Why Is the Islamic State Behaving This Way?

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In, is now available.


390510-456a0a56-fa56-11e3-9463-539ac6ca705bThe 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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  • mollysdad

    Thanks, Robert. You’ve just made out the case for the use of weapons of mass destruction against the Islamiic world

  • Templewind

    And yet, the WH just put restrictions on weapons sales to Israel while opening the door wider to Turkey and Qutar. As you know, both are main suppliers of weapons and ammunition to ISIS.

    • DontMessWithAmerica

      When one really thinks about it, today would be a more justified time for a revolution than it was in 1776. At that time it was mainly a matter of taxes without representation. Today we can add to this dozens of crimes against the citizenry.

      • IslamDownpressesHumanity

        I have yet to meet a single US citizen who wants their tax dollars going to support islamic-fascist states (e.g. Gaza or Pakistain).

      • DesertSun59

        Sign up, coward.

        • Drakken

          I am here in the ME as we speak haji. so I’ll be your Huckleberry.

        • Moto X Forum

          he’s right. islamo-fascist nazi’s days are numbered.

    • adolf_eichmann

      ISIS gets their weapons from mossad- get it dummy?

      • Habbgun

        You are calling someone dummy bhazi boy? You’re a big man now? I noticed you changed your name. I followed you to another site like I said I would. I let everyone know what a fool you are and how afraid of your own shadow and so you changed your nickname like that will make it go away. It won’t. You will be the same effeminate putz no matter what nickname you use. Face facts.

        • Shekky Goldbergstein

          I keep getting kicked off for speaking the truth about the Zio-pigs like you.

          • Habbgun

            Bull….you’re a fearful fairy little man. Stop pretending otherwise.

          • Shekky Goldbergstein

            And you are a brave Hasabara internet warrior

          • Habbgun

            As brave as a brave Internet warrior can be. You are just a hit and run bhazi boy. Go to Youtube and watch the Arab men of ISIS dance. Save up for a big screen. It’ll be your fantasy come true.

            How do we all know????

          • iluvisrael

            Seething with envy over us Jews – you poor little girl!

      • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

        You changed your name to the one I suggested – at least you’re more out in the open. But you’re still not welcome because like all nazis you’ve nothing positive to contribute to the discussion, or to society.

    • Americana

      The White House didn’t “put restrictions on weapons sales to Israel” in the sense you’re implying. Instead, the White House asked that all weapons sales to Israel be reported and approved instead of those weapons sales being given carte blanche. Why is this? There are several components to the answer, let’s see if you hit on all of them and describe their roles in the conflict.

      • Webb

        Because Hellfires are so precise they don’t kill enough human shields for propaganda value. Better to let the Howitzers hammer away. I’d like to see what some big thermobaric airbursts would do. They’d even be running low on human shields after a few of those babies popped.

        • Drakken

          Smells like Victory to me!

      • Drakken

        The fact that you are still sucking on Obummers crank really says it all.

        • Americana

          The fact that you claim I’m sucking on Obama’s crank ‘n spank REALLY says it all. As if I don’t have my own reasoning that leads me to think of the various options presented by this situation without them having yet been mentioned by the Obama White House.

          This may be the rarest and the strangest strategic opportunity ever within Israel’s grasp viz the Muslim countries of the region. As terrifying as it is to have ISIS barreling across the Middle East seemingly unstoppable and w/the stated aim of gunning for Israel and anxious to merge all Muslim nations into its Caliphate, there is a possible upside to Israel establishing extremely tight defense relationships w/Jordan and Saudi Arabia and any other Muslim countries that feel threatened in the region. First, the various Muslim countries seem to realize a huge Muslim Caliphate is not the modern governance solution to Muslim nationalism and other issues and that it will submerge national identities into an amorphous political entity without individual representation or redress or the ability to respond nimbly to issues.

          For any number of reasons including self-aggrandizing and self-interest, most Muslim nations are not seeming anxious to succumb to the ISIS army. Israel is their best shot at remaining largely intact and unscathed. Yes, it’s horrific for Israelis to simultaneously be terrified of the Palestinians but ISIS is not really out to solve the Palestinian problem as the Palestinians would like it solved. There are far more opportunities presented by this push by ISIS than I see downsides if the dice rolls Israel’s way. The West and the U.S. will have to be ready for anything but I’m hopeful the Middle East’s Muslims have finally seen enough of ISIS to pull together since a united front is the only thing that will save them.

          • Drakken

            Your reasoning skills leave a lot to be desired for your leftist kumbaya why can’t we all get along nonsense flies in the face of reality. You can bloody well hope for rainbows and unicorns as well, because it has as much chance at succeeding as your reasoning skills. It ain’t gonna happen.

          • Americana

            That’s not hoping for unicorns and rainbows, Drakken, that’s an opportunity for Israel to distribute her magical fairy dust around the still intact countries of the Middle East… But, hey, I’m an optimist when I’m not being a pessimist. We’ll see.

          • Kebert Xela

            Islam has good genies and bad genies, but Shariah law requires that all fairies be executed. Except in Iran which has no fairies, just the involuntarily transgendered.

