Tag Archives: ISIS

In Sheep’s Clothing: Using Religion to Camouflage Pain

Occasionally, a newspaper report comes out that is so horrifying, so disruptive of inner peace, that it demands re-posting. The front-page New York Times report today on the sexual enslavement of women and girls by the group calling themselves ISIS is one such journalistic event.

Here is the link. Please read it all, even if you have to take breaks in between paragraphs.

Note that the men in this so-called holy group are equal opportunity torturers (yes, rape is torture). As this 2014 Wall Street Journal report shows, they rape and mutilate (FGM is mutilation) at will.

It is the creation of rape and enslavement as a business supposedly underpinned by God that is detailed in the Times report. A few quotes for those who haven’t the stomach to read the whole article:

–“In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

“He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

“When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

“’I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,’” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “’He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,’” she said in an interview alongside her family in a refugee camp here, to which she escaped after 11 months of captivity.

–“ A growing body of internal policy memos and theological discussions has established guidelines for slavery, including a lengthy how-to manual issued by the Islamic State Research and Fatwa Department just last month. Repeatedly, the ISIS leadership has emphasized a narrow and selective reading of the Quran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous.”

–“[The girls and women] would be held in confinement, some for days, some for months. Then, inevitably, they were loaded into the same fleet of buses again before being sent in smaller groups to Syria or to other locations inside Iraq, where they were bought and sold for sex.

“It was 100 percent preplanned,” said Khider Domle, a Yazidi community activist who maintains a detailed database of the victims. “I spoke by telephone to the first family who arrived at the Directory of Youth in Mosul, and the hall was already prepared for them. They had mattresses, plates and utensils, food and water for hundreds of people.”

— “In a pamphlet published online in December, the Research and Fatwa Department of the Islamic State detailed best practices, including explaining that slaves belong to the estate of the fighter who bought them and therefore can be willed to another man and disposed of just like any other property after his death.

“Recent escapees describe an intricate bureaucracy surrounding their captivity, with their status as a slave registered in a contract. When their owner would sell them to another buyer, a new contract would be drafted, like transferring a property deed.”

— [From the verified account of a woman also kidnapped and raped]: “’He destroyed her body. She was badly infected. The fighter kept coming and asking me, ‘Why does she smell so bad?’ And I said, she has an infection on the inside, you need to take care of her,’” the woman said.

“Unmoved, he ignored the girl’s agony, continuing the ritual of praying before and after raping the child.

“I said to him, ‘She’s just a little girl,’” the older woman recalled. “And he answered: ‘No. She’s not a little girl. She’s a slave. And she knows exactly how to have sex. And having sex with her pleases God.’”

Regardless of our own political affiliation, regardless of our own gender, our own history or religion, surely we can see what these men are. They’re Nazis, dressed up in robes. They use religion as Hitler and Goebbels used political division and the power to destroy. They’re wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing, bleating how they’re doing the will of God, purifying the race, blah blah blah, whatever is the slogan du jour.

It’s not enough to tear off the sheepskins they hide under.

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Stop Assuming They Think Like Adults

A recent fight within the UK and between that nation and Turkey – a country that seeks admittance to the EU, even though only the small portion of it actually belongs in Europe; the majority is in Asia – has to do with teenage girls from Muslim families. Three of them left the UK the other day. The eldest had stolen her older sister’s passport. The UK does not keep track of who leaves the country. Although the rules state that minors may leave only when accompanied by a parent, the girls (one aged 16, the other two 15) were able to fly to Turkey all by themselves.

Why were they going? To cross Turkey into Syria, there to become the latest in a series of adolescent girls scammed and persuaded to become “jihadi brides”.

It appears now that they have entered Syria, despite their parents’ pleas and the Foreign Service tracking. Turkey, blamed for facilitating both female and male Isis devotees’ border crossing, has in turn become rather stroppy itself, complaining that the UK lost three days in informing Turkish officials of the girls’ intention.

Even the girls’ school has had to defend itself from finger-pointing, noting that it does not permit extremist doctrines and strives to teach its students to accept others. The three girls, it says, were not radicalized on its grounds.

That’s probably true. There are too many places online to read radical Islamist philosophy – who needs a brick-and-mortar school?

The parents, rather than accepting responsibility for teaching their daughters that what Muslim men want is more important than the desires of Muslim women, wants the UK to keep track of exits as well as entries. Not a bad idea.

The girls’ aim is to marry terrorists and murderers. Not the actions of sane, healthy women. And even Isis points out that jihadi brides must prepare to be jihadi widows – which means they will in turn be traded off, potentially sold into sexual enslavement, and almost certainly will die (of beatings, suicide, complications of pregnancy and childbirth) in Syria, probably within five years. The parents will never see their daughters again.

There may be good reasons for keeping them from the UK, as escapees from Isis have been indoctrinated in terrorism. Even when their primary role has been support and childbearing, creating more children to be molded into mini-terrorists.

But now comes the argument in The Guardian that the UK should let its adolescents leave because, well, look, they’ve made their decisions. Let them lie in it. Don’t stop them, even if they’re under 18 years old and legally minors to be protected. We’re better off without them. They want to support brutal and murderous regimes? Fine. They’re old enough to know better.

