ISIS and SEX SLAVERY

UIMF#1

 

The Utah Valley University (UVU) Anti-human Trafficking Club, headed by Haelly Kirk, held a showing of the PBS documentary titled “Slave Market Day” at UVU on September 24th, 2015. The goal was to bring to light what many people are unaware of: that ISIS is heavily involved in the sex trade. Many are familiar with the horrible atrocities that ISIS commits on a daily basis. We have seen them behead people, light them on fire, throw them off the tops of buildings. Women are the lesser heard victims. This is not an attempt to take away any sympathy towards those killed by ISIS, but rather an effort to bring more attention to the other, unfamiliar victims.

The Yazidis are the people that the documentary mainly focused on. Over 5,000 Yazidis were kidnapped last year by the Islamic State and over 3,000 remain in captivity.[1] The Yazidis belong to an ancient Persian religion[2] and are marked as infidels and for that reason are persecuted by ISIS. There is a report that a 9-year-old girl was impregnated after being gang raped by at least 10 different men. The young girl could potentially die in child-birth. Apparently even when the victims are freed they will have trouble being accepted upon returning to their families because they may have been tainted by the extremists have done to them.[3] According to a New York Times interview with a victim of the sexual abuse, her rapist stated that since she was an unbeliever that he could rape her and be in good standing with God and that it would, in fact, help him become closer to God.[4] This theological justification has been used to recruit Muslims that come from a strict upbringing based on abstinence.[5] Many are attracted to the idea of sexual liberation that is right by God and ISIS promises at least two women to every fighter.[6] Horribly, the women are reduced to mere objects.

Many women are committing suicide as death is seen as the only escape. New regulation has been introduced banning the wearing of scarves among the women as they were commonly used to create make-shift nooses.[7]

The purpose of showing the documentary was to help people become aware of the horrible things that are ongoing. Many are hesitant to become involved with this topic because it is very heavy and it does not affect them personally. But the fact that it happens somewhere else doesn’t change the fact that it’s happening. The Anti-Human Trafficking club is about getting people out of their unawareness and becoming involved with the different ways that everyone can help stop sex slavery and abuse on local, national and international levels. Operation Underground Railroad is an organization in Utah that works to confront sex trafficking nationally and internationally and anyone can go to Ourrescue.org to find out ways that they can become involved.

During October 7-9, 2015 members of the Anti-Human Trafficking club at UVU will contribute to the activities of the Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference under the umbrella of the United Nations Mountain Partnership and that forum will discuss issues related to the trafficking in person with Tim Ballard, head of Operation Underground Railroad and Sean Reyes, Utah Attornety General as keynote speakers.


Trevor Williams, member of the Anti-Human Trafficking club at UVU

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[1] Callimachi, Rukmini. “ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape.” The New York Times. August 13, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2015.

[2] “Who, What, Why: Who Are the Yazidis? – BBC News.” BBC News. August 8, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2015.

[3] Perez, Chris. “ISIS Impregnates 9-year-old Girl.” New York Post. August 11, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2015.

[4] Callimachi, Rukmini. “ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape.” The New York Times. August 13, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2015.

[5] Callimachi, Rukmini. “ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape.” The New York Times. August 13, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2015.

[6] Ali, Mah-rukh. “Monstrous Lie Luring British Girls to Be Sex Slaves for ISIS: Jihadis Flood the Internet with Photos Showing Women as Revered Gun-toting Fighters. But They Just Want Them as Playthings to Torture and Abuse.” Mail Online. August 22, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2015.

[7] Ali, Mah-rukh. “Monstrous Lie Luring British Girls to Be Sex Slaves for ISIS: Jihadis Flood the Internet with Photos Showing Women as Revered Gun-toting Fighters. But They Just Want Them as Playthings to Torture and Abuse.” Mail Online. August 22, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2015.