Nimes (AsiaNews) - Now that reign of Daesh (Islamic State) seems to have collapsed, there are still reports of violence by militias against women, boys and girls, Christians and Yazidis, kept as sexual objects for a long time, slaves to sell and buy. In the past, AsiaNews presented some of these chilling stories from Iraq and Syria.
The end of Daesh does not mean the end of these attacks on the dignity of women and children. In the Islamic world there are institutions, imams, and even universities like the Azhar, the most authoritative Muslim cultural centre, that still teach that, legally, non-Muslim women, girls and children are "war booty", usable as objects of pleasure and as a bargaining chip.
For Hocine Drouiche, vice president of the Conference of Imams of France and imam of Nimes, it is time to change Islamic law and cleanse Islamic teachings of anything that goes against human dignity and international law. This step is urgent to prevent further genocides against non-Muslim minorities and facilitate coexistence between social and religious communities in the future. Here we present the first part (of three) of his study on the topic.
In most Islamic countries, we sometimes see a confusion between religious law and positive law or their rapprochement. Indeed, life in society shapes the law in a way that is both necessary and sufficient. However, legal rules are not the only regulator of human behaviour. "Asserting its specificity unfolds in two phases".
In archaic (ancient or medieval) or very religious societies, the two sets of rules are not distinct: religious precepts operate as civil law. On the contrary, in other States, the law is both distinct from religion and inspired by it. Consequently, there is a duality of rules, which can be overlapping or contradictory.
Their aims can also diverge. Religion seeks to perfect individuals, whilst the law is first of all intended to enforce a certain collective order. Similarly, their sanctions differ. Religious rules are sanctioned only by God, whilst respect for the law is part of the mission of public authorities. In addition, religion claims to govern both thoughts and actions; the law instead only concerns behaviour.
A comparative study of the rules of Islamic and international humanitarian law shows many points of convergence both in terms of The Hague (International Criminal Court) and Geneva (UN Convention on Human Rights).
In the past, these ambiguities clearly prevented a clear and strong response from Muslims against the attacks and atrocities of Daesh and al-Qaeda.
Al Azhar’s teachings
Suad Salih is a well-known female face in the School of Theology at Al-Azhar mosque, well known in Egypt and the Muslim world. She stated that Muslims have the right to have their enemy's wives for their own pleasure during war because this is lawful and authorised in Islam!
Even if it is authorised and covered by religion or Sharia, there is only one clear way to describe this as "recommended legalised rape". Would this professor have said the same, if Muslim women were raped by the enemies of Muslims? Surely, Muslims would have stood up, spoken out loud, and protested against such a thing, calling it a violation of human rights. No one can allow the values of human rights to be used only one way, and not consider them when Muslims commit such horrors.
Islam suffers from a serious legal vacuum on rape because it considers every extra-marital relationship as adultery without asking whether or not such a relationship is consenting, or committed by force against and compulsion of women. However, forced sexual relationship is rape even if it takes place in a married couple.
When I heard Suad Salih, I remembered the testimony of a courageous Iraqi Yazid woman, Nadia Taha, who was kidnapped by Daesh along with 150 Yazidi women. In front of the Security Council, she recounted the horror and cruelty of Daesh.
When a sex market was set up in Mosul, a sexual slavery exchange was created to separate young girls from their parents and their families to sell to monsters. The source for this could be found in the books published by Al Azhar and all the Islamic universities, containing justifications and other inhuman religious dictates that authorise the rape of women, girls and even children because they are not Muslims!
These books are part of the official curricula of universities and centres that train imams in almost all Muslim countries, even though all these countries have signed the Geneva agreements on conflicts and the various UN conventions relating to conflict situations.
Nadia described how she begged her kidnappers to be raped by a smaller man because she had been handed over to a tall and huge man who terrified her! She was raped before being passed on to another friend because the slave loses his or her humanity and becomes an object possessed like a car, a dog or a toy. It is time to burn these books that teach young Muslims about cruelty, slavery and the rape of women.
