The desperate housewives of ISIS

The desperate housewives of ISIS, by Hazel Shearing.

The outside world has been horrified by Isis’s barbarity, but the women were more concerned about the amount of cash their husbands spent on lipsticks for sex slaves seized from the Yazidi community in northern Iraq.

“There was a lot of tension between the wives and the sex slaves,” a Lebanese wife said. “Some of the wives even divorced their husbands because of that. They were spending too much on the sex slaves, buying them the best make-up, clothes and accessories.”

Her husband had a sex-slave app on his phone, she said. “It was a market for sex slaves. They were sharing photos of the sex slaves with the best make-up and clothes, and asking $2,000 (US) for this one, $3,000 for that one. A virgin cost $10,000.”

One wife let slip that many of the women harboured romantic feelings for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Isis leader and head of its self-styled Islamic caliphate.  One woman had spurned would-be suitors, saying: “Only Baghdadi satisfies me.” She was told not to waste her time. “Other Isis women told the Baghdadi groupie, ‘Don’t bother, he is already taken,’” reported Moussa. “’He has four wives and 15 [sex] slaves. You have no chance.’ ”

The women said shocking images of knife-wielding Isis fighters brandishing the heads of their victims had nothing to do with them. How could it, they said, when they spent quiet nights on the sofa with their husbands?