Except they’re not.

What that Guardian writer fails to understand is that although adolescents may look mature, inside they’re still growing. They certainly aren’t mature when it comes to childbearing, which is hugely more risky for teenagers than for women over 20. Even sex is risky, since their bodies have not finished developing. An immature vagina should not be entered by anyone’s engorged penis, including that of a jihadi “husband”.

And we have evidence that inside these girls’ brains, there is a whole lot of re-assembly going on. Dr. Jay Giedd of the US National Institutes of Health, among others, is engaged in longitudinal research on brain development. What he has found through fMRI examination of healthy people is that teenagers’ brains are entirely different from those of adults. The area really should be cordoned off with “Caution: Undergoing Construction” tape. Teens literally cannot think the way grown-ups do, and it’s wrong to blame them when they don’t.

As Giedd has said, “It’s sort of unfair to expect them to have adult levels of organizational skills or decision-making before their brains are finished being built.” Meaning, just because a brain has acquired adult size in terms of its weight does not mean it’s ready for full and complete use. That’s like saying a house that’s just been put under roof — meaning the slates or shingles are attached – is ready to be moved into. Wait a minute. What about walls? Plumbing? Electrical wiring, floor finishes, paint, all the other things we expect of a house? Not there! Well, it’s not freakin’ done, then, is it. Back to work!

No one in their right mind leaves to support Isis. We don’t see long lines of mature women ready to give up their freedom and families, do we? These girls are just the latest in a series from different Western countries who have been groomed and seduced online, who wish to exchange a fairly restrictive family existence for an entirely restrictive and ultimately painful and fatal one, while imagining they are more holy for doing what terrorists bid them do.

Prime Minister David Cameron has urged that more attention be paid to online radicalization by people promoting the “poisonous ideology” of terrorism, and Europol is enhancing cooperation among agencies to connect the dots between extremist recruiters and those who finance their activities.

Families need to make their children’s passports unobtainable. In a deposit box or held by a non-Muslim friend or colleague. In addition, they must have serious chats with their children in order to teach them of the risks of extremism. Also, the UK ought to be keeping track of the people who leave its shores, especially where they look young.

Because kids and adolescents do not, cannot, think like adults.

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You Don’t Know Jack About Isis

Their flag flying over . . . where?

Whatever it’s called – Isis, Isil, Islamic State – the men running this campaign of brutality are, according to them, reestablishing a caliphate that went out of business hundreds of years ago. They allege they follow the rules of Islam. Thus any apostates they capture deserve only the worst: beheading, burning alive, torture, sale as sexual slaves, forced “marriages” and resale to the highest bidder – sexual torture, in other words.

We’ve seen the reports. Hopefully have not watched the videos, since the mind cannot blank those images.

Just in case you’ve actually believed the spin, remember that every single week we find out more about the atrocities these men commit.

And how some non-Muslim people in the West are aiding them with money.

The Isis men started out making money through ransom paid for captives. They moved on to oil – smuggled and sold. And drugs. A great deal of heroin from Afghanistan is funneled through Isis coffers. Every heroin addict is financing brutality against innocent people.

Now it’s selling on the loot they retrieve from the Christian and Muslim buildings they tear down. The teardowns are carefully orchestrated. A man who knows antiquities and their value first organizes the removal of valuable artifacts. Only then is the building demolished. The treasures are sorted, catalogued, and offered for sale through intermediaries. Often, their buyers are wealthy collectors in Europe and the Americas. People who persuade themselves they’re saving irreplaceable artifacts are in fact helping Isis torture progress through the Middle East and now in North Africa. In Libya, they close in on Europe with plans to invade across the Mediterranean.

Crete is only 200 sea miles away. If Isis were to reach the northernmost part of Tunisia, Sicily is a hop of less than 100 miles.

The European buyers of looted artifacts are essentially financing threats to other Europeans.

The sale of antiquities is “clean”. A distinct contrast to the blood and pain that accompanies another new method of getting money: harvesting organs from captured, living people.

According to the Express, “Some 10,000 black market operations involving human organs take place each year across the globe – more than one an hour. Desperate patients will pay gangs more than $200,000 (nearly £128,000) for a kidney, WHO concluded.” This is especially true in nations like China where organ donation is uncommon.

The victims are not donors. They do not give consent. They are simply drugged, pushed into surgery, and slashed. Some do not survive. They are not meant to survive.

Unlike the novel and film Never Let Me Go – where children are brought up in a dystopian future as intended shells for their genetically matched organs, taken one by one – Isis demands money now. Now, now, now. Doctors who refuse to commit these crimes are themselves murdered.

This is brutality with no religious stamp.

Captured Isis fighters have indicated they were drugged with cocaine and hallucinogenics in order to fling themselves into battle without a care. That may be true.

