A Horrifying Tale of ISIS Giving Young Women to Men

The Washington Post has published the terrible story of a 14-year old Yazidi girl in Iraq who was kidnapped by ISIS fighters, then given as a concubine to a high-ranking member of the group more than three times her age. It’s really tough to read, but important to do so.

One day, our guards separated the married from unmarried women. My good childhood friend Shayma and I were given as a gift to two Islamic State members from the south, near Baghdad. They wanted to make us their wives or concubines. Shayma was awarded to Abu Hussein, who was a cleric. I was given to an overweight, dark-bearded man about 50 years old who seemed to have some high rank. He went by the nickname Abu Ahmed. They drove us down to their home in Fallujah. On the road, we saw many Islamic State fighters and remnants of their battles.

Abu Ahmed, Abu Hussein and an aide lived in a Fallujah house that looked like a palace. Abu Ahmed kept telling me to convert, which I ignored. He tried to rape me several times, but I did not allow him to touch me in any sexual way. Instead, he cursed me and beat me every day, punching and kicking me. He fed me only one meal per day. Shayma and I began to discuss killing ourselves…

On our sixth day in Fallujah, Abu Ahmed and the aide left for business in Mosul. Abu Hussein, Shayma’s captor, stayed behind. Around sunset the next evening, he went to the mosque for prayers, leaving us alone in the house. Using our cellphones, we had contacted Mahmoud, a Sunni friend of Shayma’s cousin, who lived in Fallujah, for help. It was too dangerous for him to rescue us from the house, so Shayma and I used kitchen knives and meat cleavers to break the locks of two doors to get out. Wearing traditional long black abayas that we found in the house, we walked for 15 minutes through town, which was quiet for evening prayers. Then Mahmoud came and picked us up on the street and took us to his home.

That night, Mahmoud fed us and gave us a place to sleep. The next morning, he recruited a cab driver to take us all on the two-hour ride to Baghdad. The driver said he was afraid of Islamic State but offered to help us for God’s sake. We dressed like local women and covered our faces with a niqab, leaving only our eyes visible. Mahmoud gave us fake student IDs in case we were stopped at checkpoints.

Thankfully, they managed to escape and make it to Kurdistan in the north, where they are now safe. But let us note that the precise act of barbarism these Muslim reactionaries engaged in — something even Adolf Hitler did not do — is directly ordered by God in the Bible, in Numbers 31:

Moses, Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. 14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.

“Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

Of course Christians today almost universally would condemn such barbarism, but how do they reconcile their current condemnation with the fact that their God (allegedly) directly ordered the same thing in the Bible?

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  • John Pieret

    how do they reconcile their current condemnation with the fact that their God (allegedly) directly ordered the same thing in the Bible?

    Never fear! William Lane Craig will give it a try!

    Warning! Air sickness bags are recommended equipment for visiting this site!

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/slaughter-of-the-canaanites

  • pocketnerd

    Thus Spake ZaraEd Brayton:

    how do they reconcile their current condemnation with the fact that their God (allegedly) directly ordered the same thing in the Bible?

    “Since you claim not to believe in God, you have no absolute moral compass and therefore you have no grounds for calling anything ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ and besides God can do whatever He wants to anybody since He made all of us and anyway that isn’t a Spirit-led understanding of the Bible* and I’ll pray for you.**”

    * trans: “Shut up! I’m not listening, not listening, la la la la la I CAN’T HEAR YOU.”

    ** trans: “Go fuck yourself.”

  • Sastra

    Of course Christians today almost universally would condemn such barbarism, but how do they reconcile their current condemnation with the fact that their God (allegedly) directly ordered the same thing in the Bible?

    There seem to be two basic strategies:

    1.) The Bible is both an inspired work AND a product of its time. There is no contradiction between condemning the wicked things which obviously came from the human authors and still recognizing the noble divine thread which runs throughout a sacred text … and comes from God.

