April 21, 2016 | Massacre by ISIS in Mosul

Imagine being held by a terrorist group like ISIS and told you had a choice: becoming a sex slave or death.

MOSUL, IRAQ — What is it with a lot of the world’s religions when it comes to women? Oh sure, a lot of faith leaders will proclaim that females are honoured and cherished and though highly of. Except when it comes to positions of influence and authority in those same faiths.

So do me a favour. Let me know how many women are priests, bishops or popes in the Roman Catholic Church. How many women are imams or ayatollahs in Islam? How many women hold senior positions in Judaism? Or Sikhism? Or Buddhism? Or….? Not many, eh?

It is of no surprise then that when it comes to terrorist groups with a religious base women are second class citizens as a rule. Sure, there are exceptions, but these were in secular terrorist outfits. There were females among the anarchists in late 19th and early 20th century Western society. Half of the leadership of the eponymous Baader-Meinhof gang was female. And many suicide bombers within the LTTE Tamil Tigers were women. So, yes, it does happen.

Three Tamil Tiger soldiers in Jaffna
Female LTTE terrorists (tigresses?)

Furthermore, it does NOT happen, as a rule, in Islamist terrorist groups (there are very few exceptions). This may stem from the fact that the faith underlying these violent extremists is in itself misogynist and anti-female. Islam may be no better or worse than other monotheistic (or polytheistic) religions but the terrorist groups that use its teachings sure are a nasty bunch.

Enter the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). Its crimes against humanity are legion and do not need to be repeated. Suffice to say that when it came to women and girls the terrorist organisation engaged in the despicable practice of capturing females to serve as ‘wives’ (read: sex slaves) for ISIS terrorists. The fate of the Yazidis is particularly illustrative in this regard.

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What happened, then, to those women who refused to become the sexual playthings of terrorists? They were killed, as today’s featured attack shows. On this day in 2016 ISIS executed 250 women who refused to kowtow to their perverted desires in the Iraqi city of Mosul. That city was under ISIS control at the time and who knows how many atrocities were committed against civilians by those Islamist assholes.

ISIS may not be the terrorist group it once was – although it has not disappeared completely despite what some leaders say – but the horrors visited upon women and girls will never go away. There is one fate, and one fate only, for men who mistreat humans in this manner. Dustin Hoffman, playing Captain Hook in the 1991 movie, said it best: “Kill them… kill them all”.

What happened on this day in the past?

Terrorism has been around for a long time. Check out my blog Today in Terrorism and have a look at what happened on this day in the past and what it means for today.

Phil Gurski
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