The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a militant group now declaring itself to be an Islamic State, poses serious and dangerous threats to everyone in the territories they occupy. Among these deeply concerning threats are those aimed at Christians and Yazidis, and in particular, at the women of these minorities. The behavior of ISIS is barbaric and inhuman. ISIS does not value basic human rights, such as the right to live, if the populations who live in territories they are invading happen not to accept their very narrow and most probably false interpretation of Islam.
To humiliate the populations that do not adhere to their barbaric beliefs and violent behavior, ISIS is using the women of these populations as the spoils of war in order to shame the communities of the minorities and to spread fear. ISIS hopes that these inhumane tactics will force the minorities either to convert to Islam or to flee.
The news that is circulating from the territories where ISIS operates is that Muslim women have been subjected to the most rigid interpretation of Islamic law. Some reports state that ISIS is imposing that women be confined to their homes and wear the “niqab” — a black abaya that covers the body from head to toe, only the eyes are allowed to be uncovered.
Even worse are reports that ISIS gangs are taking large numbers of women from the Christian and Yazidi populations as slaves. It is said that ISIS is using “Nikah Al Jihad” or their belief of the right to rape women and young girls of Christian and Yazidi communities in the name of their so-called hypocritical holy war. Even though they started their “Nikah Al-Jihad” with women, my biggest fear is that their next step would be to do the same with very young girls.
I would not be surprised to see mass forced marriages concubinage of girls in the 11-to-13 year range by ISIS fighters.
These horrific tactics are forcing a huge number of Christian and Yazidi families to flee their homes and regions in the hopes that they can land a safe place. Many Christian families fled to Lebanon where convents and schools are housing them. The reason why they fled to Lebanon is that historically Lebanon has received refugees from the region including Palestinians, Armenians, and Kurds.
The governments of the world cannot and should not sit still and watch this horrific nightmare. The governments of the world should act now to stop these barbaric thugs from continuing their rampage of killings, beheadings, rape, enslavement, and inhumanity.