The Islamic State is turning into a huge public relations problem for groups like the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its allies. For years they have insisted that Islam is a religion of peace that has nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorism committed with alarming regularity in its name, and that the people responsible for linking Islam with terrorism were not Islamic jihad terrorists, but “Islamophobic” opponents of jihad terror. But then comes along a group calling itself The Islamic State, committing unimaginable atrocities and presenting each one as an authentic embodiment of Islamic texts and teachings, and the deception campaign at which CAIR officials have labored so assiduously for so many years, and with such great success, is in danger of crashing around their uneasy necks.
Take, for example, the recent revelation that, according to the UN News Centre, “some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery.” A similar kidnapping by Islamic jihadists in Nigeria recently horrified the world, but much overlooked was the fact that such behavior is sanctioned by the Qur’an. According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general, as does this passage. “Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive, and they who turn away from ill speech, and they who are observant of zakah, and they who guard their private parts except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed” (Qur’an 23:1-6).
These passages have not gone unnoticed. The Egyptian Sheikh Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni declared in May 2011 that “we are in the era of jihad,” and that meant Muslims would take slaves. In a subsequent interview he elaborated:
Jihad is only between Muslims and infidels. Spoils, slaves, and prisoners are only to be taken in war between Muslims and infidels. Muslims in the past conquered, invaded, and took over countries. This is agreed to by all scholars—there is no disagreement on this from any of them, from the smallest to the largest, on the issue of taking spoils and prisoners. The prisoners and spoils are distributed among the fighters, which includes men, women, children, wealth, and so on.
When a slave market is erected, which is a market in which are sold slaves and sex-slaves, which are called in the Qur’an by the name milk al-yamin, “that which your right hands possess” [Koran 4:24]. This is a verse from the Qur’an which is still in force, and has not been abrogated. The milk al-yamin are the sex-slaves. You go to the market, look at the sex-slave, and buy her. She becomes like your wife, (but) she doesn’t need a (marriage) contract or a divorce like a free woman, nor does she need a wali. All scholars agree on this point—there is no disagreement from any of them. […] When I want a sex slave, I just go to the market and choose the woman I like and purchase her.
Around the same time, on May 25, 2011, a female Kuwaiti politician, Salwa al-Mutairi, also spoke out in favor of the Islamic practice of sexual slavery of non-Muslim women, emphasizing that the practice accorded with Islamic law and the parameters of Islamic morality.
A merchant told me that he would like to have a sex slave. He said he would not be negligent with her, and that Islam permitted this sort of thing. He was speaking the truth. I brought up [this man’s] situation to the muftis in Mecca. I told them that I had a question, since they were men who specialized in what was halal, and what was good, and who loved women. I said, “What is the law of sex slaves?”
The mufti said, “With the law of sex slaves, there must be a Muslim nation at war with a Christian nation, or a nation which is not of the religion, not of the religion of Islam. And there must be prisoners of war.”
“Is this forbidden by Islam?” I asked.
“Absolutely not. Sex slaves are not forbidden by Islam. On the contrary, sex slaves are under a different law than the free woman. The free woman must be completely covered except for her face and hands. But the sex slave can be naked from the waist up. She differs a lot from the free woman. While the free woman requires a marriage contract, the sex slave does not—she only needs to be purchased by her husband, and that’s it. Therefore the sex slave is different than the free woman.”
The Islamic State acts on these beliefs, which are Qur’an-based. The kidnappings, meanwhile, have taken place amid a backdrop of unimaginable slaughter. The victims were those who refused the Islamic State’s demand that they convert to Islam to save their lives: a Yazidi woman explained last week why thousands of Yazidis had fled the area of Iraq controlled by the Islamic State: “We came here because the terrorists said, ‘Either you convert to Islam or we slaughter you.’”
The Quran says “there is no compulsion in religion” (2:256) – a verse much beloved of Western non-Muslim multiculturalists, but it also says that Muslims must fight unbelievers until “religion is all for Allah” (8:39). And it insists that Muslims should “slay them” wherever they’re found (cf. 2:191; 4:89; 9:5).
It also says that Muslims must fight against the “People of the Book” – Jews, Christians, and others who are considered to have received previous revelations from Allah – until they “pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (9:29). That option of submission and subjugation, however, is not open to groups that have no written revelation that could qualify them for “People of the Book” status. Hence for the Yazidis, to convert or die are the only Qur’anic options open for them.
The Islamic State’s actions are an open book, and that book is the Qur’an. American Muslim spokesmen would do well to explain how they are misinterpreting the Islamic holy books, but claims to that effect have been vague and short of references to problematic passages. As long as that refusal to confront the problem continues, so will the killing.
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