It's tough to read beyond the first three paragraphs of the New York Times' look at ISIS' systematic use of rape and the religious justification it assigns to the practice. The story opens with the story of a fighter prostrating himself in prayer before and after raping a bound 12-year-old girl—a rape that, in his view, the Koran "condoned and encouraged" as she was a member of the Yazidi religious minority and thus did not practice Islam, per the Times. Things get no easier as one reads on: The girl herself recounts her experience as a captive ("he said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God"); she's one of the 21 Yazidi women and girls who had escaped ISIS that the Times interviewed for the piece.
Its report details ISIS' creation of a detailed and formalized sex trade, which by the Times' count has been in place since Aug. 3, 2014, and is facilitated by a physical infrastructure: "a network of warehouses where the victims are held, viewing rooms where they are inspected and marketed, and a dedicated fleet of buses used to transport them." The women and girls are called "sabaya" (meaning slave), and the Times reports that just about any sexual treatment of them is permissible (even the rape of children; to wit, an earlier report describes adolescent girls being sold for $124) save for one thing: having sex with a pregnant sabaya. Slave owners are instructed to wait until a woman has her period before having sex with her to verify there is no pregnancy. The Times has much more here. (Read more ISIS stories.)