The sex trafficking gang has attacked and threatened the witness to such an extent that he is being forced to testify. They are no doubt outraged that he is siding with the Infidels against fellow Muslims, and that he is testifying for the prosecution of actions that are not considered crimes under Islamic law. 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.
"Reluctant witness in Tenn. faces prison time," by Sheila Burke for the Associated Press, June 2 (thanks to Classicus):
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two and a half years ago, federal prosecutors announced with great fanfare the indictments of about 30 people accused of operating a multistate child sex trafficking operation run by Somali gangs. So far, every defendant who has gone to trial has either been acquitted or had their conviction thrown out.
The government's case was weakened when prosecutors said a key witness, a Somali refugee and former gang member, repeatedly refused to testify, saying he is afraid for himself and for his family.
So prosecutors charged Abdullahi Farah with two counts of contempt of court and obstruction of a child sex trafficking case. He was convicted by a jury in April.
Farah, 24, said he was attacked and pistol whipped when word got out that he was cooperating.
"What choice do I have?" he said during a jailhouse interview with The Associated Press. "If I testify, they will either kill me or kill my family."
Farah is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison for the obstruction conviction. There is no mandatory maximum sentence for contempt and a prosecutor has said Farah will face up to life in prison when he is sentenced at a date yet to be determined.
Legal experts say the case is extraordinary because it's almost unheard of for prosecutors to come down so hard on one of their own witnesses, and for the reluctant ones to face so much prison time for not cooperating.
"This is exceedingly rare," said Nancy Hoppock, the director of a criminal law center at New York University Law School who spent 19 years as a state and federal prosecutor. She said prosecutors may have felt like they were left with no other choice.
The big unanswered question is how much Farah's testimony would have helped the government.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Van Vincent, the lead prosecutor, declined to discuss Farah, saying it would not be appropriate before sentencing. For his part, Farah said he knows nothing about the child sex trafficking and only helped prosecutors identify gang members by listening to hours of secretly recorded conversations of defendants talking to one another.
Court documents and transcripts of Farah's trial said he admitted to having information material to the case, but the paperwork doesn't spell out what the information is.
Former U.S. Attorney Ed Yarbrough, the top federal prosecutor in Nashville when the alleged Somali gang members were indicted in November 2010, said witnesses will generally start cooperating after being threatened with jail or locked up on a material witness warrant.
"It almost never comes to this," Yarbrough said.
Federal agents testified Farah never told them he was attacked until after he fled to Louisiana to avoid testifying, according to court documents. Agents said Farah gave conflicting accounts and sketchy details about both attacks, and U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell also said he had problems with Farah's credibility.
Farah spent two years helping prosecutors before he decided to stop talking, court records show.
Farah, who has lived in Nashville and Minneapolis, said he gave up the gang to redeem himself in his family's eyes, and he insisted members were engaged in burglary and using drugs, not sex trafficking, when he was involved.
Those accused in the sex trafficking ring are alleged to be gang members who sold girls in Minnesota, Ohio and Tennessee.
Farah has convictions for commercial burglary and lost his legal right to be in the U.S. He said he agreed to cooperate with authorities to help him with his immigration status.
Farah said he was told he'd probably never have to testify because the defendants would probably plead guilty. So far, only one defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of making false statements. The sex trafficking charges against that defendant were dismissed.
Nine defendants went to trial last year. A jury acquitted six and found three guilty. A federal judge later tossed out those convictions, saying prosecutors failed to show that they were part of one overarching conspiracy.
Farah said word got out that he was helping authorities, and he was told gang members were coming for him. He said a group of men surrounded him in August 2011 just outside his Nashville home and beat him and pistol whipped him in the first of two attacks. Instead of telling federal agents, he fled to Louisiana.
He was brought back to Nashville and jailed, then released with an ankle monitor.
After refusing to testify, Farah was put back behind bars for four months and ordered to give a deposition that would be used when the remaining defendants in the sex trafficking case are tried. Again, he refused to talk. He was indicted and went to trial in April....