ISIS 'abhorrent' guide on how to treat female slaves
The ISIS militant group has released what appears to be an "abhorrent" pamphlet providing its followers with guidelines on how to capture, keep and sexually abuse female slaves.
Published before the CIA report into the "enhanced interrogation" of suspected militant detainees, it specifically rules out the use of torture.
But what it does provide is a sickeningly matter-of-fact set of "questions and answers" when it comes to capturing and subjugating those of other beliefs.
Though it could not be independently verified, the list is believed to have been printed on 3 December by Isis's in-house publishers on behalf of the group's "Research and Fatwa Department".
It has been translated in detail by the Washington, DC-based Middle East Media Research Institute, and researchers at the anti-extremism thinktank Quilliam say it "can be traced back to some of [Isis's] most active propagandists".
Researchers at the University of Bristol's Gender and Violence Research Centre said last month that Isis had kidnapped more than 2,500 women belonging to the Yazidi religious minority in Syria and Iraq, while at least 4,600 are reported missing.
The centre's Nazand Begikhani told CNN the women are "treated like cattle".
The pamphlet makes clear in excruciating detail exactly what this treatment involves - and how it is actively encouraged in Isis's twisted interpretation of Islam.
It explains that it is "permissible" to take non-Muslims captive, making particular mention of the kitabiyat or "People of the Book" - Jews and Christians.
It tells ISIS fighters that the fact that "unbelief" in Islam is all that is required to make someone a slave - and clears up the controversy of "capturing apostate women" who were born as Muslims by saying: "the consensus leans towards forbidding it… we [Isis] lean towards accepting the consensus".
The rules for how militants should handle their slaves follow.
Among the most shocking are that it is "permissible" to rape a female slave "immediately after taking possession of her" and that it is "permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn't reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse", without explanation of what that means.
Speaking to The Independent, Quilliam researcher Charlie Winter said: "The roots of this document can easily be traced back to some of Islamic State's most active propagandists, something that leaves little doubt in my mind about its credibility.
"The content, while it is abhorrent and shocking, is not surprising - we know that IS ideologues have justified and legitimated slavery in past publications."
The following is a selection of some of the questions and answers Isis has provided its followers:
Question 1: What is al-sabi?
"Al-Sabi is a woman from among ahl al-harb [the people of war] who has been captured by Muslims."
Question 2: What makes al-sabi permissible?
"What makes al-sabi permissible [i.e., what makes it permissible to take such a woman captive] is [her] unbelief. Unbelieving [women] who were captured and brought into the abode of Islam are permissible to us, after the imam distributes them [among us]."
Question 4: Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female captive?
"It is permissible to have sexual intercourse with the female captive. Allah the almighty said: '[Successful are the believers] who guard their chastity, except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then they are free from blame [Koran 23:5-6]'..."
Question 5: Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female captive immediately after taking possession [of her]?
"If she is a virgin, he [her master] can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession of her. However, is she isn't, her uterus must be purified [first]…"
Question 6: Is it permissible to sell a female captive?
"It is permissible to buy, sell, or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property, which can be disposed of [as long as that doesn't cause [the Muslim ummah] any harm or damage."
Question 9: If the female captive was impregnated by her owner, can he then sell her?
"He can't sell her if she becomes the mother of a child..."
Question 13: Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty?
"It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn't reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse; however if she is not fit for intercourse, then it is enough to enjoy her without intercourse."
Question 19: Is it permissible to beat a female slave?
"It is permissible to beat the female slave as a [form of] darb ta'deeb [disciplinary beating], [but] it is forbidden to [use] darb al-takseer [literally, breaking beating], [darb] al-tashaffi [beating for the purpose of achieving gratification], or [darb] al-ta'dheeb [torture beating]. Further, it is forbidden to hit the face."
Question 21: What is the earthly punishment of a female slave who runs away from her master?
"She [i.e. the female slave who runs away from her master] has no punishment according to the shari'a of Allah; however, she is [to be] reprimanded [in such a way that] deters others like her from escaping."