Recently, an Iraqi woman has been receiving press coverage for killing the ISIS commander who reportedly sold her into sex slavery.
This happened near the city of Mosul, and the man killed was a senior commander known as “Abu Anas.” Three months prior to this event, he had allegedly forced the woman to marry several men, according to Kurdistan Democratic Party spokesman Saeed Mamouzini for al-Sumaria TV. The whereabouts of this woman, as well as how the man was killed, are currently unknown. However, this report came a few weeks ago, just after a group of non-Iraqi women were transported into Mosul to be sex slaves, on a direct order from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (IS).
This is not the first incident of woman fighting back against the Islamic State. In August, 15 women were reportedly executed by IS militants just outside Mosul, when the women refused to marry their captors. Another 19 women inside Mosul were executed for the very same reason in July. The city of Mosul, the second largest in Iraq, has been in the hands of the IS since 2014. The group has established a market for sex slavery within the city, and the women sold into slavery are usually Christian, Yazidi, and Shia.
While in a perfect world all but peaceful protesting should be shunned, this is clearly a case where not enough is being done to protect these women and girls. The IS fully endorses these sales, encouraging soldiers to purchase women and even offering women up as prizes for things such as memorizing the Koran.
There are also very horrific conditions surrounding these sales, as though the very fact of sex slavery were not bad enough. Women are stripped naked before they are sold, and if they are not virgins, their uterus must be “purified” in an attempt to have their virginity restored. In one incident militants forced a Yazidi woman to ‘repair’ her hymen 20 times before selling her off. This horrific practice was revealed by United Nations official special envoy Zainab Bangur. Even worse, children ages one to nine are also being sold in these markets, and actually bring the highest price, costing $165 US dollars. Adolescents cost $124, while women over 20 and 40 go for very low prices, sometimes less than $50.
A man named Steve Maman, based out of Canada, is also fed up with this situation, and has started an organization to help, called Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq (CYCI).
“Let’s save them while we can. This is my message,”
stated Maman in a broadcast with Russia Today where he spoke about his plans to help.
Clearly, this is a situation that has become incredibly out of hand, and poses a huge threat to women. While these women cannot be blamed for enacting violence against the individuals who enslave them, and while passive resistance is always something to celebrate, these actions clearly are not enough. To try and help with this terrible issue, you can check out Maman’s organization here https://liberationiraq.com/, and stay tuned with The Last American Vagabond to see how this situation is progressing and how we should respond.