Sexual Slavery: “Nothing to do with Islam”?

The sexual abuse of non-Muslim children and women at the hands of Jihadist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram is not only a widespread practice in the Muslim world, but, sadly, has a lot to do with Islamic teachings.

Sexual slavery is deeply embedded in Islamic law and tradition. The founder of Islam also practiced and approved of slavery, as was more common at the time. Caliphs had harems of hundreds or thousands of young girls and women brought from Christian, Hindu, Persian and African lands.

Islamic slavery also was, and is, race-based. Umar, Muhammad’s father-in-law and a caliph, declared that Arabs could not be taken as slaves; he even emancipated all Arab slaves. In Islam, only non-Muslims may be taken as slaves — a rule that is unfortunately only further evidence of a supremacist doctrine within Islam: that Islam is superior to other religions, and its adherents therefore entitled to privileges not afforded to members of other religions.

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