a woman in public places, and if the masculine imagination decides to see a sanctioned sexual prey before it, why then are we surprised about IS brutality?

Yes, I strongly and loudly accuse all the principles of moral education that are being planted by religious leaders in particular and that suppress the soul and nourish savagery. These principles stifle the emotional growth of a male and render him unable to develop an awareness of the human and emotional relationship with the female.

The blessing of society

IS practices, within this social hypocrisy, are not totally rejected, because if IS are selling women as sexual slaves, who is buying them? They are men who, on the inside, despise women. Having a female slave frees them from any moral dilemmas or duties. I can’t imagine the fate of this woman because she moves from IS to a criminal with an IS mentality and embued with IS cruelty.

But let’s look more broadly. Let's look at what is the not infrequent exploitation of the poverty and homelessness of Syrian refugees and wives, for example. Let’s look at the (lawful) rape of minors based on the "inferiority" of a female, and what is circulated in the East and the Arab orient about the Syrian woman’s characteristics, primarily her beauty.

How can the spread of the phenomenon of marrying a minor be understood, even outside the context of buying girls from their parents? I don’t have the statistics but these stories are being more routinely circulated. This is a case of social collapse in which there are no moral scruples or rule of law.

I am talking, here, about the lack of morality of a person who harms another person. Morality prevents harm, raping a minor, and humiliating a woman or any human being. Not so, however, when so-called honour in invoked. This permits the male to kill the female with the blessing of society. To be honourable is to protect the dignity of a human being, certainly and primarily a woman, and not to take possession of her and eliminate her. There is no honour in “honour killing”.

The silence of religious leaders makes these practices acceptable. These violations to humanity are not very important for some of them. In the case of the female captives, they are considered to be from another religious sect and therefore their morality and dignity are of the lowest standing, if it exists at all. In the case of the rape of minors, it is prohibited to challenge the legitimacy of the text that permits the process of selling and abusing children.

We talk about the female slaves of IS. Let us face the truth: they are the captive females of the entire Arab society. 

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