This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Boko Haram Sex Slave Victims

Koran 33:50 
O Prophet (Muhammad)! Verily, We have made lawful to you your wives, to whom you have paid their Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), and those (captives or slaves) whom your right hand possesses – whom Allah has given to you, and the daughters of your ‘Amm (paternal uncles) and the daughters of your ‘Ammah (paternal aunts) and the daughters of your Khal (maternal uncles) and the daughters of your Khalah (maternal aunts) who migrated (from Makkah) with you, and a believing woman if she offers herself to the Prophet, and the Prophet wishes to marry her; a privilege for you only, not for the (rest of) the believers. Indeed We know what We have enjoined upon them about their wives and those (captives or slaves) whom their right hands possess, – in order that there should be no difficulty on you. And Allah is Ever Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Young Nigerian women, many of them in their mid-teens have been kept as sex slaves after their abduction by Boko Haram. The Islamist jihadist group that has claimed affiliation with Islamic State is, after all, only practising what the Koran informs them is permissible under Islam. That women can be taken as slaves to be used for sex, as long a they are not married, or pregnant. They may do as the Prophet Mohammad himself did, as part of the conquest of Islam.

Halima, 15, holds Hauwa, the baby of her friend Hamsatu, 25, who is sewing a prayer cap in their tent in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Both women were abducted, held captive and forced into marriage by Boko Haram. (Jane Hahn/For The Washington Post)

The result is that thousands of girls and women were and are being held, made subject by savage jihadists to rape and Islamist indoctrination. The Christian women were given the choice of conversion or death. To resist is to surrender their lives to an early death. Just as the Islamic State jihadists preyed on the Yazidis in Iraq by slaughtering the men, and taking women and children as slaves, so too do Boko Haram practise faithfully what the Koran informs they may do. "What their right hand possesses" refers to female slaves.

Some of those female slaves have managed to escape their Islamist captors. They have escaped sometimes with the aid of Nigerian military operations. The women and girls were often taken from villages destroyed by Boko Haram, where the male inhabitants were slaughtered and the homes they came from no longer exist. They return to crowded refugee camps where they may hope to be reunited with whomever of their family members may have survived.

But because they were captive by Boko Haram their reception is one of suspicion. The are under constant monitoring by armed men. They are considered still to be "Boko Haram wives".  It was hoped that among them would be some of the 276 school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram two years earlier and taken to the Sambisa Forest. In that vast area the sex slaves are kept and continually raped. The escaped girls and women living in the refugee camps are viewed with hostility and suspicion by others at the camp.

The guards maintain that "We can't trust any of them". Elderly women spit contempt at them as "wives" of Boko Haram. And the reason is that many of the young girls captured and violently abused by Boko Haram were trained to be suicide bombers. The mystery remains that these young girls agreed to become martyrs, but perhaps it's not all that much of a mystery. Martyrdom would bring them death, and death would be a release from the agony they suffer as sex slaves.

Some of the women have babies with them, the offspring of their rape. They wear the very same clothing they had on when they were kidnapped, a year, two years earlier. The camps that Boko Haram set up in the Sambisa Forest became their home. Most of the women and girls who were repeatedly raped didn't even know the names of those who claimed them as their "wives".

Hamsatu plays with daughter Hauwa at the Dalori displacement camp. She says she was forced to travel on foot and on the backs of motorcycles to the Sambisa Forest, where Boko Haram had set up camps for its sex slaves. (Jane Hahn/For The Washington Post)

When Nigerian soldiers arrived to rout the Boko Haram fighters from their hideouts in the forest, the huts the women were found in were burned to the ground, sometimes while women were still inside. Several women were killed during the operation because the soldiers were shooting at everyone who moved. The women found it difficult to consider themselves as having been rescued, they were searched for weapons. They were now considered to be suspects, not victims.

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