The Corner

ISIS and the Rape Jihad

Patrick, I am skeptical about whether the Islamic State cares how much the West knows about the rape jihad. As the shocking Rotherham rape scandal demonstrated, the West is far more likely to look the other way than to mobilize against this signature sexual abuse. Sadly, I think the reason the West remains content to stay mum is, as I’ve argued before, that this practice of sexual slavery is undeniably rooted in Islamic scripture; it thus refutes the smiley-face version of Islam peddled by Western governments and commentators.

At the very beginning of the clip translated by Jenan Moussa, one of the jihadists observes,

Today is the slave market day where this verse … “Except with their wives and the (captives) who their right hands possess . . . . Today is distribution day, Allah willing.” [Emphasis added.]

Patently, the jihadist is referring to a “verse” in the Koran. In fact, it could be one of at least two verses, sura 4:24 or sura 33:50.

I use the widely distributed, copiously annotated version of the Koran – in the original Arabic with English translations – published by the Saudi government. In sura 4:23, the verse just before 4:24, Allah outlines the various categories of women (mothers, daughters, sisters, etc.) with whom Muslim men are forbidden to have sexual relations. Sura 4:24 then states: “Also (prohibited are) women already married except those whom your right hands possess” (emphasis added). There is a footnote at that point, which helpfully explains “Whom your right hands possess: i.e., captives” (italics in original.)

Sura 4:24 extends to all Muslim men the license given to jihad warriors in sura 33:50:

O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers, and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the captives of war whom Allah has assigned to thee. [Emphasis added.]

As I related in the column linked above, Robert Spencer has noted that the sharia manual Reliance of the Traveller — which is endorsed by, among other influential Islamic leaders, both the scholars of al-Azhar University (the seat of Sunni sharia scholarship since the tenth century) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (the Muslim Brotherhood’s think-tank) — explains that “When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s marriage is immediately annulled.”

The point of this decree, Robert elaborates, is that the captive woman is then available for sex slavery, as prescribed in the above quoted scriptures. Moreover, as he also points out, the practice of forcing sex on captive women is implicitly permitted in the hadith — authoritative collections of the prophet Mohammed’s words and deeds, which, like the Koran, have scriptural status and form the basis for sharia law. Robert quotes from the Sahih Muslim collection (Book 8, No. 3371, scroll down from here):

We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing ’azl ([i.e.,] withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid-conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born.

The hadith plainly demonstrates that, from the standpoint of Islamic law, the only question was whether coitus interruptus was permissible; the permissibility of forcing sex on the captive women was obvious and assumed. Given what the Koran explicitly says, how could it be otherwise?

There are many unsavory aspects of what, in the Middle East, is the entirely mainstream sharia-supremacist interpretation of Islam. Like this one, they underscore how very hard it is for authentic Muslim moderates to reform Islam.

Knowing that Westerners are unfamiliar with Islamic scripture, Islamist apologists deceptively scoff at the notion that something as heinous as sex slavery could have roots in Muslim doctrine. Since people of good will desperately want to believe this is the case, they avoid researching the matter and are all too ready to assume that anyone who would suggest such a thing simply must be a slanderous Islamophobe.

On the other hand, Islamic audiences know the scriptures and are taught that they are the verbatim instructions of Allah. It is further inculcated in them from childhood that anyone who attempts to repeal, criticize, or interpret Islamic scripture in a manner contradictory of ancient Islamic teaching is guilty of blasphemy — and of apostasy if the person making the attempt is a Muslim.

Sharia makes those offenses punishable by death.

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