“Virgin. Beautiful. 12 years old…. Her price has reached $12,500 and she will be sold soon.”

ISIS is running an auction house for sex slave girls, complete with smartphone aps to make it easier to bid. Let's not forget their argument for why this practice is a morally appropriate expression of their faith.

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | July 7, 2016

The Associated Press recently obtained what they described as a “batch” of 48 headshots of young female sex slaves for sale by the Islamic State (ISIS).  They were taken for the purpose of building a catalog of merchandise, which you can access with the right smartphone app.  The Times of Israel has more details:

In a fusion of ancient barbaric practices and modern technology, IS sells the women like chattel on smartphone apps and shares databases that contain their photographs and the names of their “owners” to prevent their escape through IS checkpoints. The fighters are assassinating smugglers who rescue the captives….

IS relies on encrypted apps to sell the women and girls, according to an activist is documenting the transactions and asked not to be named for fear of his safety….  The postings appear primarily on Telegram and on Facebook and WhatsApp to a lesser degree, he said.

Both Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Telegram use end-to-end encryption to protect users’ privacy.

We will no doubt hear that the problem is encryption, as providing governments with backdoors to encryption is a solution set that is both within their power and that would give them more control over the lives of their citizens.

The real problem is not that people can have private conversations.  It is that some people believe that it is all right to sell girls as sex slaves.  Why would anyone believe this?  Perhaps we should ask ISIS itself.  According to one of their official publications:

[T]aking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shari’ah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur’an and the narration of the Prophet … and thereby apostatizing from Islam.

Are they wrong about that?  The Times article notes that in the 20th century, most Muslim scholars argued against slavery on the basis of Koranic verses about how it is a blessing to free slaves.  But others noted that sex slavery for women taken in war was explicitly, not implicitly, licensed by the Koran.  Though ISIS is the first to restore the practice, at no point have responsible Islamic scholars been able to overcome the argument that the Koran specifically licenses the practice.

This is part of a general problem of the Koran’s view of women.  As our own resident Islamic scholar Immanuel al-Manteeqi puts it:

There is much in Islamic doctrine that is patriarchal and that infringes on the rights of women. For example, according to Q 4:34, husbands are allowed to beat their wives if they “fear disobedience;” according to Q 2:282, the testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man’s; according to Q 4:11 and Q 4:176, a woman should only inherit half as much as a man does;  according to Q 2:223, women can be “plowed” at the whim of their husbands; according to Q 65:4, sexual relations with females who have not yet had their menstrual cycle (i.e., prepubescent girls) are permissible; according to Q 4:24, having female sex slaves, “those whom your right hand possess” (ما ملكت ايمانكم), is permissible. These verses are all from the Qur’an, the most authoritative source for Islamic doctrine and praxis.

Thus we see ISIS engaged in this particular barbaric practice, but we see many of the other practices maintained even within modern states with adequate machinery to forbid slavery.  British Muslims push for “their” women not to use Facebook or wear trousers.  The wife of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan speaks longingly of restoring the harem.  Muslim reformer Kamel Daoud writes that Islam has a “sick relationship with women,” offering examples such as a proposed rule that women who want to work in the office with men ought to first let the men suckle their breasts — thus creating a relationship between the men and the woman, that of wetnurse, that sharia allows is an acceptable reason for a man and a woman to be alone together.

Reforming Islam is going to mean cutting loose from a certain number of the provisions in the Koran itself.  That means abandoning the idea that the Koran is the unerring word of God.  That’s a big step, to be sure.  But it’s a necessary step if Islam is going to be able to move past these practices once and for all.



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