The Slatest

ISIS Declares Itself Pro-Slavery

A Yazidi refugee camp in Dohuk, Iraq.

Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

ISIS’s English-language publication Dabiq has announced that ISIS is enslaving women and children of the Yazidi minority group, writing that not enslaving so-called pagans would constitute apostasy. From The Atlantic:

In the article, “The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour,” the magazine stated that “the enslaved Yazidi families are now sold by the Islamic State soldiers,” adding that, “the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Shariah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations.”

Referring to the Yazidis as “pagans” and “infidels,” the article said, “Their creed is so deviant from the truth that even cross-worshipping Christians for ages considered them devil worshippers and Satanists, as is recorded in accounts of Westerners and Orientalists who encountered them or studied them.”

Human Rights Watch released a report on the situation yesterday. From the firsthand accounts in the report, captive women and girls are sold as slaves/wives to ISIS fighters, and boys are sent to be trained as soldiers. Some men are held prisoner as well, though it’s not clear to what end. All are forced to convert to Islam.

ISIS’s attack on Yazidi territory in Iraq provoked the United States to intervene—to prevent genocide, it said. And while ISIS’s advances in the region were ultimately halted, tens of thousands of Yazidis (at minimum) have been made into refugees, while hundreds and perhaps thousands remain captives in the Islamic State.