          • Moto X Forum

            I go one step further. As the strongest military in the middle east, Israel should strike a deal with Jordan when it is attacked that it will defeat ISIS in return for Jordan donating a slice of land on the east bank facing the west bank in which to move the gaza residents. Then the west bank and this new east bank could become the palestinian state and gaza could revert to israel. Presto…the Palestinians have a nation, Israel is off the hook and ISIS is defeated. Everyone’s happy.

          • Americana

            Very interesting idea. Only trouble is almost all Israeli strategists say they’ve got to have the Jordan Valley western border as a defensive ridge line. But I do think it’s a very interesting idea to contemplate. The other thing the Palestinians would loose under your plan is their fishing rights… Still, very interesting idea so forward it to the relevant people and see what you hear back…

          • Kebert Xela

            “Moto X” suggested moving the Arab Muslim colonists out of the formerly Jordanian West Band to the East Bank. This would enhance, not relinquish, Israel’s control over the western ridge line of the Jordan valley.

          • Americana

            Oh, I thought he was suggesting giving them land on both sides of the Jordan per this sentence of his:

            (MOTO) “Then the west bank and this new east bank could become the palestinian state and gaza could revert to israel.”

      • Kebert Xela

        Component 1: Progressives hate Israel.
        Component 2: Muslims hate Israel.
        Component 3: Obama’s fiercest critics are avid supporters of Israel.
        Component 4: Holding up approval makes Israelis sweat.
        Component 5: Insulting the Israelis helps Obama cope.

        • Americana

          That’s a pretty darn strange list because it’s so exclusionary. There are lots of people who don’t fall into those precise categories or they fall into one category without also meeting the qualifying factor.

          You’ll have to tell me how Pres. Obama has “insulted the Israelis” and exactly how those “insults help Mr. Obama cope.” It seems to me, Israel is a big headache for Mr. Obama and rather than resorting to insults, Pres. Obama would be reaching for aspirin and a glass of water.

      • Templewind

        So, how many countries need WH approval for every purchase of arms? I would guess few once they were initially approved. Beyond that, (which is what I was “implying”) the issue of our someway, somehow, being involved or allowing massive arms going to groups like al-Qaeda will continue to disenchant our servicemen and women; besides just being flat out treasonous. Have a good day….

    • Shekky Goldbergstein

      ISIS gets their weapons from CIA/Mossad dontchaknow.

  • Bob uk

    Listen, and understand.

    Islam is out there.
    It can’t be bargained with.
    It can’t be reasoned with.
    It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear.
    And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are all dead.

    Apologies to the Terminator

    • adolf_eichmann

      ISIS is mossad- the Zionists are on the march but are too lazy to do their own dirty work- that’s what the US Goy Army is for.

    • Hank Rearden

      Great quote.

      Allen West is Kyle Reese.

  • Keith D

    It will never stop until its devastated and finally crushed. Where it exists in the world the evil that is Islam must be faced head on and destroyed. It’ll be easier than you’d think, because they are all cowards at their vile core.

    • adolf_eichmann

      Substitute “Zionism” for “Islam” and you are correct.

  • GuestWriter

    >> The Quran says “there is no compulsion in religion” (2:256) – a verse much beloved of Western non-Muslim multiculturalists….

    Robert, I’m a bit disappointed —someone like you should not be even partially promoting such a verse—whenever you present it you should be stating that it is officially abrogated and therefore null and void. You failed to do this. There are no *standing* verses in the Quran which are tolerant towards non-Muslims.

    • Americana

      If that sentence about there being “no compulsion in religion” is “officially abrogated” and therefore it’s “null and void” there must be proof of that renunciation from many significant Muslim clerics, no?

      • IslamDownpressesHumanity

        I can’t help but notice you glommed onto this verse while ignoring the other intolerant verses:

        (Quran 9:5): Then when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.

        (Quran 8:12): Remember Thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the believers, I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, Smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger tips of them.”

        Ever heard of the concept of a lie of omission?

        • Americana

          That’s not the point of my remark. It’s pointing out that once again, there are conflicting verses within the Qur’an. If this verse is still remaining in some versions of the Qur’an, then imams could conceivably be asked to stress that concept of “no compulsion in religion” rather than others like the above. The conflicting material in the Qur’an should be able to be used against ISIS.

          • Webb

            There you go. You walk right up to them and show them what it sez in their fukked up Ko-ran. I’ll try to catch your head as it flies by. Simpleminded shitferbrains.

          • Drakken

            Yes and those rainbows and unicorns will magically appear as well. Islam is islam and where ever islam goes, the blood always flows, without exception, so wake the fu** up to reality, one way or another islam must be utterly and thoroughly destroyed.

