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IS justifies enslaving, having sex with 'non-believers'

world Updated: Dec 14, 2014 01:28 IST

The Sunni jihadi organisation Islamic State (IS) has justified the enslavement of non-Muslim women and children and sexual intercourse with them, not sparing even pre-pubescent girls.

This message has been propagated by an IS pamphlet titled "Question and Answers on Female Slaves and their Freedom", which was distributed to the people of the Iraqi city of Mosul, which the extremists control, after sunset Friday, CNN reported Saturday.

The pamphlet also claimed that non-Muslim women and children could be sold off and given as gifts to others.

"Most (of us) are shocked, but (we) cannot do much about it," said a resident of Mosul about the IS pamphlet.

Many accounts of the IS kidnapping, selling and raping women and children have surfaced since the group began its brutal run through Syria and Iraq, according to the CNN report.

These are on top of other allegations, such as the killings of innocent civilians simply because they did not subscribe to the IS's extreme take on the Sharia law.

The IS militants have justified their actions -- like the beheadings of journalists and aid workers -- in god's name.

Even then, it is rare to see its rationale being laid out as plainly as in this pamphlet distributed in Mosul, the report noted.

The document explained that capturing women is permissible if they were "non-believers". The pamphlet added that female slaves were women that Muslims took from their enemies.

Much of the pamphlet talks about the IS's policy on having sexual intercourse with a female slave, something that the group cites the Islamic holy text Quran to justify.

The pamphlet lays down other rules as well and makes it clear that the captors have full control of their captives.

This document marks the most detailed, albeit not the first, justification for enslaving "non-believers", as defined by the IS, according to the report.

"IS is drawing these rulings from ancient Middle Eastern and Mediterranean codes of conduct for war and prisoners," said Abbas Barzegar, professor of religious studies at Georgia State University in the US.

"Muslim leaders and lay practitioners the world over continue to condemn the IS and find its alien interpretation of Islam grotesque and abhorrent," Barzegar noted.

None of the IS's rationalisations hold up however, Seton Hall University law school professor Bernard Freamon wrote on the CNN website last month.

"This argument is plainly wrong, hypocritical and astonishingly ahistorical, relying on male fantasies, inspired by stories from the days of imperial Islam," said Freamon.