Support the news
The news is full of beheadings, but ISIS fighters are now infamous for a campaign of sexual violence. We'll look at the Islamic State's war on women.
The beheadings have been more than bad enough. And the mass graves of young men frog-marched through the desert. And the communities sent running, slaughtered, for their beliefs. But the ISIS treatment of women – the reporting of kidnappings and enslavement and rape houses of the self-styled Islamic State – deserve special attention. Too many wars come with sexual atrocity and horror. But this group fights under the banner of God. Claims to be the caliphate. God’s reign on earth. It looks like hell for women. This hour On Point: the ISIS war on women.
-- Tom Ashbrook
Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Middle East program. Author of "My Prison, My Home: One Woman's Story of Captivity In Iran."
Dyan Mazurana, research director for gender, youth and community at Tufts University's Feinstein International Center, where she is also an associate research professor in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
From Tom's Reading List
BBC News: Islamic State: Can its savagery be explained? — "Islamic State has become synonymous with viciousness - beheadings, crucifixions, stonings, massacres, burying victims alive and religious and ethnic cleansing. While such savagery might seem senseless to the vast majority of civilised human beings, for IS it is a rational choice. It is a conscious decision to terrorise enemies and impress and co-opt new recruits."
The Wall Street Journal: ISIS’s Cruelty Toward Women Gets Scant Attention — "ISIS's barbarity against women has been treated as a side issue. Arab and Muslim governments, vocal on the threat ISIS poses to regional stability, have been virtually silent on ISIS’s systemic degradation, abuse, and humiliation of women. To the men of ISIS, women are an inferior race, to be enjoyed for sex and be discarded, or to be sold off as slaves."
Foreign Policy: The Islamic State of Sexual Violence — "IS claims to be a religious organization, dedicated to re-establishing the caliphate and enforcing codes of modesty and behavior from the time of Muhammad and his followers. But this is rape, not religious conservatism. IS may dress up its sexual violence in religious justifications, saying its victims violated Islamic law, or were infidels, but their leaders are not fools. This is just another form of warfare."
Emma Watson Speaks On Feminism And Women's Rights At The UN
This program aired on September 25, 2014.
Support the news