No need to 'understand' Isil, just fight its pure evil
We are quick to judge our own - but we are not so rigorous when it comes to the sins of others, writes Carol Hunt.
There was a frisson of excitement in some quarters when the latest fatwa from Isil was released. No one will admit that out loud, of course. But to many a boy reared on Princess Leia's slave-girl-on-a-leash fantasy, the notion of being able to pick out your very own sex slave in a market place has an irresistible lure, despite its revolting immorality. That's human nature, isn't it? Sex sells. And no one knows this better than the men recruiting willing fodder for their obscene Caliphate in Syria and Iraq; come join us and you too can have your own Princess Leia, but younger, leaner, more docile; stripped and chained for your private entertainment. You can whip her, burn her, get her to perform any number of obscene pornographic acts for you. It's God's will. Insha'Allah.
For young men reared in a culture of gender separation, where sex before marriage is taboo and a woman cannot appear uncovered before them lest she tempt them into sin; to be told that they are doing their duty to God and to their state by sexually using a woman in any way they have ever covertly imagined, is surely a temptation some find hard to resist. This is the potent propaganda that Isil are selling to their many recruits. The slaves are in the main Yazidi women and children, members of a non-Muslim minority group. Last week, we discovered what happened to women deemed too old or unattractive for sex slavery; killed and thrown into mass graves found in Iraq. It sounds barbarous, but, as with the clipboard Nazis of the Third Reich, there are very specific rules to follow. These are carefully calibrated by Isil "theologians". And so we read their latest hellish ruling which lays down, in ancient biblical terms, the manner in which young girls and women can be raped, assaulted and abused - by and for God's will.