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ISIS Says It Is Reviving Slavery Of Women To Keep Men From Committing Adultery

The extremist group's rationale behind enslaving hundreds of Yazidi women is explained in its English-language digital magazine.

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In an article titled "The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour," ISIS says that enslaving families of the apostates such as the Yazidi and taking their women as concubines or sex slaves is a "firmly established aspect of the Sharia."

ISIS militants have repeatedly targeted the Yazidis, a religious minority in Iraq whom the extremists consider to be "devil-worshipping" apostates more unworthy than Jews and Christians.

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Hundreds of thousands of Yazidi families have been forced to flee their homes as ISIS rampages through northwestern Iraq.

The article rationalizes the enslavement of women by stating that if a man cannot afford marriage to a free woman, he will be tempted toward such sins as "fornication and adultery."

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In a Human Rights Watch video, a 17-year-old Yazidi girl who escaped from ISIS recalls how the extremists killed the men she was with and took the girls captive.

The article also states that a man could be tempted to fornicate with his family's maid, but "if she were his concubine, this relationship would be legal."

The article concludes by praising ISIS for reviving the religious aspect of slavery to prevent "haram," or forbidden acts of temptation.

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It quotes that true believers of Islam are those "who guard their modesty except from their wives or the (female slaves) that their right hands possess, for then they are not blameworthy..."

The Human Rights Watch video describes how ISIS fighters forcibly marry Yazidi women and girls in mass weddings after killing their husbands and other male relatives.

"Seve," a 19-year-old Yazidi woman who escaped ISIS, described how she was coerced into marriage with a militant after her husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law were killed before her eyes.

Another Yazidi woman told Human Rights Watch how ISIS fighters captured her newlywed sister and killed her brother-in-law.

For 27 days the woman could not reach her sister. Finally, when her sister managed to call her using another person's cell phone, she said, "We want to escape but there's no way out."

"We heard shocking stories of forced religious conversions, forced marriage, and even sexual assault and slavery — and some of the victims were children," said Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch.

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The Human Rights Watch report said that none of the former or current female detainees they interviewed said they were raped by ISIS fighters. Four of them said they had fought off violent sexual attacks and that other detained women and girls told them that ISIS fighters had raped them. A teenage girl told Human Rights Watch that a fighter bought her for $1,000.

Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.

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