What is also true is that after battle, the men of Isis stoke themselves up to brutalize women and children. This is the fate worse than death, being abused by a “husband” or captor high on liquor and Viagra. Who sees a frightened girl (as young as eight years old, according to escaped women) as someone to attack over and over. The brutality of their assaults has been viewed by doctors. Wounds, torn tissues, fistulas (which can be repaired only through surgery – denied under Isis, of course), unbearable pain.

This is Islamic behavior? No.

When an Isis man tires of his “bride”, he simply sells her on to another man. While girls and women cower, fearing the next man will be even more brutal. Suicides among captured girls and women are common. In killing themselves, they avoid beatings, torture, rape and sexual trafficking. The selling of sexual slaves is not just among Isis men, but also to local businessmen.

The girls who left European families to join jihad, like these, find they are not given the glorified role they assumed. They are quickly forced to marry, often become pregnant (with all the attendant risks for teenagers), and are cast aside. Even their Facebook accounts are hijacked. They disappear and may by now be dead. Or the punching bag for another man.

Meanwhile, very few escape Isis. Those who are caught are murdered. The traumatized few who make it to safety bear witness. We know very little about the brutal men who drive stolen trucks through Muslim-majority countries. That they resemble Nazis and the SS is patently true. Nazis with mobile phones and internet.

Imagine Hermann Goering or Reinhard Heydrich with modern technology. Gestapo men would have gotten their orders as they ran. The Holocaust machinery would have been assembled much more quickly. Millions would have died in a shorter time. Meanwhile, they would have been financed through sales of resources, smuggled drugs, snatched organs, stolen artifacts. (The Nazis did get money through many of those means, but in a slower time.)

In Isis, that’s what confronts the world.

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Are Hormones Weapons? If Not, Let’s Use Them.

 

Drawing of a molecule of oxytocin.

 

Today, I’m writing about ISIS.

 

First, a small segue (hang on, there’s a tie): This article, and this, and this one, too – oh, and this, as well – all from the British press, reveal that in the manufacturing town of Rotherham in Yorkshire (the largest county in England, the county of James Herriott, the beautiful Lake District, The Dales) over 1400 people have been repeatedly terrorized, tortured, gang-raped and threatened with death. The police response: zero. The reports were dismissed, whistleblowers tossed out, details buried. Why? Because the victims were children. The attackers, Pakistani-origin Muslim men. Officialdom makes the excuse that it was reluctant to roil multicultural waters, though many people wonder if there was a money aspect, if they were being paid off to look the other way. We have to assume, as well, that the people responsible for not arresting the perps right away were several eggs short of a dozen and thus should never have had any sort of power at all. Also, that they were minus compassion. The biggest cop is refusing to resign his current post, despite repeated calls to do so, reported here. Finally, after weeks, the New York Times began to pay attention.

 

Now. ISIS. A larger group of Muslim men. Opportunists, again.

 

I hope someone from the US military or Big Pharma is reading this – feel free to send links, readers – because this is a eureka moment.

 

“Fight fire with fire” is an old saying. With wildfires, sometimes it works to dig trenches and then set light to the ground beyond, so it roars up to the larger fire which then runs out of fuel.

 

It’s the same way with firepower. The classic response to military assaults has been . . . more military assaults. From land, sea, air, space, as technology improved through millennia. More weapons, more pain. More death to innocents.

 

There’s another way we fight fire, though. We use water or chemicals. We spray them, dump them, stream them down. They put out the blaze even more effectively.

 

In response to the use by Germany of mustard gas during the First World War (1914-1918), the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which governs rules of warfare, bans the use of chemical and biological weapons. Substances that can harm human beings are prohibited from use (though oddly not from manufacture or stockpiling – consistency, please, people). Thus when Iraq used multiple chemical weapons against its Kurdish population in Halabja in 1988, that genocidal act was roundly condemned.

 

A chemical or biological weapon is a substance alien to the human body. What if the substance used, however, were produced within the body? A non-harmful compound. Pleasant, in fact.

 

I’m thinking of oxytocin. Oxytocin is on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) List of Essential Medicines. It’s a neurohypophysial hormone, produced only in mammals of both sexes. The hypothalamus makes it, the posterior pituitary gland stores it and releases it. It’s common in childbirth (its name means “fast birth” in Greek) and is associated with lactation. The pharmaceutical form given to people in “slow” labors (it can be injected or sprayed into the nose) speeds up uterine contractions. I can attest to this myself; they accelerate like a bottle rocket.

 

Oxytocin promotes maternal-infant bonding. It also influences social bonding between adults. It allays anxiety with a rush of wellbeing. People who are genetically bad at oxytocin reception and uptake tend to display aggressive behavior even when their bodies produce the hormone. (Maybe that’s all of ISIS, oxytocin-deprived because of their genetics?)

 

So here’s the suggestion: Stop thinking bombs and bullets. Start thinking very mild, aerosolized oxytocin.

 

Sprayed from above, it would help every member of ISIS feel better. Much better. Their weapons would be stripped from them by gas-masked opponents, and they would be taken prisoner without spilling a drop of blood.

 

Let them breathe oxytocin.

 

We achieve a bloodless victory, using a hormone found in our own bodies. It’s called working smart. And that’s a breath of fresh air.

 

 

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