Kidnapping infidels and releasing them for ransom or killing them, as well as enslaving them if that option is deemed most advantageous for the Muslims, is fully sanctioned in Islamic law: "As for the captives, the amir [ruler] has the choice of taking the most beneficial action of four possibilities: the first to put them to death by cutting their necks; the second, to enslave them and apply the laws of slavery regarding their sale and manumission; the third, to ransom them in exchange for goods or prisoners; and fourth, to show favor to them and pardon them. Allah, may he be exalted, says, 'When you encounter those [infidels] who deny [the Truth=Islam] then strike [their] necks' (Qur'an sura 47, verse 4)" — Abu’l-Hasan al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah (The Laws of Islamic Governance), trans. by Dr. Asadullah Yate, (London), Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., 1996, p. 192.
The Qur'an allows for the owning of sex slaves:
If you fear that you will not act justly towards the orphans, marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four; but if you fear you will not be equitable, then only one, or what your right hands own; so it is likelier you will not be partial. (Qur'an 4:3)
This verse is the basis for Islamic polygamy, allowing a man to take as many as four wives, as long as he believes he is able to “deal justly” with all of them. But justice in these circumstances is in the eye of the beholder. Ibn Kathir says this the requirement to deal justly with one’s wives is no big deal, since treating them justly isn’t the same as treating them equally: “it is not obligatory to treat them equally, rather it is recommended. So if one does so, that is good, and if not, there is no harm on him.”
The verse goes on to say that if a man cannot deal justly with multiple wives, then he should marry only one, or resort to “what your right hands own” – that is, slave girls.
The Qur'an commentator Maulana Bulandshahri explains the wisdom of this practice, and longs for the good old days:
During Jihad (religion war), many men and women become war captives. The Amirul Mu’minin [leader of the believers, or caliph – an office now vacant] has the choice of distributing them amongst the Mujahidin [warriors of jihad], in which event they will become the property of these Mujahidin. This enslavement is the penalty for disbelief (kufr).
He goes on to explain that this is not ancient history:
None of the injunctions pertaining to slavery have been abrogated in the Shari’ah. The reason that the Muslims of today do not have slaves is because they do not engage in Jihad (religion war). Their wars are fought by the instruction of the disbelievers (kuffar) and are halted by the same felons. The Muslim [sic] have been shackled by such treaties of the disbelievers (kuffar) whereby they cannot enslave anyone in the event of a war. Muslims have been denied a great boon whereby every home could have had a slave. May Allah grant the Muslims the ability to escape the tentacles of the enemy, remain steadfast upon the Din (religion) and engage in Jihad (religion war) according to the injunctions of Shari’ah. Amen!
This is by no means an eccentric or unorthodox view in Islam. The Egyptian Sheikh Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni declared in May 2011 that “we are in the era of jihad,” and that as they waged jihad warfare against infidels, Muslims would take slaves. He clarified what he meant in a subsequent interview:
...Jihad is only between Muslims and infidels….Spoils, slaves, and prisoners are only to be taken in war between Muslims and infidels. Muslims in the past conquered, invaded, and took over countries. This is agreed to by all scholars--there is no disagreement on this from any of them, from the smallest to the largest, on the issue of taking spoils and prisoners. The prisoners and spoils are distributed among the fighters, which includes men, women, children, wealth, and so on.
When a slave market is erected, which is a market in which are sold slaves and sex-slaves, which are called in the Qur’an by the name milk al-yamin, “that which your right hands possess” [Qur’an 4:24]. This is a verse from the Qur’an which is still in force, and has not been abrogated. The milk al-yamin are the sex-slaves. You go to the market, look at the sex-slave, and buy her. She becomes like your wife, (but) she doesn’t need a (marriage) contract or a divorce like a free woman, nor does she need a wali. All scholars agree on this point--there is no disagreement from any of them. [...] When I want a sex slave, I just go to the market and choose the woman I like and purchase her.
Right around the same time, on May 25, 2011, a female Kuwaiti activist and politician, Salwa al-Mutairi, also spoke out in favor of the Islamic practice of sexual slavery of non-Muslim women, emphasizing that the practice accorded with Islamic law and the parameters of Islamic morality.
...A merchant told me that he would like to have a sex slave. He said he would not be negligent with her, and that Islam permitted this sort of thing. He was speaking the truth….I brought up (this man’s) situation to the muftis in Mecca. I told them that I had a question, since they were men who specialized in what was halal, and what was good, and who loved women. I said, “What is the law of sex slaves?”
The mufti said, “With the law of sex slaves, there must be a Muslim nation at war with a Christian nation, or a nation which is not of the religion, not of the religion of Islam. And there must be prisoners of war.”
“Is this forbidden by Islam?,” I asked.
“Absolutely not. Sex slaves are not forbidden by Islam. On the contrary, sex slaves are under a different law than the free woman. The free woman must be completely covered except for her face and hands. But the sex slave can be naked from the waist up. She differs a lot from the free woman. While the free woman requires a marriage contract, the sex slave does not--she only needs to be purchased by her husband, and that’s it. Therefore the sex slave is different than the free woman.”
While the savage exploitation of girls and young women is an unfortunately cross-cultural phenomenon, only in Islamic law does it carry anything approaching divine sanction. Here is yet another human rights scandal occasioned by Islamic law that the international human rights community and the mainstream media cravenly ignore.
"Boko Haram timeline: From preachers to slave raiders," from the BBC, May 15 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in three north-eastern states as militant Islamists intensify their offensive against the government.
The insurgency, led by Boko Haram, has killed some 2,000 people since 2009. It has spread across the mainly Muslim north and central Nigeria.
With the attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated, there is growing concern that Boko Haram is receiving backing from al-Qaeda-linked militants in other countries.
Here, BBC Africa's Farouk Chothia looks at the changing nature of the conflict.
Boko Haram has increased its focus on smaller towns in north-eastern Nigeria in recent months after the military drove many of its fighters out of Maiduguri - the capital of Borno state, which was the group's main base.
Boko Haram militants have since infiltrated nearby towns, with little resistance from the army.
In a well-planned attack on 7 May 2013 in Bama, some 70km (44 miles) from Maiduguri, about 200 heavily armed men stormed a military barracks, police station and government buildings.
Fifty-five people were killed and 105 prisoners were freed in the raids. Significantly, the militants launched the attack in armoured vehicles mounted with machine guns.
It suggests that they are becoming better-resourced and they can adapt to the changing terrain. Easy to use motorcycles are the trademark for Boko Haram attacks in cities.
A Nigerian soldiers stands beside a burnt house after the army clashed with Boko Haram insurgents in Borno state. Photo: April 2013 The military attacked Baga, near Chad's border, where militants had reportedly built up a presence
The Bama violence came a few weeks after Boko Haram attacked a military patrol in Baga, a nearby town in which it is said to have also built a presence, forcibly recruiting youth into its ranks.
The military retaliated by launching a raid on the town, accusing residents of harbouring the militants.
Nearly 200 people died in the raid, and thousands of buildings were destroyed, leading to claims by rights groups that the military had used excessive force - an allegation it has repeatedly faced as it tries to quell the insurgency launched in 2009.
The army denied the allegation, and blamed Boko Haram for the deaths of 37 people.
First 'slaves captured': May 2013
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video on 13 May 2013, saying Boko Haram had taken women and children - including teenage girls - hostage in response to the arrest of its members' wives and children.
It is unclear whether the hostages are the relatives of government officials or civilians.
Mr Shekau said the hostages would be treated as "slaves", fuelling concern that Boko Haram is adhering to the ancient Islamic belief that women captured during war are slaves with whom their "masters" can have sex....