    2.) Since the God in the Bible is the REAL God, there is of course a perfectly reasonable explanation which I am either going to give you or not give you, depending on whether I was to emphasize God’s clarity or its inscrutability.

    Do not preclude the possibility that someone will use both, inclusive of variations. Keep faith any way you can.

  • vereverum

    I read the article link in #1. It’s a nice bit o’ casuistry but oddly enough only talks about the children aspect; ditto for the questioner who (if genuine) is also only concerned with the children. I think the most interesting part was where he showed that the Israeli soldiers were the real victims in this incident. Of course JP did warn you’d need a barf bag.

    Nobody seems to be concerned about…

    but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Reconcile? Easy, Christian God is real the Muslim God is not; if an omnipotent God is the sole creator of objective morality, then anything that God does is moral by definition.

  • Michael Heath

    For those that also got confused on who is referencing the Bible passage, it’s Ed, not the author of the article that Ed cites or the young victim.

    So this young lady was not pointing out that her religion enables and arguably justifies the abuse heaped on her, but instead Ed is making that argument. It took me two reads to figure that out so I offer this up.

  • Michael Heath

    Sastra writes:

    Since the God in the Bible is the REAL God, there is of course a perfectly reasonable explanation which I am either going to give you or not give you, depending on whether I was to emphasize God’s clarity or its inscrutability.

    “He’s holy!”. Which logically results in God being infinitely evil when used in this context.

  • John Pieret

    vereverum @ 4:

    Reconcile? Easy, Christian God is real the Muslim God is not; if an omnipotent God is the sole creator of objective morality, then anything that God does is moral by definition.

    Yeah, Craig takes the “Divine Command” horn of the Euthyphro paradox and runs with it. But then he undermines his own argument:

    The problem, it seems to me, is that if God could not have issued such a command, then the biblical stories must be false. Either the incidents never really happened but are just Israeli folklore; or else, if they did, then Israel, carried away in a fit of nationalistic fervor, thinking that God was on their side, claimed that God had commanded them to commit these atrocities, when in fact He had not.

    But if “revelation” is not a reliable guide to what God commands, then we are just back where we started, relying on our human instincts as to what is right and wrong to tell us what God has really “commanded.”

  • imnotspecial

    Don’t forget that God’s ways are so far above ours. How do you know that the intent in the grand scheme of things was not to improve the Israeli gene pool? :)

  • laurentweppe

    Of course Christians today almost universally would condemn such barbarism, but how do they reconcile their current condemnation with the fact that their God (allegedly) directly ordered the same thing in the Bible?

    That’s easy: the educated, well off, white Christians and Atheists alike we say “Oh but we have outgrown such silly superstitions and our enlightened culture is now inoculated against such behavior

    It’s a blatant lie, of course, but they’ll spew it up anyway, facts be damned

  • colnago80

    It should be noted that the ISIL terrorists, in addition to the three news reporters have beheaded dozens of captured Syrian and Iraqi soldiers. To paraphrase a quote by former Secretary of State George Schultz, the ISIL terrorists are not even people.

  • John Pieret

    Sorry, colnago80, they are people and we have to face up to that ugly truth. We have to find a way to react to them without becoming them. It won’t be easy, but whoever said it would be?

  • colnago80

    Re John Pieret @ #11

    I think I’ll go with the former SofS on this one.

  • robert79

    I applaud these girls in their courage and inventiveness in getting away from this nightmare. Well done!

    However… is it really necessary to twist this story in order to take a stab at christians? I think it’s rather demeaning towards these girls and their families that you take this horrible event, and use it for your own cause. (One I happen to usually agree with, btw…) I’m pretty sure christians all around the world do enough silly things that there is plenty of material to ridicule them with without hijacking personal tragedies and events which have very little to do with christianity.

  • vereverum

    @ robert79 #13

    I don’t see this intended to ridicule Christians but intended to disparage their outrage over these sorts of actions in that their own scriptures show the same actions taken by their side and counted not only as acceptable but commanded by their own God. People living in glass houses….

    IMHO it’s actually an example of tu quoque.