ISIS Points to Sharia Law to Justify Slavery of Women

In the latest edition of Dabiq, the Islamic State’s slick, English magazine, the group offers a theological justification for capturing "infidel" women to be used as sex slaves. The brutal group is holding thousands of Yazidi women and girls and subjecting them to horrific violent, sexual abuse.

In an article titled, “The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour” (“Hour” referring to “Judgment Day”), the magazine concludes that since the Yazidi religion pre-dates Islam, its followers are to be dealt with according to the laws of the mushrik (polytheists). The article explains:

“Accordingly, the Islamic State dealt with this group as the majority of fuqaha [experts in Islamic jurisprudence] have indicated … Unlike the Jews and Christians, there was no room for the jizyah payment. Also, their women could be enslaved unlike female apostates who the majority of fuqaha say cannot be enslaved and can only be given an ultimatum to repent or face the sword.”

The magazine goes on to explain what happened when Islamic State fighters captured the Sinjar region of Iraq, which was inhabited by the ancient population of the Yazidis:

“After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Shari’ah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations, after one fifth of the slaves were transferred to the Islamic State’s authority to be divided as khums [the obligatory tithe of one-fifth of all war spoils that jihadi fighters must pay to the caliph].”

The article proudly announces the revival of the sharia institution of slavery of infidels, saying, “This large-scale enslavement of mushrik families is probably the first since the abandonment of this Sharia’ah law. The only other known case – albeit much smaller – is that of the enslavement of Christian women and children in the Philippines and Nigeria by the mujahidin [jihadis] there.”

The article reminds its readers that the legality of slavery is established in sharia (Islamic) law, saying, “Before Shaytan [Satan] reveals his doubts to the weak-minded and weak hearted, one should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar [infidels] and taking 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.”

Indeed, the Quran condones and justifies slavery in a number of verses, specifically in the context of war booty and concubines. Hundreds of the Hadiths (saying of the Islamic prophet Mohammed) deal with the jurisprudence of Islamic slaves. Both indicate the institution's clear sanction by sharia law.

Although 126 contemporary Islamist leaders and scholars recently signed a letter denouncing the actions of the Islamic State, the letter unfortunately endorses the Islamic State’s goals of rebuilding the caliphate, establishing sharia law and instituting the brutal hudud [punishments for the most severe crimes].

The letter, which was addressed to the self-declared caliph of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was signed and presented in Washington by Nihad Awad, executive director and founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The criticism of the Islamic State by the scholars that signed the letter is that the terrorist group is not “following the correct procedures that ensure justice and mercy.”

However, endorsing sharia law, point 5 of the letter states, “What is meant by ‘practical jurisprudence’ is the process of applying Shari’ah rulings and dealing with them according to the realities and circumstances that people are living under.”

The letter continues, “Practical jurisprudence [fiqh al-waq’i] considers the texts that are applicable to peoples realities at a particular time, and the obligations that can be postponed until they are able to be met or delayed based on their capabilities.”

Far from distancing themselves from the implementation of sharia law by the Islamic State, the above statements are an endorsement of the Islamist doctrine of "gradualism." This is an incremental strategy for establishing sharia governance, supporting jihad and advancing the Islamist cause.

Point 16 of the letter states, “Hudud punishments are fixed in the Qu’ran and Hadith and are unquestionably obligatory in Islamic Law.”

Point 22 of the letter states, “There is agreement (ittifaq) among scholars that a caliphate is an obligation upon the Ummah. The Ummah has lacked a caliphate since 1924 CE. However, a new caliphate requires consensus from Muslims and not just from those in a small corner of the world.”

Thus, it is clear that the signatories of the letter, while purporting to be “moderate,” endorse the principles of the Islamic State and other jihadists but criticize their implementation.

Just as the West has been firm in rejecting the objectives of the Islamic State, it should not be swayed by the Islamic State’s contemporary counterparts who equally endorse Islamic extremism through the implementation of sharia law — however gradual.

Click to see the complete Islamic State (ISIS) Magazine: Dabiq – Issue 4

For more information on the Islamic State, see Clarion Project's Fact Sheet: The Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL)

 

 

 

 

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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