Earlier this month, ideologues belonging to the extremist Islamic State published a pamphlet outlining guidelines for how its fighters can treat female slaves in their custody. The document, titled "Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves," was supposedly compiled by the Islamic State's "Research and Fatwa Department," according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, which monitors jihadist activity.
By some accounts, the Islamic State has kidnapped thousands of women during its months of rampage and slaughter this year. These include at least 2,500 Yazidi women, members of a religious sect deemed apostate by the jihadists. The shocking testimony of Yazidi women who escaped the Islamic State's clutches has given us a chilling insight into the militants' brutality and vulgarity. A YouTube video circulated in November appeared to show the jihadists joking around about the many sex slaves in their possession and the rapes they carry out.
The pamphlet says it is permissible to capture any "unbelieving" women and have sex with her "immediately" if she is a virgin. If she is not, though, it mandates that "her uterus must be purified" first. It offers no further detail on what that means.
The 27 "questions and answers" laid out in the pamphlet vary from the grotesque to the farcical. A man, it warns, "may not kiss the female slave of another."
Here is the Islamic State's guidance regarding when it's permissible to beat your female slave:
"It is permissible to beat the female slave as a [form of] darb ta'deeb [disciplinary beating], [but] it is forbidden to [use] darb al-takseer [literally, breaking beating], [darb] al-tashaffi [beating for the purpose of achieving gratification], or [darb] al-ta'dheeb [torture beating]. Further, it is forbidden to hit the face."
It also gives a jihadist the right to have sex with (in reality, rape) a pre-pubescent girl: "It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn't reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse."
For the Islamic State, such documents are a means of spreading their propaganda and burnishing their hardline, extremist chops. "The content, while it is abhorrent and shocking, is not surprising," said Charlie Winter, a researcher at Quilliam, an anti-jihadist think tank in London, in an interview with the Independent. "We know that IS ideologues have justified and legitimated slavery in past publications."
You can read all the Islamic State's hideous recommendations here, if you can stomach it.