In the book Al-Ikhtiyar in Hanafi Law, on page 338, Al Musili writes as follows: "If the caliph takes a country or a city by force, he can divide it and offer it to his soldiers, and he can let non-Muslim residents live on the condition that they pay the jizia (tax), or they can kill them and take the women and children as slaves".
This book is still in the study programme of the great Islamic university of al Azhar in Cairo.
Abu Ishaq Al Huwayni, a reference on Islam in the Arab-Muslim world who claims to fight Daesh's doctrine clearly says: "Muslims are poor because they have abandoned the Jihad. If we do it against neighbouring non-Muslim countries, they will convert to Islam and if they refuse, we will take them as slaves. Unbelievers are people who do not deserve to live. If they reject Islam, they must be killed or made slaves! This is a gift that God gives to the Muslims!"
The most surprising thing is that Suad Salih, who supports sexual slavery and the rape of Jews, Christians, Yazidis, etc. ... is considered the most moderate example in Egypt and in the Arab-Muslim world!
Not only Daesh
Is it really possible in this case to blame Daesh, since all these fatwas are circulated, taught and repeated, including at an official level, in all Islamic universities in the Muslim world?
In its online journal titled Dabiq, Daesh lawyers answered a question from someone who asked asked them if the sexual slavery of girls, including children, was authorised in Islam. The answer was: "In Islam, you are allowed to sell, buy or offer female slaves. You can have a relationship with a 10- or 11-year-old girl if she is able to sustain a sexual relationship! On the other hand, if she is still 'too young', you can obtain pleasure from her without penetrating her!"
These statements are not an invention of Daesh. Any imam, scholar or theologian who has studied Islam has learnt about these serious atrocities. At present, no teacher can criticise or oppose these inhuman words and opinions deemed "divine and sacred" because he would be immediately isolated among Islamic jurists.
Al Azhar, Islamic universities and centres that train imams are certainly all deaf or have not heard of the existence of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Geneva conventions that protect prisoners of war, define sexual violence against women as a crime against humanity under to international law, and dictate the rules of conduct to be adopted in times of armed conflict, including the protection of civilians, women, members of humanitarian organisations, the wounded and prisoners of war.
The Muslim states that ratified these Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, the two protocols of 1977 and the third additional protocols of 2005 continue to implement school programmes that authorise slavery and sexual slavery during armed conflicts.
Suad Salih, like most of the Muslim elite, believes that Sharia should be above the rules of human, international, humanist and universal law.
Up to now, no one knows the exact definition of the Sharia that includes the Quranic verses, the hadiths and the millions of religious dictates that are often contradictory and not compatible with international humanitarian law.
Physical sanctions such as hand cutting and stoning and sexual slavery are often the most shocking and visible aspects found in sharia. They are in contradiction with the universal values of human rights that most Muslim countries have adopted.
Why are such savage crimes against human beings justified simply because the latter are not Muslims? Why do we continue to despise non-Muslims, considering Muslims to be the nation elected by God, and other human beings, non-Muslims, as cursed by God?
Al Zuhaili in his book "Islamic law and its foundations" justifies slavery with the principle of reciprocity. He says: "Islam could not forbid slavery (including that of women) because it was necessary for the social and economic system of that era. Muslims have been forced to use the same system to respond to their enemies" (Volume 8, page 5,916).
Up to now, no imam or theologian has had the courage to say that Daesh cannot claim for itself the Islamic religion, that they are simply not Muslims.
Muslim terrorism, including slavery and sexual slavery, will vanish after the burning of all those books that teach Muslims, young and old, as well as imams such cruelties and barbarities. Otherwise these universities and religious centres will continue to create different brands of Daesh, Al-Qaida, Aqpa, Aqmi, Boko Haram, Shabab, al-Nusra Front, not to mention Ansar Dine, Ansar al-Sharia, etc.