The advertisement on the Telegram app is as chilling as it is incongruous: A girl for sale is “Virgin. Beautiful. 12 years old…. Her price has reached $12,500 and she will be sold soon.”
The posting in Arabic appeared on an encrypted conversation along with ads for kittens, weapons and tactical gear. It was shared with The Associated Press by an activist with the minority Yazidi community, whose women and children are being held as sex slaves by the extremists.
While the Islamic State group is losing territory in its self-styled caliphate, it is tightening its grip on the estimated 3,000 women and girls held as sex slaves. In a fusion of ancient barbaric practices and modern technology, IS sells the women like chattel on smart phone apps and shares databases that contain their photographs and the names of their “owners” to prevent their escape through IS checkpoints. The fighters are assassinating smugglers who rescue the captives, just as funds to buy the women out of slavery are drying up.
Western feminists are up in arms, outraged that women are treated so badly in the 21st century, and demand western government do something. Any moment now…
The Sunni extremists view the Yazidis as barely human. The Yazidi faith combines elements of Islam, Christianity and Zoroastrianism, an ancient Persian religion. Their pre-war population in Iraq was estimated around 500,000. Their number today is unknown.
Nadia Mourad, an escapee, has appeared before the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament to appeal for international help.
“Daesh is proud of what it’s done to the Yazidis,” she said to Parliament. “They are being used has human shields. They are not allowed to escape or flee. Probably they will be assassinated. Where is the world in all this? Where is humanity?”
Islam is the culture of seventh century Arabia.