“Women in Syria and Iraq are at high risk for sexual enslavement by ISIS. ISIS is capturing, abusing, raping, trading, and selling women in areas it controls. America is politically polarized and citizens are divided on the U.S. policy on ISIS. Some think the U.S. should be doing more to combat the organization. They think America should use its full strength to ward off possible terrorist attacks on home soil. Others worry that air strikes will incur too many civilian deaths and collateral damage. They believe America should be more cautious about declaring war on another country in the Middle East………”
Classic slavery in the Middle East and North Africa lasted well after Europe and the Americas ended it. Slavery was ‘officially’ ended in Saudi Arabia only in the 1960s. In Mauritania, an Arab League member, there have been sporadic reports that slavery still exists.
Reports of Wahhabi Jihadis enslaving women and using them for sex and other labor are not exactly new. This Jihadi inclination has been more publicized in recent years, starting with developments in Iraq and Africa. These are a new wilder breed and they make their Al-Qaeda predecessors seem tame and absolutely family-oriented in comparison. (Maybe a case of “the devil you know“, etc).
Trafficking in women by these groups inside Iraq has been reported for years. Now, with full-blown wars raging in both Iraq and Syria and their territorial gains, they have the expanded access and the excuse to replenish their supply of females. The victims come mainly from among the religious minorities and non-Sunnis, but probably not exclusively so.
Others, including many in the West, also traffic in women as sex objects. But this new breed of Wahhabis are not subtle about it and they take it to historic extremes. They have a certain historical flair for the subject. They simplify the matter by throwing the onus on ancient history, blaming their ancient predecessors, their Salaf, for it.
They claim, and correctly, that early Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula took women as war booty after battles and often they sold them or used them as slaves and concubines. They also converted and married them in a few famous cases. But that was during the early ‘tribal stage’ of the expansion of Islam, when the battles were with and among the rival Arab tribes. A few of the battles were also against the Jewish tribes and clans of Madina and other parts of Hijaz in western Arabia. These latter battles also yielded slaves, concubines, and at least one famous very good wife.
Slavery existed from long before the three monotheistic religions appeared and continued long afterwards. It was an important part of the economy of the Roman Empire: the wealth and the income, the GNP. None of the major faiths of the Middle East, Judaism or Christianity or Islam, banned slavery. This is the basis of the alibi that the Caliphate of ISIS uses in taking female war captives and distributing them among its fighters to ‘use’ or sell or trade. It revives slavery because it existed under Islam and anything that existed under early Islam is considered kosher and mandatory by the Salafis.
That is why the Salafis are widely reputed in the Middle East to prefer toothpicks (miswak) to toothpaste (I am not being flippant here, it is common to profile them so in our Gulf region). You see, early Muslims did not have access to Crest or Colgate…………
“He could hardly wait to leave Qatar. Ganesh has promised himself to never again set foot in the desert. On this spring evening, though, Ganesh’s trip back home still lies before him. He is sprawled out exhausted on his bed on the outskirts of Doha after finishing his shift. The room is just 16 square meters (172 square feet) — and provides shelter to 10 workers. With the fan broken and the window sealed shut with aluminum foil, the air is thick and stuffy…………. On the map, the area is simply labeled “industrial zone.” But it is home to the thousands of faceless workers, the place where they eat and sleep. In Ganesh’s building, 100 workers are housed on three floors, far away from the glittery hotels in the city center. They live on the edge of a dream that the sheikhs want to make reality……………….”
The same also applies to laborers from other places, like Egypt and the Sub-continent and East Africa. Temporary foreign laborers form about 90% of Qatar’s population: almost the same percentage that they form of the population of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). So you see why they are indispensable to these countries. Not only do these foreigners work on creating buildings and roads, on the supply side: they are also needed to create the demand for the goods and services. They are needed to buy much of the consumer goods the local merchants import, they are needed to transfer in remittances billions of dollars that keep the local banks operating, and foreigners are needed to fill these buildings that are owned by the princes and potentates and their business allies. Otherwise the newly erected towns between Doha and Abu Dhabi will look like ghost towns; they did not exist a couple of decades ago.
“Each summer, wealthy male tourists from Gulf Arab states flock to Egypt to escape the oppressive heat of the Arabian Peninsula, taking residence at upscale hotels and rented flats in Cairo and Alexandria. Many come with their families and housekeeping staff, spending their days by the pool, shopping, and frequenting cafes and nightclubs. Others come for a more sinister purpose. In El Hawamdia, a poor agricultural town 20 kilometres south of Cairo, they are easy to spot. Arab men in crisp white thawbs troll the town’s pot-holed, garbage-strewn streets in their luxury cars and SUVs. As they arrive, Egyptian fixers in flip flops run alongside their vehicles, offering short-term flats and what to them is the town’s most sought-after commodity – underage girls……….. A summer-long misyar or “visitor” marriage runs from 20,000 Egyptian pounds (2,800 dollars) to 70,000 Egyptian pounds (10,000 dollars). The legally non-binding contract terminates when the man returns to his country. The “dowry” that Gulf Arab men are prepared to pay for sex with young girls is a powerful magnet for impoverished Egyptian families in a country where a quarter of the population subsists on less than two dollars a day…………..Some 75 percent of the respondents knew girls involved in the trade, and most believed the number of marriages was increasing. The 2009 survey indicated that 81 percent of the “spouses” were from Saudi Arabia, 10 percent from the United Arab Emirates……………”
Misyar, the part-time for-sex-only no-commitment marriage is quite common in Saudi Arabia, its birthplace, and has spread across the other Persian Gulf monarchies. It is almost like ‘going steady’ in the West if you get my drift. As I recall, Saudi-style part-time summer “misyar” for-sex-only marriage was made legal (halal, kosher) in Egypt by Al Azhar shaikhs only a year or two before Hosni Mubarak was deposed. I commented on it in a posting here at the time. It was apparently part of, the icing on the cultural shift that Egyptian society experienced under thirty years of the Mubarak regime and his opening of Egypt to Wahhabi cultural and religious influences of his Saudi allies.
Misyar in itself, like the Mut’a among some Shi’as, is not necessarily harmful or criminal. If it is done between consenting adults, except that it is not in this Egyptian case. This report here deals with a more criminal version of Misyar, basically pedophile trafficking in poor underage Egyptian girls. Selling and buying them as sex salves.