Dozens of Yazidi women ‘sold into marriage’ by ISIS

Women and children from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, walk to a refugee camp after they re-entered Iraq from Syria at the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fishkhabour, Dohuk province, August 14, 2014. (Reuters)

Several dozen Yazidi women kidnapped by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq militants (ISIS) have been taken from Iraq to Syria, forced to convert and sold into marriage to militants, an activist group says.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said it had confirmed that at least 27 Yazidi women had been sold for around $1,000 each to ISIS fighters.

The group said it was aware that some 300 Yazidi women had been kidnapped and transported to Syria by the militants, but it had so far documented the sale into marriage of 27.

“In recent weeks, some 300 women and girls of the Yazidi faith who were abducted in Iraq have been distributed as spoils of war to fighters from the Islamic State,” a statement said.

The group said it had documented several cases in which the fighters then sold the women as brides for $1,000 each to other ISIS members after forcing them to convert to Islam.

“The Observatory documented at least 27 cases of those being sold into marriage by Islamic State members in the north-east of Aleppo province, and parts of Raqqa and Hassakeh province,” SOHR said.

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Now we know for sure how Islam spread so quickly in its early days. Despite what you have read about “no compulsion in religion” we are being treated to the spectacle of tried and true techniques, which must date back to its earliest days.