          • Eddie_DMC-12

            There are different translations of course but not different versions being that this book is the eternal word of God for all mankind. Every verse of this book is believed to have come directly from Allah through Mohammad. Verses such as “There is no compulsion in religion” were revealed to Mohammad, as the Muslim belief goes, while he was in Mecca when he wasn’t very influential and had a following of only about 50 People. When Mohammad moved to Medina he amassed a large following and became powerful. As he became more powerful, his message changed from peaceful to one of supremacy, intolerance, and violence. This is why there are conflicting verses in the Quran. The later violent verses abrogate or cancel out the earlier conflicting ones. You wouldn’t know this by reading the Quran because this insane book isn’t even written in chronological order with the longer verses seemingly towards the front and the shorter ones in the back. The book goes from one subject to the other without proper transitions. It can lack context and is why one would need to refer to the history contained in the Sira, Tarikh, and the Hadith collections to make sense of Allah’s poor writing skills. As for ISIS, for the most part they are following Mohammad’s example according to these writings just fine.

          • Durin

            It is written in the Koran, but is “overruled” by other verses. If you do a search on “naskh” you will find out how this standard method of Muslim exegesis is applied.

          • Kebert Xela

            Muslims aren’t idiots. They know their own religion. If it were not for the death penalty for apostasy, and the moral cowardice of those with the physical force to oppose the Muslim fanatics, Islam would be as extinct as ISIL hopes to make Yazidism.

            Muslims also believe the Koran is an actual, eternal, supernatural, document not subject to revision. By all means confound and confuse the mass-murderers-in-the-name-of-Allah, but don’t use the Koran to undermine the moral certainty of those struggling against Islamic oppression.

          • Templewind

            The Bible also has “conflicting” verses. (to the unlearned) Personally, considering the present day outrageous actions rising from (particularly radical) Islam, I’m of the mind that attempts to dialog with Muslims are over; or at least until the al-Qaeda groups are destroyed. From this chair there is no distinction between ISIS, ISIL, IS, and al-Qaeda. Constantly changing their names hasn’t served the common man. They (IMHO) are all part of “another beast rising out of the sea” in the Book of Revelations and should be dealt with as the monsters they are.

      • Webb

        Only compulsive clitorectomies. How do those feel you stupid bittch?

      • GuestWriter

        Americana, the doctrine of *abrogation* is well-known, and it isn’t disputed. When verses contradict in the Quran, the later-revealed one takes precedence. This precedemce is given in the Quran itself. Since all of the verses which are tolerant towards non-Muslims are written early, there are actually NO *standing* (non-abrogated) tolerant verses in the Quran.

        Robert Spencer knows all of this, and knows it very well. He should be speaking out of his knowledge, and enlightening others on this important point.

        The doctrine of abrogation, along with the scrambling of the Quran so that only the learned know what is abrogated and what is not, creates a kind of taqiyya, deception of the unbeliever, to feel safe when he should not. You Americana, have been suffering under that deception. The Quran looks more tolerance-inducing to you than it actually is. That’s deception, taqiyya.

      • Kebert Xela

        Yes. Watch.

    • aspacia

      Spencer has made the abrogate claim numerous time.

      • GuestWriter

        Yes he has. Which is why he doesn’t have a good excuse for putting forward ‘tolerant’ verses of the Quran as if they are not null and void.

  • TexasMom43

    Deport all musloids NOW.

    • adolf_eichmann

      If you’re in TX you have more pressing issues on who to deport.

  • DontMessWithAmerica

    Yes, indeed, ISIS is performing a most useful service through their outlandish violence. It is shocking and waking folks who have been wearing blinders and who have made a religion out of political correctness. Most important and effective has been the revelation that the “moderate Muslim” neighbors of Christians in Iraq, nice, friendly neighbors for years, turn when ISIS arrives and help kill the non-Muslims. It will wake up a lot of Americans who love to “outreach” and make them wonder how genuine is the friendliness of their Muslim friends.

  • http://geoffreybritain.wordpress.com/ Geoffrey_Britain

    “Why Is the Islamic State Behaving This Way?”

    As we all know, because Islam proclaims it must…

  • herb benty

    I am beginning to wonder if I should hate the MSM, the Left in general, the virulently anti-semitic “professors” etc.

    • Moto X Forum

      Yes.

  • DesertSun59

    “For years they have insisted that Islam is a religion of peace…”

    A claim for which there is ample evidence of the EXACT opposite. Thus, the claim is a LIE.

  • uleaveuswithnoalternative

    Muslim clerics have stated repeatedly that there is no “moderate Islam”, there is only Islam.
    More and more Americans are beginning to understand that Islamic terrorist groups, e.g. Hamas, ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, etc. are really all the same and have the same goals.
    More Americans are beginning to understand that the organizations that want a dialogue with Muslims, are nothing more than stealth jihadist groups.
    Islam means submission not peace and the world would do well to remember that.

  • MinhKhang consulting
  • Hank Rearden

    Islam is what you get if Charlie Manson had started a religion.

    • Kebert Xela

      Charlie was an amateur. He didn’t force his women to cover there faces or wear a burqa. He didn’t sanction the genital mutilation of his female followers. He never massacred the men of a peaceful tribe that surrendered to him then rape their women. One man did all those things.

      His name was Mohammed and that’s #hisjihad.

  • SandyLester

    Why? Because they are demonic.

  • Roland Dell

    Since I received this article from the “Puritan Hard Drive” a Christian informed site; allow me to interject a Bible persapective, not just the Qur’an : http://wp.me/p2mwvx-xy